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Review: LG Rumor Touch

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Calls / Contacts Touch Menus Messaging  

Wherever you are in the LG Rumor Touch interface, pressing the Phone key below the screen will always bring up the dial pad. Making calls was easy on the Rumor Touch, and it even had a few nice tricks up its sleeve. As you start typing digits, a matching phone book entry will pop up with a drop-down menu. It's tiny and difficult to tap correctly, but that's a running theme on this phone. When you're in a call, the Rumor Touch gives you easy access to key features. You can fire up the speakerphone or mute the phone in a hurry, and it wasn't difficult to add a third party for a conference call.

The Rumor Touch uses voice dialing from Nuance. It worked well in my tests, and was able to dial the numbers I called out, or pick entries out of my phone book as I commanded. You can even perform some simple interface tasks with the voice software, though it's much more useful for handsfree calling.

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The phone has an unusual contacts shortcut menu called the Hello UI. Basically, you get to drag pictures of your contacts around on a series of four tabbed screens, letting you set up a set of shortcut pages instead of the normal single page. When you tap a contact, you get a circular window of options about how you want to get in touch, by phone e-mail, text, whatever you like. There are even two themes for this menu, one more staid and one silly with butterflies. Both look very good, and don't require much leg work from the janky touchscreen. Too bad they're hidden deep within the contacts menu, these contact buttons could be effective desktop widgets on the home screen.

Even for more basic call logs, the LG Rumor Touch does a nice job gathering information together. The logs are well organized and make it easy to jump back into a missed or previous call. You can tap a contact and view your history with that person, including call logs and recent text messaging conversations. Sprint offers its own wireless backup to store your numbers online in case you lose your phone, and if you're somewhat courageous, you can even draw contacts from a Google or a Microsoft Exchange account. After looking up contact numbers in the e-mail app, I was able to transfer them to my phone's dedicated address book, albeit slowly and not en masse.

The address book itself was nothing too deep, but it provided some good shortcuts. You can add plenty of e-mail addresses and phone numbers for each contact, and you can tap on those numbers to jump right into a new message or dial a new call. You can even tap an address to open up Sprint Navigator, which is a rarity on feature phones. Overall, its an impressive set of calling and contacts features, even though it's missing some of the smartphone basics.

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