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Review: LG Vu Plus

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Video Tour Comments  6  

Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging  

For the interface design, LG has basically copied Samsung's TouchWIZ system. This is a real shame, because I've been begging Samsung to lay off TouchWIZ for years, so to see the same problems on a rival device is a step backwards. The phone uses a main homescreen with three panels: one for application shortcuts, one for widgets and one for contact shortcuts. Besides the fact that the lousy touch sensitivity ruins the experience of the home screens, the design is just poor. Widgets overlap each other, just as they do on Samsung's TouchWIZ phones. The app shortcuts offer a limited selection, so you can't place every new app or folder on the home screen. On the Contacts screen, you'll find instructions to press "+" to add a contact, but there is no "+" on screen. You have to press another button to get the "+" button to show up.

You can skip these screens for the main menu, but these are equally poor. There are three tabs, one with a phone icon, one with a movie clapper board, and one with a folder. The organization of apps under these tabs is far from intuitive. The GPS app, for instance, is under the phone menu. Applications, which I'd expect to find under the folder, is actually under the movie clapper. Audio and Video menus are not under the movie icon, but instead under the folder icon. Did anyone give this a moment's thought before setting up the organization?

There were plenty of little issues that plagued the interface design and annoyed me to no end. The notification bar has a tab that looks like it should be pulled down, but that doesn't work. You have to tap it, and it requires a precise tap beyond the screen's ability. The phone is overzealous about locking the screen. After about 10 seconds of idle time, the screen locks, and the unlock button onscreen is the most annoying I've dealt with on a touchscreen phone. You have to hold the button down to unlock, but the visual and audio cues don't match the amount of time you need to keep your finger on it, so I was constantly lifting my finger before the time was up.

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There is simply nothing intelligent, original or interesting about the interface and menus on the LG Vu Plus. It even screws up the basics. When you want to type, for instance, you can never type directly into a text field. Even with the keyboard extended, when you tap a text field, a whole new window opens up in which you enter text. This causes more delay, since the phone is already laggy and sluggish, and it's easy to forget the context on screen, since the screen changes when you have to enter text.

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