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Review: Samsung Convoy 2

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

Amazingly, Verizon Wireless still treats its feature phones like we're living in 2003. It's unreal that Verizon is foisting the same, crappy menu system on its non-smart devices.

The main home screen presents three labeled and obvious choices: Use the soft keys to open the messaging or contact apps, or press the center of the d-pad to open the full menu. As with most feature phones, users can set the directionals on the d-pad as application shortcuts. For example, press left to open the browser, or press down to open a new text message.

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The default view of the menu is a 3-by-3 grid that correspond to the numbers of the dialpad. Once you open one of the menu items, the icons switch to text and you just sort of have to dive in and learn what is located where. These menus have barely changed over the years. If you've used a Verizon Wireless feature phone at all, you'll know what to do.

The one novel thing Verizon has done is to provide access to a bunch of the Convoy 2's features from the external display. Double-pressing the fast-forward button unlocks the screen and then requires that you use the three media buttons and the volume toggle to interact with the slimmed-down menu. You can launch the calendar, Bluetooth menu, camera/video camera, messaging apps, music, and voice commands. The features available here are limited at best, but at least you can check your texts, access playlists, or take a picture without first opening the phone.

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