Review: LG Voyager
The Voyager's camera is fun to use and produces excellent pictures. With the phone unlocked, you can launch it by jumping into the menus or by pressing the camera key on the left side of the phone. Either way, it prompts you to rotate the phone horizontally into landscape mode for picture taking. It takes 4 full seconds to launch the camera, so it is not the best choice for firing off quick snapshots when timing is critical.
Using the large screen to compose pictures is great. The first screen you are greeted with is a basic viewfinder screen with a square in the middle representing the area the camera will focus on once you press the shutter button. There is also a button labeled options.
Once you've composed your shot and pressed the shutter button, the Voyager's camera takes about 2 seconds to focus the image and then another second to take the picture. The entire process of unlocking the phone, launching the camera, and taking a picture takes no less than 10 seconds.
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With the image captured, the preview screen shows you the image, the file name, and gives you three options: save, send or erase. You can choose to save pictures straight to the phone or a memory card. Hitting the send button first saves the picture to the phone, resizes the image, and brings up the picture message composing application.
When in the basic viewfinder mode, hitting the options button brings up a menu bar along the bottom of the screen with a wealth of ways to alter the settings. This is the same software that appears on other Verizon phones, but truth to tell, it is more fun to use on the Voyager. On the left side is a brightness adjuster. It is a basic slider that you move up and down with your finger on the screen to adjust the image's brightness level. There are also myriad other adjustments you can make. The camera's autofocus option lets you choose from three different options, including a one-stage autofocus, a two-stage autofocus or turning the autofocus off altogether. The latter of these leads to slightly quicker picture taking times. You can also change the way the camera meters the scene, and select from spot metering or averaged metering. There are also the standard options, such as night mode, white balance, shutter sound, and so on.
We do, however wish the camera launched quicker.
Using the videocamera application is almost identical. The only noticeable changes are an additional slider along the top to change the zoom, and fewer selections in the menu bar along the bottom.
Opening up the phone while using the camera simply brings up the camera app immediately on the internal screen. Here, the software is indiscernible from that of the enV. The left function button brings you to the gallery, the center of the D-pad takes the picture, and the right function key brings up your options menu.
The gallery application can be opened from the menu system or from the camera. It is viewed vertically, though, so if you open it from within the camera, you'll be forced to reorient the phone again.
The basic gallery shows you your most recent shot in an enlarged thumbnail, with a grid of smaller thumbnails below it. Below the grid are four menu buttons, including erase, view, options and clear. Selecting any of the pictures with your thumb does not open it up. Rather, it simply brings it to the enlarged thumbnail view. You have to actually select the "view" button to open the picture on the whole screen.
Once the image is loaded, if you tap the picture, it will rotate into landscape mode, and you can scroll sideways through your image library slideshow style. Using your finger, you can swipe to the left or right, or choose to use the arrow keys to navigate through your picture library. Hitting the center of the picture takes it back to portrait mode, and you have to hit the clear button to go back out to your gallery.
The options menu lets you interact with your images and choose actions such as send, set as wallpaper, launch the camera, etc.
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