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Review: LG Voyager

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Because of the Voyager's schizophrenic nature, browsing with it is a mixed bag. Tapping into the browser with the phone closed forces you to reorient the phone horizontally. You are taken to Verizon's deck, which lets you quickly jump to things like the news, sports, weather, entertainment and so on. Each of these selections brings you to content that Verizon has handpicked for you. Along the bottom of the screen are a few navigation tools, including a "back" button, zoom in/out, a "Go to WWW" button and the menu.

Browsing the items in the Verizon deck is not much different than it is on any other Verizon handset, save that you can scroll around the pages a bit with your finger. It is definitely faster than using the traditional D-pad to make selections. As long as you don't need to input any text or information, you're golden. Simply clicking on links and navigation to on-deck sites is a breeze. Things get nettlesome, though, when you want to go to a WWW address.

One of the items on the Verizon deck is optimized web. This lets you skip Verizon's deck and go out to the open web. Using this feature, Verizon optimizes web sites for the Voyager. It can be disabled. I did not notice any difference in browsing speeds between optimized and non-optimized modes.

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So from the optimized web, or the main menu you can choose to go to a regular HTML web site. Hit the go to WWW button, and it brings up an address bar with a software keyboard. This keyboard is similar in size to the one the iPhone uses and gives you about the same experience of typing in URLs. Its basic set up is letters only. To access numbers and other characters, you have to choose the 123 button. There is a shift key that lets you capitalize letters on the main keyboard page, and access alternate characters on the 123 page. As with the iPhone, you have to be patient when typing on the software keyboard. It is all too easy to make mistakes.

With the phone open, it is more like the enV. Using the D-pad to navigate and make selections is painful after zooming around with your fingers on the touch screen. But it is far better for entering in URLs and other information. So you sort of have to pick your poison. Do you want faster overall navigation with difficult text input, or slower site navigation but better text input? Only you can decide.

One thing of note, the EV-DO radio did not necessarily make for super snappy browsing. In side-by-side tests, the iPhone, running on AT&T's EDGE network, often loaded pages faster.



The Voyager lets you customize the phone in all the ways you might expect. You can change the wallpapers, fonts, colors, themes, ringtones, picture IDs and the like. The fonts are actually pretty decent. Being able to pick a good font can be critical if you are sensitive to fonts. Nothing about the Voyager's customization features stand out, though.

Because the Voyager is a touch phone, the main menu and shortcut menu cannot be altered. They can be seen as grids only.

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