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Review: LG Vortex

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Touch  

Little changes between the different LG Optimus family models, and the LG Vortex on Verizon Wireless - in its all-black shell - might be the most non-descript and bland phone of the bunch. Verizon loves all-black smartphones, so this design won't stick out on the carrier's lineup. The phone is lightweight and nicely rounded with a slightly grippy soft-touch finish all around. It's easy to hold in the hand and comfortable to slip into a pants pocket.

The basic button layout on the Vortex is unchanged from its cousins. Up front, you have a 3.2-inch touchscreen, with the four familiar Android buttons beneath: Menu, Home, Back and Search. Those are real hardware buttons, not touch controls, clad in metal and slightly raised off the surface of the phone's face. They were a bit stiff, but I prefer stiff hardware buttons to unresponsive touch buttons, given the choice. That screen, on the other hand, was not stiff enough. It's obviously covered in plastic, and there was enough give when I pressed that I considered leaving the phone in the back yard for kids to bounce on.

Up top you'll find the power / screen lock button, and the volume keys are on the right side. All of these are also metallic, part of the band that encircles the phone, and raised just enough to make them easy to find without looking. On the left side you'll find a microSD card slot, hidden beneath a solid cover that feels like it will last the life of this phone. There's a microUSB port on the bottom, and a standard 3.5mm headphone port up top.

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