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Review: LG Vortex

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It's hard to recommend the LG Vortex. The poor touch response made the entire experience a hassle, especially in typing and basic menu navigation. The camera is lousy, and the camcorder videos are unwatchable. The phone is bloated with apps that either clutter the menu or, in the case of LG's puzzling and mediocre Facebook and Twitter options, confuse the user. The Vortex can feel underpowered at times, taking a while to load Web pages or handling the advanced features of Verizon's NFL Mobile app poorly. Bing and VZ Navigator replace the more powerful and familiar Google Search and Maps, though these are still available as downloads. Though LG does offer some customization options and a few useful widgets, the phone is basically a stock Android device with some nice tweaks thrown in.

If you're a Verizon fan looking for an Android phone on a budget, this is still your best option, even while the Vortex launch price is high at $80. You could spend a little more and buy a refurbished HTC Droid Incredible, which is a vastly superior phone, but any new models will cost you almost twice as much (though bargain hunters will find great deals on better Droid phones at Amazon). At the least, this phone is much better than the horrible Motorola Citrus, a cheaper Android phone on Verizon. If you're carrier agnostic and you want to join the LG Optimus family, either the Optimus S or Optimus T would make a better choice. The Optimus S has Sprint's fledgling Sprint ID feature, which can be useful for new smartphone users, and the Optimus T costs much less than the Vortex.

This is the cheapest acceptable Android on Verizon Wireless, but there are better cheap Androids elsewhere, and Verizon's high-end smartphones are so impressive that they completely outshine this dud.

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