I got three lg vx5500 and a lg ev2 in Dec 2008. The sound went out on one of the
vx5500 in Dec 2009. The display went on the blink on the other two vx5500 in Jan 2010. The display went out on the ev2 in Dec 2009. So, four new phones went bad in 13 month. Maybe, just a bad batch.
Very Good [Basic] Phone
Picked-up the VX-5500 from an authorized re-seller (FREE after mail-in rebate). Use Verizon Wireless in the Metro-NY area. Prior phone was the LG VX-8300.
I use the phone as a phone. Has a VGA camera but no MP3 player; probably wouldn't use either of them on the phone anyway. That's why I have a digital camera and an iPod. I do very little text messaging. The interface itself seems pretty responsive, and like any new item, there may be a bit of a learning curve for some people.
For me, the most important factors in a phone are:
-- Battery Life (Talk and Stand-by)
-- Reception (Signal Strength)
-- Call Quality (Listening and Speaking)
Battery Life -- Rating: 5 out of 5
When I finally recharged the battery, it still had 1 out of 4 bars left on it. It lasted about 16 days between charges (from the initial charge until the 1st recharge), having used it with a combination of talking, playing around with it, and mostly standby. If my mixed usage is any indication of how long the phone will last for talk time, then you should have no problems between charges.
Reception -- Rating: 4 out of 5
Compared to the VX-8300, the signal strength can fluctuate between + / - 1 bar in the same location, usually averaging 3 out of 4 bars. Given the small amount of talking I've done so far with this phone, the fluctuating signal strength has not been a problem.
Call Quality -- Rating: 4 out of 5
No major difficulties in hearing people or being heard by others. I typically have trouble with finding the sweet-spot on any mobile phone earpiece. The speakerphone (listening only) and wired headset (lost my blue-tooth) also worked quite well. All-in-all, I didn't have to turn the volume all-the-way-up to hear people or be heard by people (currently set at low).
4+ out of 5
Based upon my criteria and usage-to-date, I think this is a very good [free] phone for people that don't want or need any of the bells-and-whistles included with other [more expensive] phones.
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VX 5500 - LG Doesn't Get It
Whoever is designing phones at LG should be fired. Before I give my two cents on the 5500, let me say this. I've been going to the Verizon store trying out different phone for the past two months trying to find a phone that has the simple & common sense features.
I believe, based on the ridiculous amount of money the cell phone companies are charging, Verizon in particular, most cell phone users want & should be able to get from Verizon, a standard phone for free or at a very low cost that offers: 1)simplicity, 2)large number, brightly lit up dial pad, 3) a screen you can see, 4) a speakerphone that isn't tinny or distorted and stays on when you close the phone, 5) doesn't feel flimsy or feel like it would break if you dropped it on thick carpeting.
Verizon's choice of the type of phone I just mentioned is minimal at best in their offerings. And the ones that fit the bill, based on what I've outlined for a basic phone, go out of stock online very quickly. The VX5500 satisfies #'s 1 & 2 above..THAT'S IT. It's simply a flimsy & smaller redesign of the VX5400. Quite frankly, the VX5400 is a better phone. The screen on the 5500 is small, it feels flimsy to the feel, and the damn speakerphone shuts off when you close the clamshell. This doesn't happen on the Samsung U550, Motorola W385 or even on the the new 204 from Motorola. Speakerphone is an important feature for those who don't want a bluetooth bud in their ear because many states, and more will follow, have mandated "hands free" in the car. You would thing that since more states are jumping on that bandwagon, and based on what LG's competition is offering, they'd get with the program. They just don't get it.
Don't bother with this phone. Get the Samsung u550 for free when they're in stock, or the Motorola W385 which is what I have & is built solidly and satisfies 80% of my requirements in a phone, or the new Motorola 204. The Samsung U650 slider is VERY good also & was my second choice.
I am not very picky with my phones. This phone has a very cheap quality screen and the camera is not very good. There is a reason it os offered for free by Verizon.