Thursday, February 26, 2009

Verizon LG Versa Announced, Ships Soon

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Verizon and LG officially announced yesterday their latest soon-to-be-released device: The LG Versa. The name is short for "versatility", pretty fitting since the Versa will allow for different attachments for maxiumum customization. It will come with a full QWERTY keyboard to get you started - great for those (including myself) who prefer a tactile keyboard over a virtual touch screen keyboard. Many seem to be making a big deal about the fact that it can be used as a modem as well, but this is not exactly a new innovation in the mobile world. Verizon, however, often blocks this ability (they are known for crippling devices in many ways). It's called tethering, for those who are unfamiliar, and just means that you can connect your phone to your computer and acces the internet through your device's connection. It is great, since you can basically get on the 'net wherever you have cellular service. Oh yeah... to use the Versa as a modem, you're going to have to dish out an extra $59.99 per month for Verizon's Mobile Broadband Connect plan, and is also limited to 5GB of data transfer. More features supported that are associated with an extra charge: V Cast Music using Rhapsody, V Cast Video, Visual Voice Mail, VZ Navigator GPS. That's not to say that other carrier's don't charge for similar services, but it would be nice to see that modem feature at least offered for a little less.

All in all though, the device is actually quite innovative, with a nice feature set. Here's the rundown:
  • Customizable animated 3D interface
  • EV-DO Rev. A
  • 3" touch screen display
  • 2.0 megapixel camera with face detection
  • Image editor
  • Full HTML Browser
  • Flash Support (= Awesome!)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), supports stereo sound
  • 2.5mm headset jack (= too bad)
  • microSD card slot supporting up to 16GB of additional memory
  • Accelerometer
  • Drawing pad
The release date is set at March 1, 2009, and it will cost $199 after a $50 mail-in rebate. According to press release slides, a game controller attachment will be available soon! For more info and some more press release pictures, check out Engadget.