Mossberg: Verizon’s new LG Voyager looks like Apple iPhone, but software is primitive, inferior

“I’ve been testing a black-and-silver cellphone featuring a large touch screen populated with an array of colorful icons against a black background. Tapping the icons launches functions like a music player, Web browser and text-messaging program,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal. “That may sound like Apple’s heavily publicized iPhone, which runs on the AT&T wireless network, but it’s not. This phone is called the Voyager, and it’s made by LG and runs on the rival Verizon Wireless network.”

“Despite their superficial similarities, the two devices are very, very different… Voyager is bulkier than the sleek iPhone — about 50% thicker and 40% larger overall — even though it’s a tad lighter. And it lacks the iPhone’s ability to use Wi-Fi hot spots and home networks, which are often faster than Verizon’s 3G network. It also has only about half the battery life; a smaller, lower-resolution screen, and just a fraction of the Apple’s internal memory,” Mossberg reports.

“Most importantly, the Voyager suffers badly in the area where Apple’s phone shines: software. Whether Verizon considers it a direct iPhone competitor or not, the LG product tries to do many of the same things, and it generally falls short,” Mossberg reports.

“This is the true challenge that the iPhone poses to established phone makers like LG. Apple has managed to build into its phone a real PC-grade operating system with a breakthrough user interface and elegant programs, something that has eluded the major cellphone makers,” Mossberg reports. “As with so many of the new feature-packed mobile phones, the Voyager’s user interface is clumsy and confusing, requiring too many steps to perform simple tasks. And its applications, such as the photo organizer, music player, Web browser and email program, are primitive compared with the iPhone’s.”

Full review here.

“We think it’ll be the best phone … this year. It will kill the iPhone.” – Mike Lanman, Verizon Wireless Chief Marketing Officer, October 03, 2007

23 Comments

  1. @ TowerTone

    What also is telling by the quote you selected is that Verizon hasn’t changed at all. Instead of a partnership – like AT&T;and Apple – Verizon still believes it holds all of the cards. That fact ensures Voyager 2 will not be a success.

    Peace.

  2. I have an iPhone, a friend of mine has a Voyager and my brother works at Verizon. I just played with my friends Voyager the other day. There’s a few things like:

    1. The touch screen does not have multi-touch, but the phone fone does vibrate slightly when u select an item, which would great feature on the iPhone for keys on its keyboard.

    2. The screen is very bright and attractive.

    3. The flip out keyboard is great and I’d love to see something like this on the iPhone.

    4. The size and dimensions are actually fairly good and feels good in the hand.

    However the software does suck. The internet brower was difficult to use. Music and video wasn’t that good either. The overall experience was no where near as complete as the iphone.
    The voyager does have MMS however, multiple SMSes… not so sure about cut and paste.

  3. “…the Voyager’s user interface is clumsy and confusing, requiring too many steps to perform simple tasks. And its applications, such as the photo organizer, music player, Web browser and email program, are primitive…”

    Okaaayyy but, any reason why I SHOULDN’T buy this phone?

  4. I met a blowhard in passing the other day who immediately whipped out his Blackberry, and started bragging. Not to be outdone, I pulled my iPhone out, and showed him HD video I had shot of shark diving in Fiji.

    It was an awkward moment for him.

    Delicious for me.

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