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6/26/2008
10:25 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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LG's Dare A True iPhone Rival

Other phones have tried hard to beat (or at least match) the iPhone at the touch screen game. None have come as close as the new Dare, from LG. I had a chance to get some hands-on time with it last week. Apple, watch out.

Other phones have tried hard to beat (or at least match) the iPhone at the touch screen game. None have come as close as the new Dare, from LG. I had a chance to get some hands-on time with it last week. Apple, watch out.After spending some time with the LG Dare, it's hard not to come away impressed. It's a slim and pocketable touch phone with a vastly revised user interface when compared with other LG touch devices, such as the Voyager. Like the iPhone, the Dare forgoes most buttons. It has just three along the bottom edge of the phone, and the usual controls on the phone's side. The screen is nicely sized at 3 inches and it is plenty bright.

The touch screen technology used by LG for the Dare comes closer than any other touch device to matching the experience provided by the iPhone. The menu system is a simple screen tap away, and users can customize the home screen almost as they would a desktop. This means you can drag and drop application shortcuts to the home screen just as you would on your home computer, making them easily accessible. Many of the menus are customizable, which allows users to make the phone their own.

The Dare's real victory, however, is its multimedia capabilities. It has a 3.2-megapixel camera (besting the iPhone's 2 megapixel camera) and it comes loaded with powerful stuff. It has face detection software, a panorama shooting mode, SmartPic technology and manual ISO adjustment for improved image quality, and a Schneider-Kreuznach certified lens for optimal picture quality. The camera offers multiple ways to adjust the settings to customize the picture-taking experience. It also works reasonably fast.

On top of the solid camera performance is amazing video recording power. The Dare can shoot video at up to 120 frames per second, allowing for slow motion playback. No other phone can brag about that feature, and that's hot!

Of course, it comes with the litany of standard items found on high-end feature phones. That includes: music player, microSD slot, stereo Bluetooth, USB mass storage, HTML Web browser, and many, many other features.

Combining all these features with a greatly improved user interface makes the Dare a pleasure to use. Paired with Verizon's network, it's a home run. On a spec-for-spec basis, the Dare beats the iPhone, and costs the same, $200. For the real multimedia maven, the Dare is the phone to beat.

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