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Verizon Wireless Tempts Shoppers With Voyager And Venus

The carrier hopes the handsets will shift the spotlight away from the iPhone as people begin shopping for the holidays.

Verizon Wireless' iPhone look-alikes, Voyager and Venus by LG Electronics, are debuting in stores this week in time for Thanksgiving, like the carrier had promised.

Verizon Wireless first unveiled the phones last month, in hopes of shifting the spotlight away from the iPhone as people begin shopping for the holidays.

"These phones offer customers some of the most exciting technology available today. The combination of touch and tactile keypads that are features on both devices give customers a winning combination that is rare in the market today," said Mike Lanman, the carrier's VP and CMO, in a statement.

But the phones are not as unique as Verizon Wireless would like people to think. For example, the Voyager has a large external touch screen for easier phone and Internet navigation, a built-in music player, and Shortcut Menu icons that appear on the Voyager's touch screen and another set of icons at the bottom of the screen -- all the features that bear resemblance to the iPhone.

What makes the Voyager slightly different are some additional features, such as a full QWERTY keypad that slides open sideways, expandable memory that holds up to 8 Gbytes, and 3G connectivity for high-speed internet access.

The Voyager costs $300 after a $50 rebate and a two-year subscription to Verizon Wireless. It will be available for sale this Wednesday, November 21.

The Venus is Verizon Wireless' music-centric phone with two dual-front screens. The lower screen has touch input with vibration feedback for simpler access to the phone's features. It comes with a music player, a 2.0 megapixel camera and camcorder, and stereo Bluetooth.

The Venus, which is available immediately, costs $200 after a $50 rebate and a two-year subscription.

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