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410 of 414 people found the following review helpful
The LG VX8300 is the latest offering in the market for do-(almost)-it-all cell phones. It combines all of the standard phone functionality with music and video playback and phone, making it a media powerhouse considering that it's such a portable, affordable package. The next step up would be a smartphone, but at significant extra cost for the addition of more well-rounded PDA functions.

THE PHONE
The first thing you'll notice about the 8300 is that it's a great-looking piece of tech - stylish and modern yet also subdued enough that it won't embarrass you in business settings. Some pictures make it look black, but it is actually a deep metallic pewter color. It's roughly the same size (3.5 x 1.9 x 0.9) as LG's other recent clamshell phones, although a little slimmer for easier pocketing. It feels solid but not heavy at 3.9 oz with the standard battery. The plastic case feels softer than prior models, so it may be more susceptible to scratches and scrapes over time. There is a leather case for it, but I doubt you could bear the idea of covering up this good-looking unit.

The 8300 runs on Verizon's CDMA all-digital network, so coverage may be an issue if you live in rural areas. I've been a Verizon customer for years with LG digitals and never run into any dead spots around town and while traveling, but check Verizon's coverage maps on their website beforehand.

Voice clarity is superb, both for you and for the person you're calling. The 8300 has speakerphone capability, but amplified through the external audio speakers, it tends to be so loud that it may distort - set your volume appropriately low.

The phone has a wide array of conveniences, including numerous handy voice-activated commands (send messages, check voice mail, look up contact, examine wireless account, etc.), one-touch calling, unique rings and photo IDs for different contacts, an address book with room for 500 contacts, and so on. I'm a huge proponent of the voice-activated commands, and while the 8300 is very easy to set up, the long-term downside is that instead of matching up your command with your own prerecorded voice as prior models did, this phone tries to actually phonetically "read" entries from your contacts list and find a match that way. So, if you have unusually-spelled names with silent letters in your contacts list, the 8300 will have a tough time making a match. Plus, when it repeats the name back to you, it generally mangles the pronunciation, making that form of caller ID undesirable. It's too bad that the contacts list doesn't have a separate "nickname" field so that you could accurately store the contact as say, "Mike Krzyzewski" but have the voice-activated commands look the entry up as "Coach", for example.

If you're obsessive about ringtones, then you'll be disappointed with the default offerings. They play back with great quality, but they're pretty boring. Verizon clearly wants you to go to their GetItNow service to purchase the latest and flashiest ringtones. It's not documented in the manual, but it is possible to use MP3s loaded into the phone as ringtones.

The phone supports Bluetooth v.1.1, which makes it easily compatible with many wireless devices like headsets/earpieces. You can also use this to wirelessly transmit and receive contact information with other Bluetooth devices.

THE CAMERA
I bought my first digital camera about five years ago - a 1.3 megapixel Olympus for about $350. Now, for a fraction of the price and space, the 8300 delivers that same picture quality. It's also got additional features that make the results actually worth viewing/printing, including flash, white balancing for a variety of lighting conditions (no more washed out or oddly-tinted phone pics), a four-position digital zoom, and night mode. There are also some capabilities for having fun with your photos such as special effects (negative, posterize, etc.), self-portrait capability using the external screen as a viewfinder, and a timer. You can take pictures from 160x120 thumbnails all the way up to print-quality 1280x960.

The camera can also take videos, although the quality is predictably choppy and the largest clip that can be sent via email is only 15 seconds. Like any of the phone's media, larger clips can be stored to the phone's internal memory or onto an optional microSD card and then copied to another device or PC.

Photos taken can be used as contact IDs or wallpaper on either the external or main screen. Both screens are breathtaking in their brightness, clarity and resolution. They never fail to register the initial jaw-dropping compliment when someone sees the phone for the first time.

MUSIC PLAYER
You can't really say MP3 player because the 8300 wants to only play files in Microsoft's .wma format. This is because Verizon wants you to use their VCast online music store. I purchased the Music Essential Pack with my phone and was sorely disappointed in this - the VCast software wouldn't load (it kept trying to roll me back to Windows Media Player 10 even though I'm on 11), the USB cable kept losing connection (crummy driver software), and the headphones were just so-so. I recommend instead investing in a big MicroSD card and using it to store and transfer all of your music, photos and videos. This is clearly the easiest way to load information back and forth between the phone, although Verizon won't tell you that since it cuts their overpriced music store out of the loop. And if you do prefer MP3s for playback, the 8300 may not be configured out of the box to play them, but it's a simple change to make - just search the web for instructions.

The sound for playback is very good, again considering that it's not a dedicated music device. The external stereo speakers are on either side of the clamshell hinge and they pump out a lot of sound for their size. The 8300 has a very good ergonomic feature in the form of player control buttons (play/pause, fast forward, rewind) on the outside face of the phone. So, you can keep it in the palm of your hand rather than flipped open while listening.

BUSINESS/PRODUCTIVITY
The 8300 comes with the standard roster of business apps dumbed down for cell phone usage: calendar, world clock, calculator with tip macros, etc. At this time, I haven't found an easy way to sync data back and forth with any desktop apps like Outlook or Notes. There are open source apps on the Web like Bitpim that can do this, but the 8300 is currently too new for that software to handle. That gap should be remedied soon.

Verizon offers wireless broadband via an EV-DO network that includes most major metropolitan areas and airports.

One exceptional add-on that Verizon offers is VZ Navigator, which turns the 8300 into a GPS-driven navigation device. You can purchase the add-on either monthly if you do a lot of traveling by car or even day-to-day if you're just taking a short trip. It works well, looks great, and really boosts the usefulness of this unit.

CONCLUSION
The LG VX8300 combines a great phone, a camera that's actually useful and some pretty cool media capabilities into one compact unit. There are of course some trade-offs for each, but the convenience of only having to carry one slim item in your pocket is invaluable. It really is a marvel for the price.

PROS
* A very clear phone with many convenient features like voice-activated commands.
* A 1.3 megapixel camera capable of taking pictures you'd actually have printed thanks to 1280x960 resolution, flash, and color effects.
* A good-sounding music player that, when combined with your own library on an optional microSD card, puts hours of entertainment in your pocket.
* Bluetooth capability for wireless add-ons and communication with other devices.

CONS
* Incompatible with existing accessories - get ready to buy new chargers, sync cables, etc.
* VCast music store is overpriced and not easy to set up (just get a microSD card and use it to store/transfer media instead - no problem).
* Initial selection of ringtones is pretty dull - another attempt by Verizon to squeeze extra charges out of you.
* Some of the external buttons are awkwardly sized and/or placed - people with larger hands may cramp up after prolonged periods of use.
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103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2006
I just switched to Verizon after using Nextel and the i730 phone for the last two years. I purchased the LG VX8300 phone after quite a bit of research. Both here and on other websites. This is my 3rd cell in the last 4 years and my 2nd flip phone.

Overall I am very impressed with the performance of the 8300. Every phone has some features that are not liked or are not implimented well, but I believe that the majority of the people that select this phone will end up liking this one.

Reception/Clarity of Call: I would say that it is good to very good. Verizon to Verizon calls seem to be clearer than other calls. Land line calls tend to come in very clear while cell calls tend to be slightly broken up at times. Reception in my area (Tampa, FL) seems very good. I generally get service in areas that I didn't before with Nextel. I was also advised that Verizon users should perform a Cell Tower update every month by punching *228 and selecting option #2 since this gets you the latest tower mappings. Option #1 will perform software updates, however, I have no idea if these will over write any hack's that people make to their phones. As a phone, this gets a 8 on a scale of 10.

Ease of Use: I would rate this at about a 7 on a scale of 10. The manual is not written to enable you to get started quickly. It took me a few days before I figured out that the CLR button is the back button for the menu system. Knowing that really helps alot. The menus are well layed out and the options very clear. The buttons on the phone seem big enough and are easy to depress. The phone seems solid, but light. Overall construction seems sturdy. The LCD screens are very clear.

As a MP3 player: It's no iPod. The sound is satisfactory, but not great. Most people should be satisfied though to use it as an emergency player. Those of us that have MP3 players are still going to use them, but in a pinch or if you are caught somewhere without your MP3 player this is a good alternative. If you plan to use this feature at all you definately need to pickup the Music Essentials kit and the microSD card. There just isn't enough on board memory to hold many songs. BTW, using this as a MP3 player drains the battery quickly.

Battery: I have what I would consider to be light cell phone usage. I get roughly 10-20 mins of calls on my cell every day except on weekends. So my total talk time is roughly 1 to 1.5 hours a week. Playing even a few songs or browsing the web drains the battery quickly. I estimate that I get about 2-3 days between charges with this usage. This is pretty much on par with what I got on my older i730 and my old candy bar phone.

VCast: When I purchased my phone (Aug 2006), you got one month free of Vcast service if you selected VCast when you purchased the phone. The VCast service also encludes Web Service (which you can purchase separately if you don't get VCast for $5/Mth). My original plan was to only try the service and kill it after the 1st month, but I decided to keep it after the 1 month trial. VCast DOES use your airtime minutes, so if you find that you use this feature a lot, then you might want to upgrade your plan. I use mine about 10 minutes a day to pull down news clips, weather reports and sports clips. It's a great way to use unused minutes toward the end of the month so long as your careful not to leave yourself to close to the end of your minutes and go into overages. I had the web service on Nextel, but hardly used it. With VCast, I also find that I use the Web service as well. For me, it's worth the extra money.

As a camera: It's no great shakes as a camera. But for occassional use (taking a picture of a item in the store to later show to your spouse or taking a picture of some problem to show to a service man) it's fine. You can also take short video clips, but again other than for embarrassment/cute effect, it's not all that great.

Customer Support: I found CS to be very, very good. Everyone was very polite, cheerful and helpful. I do suppose that some of this was due to the fact that I was a new customer, but overall I would have to say that Verizon's support people were excellent to work with.

Accessories: No real Must have's. Some accessories that you might want are the music Essentials kit (mainly for the USB to PC cable) and a microSD card (purchased on the web for $40). The extra storage on the SD card is essential if you plan to either use the camera function or to play music. Bluetooth headset if you need to be able to use your phone without having to use your hands. Holster or belt clip if you don't like having your phone in your pocket. Extended Battery if you talk in excess of 60 minutes a day and use the phone as a music player or play games on the phone.

Negatives: Not many, and most of them are minor. The rubber covers that cover the headset port/usb/power port are not attached to the phone so when you remove them they are easy to get lost. My old i730 phone had these covers attached to the phone so you could easily replace them when you were not using the ports. The phone tends to get slightly warm after about 10 minutes of use. It's not uncomfortable, but you do notice it. If you have the phone flipped open and recieve a call, you get two screen options, quiet and ignore. Pressing either disconnects the call. You have to press the SEND key to take the call, not exactly intuitive. The phone has a option for large fonts, but they are only available when you send text messages and type in phone numbers. You are stuck with the smaller font for the contact list which is fine if you don't have a problem with farsightedness and don't have your glasses on. Font size on both LCD windows are also quite small. The phone has a limited set of ringtones, 9 are bell variations and 6 are song variations and none of them are that good. If your not fussy about ringtones, you should find at least one that is okay. If you are, you are not going to be happy with the default set. As I mentioned the manual is not great, it takes some effort to find some answers. For example, there was no picture or mention on how the microSD card is inserted in the phone (it turns out you insert it upside down). So be careful when putting your card in the slot. The card is fragile and you don't want to force it.

Hope this helps someone.
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141 of 146 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2006
This is the fourth cell phone I have had over the years. I've previously had Samsung, Nokia, and NEC.

LOOK
The phone is really nice. It's a dark grey color. Both screens are in color and everything is easy to read. It has large buttons that are easy to push, too.

RECEPTION/SERVICE
I recently spent the weekend traveling all over Ohio and I had great service everywhere. The phone connected every call quickly and never dropped a call. I receive every call and text message that is sent my way. Every caller is very clear and easy to hear. The reception is fantastic.

VOLUME
Every phone I have ever had or ever talked on, I always wished I could turn it up louder. The ringers were always too low even on max and the callers always seemed too quiet. On this phone, I have to turn the volume down to medium. If I turn it all the way up, I can still hear the caller loud and clear, I just need to hold the phone a foot away from my ear in order to avoid breaking it :). So I love the fact that the volume is loud. The ringtones are also super loud. I can hear it ringing in my bedroom when I'm in the basement or in my car when I've got the music blasting.

PHONEBOOK
New numbers are very easy to add. You can go to your contact list and add a new contact that way. You can type the number in like your going to dial it and save it that way. Or you can go to your call list (dialed, received, or missed) and save a number from there. You then type in the name, and you can save up to 5 numbers per entry. You can set a speed dial, a group, a ringtone, a picture, and a text messaging alert for each contact. You can type in a letter or a part of the name to access someone quickly. It takes just one click to get into your list of contacts.

TEXT MESSAGING
By default, it is set to Abc (I hate it, but every phone is). You can change it to Word (T9 predictive text), ABC, 123, or Symbols. Sending a new text and responding to a text is very simple and easy to use. You can also easily send pictures (and you can add sound to the pictures) or you can send a video clip. All are very easy to do. You can also send each text message to up to 10 different contacts. Quite nice if you want to send out a bulk message!!

CAMERA
It has a nice 1.3 megapixel camera. The pictures look pretty good for coming from a phone. You can change the shutter sound to: silent, normal shutter sound, ready 123, or say cheese! It has a self-timer and a flash. You can turn the flash on or off and it will remember your setting, you won't have to turn the flash on every time you want to use it. You can the option to save or erase any picture you take. The button to access the camera is on the right side of the phone. Press once for camera and twice for video. You can also adjust the white balance and the brightness as well as the resolution and color mode (color, sepia, b&w, negative, solari, vivid. There is also a night mode which you can set to on or off. And you can decide if you want the front screen to also act as a camera. Nice for taking self portraits! And its really easy to save, send, and erase every picture. When you go to view you pictures, they show up as tiny thumbnails so you don't have to deal with filenames and such, you can just see the picture. But you can rename them if you wish.

MUSIC
Yes, this phone can play MP3's. Verizon will tell you that you can only play Window's Media Player files because they like to try to scam you for money. Just go to menu, hit 0, enter all 0's for the service code, and scroll down to 11. Music Setting. In there, select MP3 Enable. Viola! I got the Music Essentials kit which comes with a USB cable to hook your phone to your computer, the software you need, and headphones to use with your phone (regular ones won't work). You can then upload MP3's onto your phone. It has a forward, backward, and play/pause button on the front. I haven't tried to use the MP3's as ringtones yet but that would be a very nice option.

RINGTONES
They suck :). But if you don't care about ringtones, then no big deal. I really hope that you can put your MP3's on your phone and use them as ringtones. Or there are website out there that let you make your own ringtones from your own MP3's. I was too lazy and just paid the $2 a song for the stupid Verizon ones. But the three that I got all sound great!

CUSTOMIZATION
You can set the clock to multiple different ways. I set mine to digital because its really big and easy to read. The wallpapers aren't too bad either. I found one with bubbles getting big and little floating around and its pretty cool. You can also customize the menu. Mine is called "Pulse" and I love it. It looks really really neat. You can also change the color scheme.
So.. you can change the front wallpaper, main wallpaper, front clock, main clock, display themes, front banner, main banner, and big font/normal font. You can also change the power on/off sounds, alert sounds, and keypad volume. You can also have a different ringtone for caller ID, no caller ID, restricted calls, and all calls. Needless to say, you can basically customize the phone to look however you want.

BATTERY LIFE
I use my cell phone as an alarm, so I have it next to my bed everynight. So I just plug it in while I'm sleeping. I've never tried to let it go multiple days. But it has a full battery at night unless I spent the day taking tons of pictures/videos. I also have a car charger which is quite nice.

OTHER FEATURES
It has three separate alarm clocks, that you can set to go off just one time, to go off daily, to go off Mon-Fri, or just on the weekends. And you can set it to any ringtone. It has a calendar with reminders, a world clock, voice commands, a notepad, a calculator, an EZ Tip Calculator, security (password protected), customizeable shortcuts, and more!

CALLS
While on the phone, you can access basically everything on your phone. You can access your contact list and the menu. So I suppose you could send a text message while on the phone if you really wanted to! You can also record while on the phone and listen to it later. Or possibly send it as an attachment to a pix message.

SPEAKERPHONE
It is loud and easy to hear. I'll drive with the phone on my lap while chatting on speakerphone and I can hear the caller great and the caller can hear me great. It's a nice feature and there is a button on the phone to turn it on and off. An icon shows up on the bottom of both screens when speakerphone is on so you won't accidently have speakerphone on and not know it.

I basically spent countless hours researching every single phone Verizon had to offer. So many phones had so many complaints and this one seemed to have the least amount of them. We bought 4 of them, one of each person in our family, and I got my boyfriend one too. All 5 of us love the phones. The buttons are big and easy to push, the phone is very attractive, the reception is fantastic, the volume is very loud, and the phone is very simple to navigate while having a lot of cool features, including a nice 1.3 megapixel camera!! The removeable memory is also a nice feature, as well as buttons for the camera, volume up/down, and the voice commands!!

Don't waste time browsing other phones or trying out a cheapie -- they are no good, I've been there. Even my boyfriend (who is 24) and swore he'd never get a cell phone cuz he hated them loves it.

:::::::UPDATE:::::::
*I am still loving the phone. I have figured out how to default T9 (Word) text, or whatever else you'd like defaulted. I have also purchased a 1 gig microSD card. I just stuck the card into the adaptor and stuck that into my computer. Transferred some songs and pictures and had them all on my phone! Why buy the LG Chocolate when the VX8300 can play MP3's too? My only real complaint is the lack of a service light. I have no idea if I have a missed call, a voicemail, a msg, etc without lighting up the phone. But in comparison to the other availabilities, it is a minor flaw. Every other detail of this phone way surpassed every other phone on the market. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2006
This thing is just great. Have had it for about two weeks now and am very impressed with it in just about every way.

The sound quality is excellent for both parties. The same holds for this phone when using speakerphone. This is definitely a feat considering the electrical requirements of a loud, clear speakerphone. It also allows for very good pickup so the person you're talking to won't even know they're on speakerphone. This phone has two great speakers which boast a remarkable amount of sound (even in the low-frequency response range, surprisingly). When you download or transfer MP3s, you may notice the sound actually comes in stereo (two-channel) output. This makes the songs you play sound even better.

The camera is also quite incredible. Its ability to take 1.3 megapixel shots is uncanny. Definitely better than my first digi-cam. This is without a doubt the first and only phone camera I have seen that takes pictures actually worth saving and printing. Even the RAZR's VGA resolution doesn't touch the 1280x960 resolution. VGA is 640x480, which computes to a mere 0.31 megapixels. This is exactly 4 times more pixels per shot!! You can full-screen your shot on a computer and still retain full screen quality.

Many other great features abound, including the MicroSD expansion slot. I have a 1GB MicroSD card in the mail (do not confuse with MiniSD which is actually much bigger than the pinky nail-sized Micro card). I will then be able to get several hundred songs on here for free, rather than paying $15/mo. for verizon's lame VCast service which only lets you download songs they specify. Another irritating thing about verizon is that they limit this phone's bluetooth capabilities. They do this so that users cannot share ringtones and pics for free in a peer-to-peer manner -- you must get it through the network, which requires the monthly fee. However, this phone has more bluetooth profiles enabled than any other under verizon. Play/pause, next, and previous buttons on front side allow you to choose music with the thing shut - VERY cool. Also, cool flash UIs - this phone actually allows you to change display themes, not just colors. This means entirely differently operating menus and the works. Finally, the interface is very condusive to easy use. It gives supreme functionality without making anything confusing or overwhelming. In other words, if you are a power-user interested in implementing all of this phone's features, you will be happy at how much there is and how easy to use. On the other hand if you are someone who just wants the essentials (1 phone number per contact, etc.), you won't be confused by an over-complicated interface design.

The only complaint I have is regarding the service (Verizon). The phone itself is phenominal and hasn't given me one problem. It features top-end technology in a very attractive unit. I just hope I don't bust it in the next two years, although i probably will, lol.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2006
So it's time for a new phone. I see tons of ads for the Razr and it sounds like a heck of a phone so that is the first phone I check out. Hmmm, looks great, very stylish. But, I don't care for the way it feels in my hand. So I go online and start checking out reviews for it and other phones. Someone suggest the LG VX8300. I check this out. Wow!! It may not look quite as stylish as the Razr but it's a great, feature packed phone. And the reviews tend to be much better than the ones for the Razr. So I got the VX8300 and couldn't be happier with it.

Yes, Verizon cripples it in numerous ways but there is lots of info on the net to get around this. I love this phone. Great reception, call quality, music sounds decent considering the size of the twin speakers. The odd size headphone jack is a problem but Amazon sells a Headphone Adapter for $3.99.

The 1.3mp camera is great compared to older phones with vga. No, it won't replace your brand new 7mp camera but the pictures are clear and look good.

The phone comes with mp3 playback disabled but it is simple to enable. Follow the instructions given by Ron in his review. It works and doesnt harm your phone in any way.

Get the micro-sd card.There are many places you can get a card at a much lower price than Verizon. With it you can transfer music and pictures from your pc to your phone and vice-versa. You can also play your videos from your pc but you will need a conversion program. I use "3gp converter". Search the net for it. Put the videos on your flash card and show your home movies away from home. Keep in mind that the screen is tiny and not meant for a large audience. But it's great for its size.

Yes, the ringtones that come with the phone leave much to be desired. There are many ways to get new ones, both free and paid. Once again, search the net.

[...].
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I agree with most of the comments by other users here.

The one area with which I have had problems is the voice command function.

I bought this phone for my wife to use while she commutes to work 40 miles each way on the interstate highway. I wanted voice command so she could use it "hands-free". I bought her a bluetooth ear piece for this purpose, also.

Since I am my wife's "IT support", when we got the phone home, I set up the bluetooth and tested it using voice commands to call my home phone and one other contact. This seemed to work fine.

Now, however, when my wife uses voice command, the software hardly recognizes any of her commands. My wife does not have any kind of accent, nor do any of her contacts have difficult-to-pronounce or weirdly-spelled names. One of the ones it has problems with is "Ed". No last name, just "Ed".

When I try it, the voice command works perfectly, including "Ed". Verizon tech support told me it was because I was the first voice the phone heard when voice command was used for the first time. I don't know if this is true (It wouldn't be the first time I have gotten bogus information from any tech support.)

There is the ability to train the Voice Command in the Tools-Voice Command-Settings menu, so she did that and now it works better, but still not as well as it does for me.

Therefore, I would caution users to not test the Voice Command software for the first time if you are not the primary user of the phone.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2006
I decided on this phone after months of research, and have been quite happy with my purchase. MP3 playback is great, and you can forget about paying for the Verizon music kit- just get a MicroSD memory card instead. They're suprisingly cheap, and the phone handles cards up to 2gb. You just stick the card in your computer/reader, and use it like you would a regular flash drive. After you drag and drop your mp3s into a folder and put the card back in your phone you're good to go. You can do this for pictures (and videos!) too, and won't have to worry about running out of space.

The primary reason I got this phone was for the camera, and it works beautifully. While you can't expect the world of a 1.3mp camera, it does an admirable job at taking photos with decent sharpness, color detail, and clarity (see my "customer image"). I'd recommend shooting at the highest resolution and then resizing by 50% in a photo editor for optimal quality. You can also turn off the shutter sound, as well as take photos while the phone is still closed.

Another great feature is the GPS navigation option. While the extra $10/month or $3/day seems pricey at first, it's well worth it. It's extremely handy when you're trying to find an address (especially in a city with hard to see street names). It'll also automatically recalculate your route on the fly if you miss a turn.

Battery life is great, and you'll get several days of regular use out of it (talking, web surfing, etc) without having to recharge.

On the downside, Verizon doesn't support much in the way of open standards- so you don't get any java programs/games, and can't run the full featured mobile gmail program or the opera web browser. That's by no means a dealbreaker though! I highly recommend this phone.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2006
Almost everything our spotlight reviewers, " Ronald M. Cronovich `Ron'" and "D. R. Jeanclerc `Reader, Listener & Obsessive Observer'", said in their reviews is dead-on. I just have a few things to add....

1. I need to emphasize just HOW annoying it is that Verizon is becoming increasingly rigid about their phone options. I had the LG VX6100 for 2 years and my ears were trained to know who was calling according to the ringtone playing. I pick up the 8300, and they have the worst selection of ringtones that are just different types of bleeps!
(If you really want to create your own ringtone - press down the Voice Memo button on the left side of the phone. You can record up to 1 min of whatever sound you want. Start recording the song about 1/2 sec before the point you want to record and stop 1/2 sec after - the phone tends to truncate the "edges" of the recording. Then, send a MMS to your phone - cost is $0.25 - and save it as a ringtone. Again, the phone seems to truncate the end portion by another 1/2 sec here. It may not be the best quality sound, but for $0.25 I don't mind getting a customized ringtone!)

2. On the 6100, I could still hear the vibrate mode when someone would call. With the 8300, it's not as prominent. For some, it's a pro, for others, a con.

3. I don't like that I do not have the option to have a simple looking menu like I had on the 6100.

4. In the 6100, sms was a bit different, too. Before, I had to click twice from the point I put in the number I was texting, to get to the text body area. In the 8300, as soon as I hit enter after putting in the number, it goes directly to the text body area. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, I'm just not used to it. I've sent many blank smses, ("pages"),so far because of doing that.
I do like that I can send the same text message to numerous people at the same time. That saves time.

5. The last thing - don't buy the Motorola Bluetooth H500 'kit' from Verizon. They tell you it's a great Bluetooth, but they are salesmen and working off commission, so can't really blame them. The H500 hurts the ears, is incredibly weird about pairing with this phone, as well as battery life fluctuations, and falls off if you bend your head down. For the same price, get a Plantronics 510! (Has much better reviews - google it.) I am telling you here because if you get this phone - you will most likely go into a Verizon store - where they will tell you that, a.) the 8300 is the best selling phone AND b.) the H500 package is an awesome deal and a great Bluetooth. Take it as you may.

The phone is good, especially since I am not paying $100+ for it. I just wish we could have the option of stripping what we individually didn't need, and keep things we really do want. But, that's asking for the impossible!

*Note - I really like Verizon Wireless. I've had Sprint, AT&T, Cingular, watched people with T-Mobile and Nextel. Every wireless company is essentially the same - a business, duh. With Verizon, the bells and whistles may cost more, but the coverage I get makes up for it GREATLY. I have made and received calls in buildings where no other carrier really works. And for the most part, customer service is comparable. Maybe not in store, but def phone support.

UPDATE: As of December, I have had this phone for 3-4 months. I still say it is an OK phone.
--I STILL am not used to smsing and keep sending blank smses - you know how it is - physical memory is hard to break!
--I don't like how I can't put the phone on vibrate from the side buttons.
--I was having this problem where I couldn't make/receive calls/smses/etc after 8pm for three nights in a row but the next morning, my phone would work. I think it may have been a tower problem.... Anyone else experience this?
--I wish I had my "quick alarm" option as before on the 6100. It was very convenient to quickly click on 10 minutes or 3 hours of alarm time, plus it gave me 4 alarms to work with instead of the 3 I have here.
--I wish a little bit of backlight would stay on for the front lcd so I wouldn't have blind my eyes looking at the time.
--Phone is bit slippery for me BUT it has been good to me without a cover and does not scratch easily.
***I like that I can turn the volume/vibrate mode off except for my alarms. VERY convenient.
***I like my "custom" ringtones, mainly cuz I get to choose what to record and it's a fraction of the Vcast cost! The sound is clear enough that I can enjoy them.
***I like that I have less dropped calls than everyone else on different networks. That makes me very happy!
***I like that the side buttons on this phone are not as susceptible to changing my ring mode as the 6100 was. My phone does not ring suddenly when I know I put it on vibrate.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2007
I found, after much searching and discussion with various Verizon people, that you do NOT need the Music Essentials kit to play your own music on this phone. You simply need to format the Micro SD memory card (just a few quick clicks with your phone), then remove the card and insert it w/ adapter into your PC, then drag the music files onto the "My Music" folder that shows up when you bring up the window for the drive that reads the card. However, you either need to do with with .wma files and windows Media Player version 10 or 11, or else set up the phone to allow .mp3 files--see earlier review on how to do this. Good luck!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2006
If you're looking for a top-notch piece of equipment that is first and foremost a good phone, but doesn't sacrifice some fun features, this is the way to go. I spent quite a bit of time comparing this with the Motorola RAZR V3m, and decided on the LG for some very key reasons: 1. Better battery life 2. Brighter screen (though smaller than RAZR) 3. Camera WITH flash (not great, but it's there) 4. More comfortable key pad 5. Externally accessible MicroSD slot

The above elements combined with the fact that, hey, the RAZR isn't that "cool" anymore since everyone's grandmother now has one, led me to go LG. After also owning a Motorola V330 GSM phone that I did like, I am so far more impressed with LG's quality.

The VX8300 is a little large compared with some phones these days, but it feels a bit more durable than phones like the RAZR and KRZR. The gun-metal gray is also a very stylish color.

I have not found any cons to this phone yet, though many people complain about Verizon's propriety operating system and locking out some basic features of the phone. These things don't matter to me, as pictures and videos can easily be PIX messaged off the phone or saved to the MicroSD card (which you will have to purchase separately).

Now, if you're all into ring tones, wallpapers, etc., this phone or Verizon in general, may frustrate you. However, if you want a good product with good features and excellent reception and sound quality as well as ring volume, I strongly recommend this phone.

And buying from Amazon is the way to go, particularly if you want a one-year contract without getting penalized on the price of the phone.

Also, my encounters with Verizon customer service have so far been excellent, and I have not waited on hold for long when I've called.

Note: Be prepared for a large first-time bill if you do buy a Verizon phone from here. They will charge you for a partial period starting the day the transaction goes through, then a full month in advance in addition to your activation fee, if it isn't waived.
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