Most helpful critical review
114 of 125 people found the following review helpful
Passable. Sadly that's probably the best one can hope for
on March 6, 2012
I must begin by saying I feel Verizon feature phones are rather terrible. Their cameras are bad even by 2008 standards. They have little customizability, and they often feel very very cheap.
I used an enV3 for three years, and despite random shut-down problems and freak-outs when exposed to japanese characters, it was a decent phone. The env3 took acceptable pictures and had good volume and call quality. The Brightside is about the same thickness and has a slightly larger footprint. The construction feels solid and the buttons on the QWERTY keypad are quieter but spaced closer together than those on the enV3 which makes texting a bit tougher.
My main complaint about the Brightside is that you can't do much to customize it. You have two options for font size - big and REALLY big. That means you can't see much on the screen when reading/writing text messages. When you look at call history or contacts, you can only see a few entries at a time. My enV3 has a smaller screen but can fit at least 50% more information.
If a text alert is set to "vibrate" the thing vibrates three times every time you get a text message which I find annoying. Some icons on the front screen can be moved or changed but others are permanent. Many of them require a data plan to use, which is ridiculous because no one in their right mind would buy such a low end phone while paying for data.
For a resistive touch screen, the phone response is excellent. I can't scroll as quickly as I can on an iPhone, but that's only a minor inconvenience. I haven't used the phone enough to comment on call quality, picture taking, or battery life. A 3.2 MP camera is pretty low by today's standards, but it's hard to do any better without getting a smart phone. The phone also has great volume.
In short, I feel this phone could be a ton better if programmers tweaked the UI just a little. As it is, I like it more than the Convoy (which I purchased and returned) but less than the enV3.
If anyone has specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them.
P.S. The reason I'm replacing my old phone is because the battery has gone to pot, and despite using 3 different new replacement batteries, I can't get more than about 1 day of standby time out of it. It also shuts down when it sees characters with accents making it impossible to receive text messages from some friends and colleagues.
UPDATE 3/18/2012: The OS on this phone is pretty buggy. It allows you to set custom sounds and ringtones as the primary alert and ring sounds, but often when the phone rings or makes its "alert" sound, it plays the default sounds. Additionally, you can only associate the built in tones and alerts with specific people. The menus will not allow you to select anything you've added to memory.
I've also found that it's very easy to accidentally touch the wrong "button" on the touch screen. I find myself frequently accidentally calling voice mail. Using the touch screen to send messages is problematic. The captive screen IS very sensitive, but it's still nowhere near as good as an iPhone. When I try to type quickly, letters often get missed, and I have to delete the word and start over. I always use the QWERTY keypad for texting now.
The only reason I am not giving this phone two stars is because it has done well with calls so far, which at the end of the day is primarily what a phone is supposed to do.