What's on TV?
Designed for the latest high-speed cellular data networks, LG's VX-8100 and Nokia's 6682 take video to new levels. The LG--a CDMA and EV-DO handset--is outfitted for Verizon's VCast TV service, which brings snippets of such programs as The Daily Show to cell phones. Pricing and shipping information for the VX-8100 was not available at press time.
Both handsets can capture small snapshots, play music, and record videos. But whereas the $350 GSM- and EDGE-enabled Nokia can record a 1-hour video clip, the LG maxes out at 15 seconds. Videos on a preproduction Nokia looked bright but grainy and occasionally choppy. The preproduction LG's video quality was worse: dark and mottled.
These phones have memory card slots for holding data downloaded from the carrier's site, and for transferring photos, videos, and other content to and from a PC (with a card reader). The Nokia phone ships with a 64MB Reduced-Size MultiMediaCard (RS-MMC). LG doesn't bundle a card, but you get a generous 512MB of internal memory.
For standard phone functions, the LG's intuitive menus and well-marked buttons (for quickly accessing apps and content from the service provider) make it easier to use than the Nokia. The LG's speaker and volume controls beat the Nokia's, which were so poor that I could scarcely hear the people at the other end. Fortunately, the Nokia did sound better on speakerphone than when held to the ear.