Verizon Voyager Answers iPhone's Touch-Screen

The handset's clamshell design adds an external touch-screen to a spacious keyboard.

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Verizon Wireless Voyager
Verizon Wireless Voyager

A new handset from Verizon Wireless may do the best job yet of cellphones that try to be all things to all people. The Voyager ($300 with two-year contract) offers a good media player and Web browser, a la AT&T's iPhone, and a great keyboard for messaging like the Sprint Centro.

The phone is an upgrade to similar models from LG that open like a clam to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. But the Voyager is a dramatic upgrade—with a much larger external screen that gives it the look of an iPhone. That outside screen is also touch sensitive, making it easy to navigate through songs, videos, and photos.

Opening the phone's two halves reveals a keyboard as wide as the phone is tall, about 4.5 inches, perhaps the most comfortable keyboard on any phone. The inside screen also offers a wide view of Web pages, making it practical to consider a handset for browsing, albeit limited browsing. While the 2.8-inch screens are large for a phone, they're small for the Web.

Still, with Verizon's high-speed data network, the phone is capable for quick Web checks. And the Voyager includes an antenna for receiving Verizon's TV-like broadcasts, which are available in many markets. Plus, it has a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a speakerphone. All of it adds up to a package that's a bit bulky and too big for a front pocket. I guess that's still the price for someone who wants everything.


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