LG Rumor2 (Sprint) Cell Phone reviews
Sprint’s latest messaging phone, the LG Rumor 2, isn’t bad. But the Samsung Rant, which the carrier is currently selling at the same price ($49, with contract), is better in every way. If the Rant didn’t exist, we could come up with reasons to recommend this phone, but given Sprint’s current lineup, the Rumor 2 doesn’t really make much sense. A bit smaller and lighter than the 4.2-ounce Rant, the Rumor measures 4.4 by 2.1 by 0.7 inches (HWD). Initially, it looks like a slightly thick, rounded candy-bar phone, with glossy keys and a bright, sharp, 2-inch, 320-by-240-pixel screen. The display offers a bit more real estate than the Rant’s, which heavy e-mailers and Web surfers will appreciate. Slide the screen to the left to reveal a roomy four-row keyboard of slick but sufficiently raised keys.
The Rant’s keyboard is just as big, and its keys are less slippery, making for an even better typing experience. When you pop out the Rumor’s keyboard, the screen image rotates into landscape mode for typing. On the sides of the phone you’ll find a camera button, volume controls, a 2.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD memory card slot that worked fine with our 16GB SanDisk MicroSD card. It’s not a smartphone, but the Rumor 2 is designed to excel at text messaging, e-mail, and IM. Sprint’s messaging phones handle e-mail better than any of the other carriers’, thanks to Sprint’s excellent Seven e-mail program, which pushes most consumer e-mail accounts to your phone and can sync e-mail with Microsoft Exchange. But that’s not a unique feature—the Rant has the same software, and runs faster on Sprint’s 3G network. As a voice phone, the Rumor 2 is okay, but not great. I found reception to be a bit below average on my tests. The earpiece and speakerphone are both loud enough, but the latter sounds very hollow. Transmissions through the earpiece sounded a bit tinny, with audible background noise. The phone supports Bluetooth headsets and features speaker-independent voice dialing. It paired with our Altec Lansing BackBeat stereo Bluetooth headset and mono Plantronics Voyager 520 without problems (although the call control buttons didn’t work on the BackBeat, and call quality was very wobbly).
Calls sounded better (if somewhat hissy) on the Voyager, and the call control buttons worked properly. Battery life was excellent, with more than 6 hours of talk time. The Rumor 2 isn’t a very good multimedia phone. The music player is difficult to find in the phone’s UI, and it doesn’t sync with Windows Media Player or any other PC-based software (although you can drag and drop files when the handset is connected with a USB cable).
The phone plays only MP3 music files (not WMA or AAC), and it won’t run in the background while you’re doing other things. The music player’s interface is slick-looking, though, showing thumbnails of album art. There’s no video playback support. Music sounded fine through the BackBeat Bluetooth stereo headset. The 1.3-megapixel camera takes soft, noisy photos, and it doesn’t record video. The Rant features a 2MP camera and records video. Perplexingly, the Rumor 2 doesn’t feature Sprint’s new One Click carousel-based user interface, which we loved on the Rant. One Click lets you easily customize your home screen and add widgets, and it’s available on many new Sprint phones. You do get a decent Web browser, Infraware Polaris 6.01,
which can display desktop Web pages in a basic way. Since this is a Sprint phone, you can also add the excellent Opera Mini mobile browser if you choose. But you’ll still be surfing on Sprint’s slower 1X network. The Samsung Rant moves much faster over 3G. The Rumor 2 features GPS, which works with Sprint’s for-pay navigation service, its child locator service, or the free Google Maps. But because of that poky 1X connection, maps can be very slow to load. Performance on the JBenchmark Java benchmark tests wasn’t great, either, so game play won’t be as fun as it is on faster phones—like the Rant. The Rumor has 22MB of built-in memory. With the Samsung Rant available at the same price,
I can’t think of a good reason to recommend the LG Rumor 2. If you want a messaging phone on Sprint, the Rant will have you raving, while the Rumor will likely disappoint. And if you’re looking for a little more in terms of e-mail, IM, and Web browsing, check out the inexpensive Palm Centro, which is a true smartphone with a feature phone’s price tag.