Gadget Guy: LG Dare

LG DareRating: 4 out of 5 Price: $199.00

Think all a cell phone can do these days is let you call someone, send a text message or browse the Web?

VIDEO: Watch The Report

What would you call one that’s built with an all touch-screen navigation, 3.2 megapixel digital camera with flash, motion sensors, video player, music player, GPS navigation and much more? It’s called the LG Dare and some technology bloggers say it really could give the iPhone 3G it’s biggest competition.

First, let’s start with its touch screen. You navigate menus, dial the phone, select programs, or arrange your friend’s faces as “favorites,” actually you do everything without physical buttons on this phone.

So if you want to send a text message, you can drag your friend’s face to the message box and then you can type on a dialpad, rotate the phone to display a virtual keyboard, or if that’s too much, simply write on the screen and handwriting recognition software will type what you write.

Now on to the camera, one of the nicest features of this phone. It has 3.2 megapixels with a very useful LED flash. In addition, it has face detection technology, it will make digital adjustments to your pictures so they always turn out as best they can and it allows you to do panoramas, crop, and even write on your pictures! It also comes with video recording capabilities and can do slow-motion video recording at 120 frames per second.

The Upsides: What I liked about it is the fact that it?s sleek, compact and feature rich. The camera is amazing and the flash works great. The touch screen is very responsive and easy to use and the full html web browser displays most pages well.

The Downsides: One thing I wasn’t real impressed with was the lack of a physical keyboard. If you’re big into mobile e-mail or find yourself texting a lot, the virtual keyboard and handwriting recognition, while cool, were noticeably slower to use. It might be faster with a stylus, however, there’s no spot to store one on the phone.

The Bottom Line: Overallm if you’re looking for a phone that can handle any task and you can trade a bit slower texting speed for added coolness and features, it’s for you.