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LG enV Lands at Verizon

Verizon Wireless has announced the immediate availability of the LV enV mobile phone, featuring a QWERTY keypad for folks who live for email and instant messaging, along with Bluetooth, integrated speakers, and a video-capable 2 megapixel digital camera.

"By showing off its full set of mobile entertainment features, the enV makes it easier than ever for Verizon Wireless customers to stay connected while enjoying music, videos and email in one slim package," said Mr. Jeff Hwang, LG Electronics MobileComm Inc.’s senior VP of marketing and product strategy, in a release. "The enV signifies a giant step forward for LG in our pursuit to provide cutting-edge devices to Verizon Wireless’ tech savvy consumers."

Pronounced "en-vee," the enV is intended to appeal both to consumers and some business users, offering a QWERTY keypad for messaging and email. Verizon includes its own Wireless Sync, which lets users synch up email, calendar, and contact information with a PC. The EnV also offers GPS support; for $9.99 a month, Verizon’s VZ Navigator service offers maps, turn-by-turn voice-based navigation, and details on more than 14 million points of interest. Of course,the enV can also tap into Verizon’s myriad of wireless content offerings, including V CAST Music (to download songs over the air), V CAST Video, and V CAST Games. And, of course, the enV supports Verizon’s EV-DO wireless broadband network, so you can access the Internet at better-than-glacial speeds.

The enV camera has a lens cover and can snap pictures at 2 megapixel resolution, or shoot video at 320 by 240-pixel resolution. Bluetooth 1.1 support enables users to rock out with stereo Bluetooth headsets, and a microSD slot offers enough memory expansion to carry a reasonable selection of tunes—or record a lot of video. (Aiming at the portable music player market, the enV also has a "Music Only" mode which turns off all radio technologies except Bluetooth: now users can listen to podcasts without being interrupted by all those annoying phone calls.) The enV sports a 2.1 inch LCD display, integrated speakerphone, text-to-speech technology so messages can be read aloud, and offers up to four and a half hours of talk time on a single battery charge.

The enV is available from Verizon Wireless for $149.99 after a $50 rebate with a two-year service contract. The question is whether consumers are ready to start adopting keyboard-sporting smartphones, or whether business users are willing to jump on something which doesn’t offer direct, integrated support for enterprise messaging systems and common productivity application (like Microsoft Office).

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