Lightning Review: LG Decoy with Snap-On Bluetooth EarpieceS

The Gadget: The LG Decoy, now available at Verizon Wireless, is the first US phone to include a Bluetooth earpiece that rides piggyback—and charges up—on the handset itself when you're not using it.

Lightning Review: LG Decoy with Snap-On Bluetooth EarpieceS

Lightning Review: LG Decoy with Snap-On Bluetooth EarpieceS

Lightning Review: LG Decoy with Snap-On Bluetooth EarpieceS

The Price: $180 after $50 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract, but remember that includes the Bluetooth earpiece.

The Verdict: The combo is obviously useful at a time when law enforcement is getting increasingly hostile to people who hold their phones while driving. My wife is the only person I know who actually got a ticket for talking on a cellphone—and who still refused to use Bluetooth on the grounds that it was too much to remember to charge and carry—so it made sense that she'd be the perfect candidate to give the Decoy a test spin.

"I love it," she told me, after a few days of using the Bluetooth headset everywhere she went, then diligently snapping it back on the phone when she was done. It's comfortable, especially for a one-size-fits-all piece, and it sounded perfectly fine when she was using it to call me. (Traditionally I have not been impressed with LG's Bluetooth execution, so that's a good thing.) When you plug in the phone, the screen says it's charging both batteries.

This being otherwise a fairly run-of-the-mill Verizon slider, there are no big surprises with the interface. Thankfully, it's not a faceful of RED when you turn it on—in fact, you can see here it's a cool, non-Verizony blue. It has a quick launch, so unlike on older LG phones, you don't have to dig deep into menus all the time for favorite functions. My wife's biggest gripe is that, since the directional stick in the middle is also a button, it sometimes points up or down when she's trying to hit OK, or vice versa.

It's no big deal for her, though, since she abhors touchscreen phones. Though I myself am excited by the new touchscreen phones from Sprint, Verizon and of course AT&T, I don't think my wife is alone in her lack of touchscreen interest. And for those people, the good news is that the LG Decoy may be a one-trick pony, but it's a pretty useful—and unique—trick. [LG]