The Gadget: LG's enV2 for Verizon Wireless, a sequel to their fat but fun text message machine, the enV, with a flip-up QWERTY keyboard.

The Price: $130 after rebate.

The Verdict: If you liked the enV, you'll go nuts over the enV2—a remarkable improvement in almost every conceivable way. Check them out, body to body, interface to interface, right here.

The enV2 actually isn't a whole lot smaller than the original enV—it just looks that way because the design is a lot smarter. Initial impression might be that it's an altogether different beast than the enV, but once you dive in, you find it's actually just a more highly evolved creature.


For instance, you won't have to relearn the key layout—it's the exact same, crammed into the tighter space by thinning the keys a bit and reducing the spaces between them. They're a smidge taller, so they're not harder to hit. And the front of the phone is light years better—the numbers are a lot more satisfying and easier to press.

Happily, the streamlined redesign doesn't stop at the sleeker body—the interface is cleaner, simpler and more intuitive. Fonts are larger and sharper (a big deal on a text-oriented phone), and the colors seems to pop more even though the screen resolution is the same as the original.


The major problem is that e-mail is still not nearly as robust as it should be, which is a crime on a phone built for messaging. Using one of the built-in services, like Yahoo or Hotmail is less of a travesty than pulling in my Gmail account, which was slow loading, with several some messages rendered as gibberish. But Yahoo's formatting still left a lot to be desired. Mobile browsing is obviously terrible, but I wasn't expecting it to be good in the first place. The browser can wait; Verizon needs to fix the e-mail situation pronto.

Final word: If you liked the enV or text like a fiend and don't wanna shell out for the Voyager, this a good 'un to whittle your thumbs away on. Not a smartphone substitute by any means, but a solid one for the teen or texter crowd. [Verizon Wireless]