Posted by: Thruhike98 | April 22, 2009

The LG VX5500: A nice, simple, and buggy cellphone

That's not from a camera flash, that's the screen lighting up solid white for no particular reason.

That's not from a camera flash, that's the screen lighting up solid white for no particular reason.

Overall: 3 of 5
Ease of use: 3 of 5
Display: 4 of 5
Design: 2 of 5
Features: 3 of 5
Battery Life: 2 of 5

Pros: Small, good sound quality, good screen color/quality, simple
Cons: Software problems: buggy screen, buggy calendar

I really like LG phones. I’ve always replaced them for reasons like theft, loss, or the chance to upgrade – never because I disliked them. All mine have had great sound quality and the previous ones have had no problems.

This is the first model I have had any issues with, it also happens to be the first without LG’s software but Verizon’s proprietary software instead. I have tried at least five of these phones, and all had the same problems. I will not criticize it for not having every possible feature – you can tell it’s not trying to be an iPhone, and if not, you can read the features before buying.

Some troubling things I have observed:

The screen will randomly light up solid white and not turn off until a button is pressed. Could this be the cause of reported low battery life?

The calendar will create events named “Ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ”, (all “Y”s with dots (umlaut) above them in case that doesn’t display correctly) and set off their alarm at random times – some in the middle of the night. Dismissing these calendar events causes the phone to shutdown and restart.

It also changes the dates on existing events to ones like “Oct 20, 1371” or “Eno 16, 0831.” Yes, “Eno.” To reproduce this: create an event several months in the future, like a birthday; set it to repeat yearly; leave the calendar; then go back in to the event and click Edit. The date will now be some impossible month/year. I was able to repeat this on all of mine, even my current replacement one before leaving the store.

This phone looks very promising – a small, non-funkadelick, plain old phone – but it has some flaws that need correcting. Verizon has been great to work with, and has tried multiple times to get me one of these that does not misbehave, unfortunately these problems have persisted.

Update: I took my phone to Verizon today and they gave me a new, and different model, phone. I got a VX8360, which is much nicer, because they didn’t have any on the same tier as my old one. I highly recommend the Verizon Wireless store on F Street in D.C. They have been super helpful and pleasant to work with.

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Responses

  1. […] This is the first LG cellphone I’ve had that was buggy. On the plus side, at least they are consistently buggy – all five (or six? I lost count.) of them I’ve tried. Many did this strange spontaneous-screen-lighting-up thing, which could be the cause of the lower-than-advertised battery life. All of them have had their calendar possessed by demons. My review, and how to recreate the calendar weirdness, is here. […]

  2. […] This is the first LG cellphone I’ve had that was buggy. On the plus side, at least they are consistently buggy – all five (or six? I lost count.) of them I’ve tried. Many did this strange spontaneous-screen-lighting-up thing, which could be the cause of the lower-than-advertised battery life. All of them have had their calendar possessed by demons. My review, and how to recreate the calendar weirdness, is here. […]


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