Trading in boring black plastic for reflective brushed steel, LG's shiny new handset will appeal to fashion-conscious Verizon customers who are sick of taking low-res camera-phone photos.
The VX8700's cold, stainless-steel exterior takes the RAZR aesthetic and bumps it up a notch. With a brighter brushed sheen than is found on a standard metal phone, it doesn't attract fingerprints and even seems to glow slightly.
As a phone, the VX8700 fits firmly into the good-but-not-great category. Reception is certainly acceptable, but a notch behind that of the redoubtable Motorola E815. The car piece is loud, but with a bit of noticeable distortion at the top volume.
The key feature that should attract folks who want more printable photos is the 2-megapixel camera, a step up from the 1.3MP models that run across most of Verizon's line. Its easy-to-use interface helps you take nice, clear; well-balanced if somewhat underexposed outdoors shots. Low-light shots, alas, suffered from blur caused by slow shutter speeds.
The VX8700 has all of the ingredients for a successful consumer phone. You get good-enough performance, great looks, and a camera that you'd actually want to take pictures with.
LG VX8700: $378.99