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LG Rumor2/LG Banter

*Est. $90, no contract
Reviewed
June 2009
by ConsumerSearch

Middle-of-the-road messaging phone for Sprint and Alltel

Pros
  • Better design than original Rumor
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Good reception and call quality
  • Support for corporate email
Cons
  • No high-speed 3G network support
  • Lackluster music player
  • Inferior camera

The LG Rumor2 (*Est. $80) is the updated version of the Rumor (free with new contract) offered by Sprint; it is also sold as the LG Banter (*Est. $20) by Alltel. Although the Rumor2 is discussed by more sources than the Banter, the phones are essentially identical, so reviews for both models are worth reading. The Rumor2/Banter is a typical messaging phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Critics generally like its slider design and vibrant 262,144-color display. Voice quality is said to be good and reception solid -- calls made by PhoneArena.com with the Rumor2 noted that voices were "loud and clear." The Rumor2 is rated at about 5.5 hours of talk time and comes equipped with stereo Bluetooth, instant messaging and GPS support. In battery tests, PCMag.com squeezed out more than six hours, while CNET managed just less than six hours. (The LG Banter is rated at five hours of talk time, but reviewers have not tested this claim.)

Despite this praise, experts concur that the LG Rumor2/Banter does not offer much more than its predecessor, the LG Rumor/Scoop. The biggest improvement that the Rumor2 offers is the inclusion of corporate email support, including Outlook and Lotus Notes. The Rumor2 can also push email from popular services such as AOL, Gmail and Hotmail. Although syncing up to an email server like Microsoft Exchange does not work flawlessly every time, reviewers are happy to see more robust messaging and email support for the Rumor2. Otherwise, the Rumor2 is much the same as the original Rumor. CNET's Kent German echoes this sentiment by stating, "LG missed the opportunity to make it both new and improved."

Physically, the LG Rumor2 is slightly bigger than the original -- 4.4 inches by 2.1 inches by 0.7 inches -- and only comes in black, while the original Rumor is offered in multiple color configurations. The LG Banter, measuring 4.41 inches by 2.05 inches by 0.7 inches, comes with silver and green interchangeable faceplates. Weighing 4.4 ounces, it is slightly heavier than the Rumor2, which weighs 4.23 ounces. One other difference between the Rumor2 and the Banter is that soft navigation keys are integrated into the Banter's keyboard, while on the Rumor they lie to the right of the display. In all other ways, the Rumor2 and Banter are indistinguishable.

Reviewers unanimously prefer another Sprint phone, the Samsung Rant (free with new contract), over the LG Rumor2. Unlike the Rumor2, the Rant has support for Sprint's swift 3G data network -- allowing much faster download speeds and a better media experience. The Rant also bests the Rumor2 when playing audio files. The Rumor2's music player suffers from a poor user interface and also is unable to sync with Windows Media Player or other software, though drag-and-drop is allowed. Also, only MP3 files are compatible, so those looking to play WMA or AAC files are better off with the Rant. The Rumor2/Banter's microSD slot can accept cards up to 16 GB. A 1.3-megapixel camera is built in, but pictures tend to come out blurry and with little definition; reviewers consistently wonder why the camera wasn't upgraded. The Rant's 2-megapixel camera performs much better overall. Even though the Rumor2 is a capable messaging phone, PhoneArena.com reviewers wonder "why would anyone choose the LG over the Samsung?"

A number of well-written reviews exist for the LG Rumor2. CNET's Kent German does a good job of comparing the Rumor2 to its predecessor and pointing out that not much is improved. Articles from PCMag.com, PhoneArena.com, InfoSyncWorld.com and MobileTechReview.com all pit the Rumor2 against the Samsung Rant. Reviewers agree that the Rant is superior to the Rumor2 in just about every way. Less than 10 user reviews exist currently at PhoneScoop.com, and while most seem to be satisfied with the Rumor2, one owner points out a lot of the flaws that are seen in some of the expert reviews.

Our Sources

1. CNET

In this well-written review, CNET's Kent German compares the LG Rumor2 with the original. The only major difference is the inclusion of corporate email support for the Rumor2. Call quality is good, and its QWERTY keyboard makes for easy texting. However, the email syncing is erratic.

Review: LG Rumor2 – Black (Sprint), Kent German, March 17, 2009

2. PCMag.com

PCMag.com's Sascha Segan states that the Samsung Rant is better than the LG Rumor2 in every way in his comparative review and concludes, "I can't think of a good reason to recommend the LG Rumor 2."

Review: LG Rumor 2 (Sprint), Sascha Segan, March 27, 2009

3. InfoSyncWorld.com

At InfoSyncWorld.com, the Samsung Rant is also recommended over the LG Rumor2. Although editor Philip Berne likes the improvements made to the Rumor2's keyboard and user interface, its lack of 3G support and poor web browser prevent it from competing with the Rant.

Review: LG Rumor2 Review, Philip Berne, March 18, 2009

4. PhoneArena.com

PhoneArena.com provides an in-depth look at the LG Rumor2. Form factor is improved over the original, and both call and signal qualities are fine. Like the original Rumor, its 1.3-megapixel camera takes blurry pictures, and its media player lacks organizational tools.

Review: LG Rumor2 Review, Editors of PhoneArena.com, March 24, 2009

5. MobileTechReview.com

The Samsung Rant is also preferred to the LG Rumor2 in this concise write-up. The key difference between the two is 3G support – the Rumor2 lacks it. Senior editor Tong Zhang prefers the looks of the Rumor2 to its predecessor, but voice quality is below average and battery life has decreased.

Review: LG Rumor 2, Tong Zhang, March 30, 2009

6. PhoneScoop.com

At Phone Scoop, nearly 10 owners post their reviews of the LG Rumor2. The handset gets a commendable average score of 3.94 out of five. One complaint is that the Rumor2 offers nothing over the original, but most users like its looks and functionality as a texting device.

Review: LG Rumor2 / Banter / UX-265, Contributors to PhoneScoop.com

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