Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blogging by the Bay: #BlogHer11 (Part 6) - Lunch with Verizon Wireless + Review of LG Revolution

Diana Zaccardi
It's important to stay connected with family while on the go...

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I have been reviewing Verizon Wireless products for just over a year.  So I was very happy to find out that Verizon Wireless was a sponsor of BlogHer11 and that they were having a luncheon for bloggers at the conference.

Laura from and I made the short walk over from our hotel room at the Embassy Suites to the San Diego Marriott Marquis/Marina for the private luncheon for fifty bloggers.  There were Verizon products available to demo before the lunch started including the new Samsung Galaxy 10.1" tab.

The speaker for the luncheon was Verizon Wireless executive Diana Zaccardi.  Like most moms with careers, Diana spoke about the struggles of work life balance.  Diana told amusing stories of her life including the fact that she has a very large extended family who really did not understand why she would want to move clear across country for her career.  With busy schedules and time zone differences, she told of her struggles to stay connected with her family.  She also shared how wireless technology like Facetime has allowed her to read her kids bedtime stories every night even when she is traveling for business.

Diana's speech received a lot of affirmative head nobs from all the women at the luncheon.  We are all struggling with staying connected, but wireless technology is enabling us to reach out to others via phone, text, tweet, email, Facebook, Google+, Skpe and Facetime.

Verizon LG Revolution 4G Smartphone
When I found out I was going to BlogHer, I was very happy that Verizon Wireless loaned me a LG Revolution smarphone to use for my trip in order to stay connected.  The LG Revolution is one of the newest smartphones on the Verizon 4G LTE network.

Back in June, I wrote a review of the evolution of Verizon 4G LTE and said that the Verizon 4G network combined with a 4G enabled smartphone makes for a blazing fast data connection.  And I can tell you from doing some side-by-side comparisons with my own 3G smartphone that Verizon 4G is noticeably faster than 3G.

The Verizon LG Revolution is a 4G Android 2.2 OS smartphone with a 1GHz processor, a 4.3" diagonal touch screen, a 5MP rear camera that can also record 720p video and a 1.3MP front camera. The LG Revolution can also be used as a 4G hotspot, although that feature was disabled on the demo unit that I reviewed. When I unpacked it from the box, the phone visually reminded me of the Verizon Thunderbolt, which is also a 4G smartphone.  But there are differences.

A New Interface
I am used to Android 2.2 OS smartphones having the same user interface, but the LG Revolution user interface is setup differently.

When the apps button is pressed, the apps are organized into categories that include Communications, News/Search, Media, Tools. Applications, and Downloads.  Phone contacts are also organized by Google groups and each contact has a History tab that shows gmail  interaction with that contact.  If you are a heavy Gmail user, you will love this phone setup.

I can stream an entire Netflix Movie?  Really?
After I became more familiar with the interface, there was one thing about this smartphone that I had to check out. On The LG Revolution, Netflix comes preloaded in the Media app category. Now I knew that the Verizon Wireless 4G network is fast, but I would never have thought to try to stream an entire 90 minute movie over 4G.  A short YouTube video? Yes. An entire Netflix movie? No. So I used the smartphone to sign on to my Netflix account and started watching "Maid in Manhattan" and sure enough, the movie played great on the LG Revolution over the Verizon Wireless 4G network. And it looked great on the smartphone's HD screen.  I do wish the LG Revolution had a kick stand (like on the Thunderbolt) so that I could have sat the phone on a table and watched the movie at the correct viewing angle.

There are a few things about the LG Revolution phone design that I didn't care for like having to remove the chrome side panel to charge the phone and having to remove the back cover and the battery in order to insert the SD card.  Also the battery runs down faster than I would have expected and needs to be recharged before the end of the day.

The LG Revolution is priced at $560 retail and $199 with a 2 year Verizon contract.  Smartphones like the LG Revolution linked with the Verizon 4G LTE network make it easy to stay connected while on the go.

Next up... 
Stay tuned as I tell you about our other adventures in San Diego in the next installment in my series "BlogHer11: Blogging by the Bay".

NEXT IN THE SERIES: Blogging by the Bay: #BlogHer11 (Part 7) - FREE BlogHer11 Virtual Conference


Disclosure: Complementary lunch was provided by Verizon. I was loaned a LG Revolution Smartphone for review during my trip to BlogHer for the purpose of writing this review and stating my unbiased opinion. I was not compensated for this review.

The Embassy Suites sponsored 3 nights of Laura's and my hotel stay for BlogHer11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel San Diego Bay.
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