I should have listened to the reviews


I became eligible for a phone upgrade ("new every 2") and was looking for something to replace my aged LG 8300. Like many out there, I spend a lot of time outdoors and was looking for a rugged phone that would take some abuse. Many of the popular touch-screen phones are just too delicate for my tastes.

I came across the Boulder, and immediately fell in love with the design. But as I was researching this phone, I found that the vast majority of the reviews for this phone were negative.

Wary about the reviews, I went back to the list of phones on Verizon's site and found the Boulder was the only phone in the list that I was interested in. The others were too expensive, impractical, or just plain ugly.

I persuaded myself to believe that the reviews were written by hard nosed critics, and that the phone wasn't that bad. I eventually settled on the orange Boulder. Boy did I make a mistake.

This phone has a host of really serious problems - so bad that I'm actually surprised Verizon let this one go to market as it was. It seriously should have been recalled. The call quality is absolutely horrible. The battery life is atrocious (so bad they send you two batteries). I have to charge it up every day - and I'm an area with really good cell coverage. It goes dead within hours when I go outdoors, where the signal is more sparce. The phone's software is extremely glitchy and error prone.

The call clarity isn't so bad when the volume is turned down really low. But if there is any ambient noise in the room (which is likely to be the case), you can't hear what the person is saying. If you turn the volume up, the call becomes distorted. It's impossible to carry on such a conversation without repeatedly asking the other person to repeat themselves because you don't know what they're saying. And because there is only one volume setting, and one speaker (on the back)... a low volume setting means that if you carry the phone against your body, you can't hear the phone when it rings - again, unless you're in a really quiet place.

Many text messages show in my sent folder as "failed" and others as "sent" but many of the "failed" ones I get replies from, and the "sent" ones often never get delivered. Many menus will lock up the phone, especially the speed dialing menus. I find I have to reboot (shut off, turn back on) this phone at least once or twice a week to keep the number of glitches down.

To add insult to injury, my phone is beginning to crack just above the hinge (when open), above the compass (when closed). I've actually babied the phone and have not put it to the test like many other reviewers have. I also get or make very few calls, so this phone has very little wear on it. My old LG 8300 was a far more durable phone, took more abuse, kept on ticking... and it wasn't even marketed as an outdoor phone. And naturally, Verizon won't replace the phone with a generation 2 Boulder (where many of these issues are fixed) if you call and complain... they'll send you another generation 1 Boulder, which doesn't solve anything. They have you locked in a contract, so they don't care what problems you are having.

In fact, I tried transferring my phone number back to the LG about 2 weeks after I got my Boulder, and was going to send the Boulder back. The number wouldn't transfer. Tech support tried to help but couldn't get it to work, even tho the LG was fine. My schedule got busy and by the time I got a moment to try again, it was past the 30 days and Verizon wouldn't let me exchange the phone. This whole experience has really tested my patience and made me question whether I wish to stay with Verizon once my contract expires.

All in all, this phone is anything but rugged or reliable.

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