SlashGear Exclusive: Hands-on with Verizon's Venus split-screen music phone

Dual-screens on a cellphone are nothing new: clamshells have had them for years, giving Caller ID and status on the outside, while Samsung even experimented with candybars that had a screen on each side.  Verizon's musicphone for this season, however, the Venus by LG, manages to eke a further new trick out of the dual-screen concept: itself a slider, it has both screens one on top of the other on the same side, the top a standard display while the lower panel is a touchscreen.  SlashGear's Vincent Nguyen grabbed some hands-on time with the Voyager Venus at CTIA – including some exclusive video of the Venus in action – to see if using the cellphone lives up to the concept.  Remember, this is just a first-look; we'll be bringing you the full SlashGear review of the Venus very soon!Check out the video of the Verizon Venus after the cut... 

Unlike so many so-called "music phones", which despite manufacturers claims always feel like normal cellphones with simple PMP functionality bolted on, the Venus does come across as a true music device.  All the touch-points are slickly considered, with a piano-black gloss body and leather-effect rear panel similar to the high-end Vertu range, and the main display is rich and vivid.  Of course, there's A2DP Bluetooth for wireless stereo headphones and support for up to 8GB microSD cards; LG have added a dedicated music key on the side for instant audio access.

In use, the Venus has the same haptic feedback response on the touch panel as the Voyager, gently prodding you back as you select menu options and apps.  And while the whole thing could be dismissed as a gimmick, in actual fact Vincent found it far more intuitive than physical keys.  It's allowed Verizon and LG to ramp up the flexibility of the options on offer without having to bulk the handset with numerous hardware buttons.

Despite the audio intentions, the Venus also has a 2-megapixel camera and web browser, although it's not the same full HTML one from the Voyager.  We'll be covering those details – and how the rest of the phone performs – in our full Verizon Venus review, so keep reading SlashGear!

There are many more images of the new Verizon handsets in the SlashGear Gallery