This FAQ is about the LG VX4400 cell phone offered by Verizon Wireless in the USA on sale since January 23rd 2003, and by US Cellular since July 21st 2003. A VX4400B was released later in 2003. The only difference is that portions of the outside of the VX4400B are blue. There are no other differences between the phones. The phone is no longer sold by carriers.
I obtained the phone a week after they came out, and upgraded to a newer phone in 2007, with the phone in active use for 4 years. The phone still works perfectly with the original battery, but as expected there are cosmetic scuff marks all over. (I'm not a heavy user at ~250 hours / 4,000 calls in that time but did use a lot of SMS). I still occassionally use the phone as an alarm clock.
This page is still popular. It was getting 25,000 hits a month during the peak selling period of the 4400, 5,000 hits in August 2006 and 1,000 hits in February 2009 - 6 years after release.
If you are looking for a replacement phone with similar functionality then there aren't any I'd recommend. There are a lot more phones with cameras, MP3 and similar non-essential bling. Watch out for carriers disabling functionality (eg Verizon likes to disable a lot of Bluetooth functionality). All the extra functionality means bigger phones, more layers and confusion in the menus, external display turned off when phone closed to save power etc. Wait until a phone has been out for at least 6 months and then check user opinions on phonescoop.com.
If you have general VX4400 questions or issues, you will best be served by the group on Yahoo.
Last modified: March 1st, 2009
This FAQ is now closed and will not be further updated.
The VX-4400 is a good phone, being above average in almost all departments. If you would like to compare it to other phones, you should make a list of what is important to you (reception, analog, number of ringtones, availability of coloured faceplates, size, price, price of accessories, battery life, applications to load, synchronization software etc). Pick the most important two or three and use those as the basis of comparison. PhoneScoop has an excellent features comparison page.
The manufacturer site is at us.lge.com. The page doesn't contain anything useful now.
The Verizon Wireless site is at www.verizonwireless.com.
The US Cellular site is at www.uscc.com.
PhoneScoop is an independent site with technical information and reviews.
The sites listed above have accessories as well as many other locations.
Power accessories from the VX-1 and VX-10 are known to work. However green lights on the chargers may not come on, even though they are charging the VX-4400. If it all possible, get accessories specifically for the VX-4400.
thesupplynet.com have cables that let you connect your phone directly to a PDA such as a Palm or an iPaq.
There are two types of data cable available. Both plug into the USB port on your computer. The connector on the other end is identical, but on one of the cables connects to the phones internal serial interface, and on the other connects to the phone's internal USB interface.
The internal serial interface is the same as used by earlier LG phones, specifically the VX-1 and VX-10, so if you already have one of those cables you can reuse it.
The serial based cable has a builtin chip that converts USB to serial whereas the straight USB cable has no conversion. Both cables cost $20 at Radio Shack and are manufactured by Future Dial.
DO NOT PURCHASE A STRAIGHT USB CABLE unless you really know what you are doing. There is an issue with the internal interface on the phone that makes it useless with any of the software for syncing your phone. This issue does not affect the USB to serial cable.
You can read more about cables and drivers in the BitPim online help.
thesupplynet.com have a USB cable that does both data and charge for the VX-1 and VX-10. This may work on the VX-4400.
Warning I did get a data plus charge cable from one vendor "for the VX4400". The phone did not like being charged by this cable. It would rapidly change from claiming to be fully charged to half charge and swing all around. If you do buy a data and charge cable, make sure the vendor has certified it for the VX4400, and they will pay shipping/handling if you have to return it.
The VX-4400 uses the standard 2.5mm jack. These look very much like stereo headphone connectors, but are slightly smaller. There are two black insulation strips dividing the plug into three (ground, microphone, call).
Verizon Wireless no longer carries the extended batteries and claims to be out of stock for normal ones. You can find vendors by Google search. You can also get them on EBay but make sure to check out seller feedback.
Note: If you buy a larger capacity battery, double check how you will charge it. The OEM large capacity batteries made by LG fit perfectly into the desktop charger and holster. Those made by other companies typically do not.
There are no coloured faceplates or similar cosmetic accessories available. (Ok, technically there are but many people have seriously damaged their phones trying to apply them since the phone is not designed to take such accessories.)
The software that runs on the phone itself (eg making/receiving calls, phonebook, calendar, SMS composer etc) is known as firmware. You can see what version you have by - Phone Info - S/W Version. The top field S/W ver. is your firmware version. Look at the last two digits. The phone originally shipped with 04 (I have seen some reports of 03). The most recent version is 11. If you take your phone to a Verizon Wireless store they will be able to flash it to a more recent version, and takes about 25 minutes.
It is recommended that you upgrade to 11 if you have an earlier firmware. Check which version the store has first since it takes quite a while for new versions to reach all stores.
This site used to list the changes in the -05 and -06 revisions. LG considers that information proprietary and has asked for it to be removed. There is no official way to obtain that information.
Version 11 routes all Get-It-Now and web browsing from the phone over the 1x network if available significantly speeding up Get-It-Now but having a lesser effect on web browsing.
There are three pieces of software available for the 4400. They all require that you have data cable. If any of the programs have difficulty talking to your phone, check you have selected the correct com/serial port. Then do - Settings - Data Settings - Select Port and set it to RS-232C(COM Port) for the USB to serial cable, and USB for the the USB cable. Note that whenever any of these programs talks to the phone that this setting will change to "closed" and that after a reboot it usually reverts to "USB".
BitPim is an open source application under active development. It can manipulate your phonebook, calendar, wallpapers and ringtones, as well access the phones internal filesystem. Bitpim is available for Windows 98/ME/2k/XP, Linux and MacOS.
URL is www.bitpim.org
This is a commercial product developed by Susteen. It can only manipulate your phonebook. Read my review for more details (second opinion). DataPilot is available on Windows 98/ME/2k/XP only.
Susteen have released DataPilot 3.0 which is a significant improvement over 2.x. I never felt the need to upgrade as BitPim's functionality surpasses that of DataPilot.
URL is www.susteen.com
GAGIN (Get Around Get-It-Now) is tool based on modifying an escaped copy of a developer tool from Qualcomm. It can only access the phone's internal filesystem. This tool is preferred by the cracker community. Gagin is available for Windows 2k/XP only. The WirelessAdviser and HowardForum discussion forums have more instructions on use.
SnapSync is by FutureDial who also do the Radio Shack cables. SnapSync is avilable for Windows 98/ME/2k/XP only. FutureDial's pages actually now list the VX4400 as unsupported.
URL is www.futuredial.com
There is an explanation of all symbols that appear on the inside and outside display in the help system. Press when outside of the menus.
Most of the Verizon digital network is capable of 1x, which is why you will normally see 1x instead of the digital signal.
Thanks to CritterNYC for figuring this all out. These are what the sidebuttons do when the phone is closed. Note that they will also illuminate the external display if pressed.
STANDBY MODE (NOT IN OR RECEIVING A CALL)
Side Key Up / Down: No effect.
Voice Memo Key:
Press and Release: Activate voice dialing. (Headset must be plugged in)
Hold 2 seconds: Toggle: Normal -> Manner Mode -> Silence All.
Side Key Up / Down:
Press once: Silence ringer.
Press again: Send directly to voicemail.
Voice Memo Key: No effect.
Side Key Up / Down: Increase or decrease headset volume.
Voice Memo Key:
Press and Release: No effect.
Hold 2 seconds: Start / Stop call recording to voice memo.
There is currently no way to answer or end a call without opening the phone. You should be able to do this by purchasing the LG manufactured headset with the answer/end button built in to the wire. It is unknown if headsets by other manufacturers will work. Rumor has it that the next version of the phone firmware may support answering and ending calls.
The Get It Now menu allows you to download applications for your phone. In almost all cases there will be a charge for the long term use of the application (see the Developer section as to why). A few have some sort of evaluation mode, allowing you a limited amount of free usage time or free content downloads.
You also consume your airtime according to your plan while downloading the applications or content via them. Get It Now is only available while in digital reception.
The phone supports additional ringtones, pictures for callerid, wallpapers etc. You can currently add ringtones and pictures through Get It Now, for a fee.
BitPim has an easy drag and drop interface for manipulating the pictures and ringtones. Gagin also lets you do it with an assortment of patches and other utility programs if you want to touch the bare metal yourself.
There is 1.5MB in the phone which is used for Get It Now applications, as well as ringtones, pictures etc. The phone has a limit of 30 ringtones, and 30 wallpapers.
You can do some more advanced customizations such as removing the Verizon Wireless banner. To do this, you will need to edit files on the phone's filesystem and you could damage the phone software by doing so. A recommended hex editor on Windows is winhex.
BitPim has a filesystem tab (activated in the View menu). Right click on files and directories to view, upload, delete etc.
gagin is only a filesystem view. Again right clicks give you your options.
An example customisation is removing the Verizon Wireless banner. You would need to overtpe the "Verizon Wireless" text (not the following 'A' or 'B') with spaces in the file eri/eri.bin. Make sure you save a backup copy of the file.
You can use your phone as a modem. You need to get a USB data cable.
Note that you will only be able to use it as a modem in digital reception. (The actual modem is in Verizon's network, not your phone). You will be charged as according to your plan. For US Cellular customers, the rollout of data services is expected soon.
If you have Verizon Mobile web, then you can also use the Venturi Accelerator. This is reported to speed up the connection significantly (it does this by removing redundant information, reducing image quality and many other tweaks)
These instructions apply if you are using a data cable for the VX-1/VX-10. Once you have installed the data cable, install the drivers for the cable. They should cause the cable to show up as a com/serial port in your device list. Note that even though you are using a USB cable, the actual connection inside the phone is serial.
Windows XP users should download lgvx4400modemserial.zip (5kb) and follow the instructions in the README included in that file. Ignore the entire rest of this whole section.
For other users, add a modem to your system, saying it is on that com port. Add the modem as a generic 19200bps modem, with no flow control. You should set the com port speed and the modem connection speed to 19200 bps. Note that the actual speed over the air is 14400 bps, which with compression tops out around 19200bps. You can also use 115200bps if you configure everything (phone, com port) at that speed, although the over the air transmissions are still at 14400.
You also need to change the phone to use its internal serial interface. - Settings - Data Settings - Select Port - RS-232C.
You should have a LG USB CDMA modem show up once you have installed the USB drivers. The default settings will work fine.
You also need to change the phone to use its internal USB interface. - Settings - Data Settings - Select Port - USB.
Create a dialup connection with the following settings:
The over the air speed is a maximum of about 115kbps and degrades depending on demand from other users in the same area.
You should check how you wil be charged for this usage. It uses around 3-7 times the amount of the cell provider's network as making a voice call does).
The phone should connect instantly and will display
3G1xData while connected.
AT$QCMDR=2in the modem configuration. (In Windows you place this by going to the modem in the Control Panel and then Advanced, Extra Settings. Leave off the AT bit - ie you should put
$QCMDR=2in the text box)
The over the air speed is 14.4kbps. With compression, the maximum throughput you will get is 19.2kbps.
You should check how you get charged for using this. Typically it is exactly the same as if you made a voice call at the same time, as it uses the same amount of a provider's network as a voice call.
The call should connect instantly and the phone display should say PPP[QNC] CALL,
Follow the steps above for QNC, except put in your ISP's dialup number and your username and password details.
Connection will take around 30 seconds, but the other details are the same.
The default lock code is the last 4 digits of your phone number.
A fair number of people are having the little rubber screw covers in top left and right fall out above the colour screen. You should lightly glue them back in if it happens. If you lose them, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and they will send you new ones. (I have heard that LG are now trying to charge for these. Since it is a design defect in the phone and one they have known about for almost a year, that is not acceptable. Don't let them push you around).
The phone will shutdown if it can't get any reception. It will then power up every 15 minutes to check for a signal again, although this may sometimes fail.
You can all see important settings by pressing - Settings. The manual contains descriptions of all of them, although some descriptions are very brief or vague.
There is an additional configuration menu that sets low level parameters and the behind the scenes settings. Note that Verizon/LG will not support you changing these settings, and they will be able to tell that you changed if you return the phone for service. If you are going to change any settings, write down the original values first.
To get into this menu, press . You will be prompted for a service code. The code is 000000 for Verizon users.
US Cellular customers have the service code different on every
phone. You can find out what it is by using BitPim and viewing
nvm/nvm/nvm_0000. Look on the second line
(begining with 00000010 in the right hand side near the end. For
a code of 000000 it looks like this:
The phone has a builtin web browser. Specifically, it is OpenWave Mobile Browser 4.1.26L (LGE-TM540C/1.0) Wap Edition.
The web browser is not a full blown browser. (There is no way you could stuff the functional equivalent of Internet Explorer, Netscape or Opera into a phone).
The browser actually speaks a very cut down protocol known as WAP instead of HTTP. The actual content of pages is delivered in cut down equivalent to HTML known as WML.
The phone is configured to contact a WAP proxy. This proxy retreives pages for you from the rest of Internet. It also translates non-WML pages into WML if needed.
While you use the browser, you consume minutes according to your plan. You must have digital reception. You also need to have signed up for the mobile web package (currently around 5 bucks a month), unless you are feeling adventurous.
Hold down to see your browser settings menu.
Pressing takes you back one page, unless you are in an input field in which case it deletes a character. Hold down to go back to your home page. (The manual says that will take you to your home. This doesn't work for me. The browser settings menu can also return you home.)
Yes. You will lose some functionality (see what you get with Verizon). You also need to reconfigure your phone. You'll need access to a WAP proxy, and you will need a home page. The browser can support 3 different WAP proxies, with easy switching between them. The phone as delivered only has the first one configured to access the main Verizon servers. The instructions below show you how to add a second, and to switch to it.
There have been a few free proxies over time, but they all fade away after a few months. There are others that provide the service for a fee cheaper than Verizon. Some people even manage to get Google's to work. Your best bet is look in the discussion forums for up to date IP addresses and experiences.
Enter service settings (please read the disclaimers there). - - Wap Setting.
We will add WAP Proxy #2 for our new service. Enter IP Setting - Link2-IP1. Enter the IP address of the WAP proxy. To enter the . (dots) press to change mode from "123" to "Symbols". Press when done.
You know need to enter the port number. Now enter Port Setting - Link2-Port1 and enter the port number. Press when done. Press to return the main menu.
Start the browser. It will fail in some way since you don't have Verizon service. Hold down to enter the browser main menu. Choose Advanced - Homepage and write the value of your current homepage. Go back to the Advanced menu and choose Set WAP Proxy and switch to proxy #2.
You may now be prompted for a home page, or be sent to the default OpenWave. Reenter the Advanced menu and change your homepage.
If you want to make your own home page, but don't want to learn WML, it is quite easy. You will need access to a webserver to place your page. Download DotWAP. Edit the page and then File -> Create WML Files. You can also use the tool to maintain your home page at TagTag.
One recommendation is that you add a link to http://www.google.com/wml This will allow you to enter a URL from your phone as the builtin browser doesn't have a menu to allow you to enter a URL of your choice.
You can preview your site using Opera as it has builtin support for WML.
If you do pay Verizon for their mobile web package, you get the following:
Note that whether you pay for mobile web or not, you always consume airtime minutes in accordance with your plan while using the browser and it is online.
You should extend your antenna for making or receiving calls. Even though things seem fine without it extended, the CDMA Faq explains why.
You can also plug in an external antenna. The plug is covered with rubber and is between the top of the battery and the builtin antenna on the back of the phone.
The phone has a builtin GPS chip. There is more technical information at cdmatech.com.
The phone itself reports GPS signal information to the cell towers which combine that with their own information. Consequently the cell network knows with a high degree of accuracy where the phone is, but the phone itself does not.
By law the cell network has to supply the location information when making 911 calls. You can set the phone to only supply information for 911 calls, or for all calls.
There are no known services yet beyond 911 that will use the information. However it is easy to speculate that there will be ones in the future that help provide directions and locations of nearby attractions.
The phone runs software that conforms to BREW. This a defined binary environment available in CDMA chipsets from Qualcomm.
In order to write BREW software, you must get the developer kit from Qualcomm. The terms and conditions allow no redistribution of your software. You have to get it verified by Qualcomm, and at their discretion the wireless company. You also have to purchase certificates. The process is detailed on the Qualcomm site. The whole process costs several thousand dollars, and requires the blessing of other companies.
When the application is distributed via Get It Now the application developer typically gets 80%, with Qualcomm and Verizon getting 10% each.
This means that it is extremely unlikely you will see freeware programs available. You do however get the reassurance that each program has been verified to be compatible.
Many other phones use Java applications (in particular Java 2 Micro Edition). There are significantly more applications for J2ME available.
There are press reports that IBM, HP and Insignia have been writing J2ME compliant Java Virtual Machines in BREW. Here are some links with various opinions and facts on the whole matter:
Note Verizon never did make J2ME available. In the second quarter of 2006 they made over $1 billion in revenues from Get-It-Now, ringtones, pictures etc.
You need to write WAP/WML content. The first thing you should get is a browser emulator (it is too slow and painful trying to do it directly on the phone, not to mention the minutes it would consume).
The Opera browser supports WML, but is using a larger screen than the phone has. Opera is available for free.
Nokia, Ericsson and various other handset vendors have emulators with the same display size as their phones. LG doesn't appear to have one available. You should be able to use the SDK on the OpenWave site.
TagTag has a browser based emulator/translator.
There is a good tutorial at w3schools.com.
The protocols for synchronising the phonebook, calendar, ringers and pictures are not documented. You can however see open source code for accessing them in the Bitpim source code repository
This is a list of recent changes to this document.