This is sweet. The phone I ended up getting is a good old style LG VX8300. It looks and feels like a cell phone, not some kind of freaky ipod like machine, and you use it by pushing buttons, not tapping a piece of plastic in approximately the right place but always hitting the wrong thing (*cough* LG Chocolate *cough*).
The LG VX8300 does not come with mp3 support out of the box like the Chocolate does — it’s not sold as an mp3-capable phone — but it’s easy to enable it:
if you press ok (menu) then 0 it will bring you to a hidden menu screen, the pass code is all zeros. Scroll down to the bottom and you will see music settings, press ok and you can then enable MP3s to work on the phone instead of only WMA format songs.
Apparently you can also enable it just by going to a Verizon store and asking them to upgrade the firmware to the latest version (03 instead of 01).
As is usual for Verizon, the bluetooth is there but any advanced functions like file transfer are pretty crippled. But there is a neat technique to access a bunch of stuff you “shouldn’t” be able to over bluetooth.
There’s this glorious open source program called bitpim. With bitpim and a USB cable you can access a bunch of data on the phone that you otherwise couldn’t. On the LG VX8300 (and perhaps other phones; check out the docs) you can use bluetooth in lieu of the USB cable! Just enable it and pair the devices. The VX8300 list of “device services” in my mac’s bluetooth control panel is as follows:
Device Services: AV Remote Control Target, Voice Gateway, Voice Gateway, BT DIAG, Bluetooth Modem, OBEX Object Push, AV Audio Source
That BT DIAG is going to get us in. Download BitPim. (The Panther/PPC version provided works fine on my Tiger/intel machine.) Open up the Preferences. For the Phone Type you select LG8300. For Com Port, browse through the list and choose the one with BTDIAG in its cryptic name.
After that things should Just Work — at least they should Just Work the way described in the bitpim documentation. I appear to be able to send and retrieve pictures, synchronize calendar and phonebook entries with bitpim, all kinds of good stuff. MP3s at least at first appear not to be transferred; not sure if they’re supposed to be or not. But in any case, bitpim and a usb cable are a sine qua non if you’ve got a cellphone with a company like Verizon which limits what you can do with it, and your phone is supported.