The slider mechanism on the Venus is spring loaded and snaps open or closed with a solid thunk. Sliding the front of the phone open reveals the large, and quite normal, alphanumeric keypad. The call send, call end, and dedicated CLR key are also found with the keypad. All of the keys provide great tactile response and are very easy to use both quickly and accurately.
The other hardware buttons are located on the side of the Venus. The rocker switch for volume control is on the left side of the phone, next to the voice dial button and the covered LG power/data port. The right side is home to the camera shutter button, the music access key, and the covered microSD memory card slot. The music key also serves as the touchscreen unlock key when the phone is closed.
In terms of physical design, the VX8800 Venus is a virtual home run. The phone is very solidly constructed and just oozes quality. Everything snaps snuggly into place, and the materials used offer a nice feel and are aesthetically pleasing. My only concerns revolve around the plastic surface on the front of the phone. Its slightly concave shape causes glares to appear from pretty much any lighting source, and I worry about its durability a bit. It seems very resilient, but it makes sense that LG has included a protective pouch for the device.