LG KC780 in-depth review -

Look and feel

Despite its slider format, the LG KC780 remains slim enough to be pocket friendly. Though its sleek plastic finish gives it a somewhat refined look, it did feel a tad slippery.

Ease of use

Due to the close proximity of the cancel key and the navigation pad, we did find ourselves inadvertently hitting it by mistake. However, the menu options were a cinch to get to grips with.

Features

As well as the eight-megapixel camera complete with face recognition, smile detection and beauty mode, the KC780 has a TV out functionality and Bluetooth webcam ability.

Performance

The eight-megapixel camera is capable of capturing some cracking portrait shots though exploring the web on GPRS and EDGE data speeds can prove to be sluggish.

Battery life

A reasonable battery life of 360 minutes talktime and 450 hours standby time.

 LG KC780 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:54:03 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

LG succeeds in producing a great eight-megapixel camera for a reduced rate.

Cons:

Despite the eight-megapixel snapper, the LG KC780?s feature list is fairly basic.

LG handsets that house eight-megapixel cameras are like buses – you wait an age for one and then another follows right behind it. OK, it’s not the most original analogy, but you get the gist that the South Korean manufacturer has brought another camera powerhouse to the table. The LG KC780 is not as heavily specced as LG’s other eight-megapixel phone, the Renoir, but this would suggest that it will be available at a lower price, which when the terms ‘credit crunch’ and ‘recession’ are being bandied about so freely, can only be a good thing.

LG KC780 – Look and feel

Another fundamental difference between the LG KC780 and the Renoir is that, whereas the Renoir is fully operated via touch-screen, the KC780 is entirely controlled by more conventional means.

Sporting a slider format, the handset is made from a sleek plastic that gave it a refined polished look, but also made it a little slippery, particularly the keypad. LG has managed to keep the handset’s width to 13.9mm, although it does protrude a little around the lens. However, it still manages to remain fairly pocket friendly.

Found beneath the 2.4-inch TFT screen is the usual array of keys; a navigational pad, hard keys, a call and call end button and the cancel button. However, the cancel key does double up as a shortcut to a clock, organiser and photo album, all of which can be accessed from the home screen. We did have a slight issue with the proximity of this key to the navigational pad. Situated directly below it – in fact it’s actually adjoining – it is difficult to use your thumb to navigate around the KC780’s menu due to the positioning of the keys. On more than one occasion we accidentally hit the cancel key when merely wanting to press down on the navigation pad, which would then take us back a step.

We’re assuming LG is gearing this phone towards a slightly younger demographic. Not only is it more affordable than the Renoir, added extras such as the animated wallpaper that adorns the phone’s home screen, coupled with the musical keypad (thankfully you can turn this off) did nothing other than irritate old fuddy duddies like us. When dialling numbers each digit can even be emblazoned with a rainbow of colours.

LG KC780 – Portrait shot

LG has placed a great deal of emphasis on the KC780’s ability to ‘take good pictures of people’, even stating as such on the box. Presumably they mean taking a half decent shot of your inebriated mates to embarrass them at a later date. Well, that might be partially true, but there are enough camera enhancements that mean they shouldn’t prove too embarrassing. These include face recognition, smile detection and even beauty mode.

To fire up the camera, you have two options, both of which are a tad time-consuming so don’t expect to capture that spontaneous shot. The first method is to use the dedicated camera key found on the side of the device, but to do this you will need the home screen to be idle. So if you are operating any other features, you will have to use the more conventional method of opening it up via the multimedia folder.

LG KC780 – Camera features

We found that face recognition and, in particular, the smile shot required a steady hand, which can be helped by the image stabiliser mode, but you’ll have to be in close proximity to your subject for either to work. For those unfamiliar with smile shot, it works by concentrating on your mouth looking for a change in angles (i.e a smile). As soon as it does so, voila, the photo will automatically be taken. It was a tad disappointing to find that the KC780 couldn’t detect more than one person’s face at any one time, particularly as the Renoir had no trouble doing so.

While the Renoir boasted a blemish-disguising beauty shot feature, the KC780 differs slightly in that it has beauty mode, which fundamentally corrects the same pimples and wrinkles, only rather than doing so pre-shot, you have to doctor the picture after it has been taken. In fact, there’s a whole host of post-editing options available, including turning your subject into a cartoon character or giving them an upturned nose or large head. It makes for an amusing few minutes, though quite what purpose it serves other than mild entertainment is beyond us.

Other notable snapping features include the Panorama setting that aligns three shots together creating a decent landscape shot, and continuous shot, which takes seven (very) rapid shots in quick succession. This could prove useful when taking that action or sporting shot for example. The LG KC780 records video in 30 frames per second (fps), which is DVD quality, so if you’re a fan of recording video, it’s definitely another box that the handset ticks. What’s more, pair up a Bluetooth-enabled PC to the handset and you can use the camera as a webcam to communicate with others over the web.

LG KC780 – The verdict

Buy the LG KC780 for the purpose of having a good-quality camera and all your snapping needs should be met. However, if you want something beyond that you may ultimately be disappointed. There’s no 3G or HSDPA for starters so you’ll be surfing the web on the sluggish GPRS or the ever so slightly faster EDGE data speeds.

Music wise, the audio experience was adequate, but there’s no 3.5mm headset jack or for that matter an adapter, and the on-board memory is only 140MB meaning if you’re wanting to store anything more than the odd track you’ll be needing to fork out on a memory card. Likewise, while it’s great for a handset to have the ability to view content or play games (the KC780 has a host of LG’s accelerometer-based M-TOY games) on a large TV screen, it would have been nice for the manufacturer to include a TV-out cable rather than expecting us to splash out that extra bit of cash.

Despite its snapping credentials, the LG KC780’s niggles and omissions detract from the extremely appealing price tag.