With its metallic body, the KF510 has a real solid feel to it, but it remains lean and slender. The scratch-proof glass adds to its sophistication, and the handset is available in a host of appealing colour schemes.
The touch-sensitive keys remained responsive, and the haptic feedback is a welcome addition. Yet if you're not a fan of touch-screens you can always resort back to the more standard numeric keypad.
Along with the slimline metallic design and touch-sensitive navigation keys, the KF510 also sports a three-megapixel camera complete with auto-focus, built-in music player and expandable memory.
While the camera is capable of some decent snaps, the KF510's recording abilities is disappointing, with a slightly juddery QVGA resolution at only 15fps. The music player excelled when played through a pair of Sennheisers, and though the embedded Document Viewer application is a nice addition, it proved a tad difficult to read Word and Excel files.
With 240 minutes' talktime and four hours of standby, the LG KF510 offers nothing more than an average battery life.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:52:37 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
For a mid-range handset, the KF510 has a surprisingly hi-calibre solid metallic construction reminiscent of the Shine.
The touch-sensitive keys are still prone to inadvertent brushes, and the lack of 3G is frustrating.
It's amazing to think that a couple of years ago LG was rolling out humdrum clamshells that failed to fire the imagination. But since the launch of the heart-melting Chocolate slider in 2006, the Korean giant has literally become a style trendsetter. The follow-up Shine provoked a slew of rival metallic, mirrored handsets, the Fashion Prada blower could easily be cited as kick-starting the whole touch phone revolution, and the recent Mobile Choice fave, the Secret, is just simply awesome. These are hard acts to follow, so can its latest slider, the KF510, maintain LG's growing rep?
Coming from a mid-range background, you would think the KF510's chances were low. But true to form LG has maintained its impeccable production values, brilliantly combining the metallic torso of the Shine, with the touch-sensitive keys of the Chocolate. Its real metal body gives the KF510 an assured heft and a quality feel that is sometimes missing from middle-class handsets. While it may feel pretty solid, this skater is also impressively slender, measuring a lean and trim 10.9mm.
Lying dormant, the handset's minimalist design is the perfect backdrop to enjoy its rather fetching colour graduation paint job. Our sample arrived in a more sophisticated stardust dark grey, but the fading paint work is best showcased on the sunset red model.
And like its vaporous veneer, the skater mechanism is similarly slick with a nifty inner slider hiding the camera, and a hotswappable microSD card slot. LG has also borrowed the tempered scratch-proof glass from the Secret, giving the KF510's 2.2-inch QVGA-quality display a robust sheen. So apart from the highly usable but plastic chequered keypad that feels a bit tacky under thumb, the KF510's build oozes a metallic quality last seen at this level in the Shine.
LG continues its penchant for touch-sensitive navigation, with a front control panel arrangement reminiscent of the Chocolate phone. However, you now get an accompanying interactive LED light show with twinkling stars weaving pretty patterns every time you tap a key. It's all mildly diverting, if a little gimmicky, but still adds a bit of sparkle to the KF510's minimalist façade.
We're also pleased to report that the normally slippery touch-sensitive keys, on the whole, work really well. Every tap is greeted with haptic feedback (this can be turned off if it becomes too annoying), and the panel shows a good level of response and speed. Naturally, like all ticklish phones, it's susceptible to unavoidable and inadvertent brushes but it's still not as infuriating as some set-ups we've experienced. But if you still can't get to grips with the touch technique, LG happily numbers its menu options so you can use the keypad to make selections.
Its middle-class status dictates that the KF510 won't bowl you over with a festival of features, but while there are some compromises, it also delivers a pleasing performance. Dealing with the negatives first, the obvious major oversight is the absence of 3G download speeds. The KF510 stutters along to EDGE times and this makes web grazing over the WAP browser a little slow. But really, the lack of 3G is our only serious gripe with the KF510.
The most surprising performer is the autofocus-toting 3.2-megapixel snapper. It features all the photo functions you would expect from a mid-ranger, such as white balance, colour effects, contrast, self-timer and multi-shot, but also throws in a shake-reduction mode for those of you affected by untimely judders. Naturally, the flash light isn't Xenon flavoured but the Power LED is still pretty bright, if a little inconsistent when it comes to illuminating low-lit areas.Shooting in a 2048x1536 pixel resolution, the camera takes decent snaps, and while it occasionally doesn't pick out some fine detail, its vivid colours and consistent focus shine through.
The KF510's video recording talents do fall short of our expectations though, capturing in a juddertastic QVGA resolution at only 15fps. You could probably just get away with it on YouTube.
One swift press of the camera's side shutter button also fires up the built-in music player. LG has kitted the player with the standard issue artist, song, album, genre, playlist sort options plus a 10-strong equaliser to tinker with the sound. While it sounded a tad cavernous and lacking in volume through the supplied headphones, it fared much better when we plugged in our quality closed-cupped noise reduction Sennheisers via the 3.5mm headphone jack adapter. Also if you dabble in wireless cans, it dutifully supports Stereo Bluetooth for wireless streaming. Either way, the music player is good enough for music snacking on a short commute.
Your multimedia loot can be stored on the microSD card with LG recommending a maximum capacity of 4GB. This will hold around 1,000 good-quality MP3 files (providing you stockpile nothing else), but if you use higher memory cards, the KF510's performance will start to slow down.
An embedded Document Viewer app, also gives the KF510 a very slight business nose. Unfortunately, we found it very hard to read our Word and Excel files on the small screen, no matter how far we zoomed in.
It may be in the Secret's shadow, but the KF510 is a worthy addition to LG's style canon and upholds the Korean's high-fashion values. If design, feel and looks comes first and you're not too bothered with powerful features, then the KF510 is definitely worth a shufti.