Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:54:00 PM
A slimline, eye-catching touch-screen device with an appealing price tag.
Its slack of features, include no 3G, HSDPA or 3.5mm headset port, may ultimately put some people off.
Ask the majority of people what they like most about touch-screen phones and we would be willing to bet the answer is that they look good. However, style sometimes comes with a hefty price tag. That was until LG produced their credit crunch-busting ‘affordable touch-screen phone’, the LG KP500 Cookie.
The LG Cookie is impressively svelte at just 11.9mm thick and weighs a mere 89g. Despite its size zero credentials, the Cookie has managed to pack in a three-inch touch-screen display. Obviously one of the benefits of a touch-screen is the fact that manufacturers do not have to add a lot of hard keys, as the main controls are operated through the display. LG has managed to get away with just the three keys located beneath the screen. The call, call end and a favourite applications key feel a tad rubbery, but the LG Cookie has achieved a great minimalist design that is sure to turn heads despite its low cost.
LG has been a touch-screen pioneer, so they have had ample opportunity to perfect the user experience. Fitted with both a haptic (vibrating) response and tone alert, each time you press one of the virtual keys, you are left with little doubt that a key command has been recognised. Most of the icons are big enough to be easily pressed.
However, when typing text we found the virtual keys were too small and often resulted in accidental and irksome key presses. This is even the case when turning the phone on its side so that the built-in accelerometer displays a full QWERTY keyboard. Thankfully LG includes an extendable stylus that tucks neatly in the bottom of the handset to narrow in on the correct keys, though we did find that it left the odd scuff mark on the screen.
As seen in the LG Renoir, the Cookie sports a customisable home screen. Users can drag and drop widgets (shortcuts to applications) from a side menu onto the home screen. There is no limit to how many you can drag and drop and, for the neat freaks among you, a simple shake of the device will neatly align them into a grid. What’s more, if you slide your finger from left to right, the screen will turn over to reveal another home screen. Here you can drag and drop up to eight of your favourite contacts to save you having to sift through your address book.
Whereas, LG’s Renoir phone sported a whopping eight-megapixel camera, the Cookie has a more modest three-megapixel snapper. While we were generally pleased with the camera experience, it is a shame that LG does not make the most of the whole screen, instead opting to fill each side with various settings icons. Surely these could have rested on top of the view? For those that like to play around with their photos, there is a host of post-snap editing features, including adding text as well as sharpening the contrast, brightness and colour.
The lack of a 3.5mm headset port means you will be relying on the boxed headphones, which is a pet hate of ours. Although the radio picked up all the stations we searched for, the frequency displayed often did not correspond with the correct station. If you are serious about using the Cookie as your main music player you will need to invest in some additional memory, due to the handset’s miserly 48MB of internal storage. That said, it does support memory cards of up to 8GB. There is also no 3G or HSDPA so keen web surfers may want to give the Cookie a wide berth.
In the current economic climate we expect the LG KP500 Cookie to do well. Available from The Carphone Warehouse for just under £100, it is a great option for people who want an eye catching device without having to break the bank, or be tied to a long-term contract. It is for this reason that we forgive the Cookie for all its shortcomings, including the lack of 3G, a 3.5mm headset port or its poor amount of memory. What it may be missing in terms of brains, it makes up for in beauty.