In a nutshell: The LG KP500 is a touchscreen phone for those on a budget. It's a compact device but with a large touchscreen display that's easy and fun to use. With a 3.2 megapixel camera, a media player, an FM radio, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and a memory card slot, this phone has all the essentials. Although it misses out on 3G and a top class camera, it has most features that most people will want. Not always the most reliable phone however.
The LG KP500 is nicknamed the Cookie. It's billed as an affordable touchscreen phone and in fact there are some amazing deals out there to tempt you. But before you rush off to buy one, join us in a tour of the Cookie, and let's find out what's missing compared to more expensive rival touchscreen phones.
Let's start by looking at what you do get. You get a genuine touchscreen-driven phone (not just one with touch-sensitive buttons) that is controlled by pressing virtual buttons and icons with your finger or the stylus that's supplied with the phone. Pioneered by the iPhone (and others), touchscreen is the hottest trend in mobile phones, and it's hard to underestimate the amount of fun that you can have pressing virtual buttons on a screen. Especially for people like us, who don't get out enough. In the early days touchscreen phones were often tricky to use, but these days they're all pretty easy once you've got used to them. We don't think that the Cookie will pose any trouble, although some may find the stylus a nuisance. Anyway, great fun to use! The KP500 also has a built-in accelerometer, which simply means that it senses which way is up and automatically rotates the display. The virtual QWERTY keyboard slides into view when you turn the phone to landscape mode, which looks very cool. The accelerometer is also used when playing games, so you can tilt and turn the phone Wii-style to control movement. You can shake and flip the phone at other times to control various functions. It's all great fun, as long as you don't mind being stared at by passers-by.
The Cookie is more compact than most touchphones. And weighing just 89g, it's one of the lightest touchscreen phones ever. But, and this bit is important, LG have cleverly made the phone smaller without reducing the size of the screen. When it comes to touchscreen, size really does matter! A bigger screen makes it easier to use, and the Cookie is definitely an easy phone to use with its 3 inch screen.
So, the ergonomics are good, and the screen is good. What else is good? Well, it has a media player that plays most popular digital music formats. It also has a stereo FM radio. It's got a good web browser. It supports email and has a document viewer installed. Connectivity includes USB and Bluetooth, and the operating frequency is quadband GSM, so you should be able to use the phone anywhere in the world.
Now let's take a look at what's missing.
The camera is not as good as the 5 or 8 megapixel cameras seen in high-end phones. It's limited to 3.2 megapixels, and there's no autofocus but this is reasonable when you consider the price. The memory is also more limited at 48 MB, although you can add a microSD memory card to bring this up to 8GB. It's not 3G and there's no WiFi, so web browsing probably isn't a good option, despite the big screen, which is a shame.
Inevitably there are trade-offs between price and features. We feel that LG have got the balance just right with the Cookie. By removing the features that many people won't miss, and by installing an average camera, they've not only slashed the cost, but have also made the phone more compact and easier to use in many ways. As long as you won't miss high speed web browsing or the camera quality, you can have all the benefits of the latest touchscreen phones for a fraction of the cost.
The Samsung Tocco Lite is an almost exact copy of the Cookie - there's little to choose between the two phones, except that our users seem to feel that the Tocco Lite is a more robust phone - the Cookie seems to annoy a few people with reported software glitches.
Features of the LG KP500 Cookie include:
- 3 megapixel camera with digital zoom
- Video recording
- Touch sensitive screen: TFT LCD, 262k colours, 240 x 400 pixels (3 inches)
- Handwriting recognition
- Music player (MP3/AAC/AAC+/AAC++/WMA formats)
- FM radio
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email
- T9 predictive text
- Document viewer (TXT, PDF, DOC, PPT, XLS)
- Ringtones: 64 voice polyphonic ringtones / MP3 ringtones
- Java 2.0 games
- Phonebook (1000 names)
- Memory: 48 Mbytes plus microSD memory card slot (up to 8GB)
- Connectivity: USB 2.0, Bluetooth
- Internet: WAP 2.0, GPRS, EDGE, web browser
- Vibration alert
- Quad band
- Size: 107 x 55 x 12 mm
- Weight: 89g
- Talktime: 3.5 hours
- Battery standby: 350 hours