Product Type: LG Electronics mobile phones
Newest Review: ... so much about but the inclusion of a stylus to aid with that made it a novelty to use, I enjoyed using my phone because of it. The fact th... more
A tough little Cookie!
LG Cookie KP500
Member Name: Foxy-Lady
LG Cookie KP500
Date: 11/05/09, updated on 23/03/10 (1783 review reads)
Advantages: Very user friendly
Disadvantages: Has a couple of little niggles
I'm not loyal to any particular brand and after looking at and comparing several makes and models I opted for the feature packed quad-band LG KP500 Cookie. As well as liking the quirky name I thought it seemed like a great little mobile for around the £100 mark. Currently available for roughly the same price I think the KP500 is still a fantastic choice.
DESIGN & SIZE
I immediately liked the feel of this full touch screen phone - very tactile. It's lightweight at 89g and fits nicely in the palm of my hand. Dimensions are 106mm x 55mm so it's not the smallest of mobile phones but it's relatively slim at just under 12mm. The outer casing is quite attractive in my opinion as the unusual matte black surface (also available in pink) looks stylish. It's almost 'rubberised' in appearance and I find that this wears better than the more shiny cases as the surface seems to prevent scratches more effectively. It's also a lot less slippy in the hand, helping to avoid droppages!
The majority of the front face is accommodated by the large screen, with just 3 solid buttons underneath...call, power/end call and a menu button for instantly accessing favourite applications. Other buttons are found along the edge of the device (lock, volume, camera shoot) along with discreetly concealed memory card slot and charging/handsfree/USB cable socket. A handy extendable stylus is included to assist in touching the screen accurately and this tucks neatly away into the bottom of Cookie for storage when not in use.
DISPLAY SCREEN, USER INTERFACE & FEATURES
The screen I just mentioned measures a fairly impressive 40mm x 65mm which is an adequate size for the display, allowing brilliant clarity and well proportioned mac style icons for easy navigation. It's clear and bright with the use of vivid colours. The layout and menu system has a lovely simplicity about it which I find to be very user friendly and intuitive. I'd never had a touch screen phone before and initially felt a bit awkward taking a step into the unknown. The lack of physical 'buttons' was a little disconcerting but I found that I soon got the hang of it. I like the fact that the phone vibrates very slightly when it recognises that you've touched an option. I find this to be almost reassuring at times. Overall, the Cookie is pretty easy to use once you've explored all of the attributes, and to be honest that isn't really a lengthy process. I expected to spend ages getting accustomed to my new phone but this wasn't the case at all.
From the customisable home screen you can swiftly and conveniently move around the features. At first glance the status bar can be seen along the top of the screen, displaying various icons which indicate things like signal strength and battery level. A handy pop up area is provided for you to adapt with your own choice of 'widgets' such as clock, calendar and gallery. There isn't a massive selection of widgets but it's still a nice function to help keep the user organised! Elsewhere on the home screen a quick touch of an icon takes you to an instant dial facility where you can manually input a telephone number for dialling. There's also a shortcut icon for your personal contacts list and another for quick access to SMS/MMS messaging functions. A final icon takes you to the more comprehensive lists and menus...
Fairly self explanatory I suppose! From here you can again access dialling, contacts and messaging functions, including emailing capabilities. There's an option to add speed dials if required for regularly dialled numbers and also an area to view your recent call history with dates and times.
Regarding messaging there are various input methods that can be selected. Choose between regular ABC keypad where the characters are arranged in groups per number (like a standard mobile phone) and you simply tap a few times to get the desired letter. The Cookie also has smart handwriting recognition enabling the user to literally write on the screen with the stylus, the strokes then being converted into typed figures. I tend not to use this very often as I'm just not used to texting in this manner. Plus when I have experimented with it, results have been a bit hit and miss with a few of my hand drawn letters annoyingly going unrecognised. Alternatively, turn the phone horizontally for an on screen QWERTY keyboard facility which although a bit different, I actually find to be great for texting.
As with most mobile phones you have the choice of using predictive texting. This is something I've never really been keen on with any phone but certainly not with the Cookie. I can't get to grips with it at all and find it be slightly erratic and somewhat unmanageable to say the least!
This menu is home to the camera and video modes, both of which have quite advanced editing functions. The 3 megapixel camera is OK but not brilliant. Picture quality is reasonable but only seems to work at its best when there is plenty of natural light available due to the lack of integrated flash. Adjustments can be made to settings whilst you are taking pictures...zoom in and out, alter brightness/exposure, change the size and quality or swap to night mode. I find that the picture taking can be a tad unresponsive and there is unfortunately quite a big time delay between pressing the shoot button and it actually capturing the image. If taking a piccie of my son, he's more often than not moved before the photo has been taken! I'm not too concerned by this though as I have a digital camera and wouldn't choose to use my phone for this purpose all the time anyway.
As for the video camera, I must admit this isn't something that I've used on many occasions. It's not exactly ideal for recording precious family moments but it's handy for capturing youtube style snippets. As with camera mode, alterations can be made to the video settings as you are shooting your videos.
The LG Cookie has a gallery to store the photos and video shots that you've taken. The phone uses advanced motion sensor technology and when viewing your pictures the auto rotating display turns images (or other documents such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word and pdf's) for correct viewing whether the phone is held horizontally or vertically...a nice touch! Here you can go into individual files and edit. There are lots of great things you can do to your photos to change them, add to them or liven them up a bit! Use crop tools, draw or add text over the top, even apply effects (like Photoshop style filters) such as blur, sharpen, sketch and emboss to name a few. If you're feeling a little adventurous there's also a 'muvee studio' where you can create mini movies and add music to your imagery.
The entertainment area is the obvious location for music and games. Some games are included on the mobile phone and others can easily be downloaded and added. The motion sensor adds an extra element of interactivity to some of the games as players need to flip and twist the handset in order to play.
The Cookie is great for listening to music whilst on the move. An FM radio can be accessed by inserting the included earphones into the unit. These need to be used as they act as an aerial and they provide very clear reception. Up to 50 radio stations can be tuned and saved on your phone. And the MP3 facility? Add your own selection of tunes and listen to them through your Cookie with excellent sound quality! It works in much the same way as any other MP3 player...browse by artist, album or genre. Shuffle tracks or individually select with the ability to play, pause, skip to next song or skip to previous. The phone has an internal memory of 48MB which provides some storage space for your files. This can be expanded with an optional memory card though - a MicroSD of up to 8GB can be accommodated giving you loads of room to import music tracks and other files. Incidentally, any MP3 can be selected for use as your ringtone too!
Copying items to your Cookie can be done in different of ways. It has Bluetooth technology which enables wireless connection to any other compatible device, allowing quick transfer of files. Or you can connect (to PC or mac) using the provided USB sync cable. Alternatively, swap files directly to your memory card before inserting into the phone and they will automatically be filed in the correct internal locations. Connection (or 'synchronisation') also acts as a back-up, enabling the contents of your phone to be transferred in the opposite direction onto your computer for safe keeping.
The main function here is browser, allowing you to surf the web on your Cookie with full colour and fairly fast access. A variety of websites can be viewed but I get a little bit frustrated trying to navigate as it just doesn't compare to a full size screen with keyboard and mouse! I find it to be a little bit fiddly and only use it if and when I really need to. It's perfect for a quick look-up whilst out and about though.
The Cookie can interestingly be used as a modem when you are unable to connect your PC or laptop to the internet in the regular way. Simply use USB or Bluetooth to sync your phone, select the relevant options shown in the comprehensive user manual and your computer will basically connect to the world wide web through your mobile phone! Now this sounds good but in all honestly, I've never given it a try. Nice to know that there's a possibility of following this route should the need arise though.
Numerous other functions can be found under utilities: organise your calendar; set alarms; compile 'to do' lists; calculate; view world time and even record your voice! There's also a convertor which is handy for...converting (currency, weight, temperature, length etc). Oh, an a stop watch should you ever feel the need to time yourself in some way.
Lastly, this is where you can basically adapt and customise your Cookie to be compatible with your needs, as with most other mobile phones. Alter your screen settings with different pictures/colours/brightness to suit your personal tastes, set a pin code for security, change your ring tone and message alerts, apply call divert or activate auto lock. You can instantly lock the phone yourself but if you forget, this is a handy feature. Set to the desired time (30 seconds, 60 seconds etc) and the Cookie will lock automatically after a period of not being used - great for avoiding mishaps whilst the phone is in your pocket or bag.
For me, the KP500 seems to perform really well and in general it is really responsive. It's manageable using either fingers or the stylus, although people with larger fingers may find they accidentally press unwanted options! The touch screen isn't always as sensitive as I'd like - you sometimes have to tap/press quite hard to get results but this may be partially caused by the protective film that I use. Due to the nature of the phone, it's touch screen is frequently prodded and tapped and it is therefore recommended that you apply a screen protector (one is supplied with the phone) to preserve the life of the screen, avoiding scratches and scuffs. It is stated that the film may decrease sensitivity very slightly though.
I previously mentioned that the sound quality of the music functions is terrific. Well this can also be said about incoming calls. On most occasions sound quality is crystal clear although this is dependent on the quality of the callers reception too. On the whole, I don't have any problems with calling but I have a couple of contacts in particular that seem to be very quiet. Volume can easily be adjusted while speaking though as the button is located on the edge of the phone for quick access if you are in the middle of a conversation.
The Cookie does have a couple of niggles...the phone can freeze up occasionally, requiring a restart to get it going again. And I've known it to restart itself for no apparent reason too. For example, last night I heard it restart in the middle of the night whilst in my bag! Neither of these result in any form of data loss or problems though so it doesn't bother me too much (although it would be better if it didn't do it) and certainly doesn't effect my day to day relationship with the phone.
I find that the battery life of the Cookie is brilliant and a full charge lasts approximately 4 days, even with some quite heavy use during that time. Using the music facilities doesn't drain the battery like you would expect either, although for obvious reasons it does use a fair bit more power than simply sending a quick text. I like to keep my charger with me at work around the third day as the Cookie has a tendency to be on two bars one minute and then suddenly drop to empty very quickly without much warning. You get used to this though and I seem to know when it's about to happen!
Ultimately your choice of the Cookie would depend on exactly what you expect to get out of the device. Standard usage, calling and messaging functions are excellent. If you are hoping to eliminate the need for an MP3 player then I would also say that the Cookie is a strong candidate, provided you add the additional memory card for storing your music. When it comes to the camera facility it's not perhaps the best quality in its category but at only 3 megapixels compared to the current 10+ available on digital camera nowadays, I don't suppose you really need me to emphasize that. As a toy it certainly gives added enjoyment to the phone.
I quite simply love my little Cookie! I'm not an advanced mobile phone user by any means and the majority of the time I just need to make and receive calls and do some texting. The LG KP500 is perfect for my needs as the basic functions are easy and quick to use. I do think that owning the Cookie has increased my mobile phone knowledge though and I like the extra facilities at my finger tips. I feel that it's a practical mobile phone which is injected with elements of fun making it highly versatile...and more importantly, excellent value for money.
Summary: A brilliantly priced touch screen phone!
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