The price tag pretty much says it all about the retail package of LG KP500 Cookie. You can of course count on it that the essentials are covered, but the Cookie retail box just won't go any further.
The included handsfree is one piece, which means you're s(t)uck with the provided headphones. If you want to change them you will either need a set with the proprietary LG plug or a third-party adapter.
The other items in the box are a USB data cable and a DC charger. You also get a screen protector, the user manual and a mini CD with the software required for syncing your Cookie with a computer.
LG KP500 Cookie is one of the most compact touchscreens on the market. When talking touch phones, there is only a handful of devices to be as friendly in terms of size. The names that instantly come to mind are HTC Touch Diamond, Samsung F480 Tocco and Samsung Armani.
So, the Cookie will be easily squeezed in any pocket and it won't even bulge, as the handset is the nice 11.9 mm thick. And the first time you hold it in hand you'll be amazed by its weight - the mere 89 grams make it one of the lightest chaps around.
Simplicity must have been the first thing on their mind but it sure looks like the LG designers were having fun working on the KP500 Cookie. There's nothing to suggest simplicity was driven by frugality. The neat and cute handset projects a cheerful attitude and manages a lot more style and personality than the price tag suggests.
There's nothing fancy and frilly about the rubbery finish at the back but it adds to the solid feel and friendly charm of the phone. It's also quite practical and fingerprint-resistant.
The front of the LG KP500 Cookie resembles the KC910 Renoir for the three hardware buttons below the screen. Those include a Call and an End key on either side of the Launcher/Multitasking key that brings up a menu of shortcuts to your favorite apps and a task manager.
All three knobs are smaller than the Renoir's but stylishly framed in chrome and very solid and responsive (and quite better looking we should add). Your thumb simply sticks to the slightly concave knobs.
The other thing we like in the Cookie is the slight sloping at the bottom. It gives the phone a distinct face and also improves handling.
Actually, the keys design is the only thing that differentiates the Orange exclusive LG KP501 from the LG KP500.
The rest of the front panel is taken by the 3" display, above which you'll notice the centrally placed earpiece and LG logo.
The volume rocker, the universal connectivity port and the lanyard eyelet are on the left. The connectivity port is covered by a small plastic lid to prevent it from filling up with dirt.
The right side is where the shutter key and the lock key are placed. Those are too tiny for our taste and a proper press is really hard at times. Press feedback is poor and the touchscreen lock key especially has a very low stroke.
The microSD card slot is also here, hidden under a small plastic lid. The handset had no trouble handling a 16GB microSD card, which is the largest currently available. This means the Cookie won't fail you in terms of storage space.
The top of LG KP500 Cookie is completely plain while the bottom hosts the mouthpiece and the stylus compartment. Peculiarly enough, the stylus goes in horizontally instead of vertically.
The back side of the handset is also far from crowded, the 3 megapixel camera lens getting all the attention. There is no flash of any kind to boost low light performance.
Opening the battery cover reveals the 900 mAh battery. In moderate use, it can keep the phone going for about two days, which is not exactly a great achievement. Frankly the quoted 350 hours of standby and 3 hours and 30 min of talk time had us fearing worse, but middling is probably what defines it best.
The build quality of the LG KP500 is better than its price tag. But what's more important, the Cookie has a distinct personality and wide-reaching appeal. Some will go for the neat and simple styling, while others will respond to the cheerful and friendly attitude. And all will appreciate the nice handling and solid feel.
LG KP500 Cookie is equipped with a 3" 256K-color resistive touchscreen display of WQVGA resolution. Resistive screens do require more pressure (as opposed to capacitive ones) for a command to be registered. This may sound self explanatory, but one can easily feel and appreciate the difference between the Prada II we just reviewed and the Cookie. The Prada (like the iPhone, which uses the same touchscreen technology) was quick to respond to the lightest touch, which made the Cookie feel a bit clumsy at first.
Luckily, the screen of the Cookie is one of the most sensitive we've tried, so after a short while operating the phone became quite comfortable.
The touchscreen technology is otherwise the only difference between the Prada and the Cookie in the display department. 3" WQVGA screens are to be found in a number of LG touchscreens - from the first Prada, through the Viewty and F700 to the Renoir. Neither the size, nor the resolution is quite the cream of the crops at the high end. But they make perfect sense in the Cookie's price bracket.
There are also quite a number of settings for the touchscreen feedback. You can choose between gentle vibrations (haptic feedback), or a tone when a click is accepted. You can also turn both off if you prefer.
You also get to pick the type and strength of the vibration plus the type and volume of the tones. Finally, you can calibrate your screen to optimize touch control. There isn't a setting that the LG engineers have missed.
The display itself offers decent image quality with good brightness and contrast levels.