LG KP500 Cookie review: Grab a bite
FM radio has RDS
The LG KP500 Cookie comes with an FM radio and you can enjoy it on either earphones or on the loudspeaker. In either case you've got to have the earphones plugged in as they serve as an antenna.
The radio stores up to 50 stations and there is support for receiving two-line radio station info over RDS.
Much like with the music player, when you minimize the FM radio you can control it using the home screen widget.
Video player is nothing special
Now this is the one part where the modest Cookie is no match for the Renoir. Due to the lack of DivX and XviD support, videos are less of perk compared to the cameraphone flagship of the house. The YouTube integration is also removed although it isn't as much of a problem.
Videos can run in both portrait and landscape mode, the latter of course the preferred way with the widescreen display. Alternating the two modes is as easy as flipping the phone to its side.
A nice feature allows you to take screenshots of a running video and there is also a built-in video editor that can due a number of modifications to the source video.
Pleasing 3 megapixel camera
Given the phone's distinct youth appeal, the LG KP500 Cookie camera surely becomes an important feature. The handset sports a 3 megapixel fixed focus snapper with a maximum image resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. It has no flash of any kind, so night photography is not really an option.
Placing the camera lens in the very top corner at the back is somewhat unpractical since your support finger often gets in the way when shooting. And with a handset this slim and a shutter key so small taking a photo with one hand is virtually not an option.
The camera interface is almost identical to the one of the LG KC910 Renoir. Even if not the most user friendly we've seen, it is nothing you can't get used to. It offers a moderate amount of user-configurable settings including white balance, effects and quality settings.
For the viewfinder you get to pick whether the frame should appear fullscreen (which involves cropping due to the sensor and the screen having different aspect ratios) or actual size, whereby you get black stripes for the unused screen width on both sides of the frame.
The LG Renoir didn't have that option at all thus forcing the fullscreen cropped version upon the user.
The image quality is one of the best parts about the camera. Now, since there is no autofocus we are obviously not talking macros here but the rest of the photos turn out pretty good.
The images produced by the LG Cookie have more than enough detail and noise levels are easily tolerable. Sometimes the colors are off however they are not too bad so this is not much of an issue.
The only noticeable problem with the image processing routine is the evident oversharpening on most of the photos. This has been an issue with almost all recent LG phones (LG Renoir and LG Secret included).
As far as video recording is concerned the handset captures video in up to QVGA resolution. With enough cameraphones around shooting WVGA@30fps this is hardly a commendable achievement by today's standards. Still, if you only watch your videos on the phone's screen things might not be too bad, and we shouldn't forget the price tag after all.
The file format used here is the 3GP video format.
Here is a sample video from LG Cookie's camera.
Connectivity lacks speed
It's been a surprisingly good overall performance so far but we knew all along the inevitable compromises to keep the Cookie's price tag low would eventually shine through. Its connectivity package has none of the high speed wireless data transfer carriers - 3G and Wi-Fi.
It still packs quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support and the other connectivity options include Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and USB v2.0.
There are four available USB connection modes on the LG Cookie including Mass Storage, which makes both the internal memory and memory card appear as removable drives on your PC.
You can also receive calls when connected in this mode but an incoming call interrupts the connection to the internal memory.
Web browsing is good enough
The LG Cookie has a generally nice web browser, with good touch response and a moderate amount of features. Zooming and scrolling is fast enough and you can drag pages around with your finger much like you would on an iPhone.
You can browse web pages with or without the controls visible. A tap on the screen brings back the controls. Zooming in and out is quite intuitive too - a longer hold on a section of a web page will zoom in so it fits on the screen from side to side.
Flipping the screen landscape is automatic thanks top the built-in accelerometer and it makes browsing even more enjoyable.
If all that is not enough, the browser can work with up to two separate tabs and it can save web pages to be viewed offline. You can also search web pages for specific text strings.
Much like on the recent LG touch phones, the web browser history is quite conveniently displayed as a line of webpage screenshots - you can flip through them and just pick the one you want to open again.
Unfortunately, desktop YouTube watching is a no-go, as the browser lacks full Flash support. You can however go for the streaming mobile version of YouTube at m.youtube.com.