The LG GW520 has the really nice music player we found in KP500 Cookie. The great things about it are the seriously enhanced Album Art visualization and the equalizer presets.
With the LG GW520 music player you can filter tracks as with any other modern music player - by artist, album, genre, and recently played. User-created playlists are also an option. Naturally, the music player can run in the background. You can control the music straight on the home screen with the dedicated mini player widget.
Now that equalizers are available, you can opt for one of five presets or you can turn it off to enjoy the track's original sound. A rating system has also been added, which allows you to give a score of 1 to 5 stars to each track.
The LG GW520 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.
Due to the lack of DivX and XviD support, videos are less of a perk compared to the advanced cameraphones of the house. YouTube integration has also been omitted.
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.
Given the phone's distinct youth appeal, the LG GW520 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.
The camera interface is almost identical to the one of the LG KC910 Renoir and KP500 Cookie. 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 images produced by the LG GW520 have more than enough detail, no over sharpening or purple fringing and noise levels are tolerable. The only noticeable problem is the blurring in the bottom left corner of all the pictures, probably due to a lens problem. It might as well be a unit-specific issue.
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 3GP.
Here is a sample video from LG GW520's camera.