LG Cookie KP500 review: LG Cookie KP500

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars 6 user reviews

The Good Slim design; good photo viewer.

The Bad Lack of 3G; lack of 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Bottom Line If you're on a tight budget and you love the idea of having a touchscreen phone, the LG Cookie KP500 is definitely an option. Having spent some quality time with it, our only concern is it doesn't offer enough features that stand out from the crowd. While making it cheaper, that fact also makes the KP500 much more boring than other, more expensive, touchscreen phones

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6.5 Overall

Making sure that everyone gets a chance to buy a touchscreen phone, LG has come up with the sub-£100 KP500 Cookie.

Here we find out if there's more to it than just a fancy interface.

You can buy a KP500 from Carphone Warehouse on a pay-as-you-go deal or get it free on a monthly contract.

Pitched as LG's most affordable touchscreen phone yet, the KP500 is also one of its most attractive. A slim, matte black casing houses a large touchscreen and a discreet 3-megapixel camera, on the back. It's understated and smart-looking -- more VW than BMW.

The touchscreen isn't made of glass, which is a shame, and uses resistive technology rather than capacitive, which means that you have to apply pressure in order for it to register what you're doing. That said, the screen is more responsive than we expected and, although a little slow at times, works well enough for texting and dialling.

Unlike the iPhone 3G, which has only one mechanical button underneath its screen, the KP500 has three: a send key, an end-call key and a shortcut key that gives access to your favourite apps. Above the end-call key, there's a small, orange LED, but we're not sure what it does besides glowing orange.

The KP500's send, end-call and shortcut keys

If you need a little more accuracy when drawing or using hand-writing recognition, for example, then the KP500 has a stylus tucked inside at the bottom right. You don't need to use it, but it does come in handy. Further up from where the stylus is hidden, on the top right-hand side, is a microSD slot so that you can add extra memory.

At around £100, the KP500 is far cheaper than an iPhone or T-Mobile G1 but, as a consequence, it doesn't have as many features as a high-end smart phone -- there's no 3G, no Wi-Fi and no GPS. If you're looking for an iPhone killer, steer clear, because this isn't it. That doesn't mean to say, however, that the KP500 doesn't do anything.

In an effort to make things easier for your fingers, the KP500's homescreen displays widgets including a calendar, a clock, a shortcut to your pictures and a shortcut to the music player. You can move the widgets around with your finger and put them where they are most useful.

In addition to having a few widgets to play around with, you can also flick the screen left or right, like with HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface, and access another homepage that displays contacts in a thumbnail format so that you can quickly call them. It's a useful concept and makes calling using a touchscreen much easier.

The KP500's menu is similar to that of the Viewty or Renoir, and displays a series of finger-friendly icons that you tap to access. Our only niggle with the menu is that scrolling isn't always smooth and, depending on what you're used to, you might find it annoying.

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