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LG C2000 (AT&T) review: LG C2000 (AT&T)

LG C2000 (AT&T)

Kent German
Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
5 min read
LG C2000
After rolling out a series of flashy handsets such as the LG VX8100 and the LG VX9800, LG gets back to basics with the LG C2000. The modest design signals that the C2000 is a simple, functional cell phone designed for making calls. You get a couple of higher-end features, such as a speakerphone and a VGA camera, but the C2000 tries hard not to put on airs. Though the keypad buttons were smaller than we'd like, and the battery life was a bit short, call quality delivered on most fronts. At a very reasonable $89, this Cingular Wireless phone is also fairly priced. You should be able to find it for even less with service. From the outside, the LG C2000 looks like a run-of-the-mill silver flip phone. Despite its external antenna, it is relatively compact, measuring 3.5 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches. At 3.4 ounces, it's light, too. The flip mechanism was slightly loose, but the phone was solidly built overall. The postage stamp-size external display shows date, time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID (where available). Though the text is monochrome, a color backlight makes the screen much more readable. The color remains active as long as the phone is open, but it turns off shortly after the flap is closed. You can always turn it back on, however, with a flip of the volume rocker on the left spine. The camera lens is above the display. There's no flash, but you get a mirror for self-portraits. A camera shutter is on the right spine, and the speakerphone grille is on the rear of the phone. In a poor design decision, the rubber plug covering the charging port isn't hinged to the phone; if you're not careful, you'll quickly lose it.


LG C2000 (AT&T)

The Good

VGA camera; speakerphone; multiple messaging options; solid call quality.

The Bad

Small keypad buttons; no camcorder; limited phone book options; short talk-time battery life.

The Bottom Line

Despite its uneven battery life, the LG C2000 offers good value for basic phone functions.

The LG C2000 has an unassuming style.

Inside the LG C2000 is a 1.75-inch-diagonal internal display. Supporting 65,000 colors, it worked fine for viewing photos and the user-friendly menus (available in two styles). That said, its resolution wasn't particularly impressive. It was also overly bright and disappeared in direct light. You can change the contrast and the backlight time but not the brightness or the font size.

Below the screen are the stylish navigation controls. A four-way toggle doubles as a shortcut to text messaging, contacts, downloads, and instant messaging. The button in the center of the toggle functions as an OK key but only when you're inside a menu. In standby mode, it opens the Web browser instead. The other navigation controls consist of two soft keys, a camera shutter, Talk and End/power buttons, a Clear key, and a shortcut key to the photos menu. Slightly oval shaped and raised just above the surface of the phone, the keypad buttons were rather small for our tastes; we misdialed a few times as a result. The buttons are, however, backlit in blue.

The LG C2000 comes with all the basics you'd expect, plus a couple of sweet extras. Its phone book is rather small, though, with room for just 250 names (the SIM card holds an additional 250 contacts). Each entry can take three phone numbers, an e-mail address, and notes. You can also assign callers to groups and pair them with a picture for photo caller ID. However, the picture doesn't show up on the external display, and you can't associate contacts with previously stored images--only with new pictures. Another quirk is that you can assign any of the 18 polyphonic ring tones to only a caller group and not an individual contact. The phone's other features include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, voice dialing, a calculator, voice commands, a unit converter, 30-second voice memos, a world clock, a tip calculator, and a notepad. Surprisingly, though, all the organizer functions are buried under the My Media menu. The C2000 comes with support for AOL, Yahoo, and ICQ instant messaging. It also has a half-duplex speakerphone, though you can't activate it until after you've made a call.

No light: The C2000's camera comes with a mirror but not a flash.

The LG C2000's VGA camera is nothing special, but it's adequate for on-the-go shots. It's only a still camera, so you can't record video. You get 640x480, 320x240, 160x120, and 128x160 resolutions; a 3X zoom; a multishot option for taking up to nine shots in a row; a self-timer that you can set to 5 or 10 seconds; brightness and white-balance adjustments; three shutter sounds, as well as a silent option; and three color effects. When finished with your snaps, you can save them to the C2000's 16MB of shared memory or send them in a multimedia message. A handy memory meter keeps track of the available storage. Photo quality was what you'd expect from a VGA camera: fine for displaying online but nothing you'd want to print out.

Photo quality on the C2000 was somewhat blurry.

You can personalize the LG C2000 with a variety of wallpaper and sounds, but it has few integrated options. If you want more selections, you can download them with the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Additional ring tones are available, and the phone also supports MP3 tones. You get just two Java (J2ME) games: Tetris and Texas Hold 'Em. For extended play, you'll have to buy the full versions or purchase other titles.

We tested the triband LG C2000 in San Francisco using Cingular Wireless service. We experienced decent call quality, with clear conversations and loud volume. Callers reported the same on their end, though both parties said the phone picked up a fair amount of wind noise. We also noticed that volume was a bit low for noisy environments, though not too troublesome. Call quality using the speakerphone was admirable as well, but when resting the phone on a surface, you'll want to take care to place it upside down with the speaker facing toward you.

Talk-time battery life on the C2000 beat LG's promised time, but we still found it somewhat low. We coaxed 4 hours of talk time from a single charge, compared with the rated time of 2.5 hours. Standby time was 8 days--2 days less than the promised 10. According to the FCC, the LG C2000 has a digital SAR rating of 1.01 watts per kilogram.


LG C2000 (AT&T)

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 7
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