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LG Cookie Fresh GS290 review: LG Cookie Fresh GS290

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The Good Bright, clear screen; intuitive interface; good design.

The Bad Low-spec camera; no 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity; occasionally bothersome touchscreen.

The Bottom Line The LG Cookie Fresh GS290 offers a decent resistive touchscreen and a smartly built interface. That makes it easy and fun to use. It's not going to trouble the iPhone and other smart phones, but it does offer good value for money

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6.5 Overall

How fresh do we like our cookies? LG Cookie Fresh GS290. Available for around £40 on a pay-as-you-go contract, this is one of the cheapest touchscreen phones we've seen. But is it any good?

Fresh from the oven
The Cookie Fresh keeps the slim, matte black finish (it's also available with pink, blue or white colour accents) that we liked on the original Cookie KP500. Despite its slender measurements, this phone fits a 76mm (3-inch), WQVGA touchscreen into its sleek frame. It retains the three buttons along the bottom of the screen that we saw on its predecessor -- a call, call-end and shortcut button.

On the back, you'll find a 2-megapixel camera. Around the edges, there are buttons to control the volume, initiate the camera mode and lock the handset. There's also a microSD card slot, and a micro-USB port for connecting the Cookie Fresh to a PC.

We were taken with the Cookie Fresh's display. In this price range, our expectations of screens are so low that, if we expressed them in sound, whales would mistake us for members of their family. The Cookie Fresh, however, surprised us with its bright, clear, 240x400-pixel display. On-screen objects look sharp, and text is clear. All in all, the Cookie Fresh is a good-looking phone for the price.

Tough cookie
The Cookie Fresh has an interesting interface. Unfortunately, swiping your way around it proves slightly tricky at times. The touchscreen is of the resistive rather than capacitive variety, which means you'll have to exert some pressure on the screen in order for your input to register, and, because the screen itself is quite small, it's too easy to clumsily hit the wrong icons.

The Cookie Fresh's 2-megapixel camera is okay for capturing the moment, but its images won't shake the foundations of anybody's world

The phone offers three home screens. One is for your most frequently used widgets, and can be customised with some judicious dragging and dropping from a widget menu. Note that you can't download more apps or widgets. You'll be set if you're a Facebook fan, but out of luck if you like Twitter.

There's also a 'livesquare' home screen that's populated with avatars representing your contacts. This screen lets you quickly email, call or text those friends of yours lucky enough to appear on it. You can also assign little animal avatars to your contacts. They're cute enough to melt the heart of even the frostiest tech journalist.

Finally, there's a speed-dial screen, which serves a similar purpose to the livesquare screen, letting you quickly get in touch with your buddies, without having to go through the phone book.

Tapping the menu button will bring up the full menu, which looks rather like a brightly coloured chessboard. There are 16 tiny, square icons sorted into categories, such as communication, entertainment, utilities and settings. Scrolling to the right reveals 16 more. This is one area in which using the touchscreen proved quite tricky -- the gap between icons is slender, and we found ourselves accidentally opening applications when we only wanted to view the next screen of options.

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