LG Cookie budget touchscreen phone
Crumbs! It's a low-cost iPhone alternative
Review Just because it’s a touchscreen phone, it doesn’t have to be wallet-stingingly expensive. Following on from its high-end eight-megapixel touch-controlled Renoir, LG is now bringing the joys of finger tapping and thumb stroking to the masses with the Cookie KP500.
Initially available in the UK on various pay-as-you-go packages from Carphone Warehouse for a touch over £100 - or from free on contract deals - this model is the most affordable touchscreen model yet, offering a reasonable set of features for the phone buyer on a credit-crunched budget.
LG's Cookie: does a touchscreen phone have to be top-end? No!
Despite the price, the Cookie ticks the sharp-looker box. It has an 11.9mm-thick profile, and its large, 3in touchscreen display is the centrepiece of a minimalist front panel that’s very similar to the Renoir - and other touchscreen phones we could mention.
At this price level, it’s not going toe-to-toe with the big hitting touch phones. There’s no 3G or Wi-Fi on the Cookie, just quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge connectivity. You won’t find GPS either, and there’s no smartphone operating system under the bonnet. But there is a three-megapixel camera, music and video players, an FM radio, support for Micro SD cards and that attention-grabbing touchscreen UI.
LG has settled on a user interface that’s similar to the set up on the Renoir. The Cookie is predominantly touchscreen operated, with only three physical buttons ranged under the 240 x 400, 262,000-colour display – regular Call and End keys, plus a central key that calls up lists of favourite and currently running apps. Around the sides are a camera key, a lock button and volume controls.
The large screen suggests a sizeable footprint, but the 106.5 x 55.4 mm bodywork is skinny enough and, at 89g, light enough to be comfortably handled and pocketed. The rubber-like matte black casing provides a fashionably smooth feel to the phone that you might not expect at this sort of price.
Ticks the sharp-looker box
A small telescopic stylus is slipped unobtrusively into the bottom of the casing, running horizontally beneath the controls. But the user interface is a mostly finger-friendly affair.
Its cheaper than an iPhone for a reason. Its not as good as an iPhone. You can get a 3G iPhone for this price on contract, yes you need to sign up to £30/month but if you were to use the Cookie for data on a pay as you go basis you'd soon rack up similar costs.
There seems to be a bit of inverse snobbery were the iPhone is concerned. People are casting around to get something that they can say is an iPhone beater. They'll do anything, and accept any limitation, to convince themselves that they are better than iPhone owners. Why is that?
You used to get the same on BBC Radio 4 too. The presenters were happy not to know about URLs and the Internet. Somehow if you can stay ignorant it makes you a better person. Whatever, the fact that everything is compared with the iPhone shows what an impact it has had. Don't put it all down to advertising either, they wouldn't sell as many as they do based on that alone.
A bit too low specced for me....
The lack of 3G/HSDPA for simple web-browsing is quite off-putting. Granted, it's not essential and Opera Mini's compression option helps to make up for the lack of speed. But, it sure is nice to have the speed of 3G/HSDPA when one does want to web-browse.
Another thing I'm surprised about is the really low talk time listed for this phone: According to the specs, posted over at GSMArena, the talk time is a mere 3.5 hours. That's really quite low for a 2.5G phone. Even my dear old, long departed SE W810i - stolen and replaced with a Nokia 6500 Slide - could go for 8 hours.
Personally, I'd dismiss this phone and spend a bit more money to get the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic instead. Even at a slightly higher price point the 5800 is better value for the money.
I bought this for my girlfriend as one of her christmas presents. For the money you really can't beat it. She isn't a huge phone person so doesn't really NEED any advanced features.
She will use this mainly just as a phone more than a music player etc as she has an iPod for that. But she does like the idea of touch screen input etc.
I checked the phone over very quickly and it seems pretty decent. The menus were quick and easy to navigate and it runs pretty fluidly, obviously not as smooth as a high end phones such as the iPhone, but at this price point its perfect for people who don't want or need the top of the range kit.
I'd be happy to use this as a phone, but do prefer my N95 8GB and i'm not a huge fan of touch screens. Although theres not many devices which have such a smooth UI as the iPhone.
The LG is great for the price if you want a touchscreen. Hopefully she does like the phone when she gets it tomorrow lol. If she doesn't it can always be swapped.
On a side note when I got it I did it as a "PAYG" upgrade on o2 at Carphone Warehouse and she is getting £24 of credit since she has topped up £240 since her last "PAYG upgrade". Pretty good!
Really Appealing but I Wouldn't Buy It
It really looks pretty and it also has some good practical sides: the document reader, good organizer, e-mail, Opera Mini should produce decent results on that screen... It's not a smartphone, but it doesn't seem half dumb either, especially for the price.
On the other hand, the prices of Internet access through GPRS or EDGE are extortionate around here so I woudln't be using things that depend on it alot, and my portable music player certainly does a better job as far as listening to music is concerned, while my current phone has a much better battery life, so, while being quite decent for the price, the Cookie has little to offer me.
Damn my new phone!
If I was in the market for a new phone I'd be *very* interested. Maybe it'll be good to see other cheap alternatives spring up now :)