LG has gone touchscreen crazy recently, launching a range of different devices with varying feature sets. The Renoir obviously is at the top of the pile with multimedia and camera options aplenty, perhaps making your compact camera feel a little incompetent.
At the bottom of the pile though, is the LG KP500, dubbed the “Cookie”: a handset with a camera that might not put your compact to shame, but will make your pocket feel satisfyingly heavy.
The swipe touchscreen interface is almost exactly the same as on the Renoir. Swipe across the screen and you can switch between different widget screens. There’s the contacts display, which allows you to put your top 10 contacts on the standby screen for easy access, and then there’s the widgets screen.
The widgets display works in exactly the same way as any other widgets-based touchscreen device. The difference with LG’s interface though, is that if you want to add a new widget, you have to tap a small icon at the bottom first. This is very useful because it prevents clumsy fingers inadvertently moving around existing widgets and stops you launching a widget when you’re moving them round too.
If you’re a little pernickety when it comes to tidiness, you can shake the handset to align all of the icons.
The design of the KP500 Cookie is much sleeker than the Renoir. As the handset is only 89g and with a thickness of 12mm, it’ll easily slide into your pocket.
Although most of the Cookie is screen, there are three hardware buttons along the bottom. These allow you to answer and end calls, plus access the menu if the device is unlocked. Hidden below these keys is the stylus that isn’t essential but comes in handy for certain features such as Drawing Panel.
On the right-hand side of the Cookie, there’s a screen lock button and camera quick access key, plus a microSD port to increase the meagre 48MB of memory to up to 8GB.
On the other side of the device is the volume adjustment keys and proprietary port for charging and hooking up to your PC. Naturally for LG handsets, this port is also for the headphones, which means there’s no room for 3.5mm cans.
There are some handy extras on the LG Cookie, such as an accelerometer with LG’s M-Toy games suite of movement-activated games, the Muvee Studio editing app and Drawing Panel so you can create masterpieces while on the move, but the touchscreen sensitivity can be somewhat disappointing.
The screen feedback is sometimes not as responsive as it could be, even when adjusted in the settings menu. This means text messaging is awkward as the over-zealous prediction kicks in meaning you might find text messages or emails a heap of gobbledygook.
Battery life is also a little hit and miss, with the advertised 350 hours standby too ambitious for a touchscreen handset.
That said, there’s not a whole lot not to dislike with the LG Cookie, when you consider that this is a touchscreen budget mobile phone. The camera may only be 3-megapixel, but it’s almost as fully-featured as the Renoir, minus the luxuries such as GPS and Wi-Fi. For less than £100 on prepay it’s an option for anyone who wants something with the latest tech at a bargain basement price.