Rs. 8,399 is quite a lot of money to pay for a cellphone that has a very unresponsive and quirky interface. Add to that a very basic camera and plain jane looks and you get a phone that you can skip.
LG has been churning out a lot of cellphones recently, particularly entry-level and mid-range offerings. Their purpose is simply to saturate the market with as many devices as possible. Some devices have been a hit – offering good value for money and usability, while others have gone the way of the ergonomic blunder. The Cookie Zip aka LG510 is a CDMA handset built around a resistive-touch interface. As far as devices go, it’s pretty easy to see this one is aimed at those wanting a basic touch-based handset with music and a basic camera.
Look and feel
As far as looks go, the LG510 is pretty much just another touch device. It’s reasonably slim and won’t make an unseemly bulge when pocketed. The front of the phone is dominated by the 3-inch display. The bezel surrounding the display is too wide to be termed as appealing or attractive – adjectives correlating to “good-looking” don’t apply here. A wide chrome trim runs around the phone and the rear features a black coloured, matte finish with a design consisting of embossed dots to add a bit of appeal. The menu button is large and usable, and is flanked by equally usable call accept/reject buttons. All these are backlit, enabling usage in dim conditions. The call-reject doubles as a power button.
On the right, is the concealed microSD slot and below that, are the screen lock and camera keys. Both these are pretty small, although the slight raised surface makes them usable. On the left side are the volume buttons. Although small, these have nice feedback and are easy to use. Above this, is the charging/headset port. LG sticks with the archaic and restrictive proprietary interface for the handsfree, meaning you cannot use your own 3.5mm-based earphones. The stylus is located on the bottom and is installed horizontally into the body, rather than vertically. It’s a collapsible stylus, and is a little small to use for writing. It’s a tight fit in the body.
This is one of our first outings with the Brew OS and while it can’t hold a candle to the higher end OS’ we’ve come across, such as WM and Android, it feels just about right for an entry-level device. The home screen has a small tab that once tapped, will display a small pane that holds a lot of widgets including ones for FM Radio, calendar, clock and even the Facebook application. These widgets can be dragged from this pane to the home screen and placed virtually anywhere. One the bottom of the screen are four functions buttons that are mapped to the most common functions – calling, contacts and messages; the fourth function displays the main menu with all functions in a grid view. The main menu itself is divided into four blocks on the basis of functions. These are communicate, entertainment, utilities and settings.
While the menu system is pretty good, and the ability to drag widgets on to your main screen pretty gimmicky, what wasn’t impressive, was the touch interface. Resistive-touch is slowly dying, and with good reason. Phones are meant to be convenient and ergonomic to use, and there’s nothing ergonomic about having to use two hands – one to hold the phone and the other to clutch a stylus. Equally annoying is the unregistered hits on the screen, lag and inaccuracy of the interface that ultimately results in frustration and wasted time not to mention it serves to detract from the joy of owing a “loving” your phone rather than "living with" it. A cellphone is a tool, no more, and what use is a hammer with spikes along with shaft? The LG510 is plagued with a slow and inaccurate response to touch, dragging and the stylus – in short, after a few minutes spent using it, we wanted to put it down. Admittedly, we’ve used some brilliant devices like the Apple iPhone and HTC Touch HD2, so maybe we’re not representative of the average user, but beware – the underwhelming interface experience will leave scars!
The phone isn’t sluggish per se, but dragging icons around or scrolling through a list is painful on account of the lack of responsiveness. However, this is an interface quirk and not really the processor or hardware's fault. At times, the Brew interface does seem to tax the hardware resources, especially when browsing around the menus or inside the multimedia folders. In terms of sound quality the loudspeaker is adequate for casual usage but sounds tinny. The headset offers good quality sound, certainly good enough for the casual user, although it’s not even close to the likes of the iPhone. The mid-range seems decent and guitars in particular sound nice, although vocals seem to lack body and weight. In call clarity is mediocre, but not poor. In zone one and zone two we had no issues, except for a slight buzzing in zone two accompanied by a loss in tonal clarity and voice quality. The other person (on the other line) also had trouble with coherence. In zone three, we had issues with clarity and at times there was static on the line. One call got disconnected.
USB and Bluetooth transfer rates are pretty poor – at least 30 per cent slower than what is acceptable. The camera offers basic imaging – mediocre colour and a very below par, partially out of focus overall image. The battery seems to be another weak point – we didn’t even get through a day with very skimpy usage. If your usage is heavy, you’d need to charge this twice a day.
An MRP of 8,399 seems excessive, but the street price should be a good Rs. 1,500 lower. At that price, you get a decent set of features, but nothing that is spectacular value for money, or even good value for money. In fact, the major selling point of this phone isn’t its feature set, but its touch interface. And in our opinion, its interface is the major deterrent – it’s not intuitive and fluid enough, and using this phone is, mostly, a frustrating experience. So zip your wallet - this is one cookie you can do without!
Specifications: Bands: CDMA EVDO Rev 1; Display: 3-inch, 240 x 400 pixels, 262K colours; Memory: 70 MB inbuilt, microSD expandable; Camera: 2 MP; weight: 90 grams
Company: LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd.
Price: Rs. 8,399
|Model||LG510 Cookie Zip|
|2G Network Bands||-|
|3G Network Bands||CDMA EVDO Rev A|
|Screen Resolution||240 x 400 pixels|
|Maximum Screen colours||262000|
|Touchscreen / Dual Screen (Y/N)||Touchscreen|
|Battery Rating||900 mAh|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||107 x 55.4 x 11.9 mm|
|Expandable Memory Type||microSD|
|Charging via USB (Y/N)||Y|
|Hardware Keypad (Regular/QWERTY)||-|
|Accelerometer (For auto rotate)||N|
|Address Book Capacity||1000|
|No of calls in register||10 dialled, received, missed|
|Talk Time / Standby Time *||5 hrs, 150 hrs|
|No of Profiles # / Customisable||NA / Y|
|Offline Opearability (Y/N)||N|
|Inbuilt GPS / A-GPS support (Y / N)||N|
|EDGE max speed||-|
|3G max speed||-|
|Connectivity (WiFi/Bluetooth/IR/USB)||N / Y / N / Y|
|Bluetooth Version/A2DP support||2.1 / Y|
|Bundled Accessories||Charger, data cable, handsfree|
|Size of memory card provided||-|
|Overall Build Quality (So 10)||7|
|Overall Ergonomics (So 10)||4.5|
|Keypad Design (So 10)||3.5|
|Camera Resolution (Mega Pixels)||2|
|Video Capture Resolution||320 x 240|
|Dual Cameras / Auto Focus / Flash (Y/N)||N / N / N|
|Mirror for self portrait (Y / N)||N|
|Camera Settings (So 10)||4.5|
|Music Formats supported||MP3|
|Video formats supported||3GP|
|FM Radio (Y/N)||Y|
Signal Reception and Voice Clarity (So 10)
|Device Earpiece Volume||5.5|
|Device Loudspeaker clarity||5.75|
|Speaker Volume (on call)||6.5|
|Bluetooth Transfer Speed||38.13 kbps|
|WiFi signal strength (Zone 2)||-|
Captured Photo Quality (So 10)
|Captured Photo Colour||6|
|Captured Photo Crispness||4.5|
|Captured Video Quality||4|
|Loudspeaker Audio Quality||5.5|
|Bundled Earphones Quality||6.25|
|Video Playback Quality (So 10)||5.5|
|Price (MRP, Rs)||8,399|
* Manufacturer Rated