LG KG800 (Chocolate)

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LG KG800 (Chocolate)
  • LG KG800 (Chocolate)
  • LG KG800 (Chocolate)
  • LG KG800 (Chocolate)

Pros

  • Touch Sensitive Keypad, Sleek Styling and Looks, Display, Features

Cons

  • Keys are too sensitive, End Call key location, Battery difficult to remove, Battery Life

Bottom Line

The KG800 is a stunning entry into the market and combines a distinctive touchpad with sleek styling. A must have for its wow factor alone.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 4 stores)

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The LG KG800 is a stunning mobile phone handset that has a distinctive touch-sensitive control pad as its main feature. This unique slider phone also boasts a gloss black finish, a 1.3 megapixel camera and an LCD display which blends into the rest of the handset when it is turned off.

Controls

The design of the KG800 is really a work of art. Motorola set the trend with their RAZR V3, but LG has gone to even greater lengths with this sexy unit. Finished entirely in a gloss black plastic, the KG800 stands out from the crowd with its red backlit, touch-sensitive controls. When the KG800 is closed, it looks as though there is no control pad present. But a quick slide up of the handset and the red backlit control pad appears; one we've never seen on a mobile phone to date. The controls are very responsive and require just a slight press to activate. This means you'll have to be careful when handling the unit, as it's very easy to bump the wrong buttons. We liked the key's responsiveness, but we felt that they were a tad too delicate and you'll definitely need some patience operating the handset.

The controls are straightforward comprising of a 5-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, an Answer key and a Clear button. The KG800's keypad isn't touch activated like the controls but they are well spaced out and comfortable to use. The keypad doesn't glow red; instead its backlight is a soft white colour that blends into the rest of the handset well.

Design

The KG800 is a very slim handset and cups nicely in your hand. It's also extremely light and slips easily into your pocket, but be wary of excessive fingerprints and smudges. A volume control key is located on the left hand side of the unit and a dedicated Camera/MP3 button, headphone and charging jack and Power/End Call keys sit on the right hand side.

One disadvantage of the KG800's touchpad is that you need to use the End call button on the side of the phone to hang up. After a period of inactivity, the touchpad disappears and can only be reactivated by closing and opening the slider, or pressing the End Call button. This is a little strange and it's definitely an annoyance which we could have done without. We would have liked to see the End Call key integrated into the touchpad instead of using this unorthodox design.

The KG800 gave the impression of a solid and well built handset. The sliding mechanism worked flawlessly, although we did notice a little slack in the top half of the handset when it is closed. Despite the design features, the KG800 seemed as though it repels scratches and marks, but not fingerprints and smudges. Our only criticism lies with the battery. It can only be removed when the handset is slid open, as the battery release latch button is difficult to press.

User Interface

The KG800 menu system is a delight to use and is very colourful and bright thanks to a TFT LCD display capable of 176 x 220 pixels. The menu system is a standard 3 x 3 grid layout, with images representing each menu item. The menu can also be accessed via shortcut keys on the keypad; each number on the keypad (1-9) corresponds with a particular menu item. Unfortunately the menu images aren't animated, which does slightly detract from the wow factor of the unit. The KG 800 also includes two themes (black and silver) and full personalisation is possible with the usual wallpaper and screensaver settings.

Features

The KG800 comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera, which is disappointing. At a time when rival manufacturers are releasing phones with cameras up to 3.2 megapixels, we would have liked to see at least a 2 megapixel model in this handset. Like most 1.3 megapixel phone cameras the quality of images produced with the KG800 is lacklustre to say the least, with poor colour reproduction and plenty of image noise in our test shots. The photos do look vibrant on the KG800 display though, so if you are using the camera purely for MMS messages and wallpapers it will be sufficient.

The camera captures images up to a maximum of 1280 x 960 pixels and includes a flash. There is also video recording (with audio) but with no expandable memory your movie directing days will be short lived. The 128MB of on board internal memory is very generous though and should be enough to store most of your multimedia content.

The KG800 supports most of the current messaging formats including standard SMS, MMS but email messaging is a noteable absentee. T9 predictive text input is available but we didn't like the fact that you have to use the navigational pad to select dictionary words. This means you have to take your hand off the keypad, slowing down messaging.

The KG800 also includes an MP3 player (with a dedicated MP3 button enabling easy access to this feature), Polyphonic and MP3 ring tones, WAP 2.0 browser and Java 2.0 support. Bluetooth is included, but infrared is a notable exclusion.

Battery life on the KG800 is a real disappointment with only 200hours standby time and a mere two hours talk time. These are some of the lowest figures we've seen in quite some time and in a handset full of multimedia functions, this is the KG800's greatest failing.

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