- Stylish exterior, excellent keypad and controls, access to range of Next G services, external display
- Fingerprint magnet, not a great display, poor quality camera
The TU515 isn't outstanding, but at this price it's well worth a look.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
A stylish handset with a solid but far from outstanding list of features, LG's TU515 mobile phone is ideal for those on a budget. Its appeal lies in the fact that it operates on Telstra's Next G network, allowing access to a range of BigPond services such as Mobile FOXTEL, Yellow Pages and WhereIs Mobile.
The TU515 is quite a stylish handset and is available in either black or plum. The hinged flip mechanism isn't spring operated, but it feels sturdy enough regardless. The fact that the phone is difficult to flip open using just one hand may be an annoyance to some. The front of the TU515 features a glossy surface that looks attractive but also attracts plenty of fingerprints. Well hidden beneath this surface is a small external display that does a relatively fine job of displaying information such as caller ID, the clock and battery life.
Flipped open, the TU515 reveals an excellent keypad and comfortable controls. Each key is large, well spaced and comfortable to type on. The five-way navigational pad handles the bulk of the work, supported by two selection buttons, dedicated buttons for video calling and the camera, and answer and end call keys. We are often critical of controls and keypads being too small and squashed in order to preference design over function, but LG has got it spot-on with the TU515, resulting in a largely positive user experience.
We would have liked to have seen a larger and better display. The TU515 isn't really suitable for multimedia, particularly videos. This is slightly disappointing when you consider the wealth of content available on the Next G network. Although there is an MP3 player, the proprietary headphone jack means you can't use your regular pair of headphones; the lack of a microSD card in the sales package means you'll have to factor the cost of this into your purchasing decision.
The TU515 has a 1.3-megapixel camera, but, as expected, the quality of photos produced is poor. With no autofocus or flash (meaning night-time photography is near impossible) the camera is barely useful. A second VGA camera is located inside the handset to enable video calling across the Next G network.
LG has succeeded in offering an intuitive user interface. The main menu is a simple 3x3 grid of colourful icons; most submenus use a list format. Other features include access to Telstra's PocketNews service, Bluetooth 1.2, a range of Java games, SMS, MMS and email messaging with T9 support, and a range of PIM functions such as an alarm clock, calendar, notepad, calculator and unit converter.
Telstra includes a pre-paid starter kit with each TU515 containing $10 credit and six months' network access.
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