Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Affordable price tag, stylish design, solid build quality, ease-of-use
- Tiny keypad, battery life could be better
The LG KP202's affordable price tag makes it an ideal Christmas gift for the kids. While tech-savvy teens will probably turn their nose up at its limited functionality, the stylish design should see them fairly satisfied.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
The KP202 is an ultra-budget offering from LG aimed at children, skint shoppers and technology-fearing Luddites who demand their mobile phone looks and behaves like one. As such, there are no fancy features to write home about such as an MP3 player or electric toothbrush -- instead, this is a barebones product that gets by on just the basics.
With overall dimensions of 87x45x19.8mm, the KP202 is attractively small for an entry-level flip phone, though admittedly we have seen slimmer efforts in the past, such as the Samsung M300. Nevertheless, its diminutive size and weight (just 73g!) makes it an ideal accessory for light travellers and pintsized kids. The clamshell design is easy on the eye and includes an external monochrome display. The review unit we looked at was finished in glossy pink with silver highlights, suggesting a more feminine target audience (indeed, Vodafone currently offers a gift pack which includes a tube of Napoleon Perdis lip gloss). If you happen to have a Y chromosome or just find pink a bit condescending, a black iteration is also available.
As you would expect from an entry-level handset, the menu interface is relatively sparse and uncomplicated, comprising of bright, colourful icons which are accessed via a four-way directional pad. Buttons remained tactile and responsive throughout our testing, although the anorexic keypad did cause a few annoying fumbles. We therefore wouldn't recommend this model to bigger handed folk; particularly if they're fond of text messaging. On the other hand, its undersized dimensions will perfectly suit the miniature fingers of children; making this handset an ideal stocking-stuffer come Christmas morning. Meanwhile, the 65.5k colour display is serviceable without being outstanding.
While the KP202 lacks most of the features found on classier handsets; an FM radio and handsfree speakerphone have managed to avoid the cull. Both work adequately well and are nice additions for a mobile in this price range (a wired headset is also included). Naturally, a built-in calendar, alarm clock and calculator are also present and accounted for, along with Java functionality for gaming. Standard SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input are supported, along with a basic WAP browser.
These days it would be criminal to release a mobile phone without an in-built camera, and while the KP202 attempts to keep the peace with a 0.3Mp VGA camera, its output is woefully poor, even in the sunniest of conditions. This renders the inclusion of a 4x digital zoom practically pointless. Of course, even top-of-the-range models fail to match the quality of a stand-alone camera, so we suppose this can be forgiven.
The same cannot be said about the phone's battery life however, which we found disappointing. According to LG, the KP202 will give you around three hours of talk time between charges. This is a far from impressive result, especially for a feature-light handset. You can therefore expect to charge the device every other night.
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