LG KE770 mobile phone
And the beginning, we had phones that could just about make and receive calls, and send and receive SMSes. Then came phones with basic organizers and multimedia features.
Now, we witness phones that double up as megapixel cameras and MP3 players. But as the feature-list increased, so did the size of the device. Thus, the natural progression for manufacturers was to make these goodies-rich phones stylish and sleek.
It was Motorola that pioneered this with its iconic RAZR. Then LG came up with its own style-function combo series the Shine. Currently, there are 2 models in this series: the high-end KE970 and the mid-end KE770. And this review is on the latter phone.
Slim and trendy, Good ergonomics, A2DP, Flight mode, Lost Mobile Tracking System (LMTS), Decent pricing
Weak MP3 player app, Low speakerphone vol. during phone calls, No FM, Inconvenient data transfers
LG KE770 mobile phone, 800 mAh Lithium-ion battery, Battery charger, USB data cable, Stereo headset, also comprising a microphone, 3.5mm adapter, and volume-control, LG Mobile Sync software CD, User guide booklet, Lanyard
The KE770 is a fully stainless steel bodied phone. It's sleek and stylish. The slender body and the smoothened curves make it very comfortable to hold. At 9.9mm thickness, this is one anorexic device! It's smaller and thinner than the Moto SLVR L9.
The buttons on the face are streamlined (a la the RAZR). The buttons are responsive but are prone to accidental presses once in a while. One reason is the low spacing between the buttons. A unique approach I noticed is the change in the position of the "Call End" key: it's now on the upper-right corner of the phone.
This makes one-handed operation of the phone easier. Below the Call End key is the USB, Charging, Headset connector, followed by the volume buttons and the Camera Shutter and MP3 shortcut key. There are no buttons on the left side. The SIM and microSD card slots are placed behind the battery. Thus, there will be no hot-swapping cards on this one.
It features a 1.77" 256k color, 176x220-pixel resolution "Wide Mirror LCD" display. This screen emulates a mirror-like appearance when the display is off. It displays pictures and text with good clarity. The 2MP camera, the photo-assist light, and the self-portrait mirror are on the back.
Overall, a very well designed phone that'll appeal to both the sexes.
The KE770 is a tri-band phone (GSM 900/1800/1900) . It has a 1,000 number phonebook and a generous 50 missed, 50 dialed, and 50 received call details with exact date, time, and duration of the call. It has a spacious 70 MB internal memory (45 MB usable), and you can expand up to 2 GB using microSD cards. Sadly, there's no card bundled in the package.
The phone supports SMS, MMS, and email. However, using the device to churn out long emails isn't such a good idea (due to the accidental-key- press-prone keypad). The User Interface (UI) of the phone is good-looking and relatively easy to use.
As a mobile phone, the KE770 is quite ergonomical. The network reception is good and the call quality nice. The speakerphone volume was very low during phone conversations.
The numbers displayed while dialing are large and colorful, and the phone makes funny noises whenever you press any keys (something that you observe in most Korean phones).
The phone supports MP3 and AAC++ audio formats, and 3GP and MPEG4 video formats. The phone has an MP3 player application with basic features. You can't create customized playlists on this one. The MP3 player application can't recognize songs kept within folders; neither does it show them on the playlist. You need to place songs directly in the MP3 folder for them to show up on the playlist. The equalizer has many presets, and they change the sound output considerably.
Since this isn't a music phone, external music controls are absent. The sound quality through the default headphones is above average. While you can listen to an occasional song or two, it definitely won't substitute for a regular MP3 player.
Thankfully, the 3.5mm adapter allows you to plug in any other headphones set. The volume range is good, and when pumped up, can get loud enough on the earphones. The Volume control on the headset is a thoughtful addition.
The phone lacks multitasking capability. The fact that you can't minimize the MP3 player is a downer. The music doesn't automatically resume after a phone call ends.
You can play music via the speakerphone. It's loud, but starts distorting at high volumes.
The onboard camera is 2MP (1.9 MP to be precise),which can click photos up to 1600x1200 pixels. It has a LED photo-assist light and supports video recording of up to 176x144 pixels. It also supports 2x digital zoom. Other camera tweaks include multi-shot mode, color effects, white balance control, and a self-timer.
The camera clicks decent snaps when taken in sufficient light. But in low light, the situation is altogether different. If you're photographing an object kept at a close distance in the dark, the quality is average. But objects at a distance are pathetic quality -- even with the use of night-mode and photo-assist light. The video recording is not smooth due to the low recording frame-rate.
Sadly, FM Radio -- which has become a standard feature in almost all phones these days -- is missing. Voice memo lets you take voice notes and also record phone conversations. Videos play fairly well on the small screen, although there's no landscape or full-screen mode.
The phone features Bluetooth v1.2 with A2DP support for a wire-free music experience. There's no infrared port. The bundled USB data cable comes in useful for LG's Mobile Sync software. With this, you can backup your phonebook, calendar, and memo items to your PC. You can use the phone as a modem to connect your PC to the Internet. And the phone's EDGE provides for a fast web-browsing experience.
The phone supports USB charging. However, you can't operate the phone (for example, to make phone calls) when connected to the PC via the mass storage mode.
The PC to phone transfer speed is poor. Even though the phone comes with USB 2.0, it took me almost 14 minutes to transfer 500 MB worth songs from the PC to the phone. And considering the fact that the phone doesn't have hot-swap for memory cards, the overall data transfer experience isn't pleasant at all.
The flight-mode is helpful when you want to use the device's other features in restricted zones like airplanes, hospitals, etc.
The phone lets you view Microsoft Word (.doc), Excel (.xls), Adobe PDF, and standard text (.txt) files. But it doesn't render the text for the small screen. Hence, side scrolling through documents isn't convenient. It has 2 games and 5 somewhat helpful applications. The first app is a dictionary.
The second is a data wallet, where you can password-protect and store your credit card numbers, bank details, login IDs, and passwords for reference. "Health Chart" is a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator and calorie chart. Lastly, there's a Unit Converter and a nifty World Clock. It supports Java MIDP 2.0, so you can install more apps or games as well.
Another feature that's worth one's attention is the Lost Mobile Tracker (LMT) System. You just have to switch it on and preset your family or friend's mobile number. Thereafter, suppose your mobile gets stolen, and the thief changes the SIM, an SMS gets automatically sent to the mobile number you'd preset -- without the thief's knowledge. You can thus report the miscreant's mobile number to the authorities, which will help in retrieving your phone.
Other applications include alarm clock, calendar, calculator (with trigonometric functions), memos, and a stopwatch.
The KE770 features an 800-mAh 3.7v lithium-ion battery. The estimated standby time is up to 200 hours and talk-time up to 2 and a half hours.
In my testing period, under normal conditions, the phone lasts for approximately 1 and a half days with 30-40 minutes of total talk-time, with around 1 and a half hours of playing MP3s, plus general fiddling around the UI for the whole day. The phone also has a Power Save mode, which reduces the brightness of the screen to 40% of its maximum value to conserve the battery.
The LG KE770 phone is priced at Rs.8,500. Overall, it's a decent mobile phone with average features. It looks like a premium handset and gets the "Cool" tag. But when it comes to some of the features that it boasts, it falls flat on its face.
If you're looking for a multi-media all-in-one package, have a look at the Sony Ericsson K750i. It's got a similar price, but you'll have to be game to live with its plump body.