Archive for May 4th, 2008

By May 4, 2008 Read More →

LG KF600 review

This week I was asked to review the LG KF600, which is the latest offering from LG.

The LG KF600, features a split-screen design. I was just as keen to get my hands on this mobile, as interesting as it looked. Would I find its functionality to be as intriguing as its appearance?

LG KF600

LG KF600

The LG KF600 has the split screen with touch-sensitive navigation pad that changes depending on what feature you’re using, from the music player to text messaging. Every time you access a different part of the phone’s interface, the navigation area at the bottom changes the displayed keys to suit your needs.

LG KF600 Specification

  • Tri-band
  • 101.2 x 50.7 x 14.1mm
  • 107 grams
  • Built-in Memory – 25MB
  • MicroSD card (support up to 2GB)
  • GPRS, EDGE
  • Bluetooth
  • Primary display – 2″ QVGA 240×320 pixels
  • Secondary 1.5″ 240×320 pixels
  • 3 megapixel camera with flash
  • Music Formats – MIDI, MP3, MPEG4, WAV, AAC, AAC , eAAC , WMA, AMR-NB
  • Radio
  • Battery Standby Up to 300 hours
  • Talktime Up to 3 hours
  • What’s in the box?

  • LG KF600
  • User guide
  • Software CD
  • Battery
  • Stereo Handsfree Kit
  • Mains Charger
  • USB Data Cable + Software
  • Pouch
  • GENERAL

    The LG KF600 has s classy look with a smooth shiny front and chrome edges. The primary display is set at the top in portrait orientation and the secondary touch screen sited just below and set landscape.

    LG KF600 open

    LG KF600 open

    You can access most of the phones controls and features with the touch screen but when you want to text and make calls you can simply slide the screen open and reveal the phone-style keypad.

    LG KF600 keypad

    LG KF600 keypad

    On the left side of the phone you can find rockers style buttons for volume control and an MP3 button, the later launches the media player software on the phone.

    LG KF600 left side

    LG KF600 left side

    The right side of phone has a camera button and a small plastic cover over a proprietary connector which is where you plug in the charger, USB cable and headphones.

    LG KF600 right side

    LG KF600 right side

    The back of the camera is quite plain. Here you’ll only find the camera and flash as well as a small grille covering the loud speaker.

    LG KF600 back

    LG KF600 back

    The MicroSD card slot is sited under the battery cover and requires that you remove the battery before you can swap the card. This can be quite annoying if you carry more than one memory card with your music on as you’ll have to turn the phone off and take it apart before you can change the memory card.

    LG KF600 MicroSD slot

    LG KF600 MicroSD slot

    REVIEW

    Reading the specs on the internet, it sounds very exciting, but I don’t really like it. I realised that the touch-sensitive keys have their ups and downs and the KF600’s navigation pad reinforces that issue.

    I found the screen clunky to press compared to using a traditional D-Pad layout, I also wanted to touch the top screen, which you frustratingly can’t do. If you want a full touch screen phone, you could always look to the new LG KF700. The system works overall but it felt slow and unresponsive at times.

    I was slightly disappointed with the plastic that covers the two displays, which felt less solid than I expected and isn’t as high in quality as other LG phones’ screens, I also was not impressed with the keys on the keypad — they were too flat to easily distinguish between each one.

    Fortunately, the sliding mechanism is smooth and spring loaded, so you won’t struggle to pop the phone open. The back of the phone has a rubbery finish that feels nice to touch and while the keypad is flatter than I’d have liked, it does have a mechanical cancel key on it.

    While I was not convinced by the touch screen navigation pad, I do think that the software interface looks good and is an innovative idea, offering you direct access to different functions depending on what you’re doing. The phone is brought to life in a different way to your average phone theme. It’s something I hope to see more of in the future.

    Another interesting feature is the KF600’s photo viewer. Using the touch-sensitive pad, you can zoom in on photos and view different areas using a mini-map-style interface. This interface would work brilliantly to see different areas of a Web page, too — unfortunately, it isn’t used in the Web browser, which I thought was an oversight. It’s actually more difficult to navigate a Web page with the KF600’s touchpad. Moving up and down on a page isn’t as smooth as I’d like it to be.

    It seems that LG have enforced its music player. The player lets you create play lists, adjust the equaliser, set songs to shuffle and repeat all tracks. I was glad to see a 3.5mm headphone adapter that lets you listen to music using you own headphones but I’d really like to see a built-in 3.5mm jack on LG phones. The KF600 does support A2DP, so you can listen to music wirelessly should you choose to.

    Camera-wise, the KF600 boasts a 3-megapixel camera with a variety of settings, including white balance and setting a timer. It’s not the cream of the camera crop in terms of performance, but it is easy to use.

    Audio quality during calls was clear and didn’t sound distorted. I would have liked to be able to turn the volume up more, however. The loudspeaker worked normally. On the MP3 and radio front, the KF600’s no iPod, but its quality was acceptable and it’ll suffice if you’re looking for something that’ll pump out tunes during your daily commute.

    For a 3-megapixel camera I expected it to be a little sharper but it didn’t perform as well as I expected, particularly in low light due to the lack of xenon flash. There is an LED photo light, but you shouldn’t expect it to illuminate your photos. That said, if you just want to take photos for MMS messages and small prints, it does the job.

    With moderate to high usage the LG KF600’s battery lasted for about two days before needing to be recharged. Battery life is quoted at 200 hours standby time and up to 2.5 hours talk time.

    The contextual menus are a very good idea, offering users an easier way to interact with their phones, but how these contextual interfaces are accessed makes a big difference.

    The screen doesn’t have that instant response you get from the iPhone’s touch screen either, making it a very awkward touch screen to use at times. Ideas like these though aren’t always perfect first time round, so while I might not rush out to buy this phone, the next one might just work well enough to change my mind.

    Conclusion

    Overall I’ve been quite impressed with the KF600. It doesn’t work as a business phone but then it really isn’t trying to be one. If you are looking for an inexpensive phone with good features and attractive looks for personal use then the KF600 is worth considering. Your friends down the pub will definitely want to play with it!

    Review by: Phillip

    [Post tag(s): smartphone news, Pocket PC news, Tracy & Matt, LG, KF600, camera phone]

    Posted in: Reviews