Design and Looks
If it weren't for the screen and controls, the LG KG195 would be on display at a mathematics classroom because of its perfectly geometrical cuboid-like shape. We have to credit LG for taking a bold stab at making such phones. We can't really say it's ugly looking and it does have its charm but such phones were in vogue a decade ago. When held in hand, the phone feels surprisingly light but the high gloss and the matte plastic gives it a distinctive cheap phone look. On the front, the phone sports a low resolution 1.8-inch TFT screen which adds to the cheap look. Its sunlight legibility is as poor as its pixels count. At the matte plastic covered sides of the phone, one finds a dedicated camera launch hot key which is something we do not expect to see on phone with 2MP cameras. But such an addition is always welcome and we will see why later.
Below the screen is the reason why this phone fails. It's the hard to use controls. You don't even have to lay your fingers on it to know that the D-pad-soft-key-alphanumeric ensemble is one of the worst ever on a phone. The keys are uncomfortably hard to press and ruin the whole experience of the phone- from texting, to dialing, to navigating or to controlling an application. So, while the phone scores well in almost all aspects (as we will see later in this review), this rotten keypad ruins everything. And as a twisted consolation the keypad is dust-proof. Now who would want that for a keypad like this?
The phone's UI is simple but the menu logic seems confused and not well thought out at certain places. Navigation is ruined thanks to the hard keys. It has Java support so third party Java apps are compatible with this phone. Not that you will have to download them anyway, as the phone is loaded with all the vital apps to begin with. Telephony is also good and voice clarity and reception are at its best.
The phone is also a little media machine so it packs in a camera, a video and a music player and FM radio. The camera is an average VGA camera thing but its many imaging options are something we're not used to seeing on such cameras let alone 2MP units! Just so you know, this includes exposure value, shutter sound, white balance, picture effects and much more. The pictures are average even by VGA standards but the many options if used wisely are bound to produce decent images and would also give first time users a shot at informed photography.
The phone's music player is basic but offers all the necessary options like playlists and equalizer presets. Sound quality is also pretty good whether it's through the headset or the 3.5mm audio port. However, lower frequencies aren't as loud as the mids and highs but that's OK if only listen to pop music. The FM radio feature is not that great and we've seen cheaper handsets sport better audio pickup and reception. The radio also offers the option to record broadcasts off the air.
The LG KG195 is a great phone that has a lot of potential, but it's the darn keypad that ruins the entire phone. But if you're far-sighted to look beyond the keypad (and mind you, it will still get in the way) then you may consider this nifty little capable piece of electronic equipment, your next handset.
- Light weight design
- VGA camera with various image editing options
- FM radio with radio broadcast recording
- Music player with memory expandability
- 64MB internal memory
- Good call quality
- Voice recorded with recording limited to available memory