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Review of GSM handset LG C2500

Package:

  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Stereo headphones
  • MiniUSB-cable
  • Charger
  • User Manual

Its not a big secret for anyone that once you create a good product, you will be able to use it over and over again. Sometimes such products become cult ones. A good example of such actions can be found among car manufacturers, who create one platform and upgrade it with time, by releasing new versions of same cars. Or take Apple with its iPod as another example.

This procedure is used in mobile industry is well. There are cult models like: Motorola RAZR V3, Samsung E7xx, SonyEricsson T610.

These examples show that the companys are wiling to spend great amount of resources and power in order to develop hi-end phones, which will later on become more and more available.

In this review we will focus on cult handset from LG. Unlike other manufacturers, LG is positioning its product straight for budget segment.

A little bit of prehistory before we start. LG G1800 was released about a year ago, the model became extremely popular because of LGs correct price policy and hadnsets overall functionality. The models drawbacks were lack of JAVA and keyboard with buttons being too soft. After some time the price of G1800 moved from $200 to $130-140, and because of this the model remains one of the most appealing choices for this amount of money.

After analyzing the current situation on the market, LG decided to go on speculating on the idea of music jukebox by announcing its successor - LG C2500.

The phone received new design, new interface, VGA camera, FM tuner and ability to download JAVA applications right from PC just by putting the files into removable drive without any additional software required. For some time there were rumors (and even so-called tests) in Ukrainian magazines that were stating presence of Bluetooth. Everyone was happy and all, but there is no other chance but USB and MMS to transfer files. On the whole, judging by the specifications of C2500, the model has got everything what the predecessor was missing. In order to become the owner of this handset, you will have to pay around 170 or 200 USD, for Ukraine and Russia correspondingly. The model has just been released, and its starting price is slightly lower than G1800s when it was just released.

The keyboard is the first thing that catches attention. It reminds of a bird that is flapping its wings, navigation block is the best place to find this similarity.

The case is colored into blue and grey. Handset fits nicely into ones palm, its dimensions are: 101x46x17 mm, weight is 76 grams. Battery with 720 mAh capacity is installed.

The keyboard has been improved greatly in case you compare it with the predecessor of C2500. Theres no such thing as in case with G1800, when once the button was pressed, the whole keyboard was reacting by rising up a little. Left soft-key is used for accessing the main menu, meanwhile the right one is traditionally used for accessing Contacts section. Once the navigation key is pressed upwards you will access Favorites section, pressing it downwards leads to contacts menu, left Profiles, right Messages.

Theres joined volume control button on the left side of the phone, and mp3 player button on the right.

Headset connector is located on the top, meanwhile slot for USB-cable and charger are in the bottom side.

Menu

Main menu consists of 9 animated icons placed in 3x3 formations. Such menu style is used in all latest phones from LG that are targeted for middle and budget segments. The surfing speed throughout the menu is at considerably appreciated level, its not annoying or anything. The upper and bottom service lines are separated by horizontal lines from the main part of the screen, this is similar to models S5200, M6100. Such styling allows highlighting useful information, and at the same time it does not look obsessed. The selected menu item gets highlighted with big yellow rectangle, you will see what the icon stands for in the top side of the screen. Browsing through the menu can be accompanied by sounds, you can select four types of these, including humans voice. All menus and sub-menus are indexed. You will see the current setting for almost all items once they are highlighted. For example, when you are browsing contacts in the phonebook you will see the number displayed under the name.

Profiles

The first item is called My Settings, here you can setup tone (midi, mp3); turn-on/turn of sounds, as well as select one of the four midi-files for Messages (or put a silent mode on that); keyboard tones; volume of incoming calls and keyboard tones (7-grade scale). Ring tone type: ring, vibrate, vibrate & ring, ring after vibrate, silent, single. Any key answer can be enabled or disabled according to your preferences. Emergency alarms: warning (enabled/disabled), error (enabled/disabled), camp (enabled/disabled), connection (enabled/disabled). Display backlight time: 5, 15, 30, 45 seconds, status led red, green, blue, red and green afterwards, red-green-blue, red-yellow-blue. Keyboard backlight can be enabled or disabled.

Besides personalizing my settings profile, you can select one of the common ones: Vibrate only, Silent, Outdoor, Headset. These profiles cannot be personalized, you can only activate them.

Call Register

Information about Incoming, Outgoing and Missed calls is stored here, sort of tradition. Each list stores up to 50 numbers. One and the same phone numbers get summed up. While looking at call info, you will see how many times calls were made to/from this phone number, date and time. Besides information about phone calls, message and GPRS counters are located in the same menu.

Tools

Alarm clock. Three alarm clocks can be activated. Each of them can be personalized by: time, ring tone (preset, or downloaded (including mp3); reoccurrence: Monday-Friday, Monday-Sunday, daily, single time.

Favorites menu consists of: FM-radio, ring tone and Calendar. On the whole up to 13 shortcuts can be added. The choice itself is different from one being used for other models, where you had to choose the items one by one. All you have to do is mark the items you want in the stand by mode, and they will be displayed in the Favorites menu.

Calculator is not so complicated, it is used for simple calculations.

Unit Converter helps orienting in Lengths, Weights and Currencies.

World Time. Find out the time in almost any part of the worls with the help of this function.

BMI. This interesting title hold an interesting feature underneath. You will be asked to input your weight, gender and height. The application will tell you if you should lose some weight or gain it afterwards.

Pink planner. Another amusing application, mostly because of its title and use. It seems that LG is positioning the handset for female auditory or offers men to fill up the required information instead of their beloved ladies.

Organizer

The phonebook is a mix of what weve been used to see in GSM phones from LG and phonebook from remaining Korean manufacturers. Its great that you can choose the fields that you want or dont want to be displayed while inputting new entry in the contact book. Maximal amount of entries is 500. 30 symbols in latin and 14 in cyrilics can be entered in the Name field. The company name can consist of 20 symbols despite the language. The e-mail can be 60 symbols big. Four phone numbers, custom ring tone, photo and caller group finishes the features for every contact in the phonebook.

What I have really been wishing for, is to call up this menu and get impressed with tons of new features, though once again Im forced to deal with the very minimal provided capabilities: 10 tasks, 20 dates in the Calendar augmented with 10 notes in ToDo list. The only setting that has been added is tune choice (including MP3 files) for Notes.

Messaging

One shouldnt expect any groundbreaking innovations here, but one can find several pleasing nuances here. The handset fully supports T9 input mode, though the device isnt capable of memorizing new words.

The maximum amount of symbols in a single message is 2295, in other words this equals roughly 14 messages written in transliteration or Cyrillic, what is quite much already. Via Messages menu one can attach animation, image, sounds, templates to a letters body, so the message automatically shifts to EMS category. Among pleasing particulars, font settings are worth mentioning, as they allow choosing size (small, normal, large), style (bold, italic, underline or strikethrough), alignment (auto, left, right, center), indentation (left, right, auto, center).

MMS are as ever capped to 100 Kb in size and following suit can have image, tune or any other file, not exceeding the set limitation, attached.

Besides standard SMS and MMS, the handset provides Chat support using this one, you will be at liberty to have a conversation with four interlocutors at a time, noteworthy, that the history of all messages is stored in the devices memory.

Multimedia

Camera. Dont look forward to experiencing something extraordinary with a camera featuring a resolution of 640x480, though even this model adopts several significant differences, namely 11 effects, 10 frames, multi shot 3, 6, 9 images in a row. The resolution is also adjustable: 128128, 128160, 320240 and 640480 pixels, as well as picture quality minimal, normal, high modes are at your disposal and since the images themselves dont take up too much of storage, I strongly recommend using maximum quality permanently. In addition to numerous effects, the device also offers White Balance adjustment: auto, daylight, cloudy and fluorescence mode. There are three available sound effects for shutter triggering the only way to turn this sound effect off is going for Silent or Vibration profile.

  (+) , 640x480, JPEG

  (+) , 640x480, JPEG

  (+) , 640x480, JPEG

  (+) , 640x480, JPEG

  (+) , 640x480, JPEG

  (+) , 640x480, JPEG

MP3 player. Thats the point, where all the surprises start showing up from. It may sound paradoxical, but one of the cheapest products by LG possesses the most function packed media player. Naturally, the updated version lacks problems, chasing its predecessor, G1800 here one wont experience any nuisances concerning the loudspeaker, which used to stop working after lengthy music playback sessions in loudspeaker mode. As of now, all tracks are played back via a separated loudspeaker, allowing more decent reproduction of high audio frequencies. Another advantage over all handsets featuring an embedded media player, ability to operate in background mode though nothing but a JAVA-application or, what is more expensive in technical regard, a special chip for processing music files, should be used. Besides these two splendid pluses, there are also settings more familiar to all LG handsets users, like skins (3 pictures); repeat (the entire play list, a single track or all songs by turns); random playback (On/Off).

FM Radio. Just another multimedia function not letting you fall asleep on the journey. Its capabilities have remained the same since B200 and B2070 the device stores up 10 radio stations, residing in 87.5-108.0 wave band. Similarly to the MP3 player, one can set one out of three available wallpapers and switch the application to the background mode. The radio works only in case a headset is plugged in, as it plays the role of an antenna. The sound is transmitted only to a headset.

Gallery. Its no wonder that one will find here all the pictures, taken by the built-in camera. The images can be sorted by name, size, date etc. While viewing pictures, the display hosts four photos in the form of thumbnails.

Voice recorder. Like in G1800, the voice record here is capable of recording a telephone conversation, and working as a high profile device, limited only to the amount of dynamic memory size, to be precise 60 Mb. File type is chosen out of two available WAV and ARM (the difference between them lies in quality WAV takes up more storage, providing better audio quality).

My Files

This section hosts all pre-installed JAVA-games (three items in total), a folder, bearing JAVA title m which automatically stores all applications installed on the handset, and a File Manager.

File Manager. Using this application, one can create customized folders with titles, limited to 40 symbols, copy and move files, regardless of their extension. In sum the user can manage 60 Mb of built-in dynamic memory, while the overall storage size, incorporated into the phone is 64 Mb. On synchronization with a PC, the handset starts recharging itself. If you have Show system files option checked, you will be able to examine folders containing MMS messages.

Games. Any application can be granted access to Internet this comes in handy to users, who have already got used to Opera mini and Jimm.

Service

The handset applies WAP BROWSER 2.0 when it comes to browsing WAP-resources, also you are at liberty to browse WEB-pages via http-protocol though I would be greatly impressed, if a company made a major breakthrough in this filed. The decisive factor is still the same the application works properly without any freezes and crashes.

JBenchmark v. 1.1.1
Jbenchmark 1433
Text: 306
2D Shapes: 326
3D Shapes: 235
Fill Rate: 140
Animation: 426
Screen width: 128
Screen height: 110
Total memory: 358400
Free memory: 106444

JBenchmark v. 2.1.1
Fps: 11,5
Jbenchmark2: 48
Image manipulation: 36
Text: 161
Sprites: 82
3D Transform: 4
User interface: 121
Screen width: 128
Screen height: 110
Transparency (Alpha level): 16
Duble buffer: true
Total memory: 358400
Free memory: 178144

Settings

All the settings, that didnt fit the previous menu items, are tied up with this tab. Data and time setup, including automatic switch to summer-time; display adjustments: wallpaper, screensaver, standby note; on-screen information: time and date, own number, network name; themes (three are available); contrast settings may take on a value from 1 to 15, on default set to 8.

Impressions

So what do we have on our hands? A handset, combining a modem for accessing Internet; Flash MP3 player, which allows working with majority of other functions, when it operates in background mode; a simple gaming console with possibility of uploading applications directly to the storage bank; FM-radio, able to operate in background mode; USB Mass Storage for synchronizing with PC via USB-interface, using a mini-USB cable. What is more, all these functions are properly working even with a SIM-card taken out.

The quality of 64 voice polyphonic sound is average I tend to think it sound like a 40 voice one. The volume of tunes playback wont leave anyone indifferent, anyway there still will be some more demanding consumers, though they use handsets far more expensive than this unit. I didnt experience any problems with receiving functions of the phone in course of the test.

The battery life time is around 4 days in case you are going for active usage of the media player, radio or games, it comes down to 2 days. One more piece of information, acquired in the result of additional tests when operating with the handset without a SIM-card, and at the same time listening to the radio for 15-20 minutes a day (morning news), the charge lasts for 6 days not an outstanding performance, though will prove useful to those, who are far from home, but still want to keep themselves updated on the latest news.

The expected price of LG C2500 is 170 and 190-200$ on the Ukrainian and Russian markets respectively. The handset is more like to fail in becoming a minor breakthrough, as LG 1800 did in its time, though similar to the predecessor, it will get into the number of devices, standing out in the price-bracket less than 200$. In a month or two, once the first shipments have hit the shelves, the price will go down by 10-15$, so those, who cant afford purchasing it now, will be able to do this soon enough.

The C2005 will probably have the following indirect rivals: Siemens C65 and Motorola L6. The former one offers a larger display and Infrared at the same price, but is inferior to LGs device memory wise and furthermore lacks radio and MP3 player. And the latter one takes the advantage of a slim casing, splendid screen and presence of Bluetooth. So there is a range to choose from more importantly to realize what is more essential for you.

Alexandr Ivanik
Translated by Alexandr "Lexx" Zavoloka (lexx@frag.su), Oleg Kononosov (oleg.kononosov@mobile-review.com)

Published — 29 March 2006

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