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Review GSM phone LG G1610
LG has changed its manager staff responsible for development of GSM course, the novelties got more interesting and their number grew in short terms. Besides attempts of proving its positions in various segments the company takes steps towards manufacturing unordinary devices and searches for untaken market niches. LG G1610 refers to such experiments. Following the name of the device we can say it is positioned a bit higher than G1600. In fact these models are completely identical except for a bluetooth function added to the elder one. And if the majority of the manufacturers in the middle segment equip their phones with IrDA LG decided to jump over this stage.
The review is almost completely similar to the one of LG G1600 since there are no differences in functions (see Bluetooth section). A new keypad design should be stressed as another difference. Number keys are smaller in size and as a result the characters on them got smaller also. That's hard to read the letters of a localized version. There is a blue backlighting and the characters often merge when it works. Now C button is placed close to a navi one and that makes some discomfort since it's small. As different to G1600 a total comfort got much less and the model is not as ergonomic (the previous model has an average ergonomics and this phone has a poor one).
The device has rather a comfortable size (104x44x17 mm) and the same may be told about its weight of 85 grams. The device lies well in a hand and is easy to carry in a pocket of a jacket or trousers. The model will surely suit both young people and middle-aged ones, you need only to select an appropriate body colour.
The screen is 65K STN and has the resolution of 128x128 pixels that allows showing up to 5 text lines and one service line. The quality of the picture and its brightness are average. The model is comparable with the phones by LG but evidently loses to Siemens (CF62, С65 for example). The quality of the colurs is better than in Motorola C380, C650. The differences are not as significant and in general we may say the models are comparable in this parameter. The screen fades in the sun greatly but if to find a necessary viewpoint you will make something out.
There is an interface connector on the bottom end and a strap hole on the top one. A headset connector closed with a rubber shutter is on the left-side surface.
A back panel hides a 900 mAh Li-Ion battery. According to the manufacturer the phone is capable of working for 200 hours in the standby mode and up to 2.5 hours in the talk mode. In Moscow the device worked for about 2.5 days in case of 30 minutes of talks and 15-20 minutes of using other functions. Full recharging takes a bit more than 1.5 hours.
You can change profiles and call the most frequently used menu items with help of navigation key (to press to the left or to the right). The main menu is presented as a list of menus, which consists of several submenus. There is a shortcut number navigation.
Phone book. Up to 200 entries can be saved in the phone memory. Up to 5 fields (4 phone numbers, one e-mail address) can be added to one entry, also you can select a caller group and an icon (pre-installed pictures, for example, faces of people, animals and so on). A selected picture and a name will be displayed while incoming call.
When you input your information you should select a main phone number and then add other phone number types. You can miss some of them. Phone numbers from both SIM-card memory and phone memory can be displayed in the list.
Totally there are 7 caller groups in the phone. You can assign special ringing tone, color of backlighting and picture to each group (the other pictures set is used).
Messages. The phone supports EMS standard, what allows to send pictures, melodies, and format text and send concatenated messages (up to 918 characters). The device supports several T9 dictionaries for various languages including Russian. There are up to 11 changeable templates.
There is a support for MMS and LG made it possible to format several pages and attach several pictures simultaneously.
All messages are saved in the phone memory, first SIM-card memory is filled, and then phone memory is used.
Calls Lists. One can view standard lists of missed, dialed and received calls. Each list unites 15 phone numbers, date and time is indicated for certain records. Equal phone numbers are summarized; they are not placed in order.
It's pleasant that there is a combined list of 20 last records in the phone; it is displayed when you press a send key in the standby mode.
Profiles. You can adjust sound settings in the phone, for example, melody type, keypad tone and so on. Everything is traditional.
Settings. Phone settings, for example, display settings and sound settings are placed here. There are 5 alarm clocks in the phone, each one can alert once, daily or weekly. Any user will be satisfied with these alarm clocks.
Organizer. Up to 20 events can be saved in the memory of organizer. Date, time and reminder can be set for each of them. You also indicate whether you like these events to be repeated (every day, week, month, year). The calendar shows a month, dates with events are indicated by a color. A special symbol, which symbolizes type of event (meeting, reminder) is appeared in the end. The main shortcoming of this organizer is limited number of records.
Fun&Tools. First, few words about games. There are three pre-installed Java games in the phone. They are not removable, but as for me, it is not necessary. Multiply is a kind of Tetris, Space Ball is an interesting version of snake, your mission is to swallow balls in special order not to allow snake to grow, in size. The last game is Submarine; it is a submarine simulator, your mission is to overcome all obstacles in the sea.
In My Folder you can store your own melodies and pictures. One can set them as ringtones or wallpapers. All downloaded files, except applications are kept here.
Musical editor allows creating up to 10 polyphonic melodies, depending on your taste.
Unit converter is quite convenient, the same is calculator concerned.
Besides, you can view world time for selected cities.
All voice records are stored here too; you can rename, play back and delete them. The dictaphone doesn't work during a conversation, records are 19 in duration.
Internet. The phone supports GPRS (class 10), so, we recommend you to set wap over GPRS, it's cheaper. The phone is equipped with a wap-brower version 1.2.1 (AU Browser 4.1). The device doesn't understand pages with Java programs, for instance with automatic productivity text uploading, that's a disadvantage.
Java. Totally up to 1 MB of dynamical memory is available in the phone. You can download new applications if you use wap and then you'll nedd programs specially written for LG device. The device supports MIDP 1.0 and considering the fact the model is similar to C1100 we can surely say the speed of application execution is not high (JBenchmark 1.0), the device looses almost to all the rivals in this parameter.
Bluetooth. The settings are standard, the device may be Shown to all or Hidden, and user also sets the name of the device. The phone may send and receive vCards. An attempt to send a picture larger than some predefined size leads to decline of the request and the phone buzzes (you'll need to take the battery out). Working with a headset is average, the call is transmitted to it and the possibilities are limited due to the absence of voice dialing. When in a coupling mode you can't stop the process, you'll have to wait for the response of the other device or the process to stop by default (from one to two minutes). In general the interface of working with Bluetooth is not well thought over. In the standby mode when Bluetooth is on a corresponding sign is displayed on the screen. Not depending on the working mode (just on, on and transmitting) the sign is always the same. At last we can say Bluetooth may be used for connecting with a headset, data exchange (melodies and pictures, but that's funny when having 1 MB of memory, and what is good exchanging contacts). The phone doesn't support loading games via Bluetooth.
Unfortunately, the thing they try to show as an advantage of the phone is not actually a plus. The Bluetooth function works incorrect sometimes and a total functionality of the device is rather poor for any need in this interface. The model is not functionally balanced. For instance, the presence of Bluetooth in F2300 would be great but the model doesn't even have an IrDA.
The device has no any evident problems with the quality of connection and provides stable connection in the city boundaries. The volume of its 16-tones polyphonic call alert is a bit higher than average and it sounds well (not comparable with a 32-tones one but still not bad). The alert is heard badly in a noisy room or in the street. The power of a vibrating alert is average.
The model is a complete analog of G1600 except for the Bluetooth but still the function is realized not the best way. The idea that Bluetooth is an interesting for youth function in a low-end segment today is wrong like several years ago. Philips 825 may be taken as an example; it was to get popular due to the presence of Bluetooth. But as the sales showed that didn't happen. The same situation will happen to LG G 1610 since the model will compete with a company phone LG G1600. Those who don't need Bluetooth will choose the younger model and that is a majority. There are too little customers capable of buying a mobile phone and a headset for it costing half price of the phone in this segment. That's not clear who is considered a target group. I have an impression that LG needs the device for claiming another cheapest device with Bluetooth. And at the same time they don't take into consideration there are many old models with a similar price and higher functionality. Little memory and not a very comfortable keypad are some more disadvantages of the model and it has no any evident advantages for the moment. It may be recommended to those worshipers of the company who don't pay any attention to a real offer price.
The model will cost about 150 USD even in the end of January. A headset by LG will appear only in March but its characteristics are not very impressing and not interesting.
We are grateful to Alt Telecom for the provided device.
Published 20 January 2005
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