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Review GSM phones LG S5000 and S5200
Now the year 2005 is approaching its end and holidays, when we give presents, are coming up. And here is a line of new phones, which the company of LG prepared for these holidays. LG P7200 is one of them and a new line appeared, which is an S (Stylish) line. Such models as S5000 and S5200 will appear the first on the market. In fact, they are to take place between G1800 and M4410. There are no rivals supporting mp3 in this category by other makers. And own development of the company currently takes that place.
ОGeneral features of the phones:
Main differences between the two new phones:
The S5000 is a clamshell, which dimensions form 90x46x23 mm, and the weight is 100 g. All applications share the same memory - 4MB, an integrated eMail client is present, 40-tones polyphony with volume above average.
The S5200 is a slider with the size of 92x46x23 mm, the weight forms 90 g. Memory allotment - 3.3 MB for messages and games, 63 MB for music, video, photos and other files. Also USB Mass Storage and 64-tones polyphony with volume above average are present.
Despite different form-factors, phones look very alike; they are like a brother and a sister. Famous Henry Ford told about his cars - "You can choose any color, if that is black". And here the history repeats - both phones are in black. And a younger model will more suit girls while the elder one is mainly for young men.
The S5000 started the line. It is equipped with a battery with expanded capacity (1000 mAh), Bluetooth, which now the company integrates in every middle and high-end phone, and 1.3 MP camera. The handset is designed as a clamshell with the flip and the internal of the body made of glossy plastic covered with spangles-sown lacquer. And I think due to this reason the phone will better suit girls. A combination of black color and glossy plastic will always result in excessive marking. Fingerprints are clearly seen, and you have to either use a case or humble.
A 65K screen perched on the top part of the phone. It is of average size. A camera gap took its place above it on a metallic plate and a light diode flash is near.
The back comes without any peculiarity. The top features a strap hole and a button, which removes the back cover, is aside. A battery of rather unusual shape is under it. Be sure, the back cover is easy to remove and take on, the construction is well-thought over and no backlash or creak will bother you.
A single right-side button is responsible for Camera and/or Backlighting, Slide show, if the flip is closed, and with open flip it allows Shooting, Frame shooting, Multishooting, Album shooting and showing settings. Slightly projecting, it is very comfortable to use blindly. An external antenna is connected to a socket above; it is covered with a tough plastic shutter.
A swing-like volume button is placed on the left side, which is traditional for LG, and a headset connecter can be found there also. The S5000 and S5200 have the same headset as the С3400 included into the kit.
Be sure to check such a peculiarity as a universal joint USB and charger connecter (and the S5200 can be charged even via a USB cable connected to a PC), and a light indicator of charge (the S5000).
In general the phone design is quite peculiar and attractive. You will never confuse it with anything else due to squint lines and metallic insertion. When closed, the device shows a slight flip backlash, but when open it will not bother you with this problem.
Considering its price group, we can say the phone has very little memory for today. The company has such models as G1800, F1200, S5200, which are mp3 phones. And that makes it rather strange why not to integrate more memory here. But, on the other hand, the phone supports no mp3, and thus requires no expanded memory.
In some design elements LG S5200 may resemble you the latest Samsung's sliders. In chase of fashion, the company of LG hasn't troubled at this model and forgot that not only functionality is the thing, which attracts customers, but unforgettable appearance as well. Just remember the first sliders by LG - G5500, G7050. They not only had own face, but suited both youth and adults perfectly. I wonder why the company refused the previous style. You may object to me, but open the phone and have a look at its back. Haven't you changed your opinion?
The moving part of the slider is made of a glossy plastic, which is the same as in the S5000, however without spangles. You will certainly open the phone with one finger. And a mechanism for automatic finishing allows easy sliding of phone parts. You will find a rubber insertion under the screen, which is a special rest for your thumb. Working with functional keys, you will not experience any trouble; however a navi button with an Ok one inscribed into it and a cancel button are too tough, and may cause discomfort and accidental pressures. Only using the left soft-key you will access the menu, which is similar in the S5000. All phone functions not concerning number dial and messages can be used in a closed mode. But then you can't use fast moving along the menu with number sequences.
The main part is made of plastic, and the back is covered with rubber. Prom the user's point of view, the material is chosen correctly. A 800 mAh battery serves as a back cover as well. You can be sure the phone will not scratch or slide out of hands after long use. Number keys are equal to ones integrated into the S5000, however a bit smaller. You will find them comfortable to work with, even the top and bottom rows. Both models feature the same uneven backlighting, which, however, allows working in complete darkness without a trouble.
Sides feature the same buttons as in the S5000, and the only difference is a camera button, which holds not only a camera icon but an inscription "MP3".
The main display is the same in both models - 128x160 pixels (28x35 mm), 262 K colours and can show two service lines and six user ones. However, the screen types differ - they are OLED (S5000) and TFT (S5200). The S5000 features external screen of the same type as its internal one and it is capable of 65K colors, while the resolution is 96x64 pixels (21x16 mm). Displays of the S5000 behave worse in the sun than TFT ones. Sometimes information is hard to read, and thus you will have to find a better view angle. That problem is most probable due to the first generation of OLED screens used. And the elder model show no similar problems and information can be made out always.
The main menu has the appearance of 9 two-dimensional icons against black background. The top and the bottom status lines of the S5200 are marked out with two white horizontal lines, which add to the menu peculiarity. You can access any item and subitem using number sequences. And horizontal deviations of the navi button allow moving along the lists.
Profiles imply five main presets - Vibration, Silent, Main, Loud, Headset. Vibration and Silent are switched separately. You can't adjust them, only select an item. A Headset profile is activated automatically, when you plug in headphones. However Main, Loud and Headset can be changed and renamed. Settings that you can change include signal Type (Melody, Vibra, Melody and Vibra, Melody after vibra and Silent), call Signal (here are all available melodies including mp3, aac, wma (only the S5200)), Volume (5-grid scale), SMS signal Type (alert once, periodically, Melody and Vibra, Vibra, Silent), SMS signal (four preset melodies), Keypad signal (four preset melodies), keypad Volume (5-grid scale), Signal at opening (three or four preset melodies with a capability to switch them off), Volume of effects (5-grid scale), on/off Volume (5-grid scale). You can select a profile from the main menu or using a navi button in the standby mode.
Here is all data on missed, incoming and outgoing calls. The lists contain 10 entries each. You can view all calls separately by pressing the Call button in the standby mode. Besides viewing calls you can delete the latest calls (Missed, Incoming, Outgoing or all), view prices for calls, GPRS information (Duration, Data volume).
Here is everything that is suitable when you work with the phone, but not paramount. From this menu you can set any of five adjustable alarm clocks for a certain day or work days (Monday - Friday or Monday - Saturday) or everyday work. Any melody from the presets can be selected as a call signal except only for mp3. A calculator will help you in performing only the easiest operations. Here is also a converter, which allows translating one measure into another (currency, square, length, weight, temperature, volume and speed). You can use a World time function, which got a standard for today for the majority of phones. An automatic answering machine has three preset versions of answer (General, Meeting, In Car) and two user ones, which allow to record a personal answer. You can activate the answering machine either from the menu or in the standby mode. And time period after which a caller hears your answering making is for you to adjust - 3, 5 or 10 seconds. A modem is used for accessing the Internet when you are connected to a PC via a USB-cable.
The phonebook can contain up to 1000 names. E-mail address and four numbers can be entered for a name (Mobile, Home, Office, and Fax), assign a user to one of seven groups (you can change the name of the group, assign a call melody selecting of midi, mmf, mp3, aac, wma, change an icon), select a picture and assign a photo. The maximum number of characters reaches 8 for Cyrillic and 10 for Latin letters in the (S5200), and 11/14 for (S5000). An interesting fact that I noticed is when transmitting contacts via Bluetooth, the S5200 allows saving names with about 20 characters in Latin and 17 characters in Cyrillic alphabet, but changes places of Name and Surname. Eight number keys provide fast dial, number 1 is used for Voice mail. Name lists can be shown in three ways - Only name, then only names without numbers will be shown when viewing a phonebook, with Images, then you see a list of names, phone numbers and a photo if assigned to a name. Name and number allows the same as the previous variant but without an image. You can enter the phone book for viewing and editing from the main menu and in the standby mode by pressing the right soft-key. And traditionally, you can press the navi button down, and then only names without settings are available. When selecting a name, you can see a number entered first by default; the rest numbers and e-mail address can be shown by horizontal deviations.
Calendar and Notes remained on the same level that was two years ago. Total number of entries equals 20, and this number is dynamically shared among these two applications. Even people, who use them rarely, will understand that is to few to plan one's days or just enter birthdays for the closest people. By default the calendar shows the current month, however you can switch to a certain date. The following settings are available in a Calendar - Date, active period for a note, time of event, Note - 20 characters in length, Alarm time - in 15/30/60 minutes or in 1/3/7 days and Without signal, End time is the time, when a note will be deleted from the list.
The capabilities are minimal. The only thing you can do is entering a note with 50 characters in length.
The handset supports a standard set of messages SMS, EMS, and MMS. The maximum message size equals 100 KB. The S5000 provides an integrated eMail client, which sends and receives letters up to 100 KB in size, several mail boxes are available. Options available for SMS include changing font- and background colour, font-size, however the function will better suit MMS, as operators allow sending only standard SMS. T9 is present - Russian, Ukrainian and English. To an SMS you can add an Image, Sound, Template, Contacts and a Visit Card. For MMS you can use expanded capabilities of SMS - they allow inserting a Photo, Taking a Photo and recording sound.
Here is all content preset by the maker and settings for Photo and Video (LG S5200). From here or pressing the side button in standby mode you can activate the camera. MP3 player is also here. And its capabilities are standard for the latest LG's phones. You can view Playlist (all present musical files - mp3, aac, aac+, wma), but not create own, change a player skin, select playback type - Play all (you can't change a melody when listening to mp3), Repeat all, turn Random play on. The volume of mp3 via an integrated loudspeaker and a headset is average. And background mode is not supported.
Both models feature the same camera module equal to LG T5100; however their capabilities are realized quite differently. For instance, the S5200 allows recording video and offers many effects, but it can't take pictures in frames. Photos are middling. Parts of photos with small details are blurred almost always. Like the majority of CMOS modules, its quality depends on light conditions. You can be sure a photo in natural light will be good, and otherwise the module goes deep into thinking and often makes mistakes when calculating automatic settings. And manual settings of the S5200 will help then:
The handset allows recording video clips that are viewable on the phone or a PC screen. I can't say the quality is very good or bad. It is average like in the majority of cases.
This application can be called useless due to modest capabilities in record time - 15 seconds and due to the fact it can't record a conversation.
This is an application that every LG phone is equipped with. Three standard songs are provided - The black raven, Song about hares and white roses, which are included into all latest models. And about 100 new songs can be downloaded from WOW LG site.
Time, Date, Display, Theme, Language, Calls, Security, Network and GPRS settings can be adjusted from here. Also you can drop all settings and view memory status.
From here you can adjust WAP GPRS, INET GPRS and Operator active menu. Browser settings foresee access to sites via http protocol.
All files downloaded from the Internet, MMS and PC using USB Mass Storage and Games and applications are contained in Downloads. And files impossible to open or listen are held in submenu Files. They can be sent via Bluetooth, Renamed, and Deleted/Deleted All and also you can View Information.
The connection quality is on the level of other LG models and allows not bothering about strange noises and voice distortion when speaking in the city.
Considering the software part of new LG's models, we can say they are stable and buzz-resistant. Its capabilities allow programmers to change the appearance, add new items easily - an example is the S5000 and S5200. Also disadvantages are present - that is limited memory for Calendar/Notes, limited MMS size, e-mail size. These all provides an averagely functional and flexible shell, which present rather good phones in conjunction with design. The S5000 will work for about 4 days in case of 20 minutes of talks a day, Bluetooth use and work with messages. The S5200 will last twice shorter at the same load.
The younger model will cost about 240$ and the elder one - 280$. At these prices, the phones can't compete with rival devices like Motorola E398, V635, Siemens CX75, and Samsung E630. And even more the S5200 is close to the M4410 in price, which can be now bought for 320 USD, and then a customer will have much to think about. Sp, the success of the new devices mainly depends on whether the company can reduce the price to a reasonable level not making competition inside own line.
Published 21 December 2005
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