This time last year LG introduced the GD500 Cookie, the first touchphone that everyone from your pension-pushing granny to the paperboy could afford. It was no iPhone but it was fun to use and you didn’t have to sell your soul to a 24-month contract.
Just in time for Christmas, LG has rolled out a successor to its million-selling Cookie – the GD510 Pop. Yep, the Korean manufacturer has persisted with the excruciatingly cutesy monikers but, more importantly for the fiscally challenged, it’s kept the sub £100 prepay price tag.
Cosmetically, a lot has changed. Its predecessor’s soft paint finish, sleek profile and three-button setup seem clunky next to the Pop’s smaller minimalist faux-metallic chassis. The Orange Vegas would probably object, but this could be the dinkiest touchphone we’ve tickled.
Its diddy stature might have compromised the display size, but LG has managed to squeeze in a 3in resistive touchscreen.
With no onboard stylus we assumed the Cookie’s touch performance must have been improved. Alas, it seems to have regressed; it readily receives your finger taps, but swiping and scrolling sometimes needs aggressive contact to get a reaction.
Still, if you’re a messaging fiend the Pop has some nice touches. An extra Livesquare sliding homescreen has been added to help you keep tabs on threaded message conversation with your friends. And contacts are represented by animated avatars that jig round on various cartoonish backdrops.
The Pop is also in tune with today’s social networking mania, providing a homescreen widget to speedily access Facebook, Twitter and MySpace accounts.
Typing missives quickly on the cramped onscreen QWERTY keyboard is a bit tricky, though, and you really have to practice hitting the tiny keys at speed without making mistakes.
Although the Pop’s upgraded user interface is named A-Class, it is essentially the S-Class version seen on LG’s more senior touchphones like the Arena, Viewty Smart, Crystal and Chocolate II. Those familiar sizeable iPhone-esque icons and sliding rows are very finger-friendly.
Same old features
Disappointingly, the serious design and UI makeover hasn’t extended to the Pop’s more prominent features. This means we’re stuck with sluggish EDGE download speeds and a 3MP snapper.
With no autofocus or flash and only a smattering of mode and settings, the camera is a point-and-shoot variety. Picture quality isn’t great but images are perfectly sized for uploading those pub and party snaps quickly to Facebook via the widget app and viewing online.
The Cookie’s biggest flaw was its fiddly internet browser and nothing has changed on the Pop. Full-fat web pages load deathly slow over EDGE, and zooming in – essential for reading text on the 3in screen – proves annoying and inaccurate via the unresponsive onscreen bar.
The music player is nicely featured and easy to control. It may not sport tune-polishing Dolby Mobile tech but the six-equaliser modes give you enough options to adapt the audio.
There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack onboard to plug in your own headphones but the player sounds surprisingly easy on the ears through the bundled pair.
If we’re being honest, we expected more of a feature upgrade with the Pop – is 3G connectivity too much to ask for? That said, it’s still a cool little touchphone that’s sure to come down in price over the next few months.