First Looks: LG KE820 Mobile Phone

On the Flipside

On the Flipside

LG’s mobile phone division has certainly been on a fashion warpath of late. Spurred on by the success of the LG KE800 ‘Chocolate’, we are seeing evermore LG phones fueled by aesthetic excellence. The latest testament of LG’s focus on handset industrial design is the KE820, the successor to the KG320. Today, we check out what this sexy phone has had to offer.

Sexy Candybar

The LG KE820 may seem vaguely familiar to those who still fondly remember the recent LG KG320. Both models are of candy bar form factor and both offer the same glossy black fingerprint attracting texture. Much of the functions these phones have are similar too with screen resolution (220 x 176 pixels) being the most obvious commonality between them – albeit presented in a different orientation in the LG KE820. The only obvious physical difference would be a slightly wider (but shorter) build of the LG KE820 that was necessary because of the change in the screen’s orientation and that its ‘0’, ‘#’ and ‘*’ key had been strewn in a vertical column on the far right bank of the keypad. This new layout, while unique, does present an inevitable familiarization period for anyone wanting to switch over to the new LG KE820.

Sweet Improvements

One of the sweeter improvements the LG KE820 offers over its predecessor is the FM radio function in addition to its music player. Now users can enjoy both their favorite tunes and fresh radio programming on the move without having to bring around an additional radio receiver. Also, a microSD slot has been included to increase the phone’s memory capacity from a meager 16MB (built-in) to as much as 4GB, which is currently the largest storage capacity of microSD technology – if you are lucky enough to find this rare piece of flash card.

The microSD slot itself is readily accessible thanks to a clever design that places the slot right along the left profile of the phone. And to take full advantage of this newfound expandable memory slot is a 2.0-megapixel camera, which while not as impressive as other phones that feature three or even five megapixels with autofocus, is still pretty decent for such a petite phone. A mirror surface and a tiny flash can be found right beside the camera for taking self portraits and photos under poor lighting conditions. That being said, users should not expect too much from the onboard camera as its imaging performance was found to be average.

Software Talk

Apart from a new organizer application and voice memo, the new LG KE820 is basically more or less the same as the KG320. This lack of new applications however, will hardly induce a frown because the LG KE820 was never intended to satisfy power users to begin with. The interface itself was incredibly responsive throughout our weeklong assessment.

Our Thoughts

In contrast to smartphones, the LG KE820 is remarkably basic but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is any less appealing. What it offers in spades are its great looks, simplicity charm and just the right amount of utilities to satisfy casual users. With a microSD expansion slot, FM radio and a 2.0-megapixel camera, it’s safe to say the LG KE820 is well endowed. However, with a sticker price of US$389 (S$598), the LG KE820 is certainly on the pricey side, which might cause prospective buyers to think twice before dumping their old phone. Nevertheless, there's no denying the LG KE820 is one cool looking phone that's unlike any out there today.


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