LG KP199 Mobile Phone

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It’s been a while since I reviewed a budget mobile, but considering all the hyped handsets that made it across my table in the last couple of months there wasn’t much time to do so. Naturally I was quite happy to kick back and get back to basics with the LG KP119 handset that LG claims will deliver up to 10 hours of talk time. But the battery is just one aspect albeit a major one. However, here’s how it fared with respect to all others as well.

Form Factor
The KP119 is a simple looking handset that still manages to boast of a certain stylish flare with a shiny chrome border in front. The keypad is large and easy to use and I’ve always been a fan of the five way nav-pad. It has a 1.7-inch TFT LCD with a 128 x 160 pixel resolution and 256k colors which is clearly visible in direct sunlight.

It’s not a slim phone although it’s size and shape doesn’t make a totally bulky device either. The volume/zoom control keys are located on one side above the hot-swap microSD card slot. On the opposite side is a proprietary one-slot-for-all port – USB (2.0), handsfree and charger. On the same side, at the bottom is a dedicated camera key for the VGA (640 x 480) camera that’s located at the back.

The KP199’s 16.5mm depth is not really something I considered as the handset is quite sleek on the whole and has that certain feel-good-factor about it.

Features and Performance
Interface

Using LG’s proprietary UI, the KP199 has quite a neatly designed fashion for navigation. However there’s just one peculiarity that I encountered that really threw me. The messaging option was rather a pain as it required an unusual amount of button presses to send a single message. Where most handsets would require a maximum of 3-4 entries (not counting alphabet search) the KP199 required 9. Too many unnecessary settings in between. You can get used to it of course, but having to is what makes it a wee bit of downer in this sense.

On the plus side the KP199 employs a Talking phone feature that will read out numbers when dialing, call out the number for incoming calls and can also be set to call out the time every hour. What’s rather redundant is the fact it doesn’t seem to voice out the incoming callers name but just the number. What’s the point in that if I’m not gifted with a good enough memory to remember all the numbers stored in my contacts. Most other handsets with this feature call out the name and not the number as it’s a whole lot easier to identify the caller.

Media
When it comes to the KP199’s audio quality I was quite satisfied. I can’t say it was great but it was good enough. The earphones on the handsfree were not my cup of tea personally, but not altogether uncomfortable according to a quick poll I took. The music player comes with 8 EQ presets which do help enhance the audio experience a little. Music quality was not too bad – the bass was just a little bit off but the highs could have been toned down a tad. The decibel level was good enough to prevent me from going a ‘koo-koo’ in the train with all the noise of bells and the regular bunch of arrogantly loud commuters. It reads MP3, eAAC+, WMA and WMV, AMR file formats.

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The handset is also equipped with an FM radio that manages decent reception while commuting and sounds quite good when you’ve got a clear signal. The FM recording feature also has an option for scheduling. Users can predetermine a start and end time that the recorder would kick in as well as a specific channel of their choice, sadly though the handsfree would need to be plugged in. A separate Voice Recording option is also available.

3GP and mobile MP4 video playback from the dedicated video player looks quite good even on the small screen. I don’t recommend watching full length movies though, but short clips are perfect.

Connectivity
The KP199 is a GPRS-enabled handset with no EDGE support. While browsing is not much of an issue with a simplistic browser that’s easy to navigate, downloading emails is not an option with this handset. No big deal. Other connectivity options include a Bluetooth profile with A2DP support and USB 2.0 for quick data transfer of all your data and other files.

Camera
The on-board VGA camera captures images in 640 x 480 pixels. It also supports video recording in 3GP or MP4 format. All the basic settings including a self timer, White Balance adjust; Night mode and Burst mode as well as a few color options are also available.

The image quality is not bad for a VGA resolution phone camera.

Battery
The most impressive feature is of course the battery... the big 3.7V, 1350mAh battery that just doesn’t seem to quit. On a single full charge, I was using the handset for three full days and a little more tossed in as well - games, camera, music and a few calls and messages, all included. Talktime came up to about 7 hours non stop which may not be the same as the company’s claim but you’ll hear no complaints from me, and very doubtful from anyone else either.

The Bottom Line
With a price tag of Rs. 4,219 (Mobile Store) and Rs. 4,390 (MOP) the KP199 is an excellent budget mobile with plenty to offer from media to battery life. It supports up to 4GB via microSD so you’ll have plenty of space for media with that small additional investment.

Specs

LG KP199
Network

GSM 900/1800/1900, GPRS

Physical 105.5 x 47.5 x 16.5 mm, 95g
Display 128 x 160, 256k, TFT LCD, 1.7-inches
Memory 60MB internal, microSD external (1GB included)
Media MP3, eAAC+, WMA, 3GP, MPEG4, AMR, WAV
Camera VGA
Connectivity USB v2.0, Bluetooth with A2DP
Battery 800 hrs standby, 7 hrs 5 mins talktime
Street Price Rs. 4,219
MOP Rs. 4,320

Published Date: Feb 24, 2009 05:00 pm | Updated Date: Feb 24, 2009 05:00 pm