LG Cookie Fresh GS290 Review

Interface and Functionality:

There are certain interface novelties that make the LG Cookie Fresh GS290 distinctively different from the Pop GD510. The widgets and home screen themes are illustrative examples, because you use them to assign active applications particular places to get visualized in. This certainly decreases the number of the latter, but in this way they blend seamlessly into the background picture, which is quite cool indeed.

The three, characteristic home screen pages are at your disposal yet again – one for widgets, one for favorite contacts, and one for Live Square – the strange interface that presents your correspondences as little beings who stay on a nice green lawn, trying to draw your attention towards them. We have never been really into it, but cannot deny it looks fresh and unique.

Generally speaking, LG’s feature phones equipped with touch sensitive screens are rarely snappy and most people have to put up with occasional lagging issues. The LG Cookie Fresh GS290 is among the less severely affected and the lagging gets more evident while scrolling the phone book. As a whole, the handset is sluggish alongside of the Samsung Corby S3650, although we cannot describe the operational speed as appalling really, rather, as slightly irksome. The cell phone also offers task manager.

By the way, we need to say a good word or two about the phone book. It allows for quite a few details per entry, plus you can search by both given and family names. The dialing screen enables you to search by entering digits (our “6-3-6 leads to Neo” example applies here). The LG Cookie Fresh GS290 is not equipped with an accelerometer, so you need to press a button to switch between portrait and landscape QWERTY keyboards. Still, we do like the fact that both layouts are available. The first is handier, since its buttons are larger. The landscape QWERTY features keys that are more easily pressed with your fingernails, although this doesn’t really warrants fast text entry.

The LG Cookie Fresh GS290 has neither 3G, nor Wi-Fi. The web browser however, is usable. Indeed, you can surf the internet and even enjoy complex sites like ours. Using EDGE, loading times for such big pages are VERY long, but once loaded, scrolling is smooth enough and zoom by double tapping is available. Still, the browser is not as good as the WebKit-based ones available with Samsung’s devices. You also get a dedicated Facebook application that is usable, but tends to get sluggish.

Camera and Multimedia:

The interface of the 2-megapixel camera has many different options, such as white balance, night mode, effects, timer and exposure. Video is captured at QVGA resolution and 10 frames per second. All told, the snapshot and video quality is acceptable for an affordable device, but if you consider them important, you better opt for a cell phone like the LG GT505 or Samsung S5560.

LG Cookie Fresh GS290 sample video at 320x240 pixels resolution

The music player lets you filter by various standard criteria and then allows you to do different basic stuff like rating a song, enabling shuffle and repeat. You also have the possibility of using a few equalizer presets and playlists. The loudspeaker is powerful enough and quite sharp, but not unpleasantly sharp though, but is not unpleasant; just don’t pump up the volume to its maximum setting. The experience when listening through earphones will vary significantly, depending on the earphones you use. We couldn’t test the earbuds from the box, but used a pair of ours and the sound was good enough. We hope the same will hold true for the ones from the package.

One of the things that we like best about the LG Cookie Fresh GS290 is that you are allowed to listen to radio without necessarily having to plug in a pair of earphones, plus the sound quality is surprisingly good, and the station you’ve tuned to gets recognized in a few short seconds. This is an extra feature that we do hope becomes more common throughout the cell phone world.

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