LG GT505 Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA, but without 3G.

Introduction and design:

We all know that cell phones equipped with touch sensitive screens are all the rage now. The thing is that not everyone can afford a high-end model and devices like the LG Cookie KP500, Samsung S5230 Star and the like are decent options for people who love modern technologies, but happen to be on a tight budget. Well, there are certain disadvantages to getting a cheaper handset, because lower prices mean less functions, no 3G, mediocre cameras and sometimes, pretty simple design. Fortunately, the market of cell phones equipped with touch sensitive screens has matured and models that strike the golden medium have appeared. That´s exactly what the LG GT505 is. It is simpler and cheaper than the ARENA KM900, but more advanced than the Cookie KP500 and comes boxed with a charger, headset with microphone, USB cable, user guide, software CD, stylus and screen protector. We need to point out the GT505 has a sibling, called the GT500 Puccini that looks differently and will become available through T-Mobile in Europe (initially in the UK only).

You can compare the LG GT505 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

In terms of physical dimensions, the GT505 is almost identical to the Cookie, due to the fact they are equipped with 3-inch displays featuring native resolution of 240x400 pixels and 262k color support. One of the drawbacks of displays that inexpensive cell phones come equipped with is that they are unusable in direct sunlight and the GT505 is no exception. Image quality is good indoors, although not as impressive as what the WVGA screen of the ARENA delivers and the overall sensitivity is above what´s considered typical of resistive displays. Another thing both the GT505 and KP500 share in common is they are entirely made of plastic, which means they tend to feel a bit cheap and not solid enough. The stylus compartment is located in the upper right part of the phone and we almost never came to use it during out tests, but it might come in handy for people with thicker fingers.

We didn’t have any troubles using the hardware buttons and even the small camera shutter, phone lock and volume rocker feel pleasing to press. The good news is the GT505 is equipped with microUSB port for both connecting the phone to a computer and charging it. What´s the bad news then? No 3.5mm jack.

There is nothing about the phone design to rivet your eyes, but still, the phone looks nice. We would definitely like to see the manufacturer roll out different color versions, since we are beginning to feel rather tired of the classic black (glossy edged) solution.

LG GT505 360 Degrees View:

Software and GPS:

As you might have guessed already, the similarities between the LG505 and the Cookie KP500 are not just superficial. They both feature almost identical interface, so we are not going to examine it in details here. There are several differences about the home screen – it now hosts 10 widgets instead of 7. You can easily switch over to the other screen that doesn’t house widgets, but fast dial contacts arranged on three pages with 6 entries each. Pressing the middle button below the screen takes you to a menu of two tabs. The first displays up to 9 shortcuts to functions of your own choice that you can re-arranged to your liking, while the second shows all running programs.

As a whole, we like the S-CLASS 3D interface designed for handsets with touch sensitive screens much better. The one available on the GT505 is up to its task and you will get used to it really fast. If you need to know more about the software or the text entry options, please, read our full review of the LG Cookie KP500, but keep in mind the internet browser of the GT505 is more usable thanks to the 3G (HSDPA 7.2Mbps) and Wi-Fi support.

The phone has GPS, but doesn’t rely on Google Maps. The GT505 comes preloaded with Wisepilot for LG, Java application equipped with nice extra features like 2D and 3D views, voice navigation no matter whether you drive or walk, traffic updates and information about local places of interest (restaurants, sightseeing spots etc), weather forecast etc. The app utilizes NAVTEQ maps that are good, but tend to be incomplete for certain regions. The program itself loads sluggishly and cannot compare to the smooth transition delivered by Ovi Maps, say, on the Nokia 6710 Navigator. You will have to purchase a license once the 30-day trial has expired. The yearly license for Europe works out at 69.95EUR and 24.95EUR for three months, while the prices for North America are $69.95 and $24.95 respectively.

Camera and multimedia:

Can you believe that pictures taken with the 5-megapixel, autofocus camera of the LG GT505 look much better than what the 8-megapixel LG Viewty Smart GC900 delivers? Well, we could hardly believe it ourselves. The thing is you will have to make do with the ugly camera interface that strongly resembles the version available on the afore-mentioned higher class device. Despite the way it looks, the interface delivers a nice set of options like scene presets, macro mode, effects and white balance.

Pictures taken outdoors look a bit more washed than what mainstream digital cameras deliver, but they have enough details and the image noise that´s so typical of all latest camera phones by the same manufacturer has been taken care of. Well, it appears in stills captured indoors, but the amount is tolerable and as a whole, the camera does give you the option to capture decent pictures of interesting places and moments. The flash is rather weak though, so just don’t expect to see it perform great in utter darkness. We are pleasantly surprised by the macro mode that allows taking of really nice pictures with artistic value.

The phone captures videos with quality that can be only described as appalling. Their resolution is 320x240 pixels at 20 frames per second and image quality is really bad, with most objects represented by a mass of blurry pixels without any details.

LG GT505 sample video at 320x240 pixels resolution.

The music player of the LG GT505 looks great and delivers proper filtering options (by artist, genre, album etc). Album art takes up most of the screen and buttons are large and handy to use. You also have several equalizer presets, but you cannot create your own. The phone is equipped with FM Radio with an appealing interface. Sound through the built-in loudspeakers does pack quite a punch and its quality is above average. Things are almost the same if you plug in a pair of earphones and we are definitely pleased with the audio playback capabilities of the GT505.

Video playback, however, is rather disappointing. The only content that played during our tests was MPEG4/H.264 videos with QVGA resolution. What a shame, the phone is equipped with 3-inch screen after all…

Performance and conclusion:

All told, whatever test we threw at it, the LG GT505 performed decently and stuck to the golden medium. The same goes for the in-call quality – voices through the earpiece are too sharp, but will get almost OK once you´ve turned the volume down a bit, so you will be able to hear people on the other end without any problems. If the person you´re talking to does the same, they will be pleased with the result. The battery is not a top performer and according to the manufacturer should be able to provide about 3.5hrs of continuous talk time and keep the phone operational for 300hrs in standby.

All told, we are definitely more pleased than displeased with the LG GT505. It´s a typical mainstream handset, meaning the manufacturer has had to work out a compromise to manage to keep the price low, but integrated nice extra features like a GPS, Wi-Fi and decently performing 5-megapixel camera. We are disappointed with the video playback and capture capabilities as well as the boring overall design. Still, if you cannot afford the LG ARENA KM900 or the Samsung Jet S8000 and think the Cookie and S5230 Star have rather simple functionality, the GT505 is one of your best options.

LG GT505 Video Review:


  • Good snapshot quality
  • Appealing interface with a lot of room for favorite contacts (with pictures)
  • GPS with Wisepilot navigation
  • Good music player and playback quality
  • Wi-Fi and HSDPA 7.2Mbps


  • Rather bad at video capture and playback
  • No 3.5mm jack

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