LG Xenon GR500 Review
Touch screen phones combining a QWERTY keyboard are becoming more common nowadays. This offers consumers a wider range of capabilities which appeal to text messengers. The LG Vu has been around for quite some time now on AT&T's lineup which gave the Prada-like appeal to U.S. consumers. Building upon the success of the Vu, the LG Xenon GR500 tried to take it to another level by offering a QWERTY and updated interface. All the while, it retains similar dimensions to make it a compact device without adding too much bulk to its frame. It is targeted those who want a QWERTY and like the ease of navigating via touch screen, but it not the successor to the Vu which is a little bit more stylish appeal.
The package contains:
- LG Xenon
- USB Cable
- Quick Start Guide
We’re glad to see that the size of the LG Xenon GR500 to be similar to the Vu in terms of overall dimensions even with a slide-out QWERTY. This is great because you would generally see an overall size increase when additions are made to an existing device. Corners are rounded with a chrome border outlining the outside of the phone that gives it a nice contrast. Although the blue plastic material used for the body of the Xenon does not feel as cheap as the Vu, it feels durable due to the added weight (3.81 oz). And you won’t notice any bulge if you place it in your pocket because it almost has the same thickness (0.62”).
You can compare the LG Xenon GR500 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
One of the few things that the LG Xenon GR500 scales back on this phone is the screen size. The 2.8” resistive touch screen has a resolution of 240x400 pixels with 262k colors. It’s quite responsive and we did not find ourselves to be constantly pressing something to perform an action. Colors are pretty well differentiated, although black levels are nowhere close to what some recent AMOLED screens produce. You can see whatever is on screen clearly when we placed the brightness to the highest setting even in direct sunlight.
The three buttons found below the screen are the send, end, and task manager menu button. They are flush with the surface, well sized, and have a good tactile feel making easy to press. Turning the volume up or down can be accomplished by the volume rocker which is found on the left side. Holding down the volume down key will place the phone on vibrate mode. You can lock the Xenon to prevent random button presses from occurring with the key on the right side. The dedicated camera button and microSD card slot are also located on the same side. We’re glad to see that LG decided to go with a microUSB port for charging and connecting to a computer. It’s even better because the USB cable packed in the box can charge the Xenon through a computer or plug adapter. On the back, you’ll find the 2-megapixel camera with an LED flash and the speaker phone next to it. Finally, removing the back cover reveals the battery (950 mAh) and SIM card slot.
four row QWERTY keyboard by sliding the phone from left to right. It’s a little cramped with no spacing in between each rectangular shaped keys, but they do provide a decent tactile feel. The navigation keys on the keyboard can’t be used to guide through the menus except to move the cursor when typing text. There are a bunch of dedicated buttons found on the QWERTY to quickly launch certain applications such as the phonebook, IM client, mobile e-mail, and web browser. We did not have any problems using the keyboard, but people with larger fingers may find it too small.