LG Xenon GR500 Review

Software and Features:

At its core, the LG Xenon GR500 has the same interface that is found on the Vu with some additions to the home screen. It's still not as good looking as the new S-Class interface that LG uses in their European counterparts. There are three icons on the top portion of the display that changes the layout of the home screen. You’ll find the contacts list, launcher for you favorite applications, and the default home screen. Widgets have become a staple; and the Xenon is yet another phone to make use of them. There are a total of only six widgets that you can drag onto the default home screen.: the analog clock, media player, memo pad, picture viewer, calendar, and world clock. Although not quite as polished as the TouchWiz interface found on Samsung phones, it gets the job done by giving it a personalized look. There isn’t too much room on the screen for all the widgets to be on at the same time; so you'll need to pick and choose wisely. When placing one onto the default home screen, it has this jerky movement as you drag it. There are four icons on the bottom side of the display that are stationary. Pressing them will get you to your phone dialer, address book, messaging, and main menu. Once you select the main menu icon, it will give you the tabbed interface found on the Vu. Some animations are accompanied after you press a tab, but its nothing fancy looking about it. Navigating through the menus will be a breeze for just about anyone without any sacrifice in experience. Some applications will run only in landscape view like the mobile email program.

Somewhat less than some other similar phones, the Xenon can save up to 500 contacts. We were a little disappointed to see that you can’t store other pertinent information when you make a new contact. You’re only limited to a handful of things such as two phone numbers, an email address, and a short memo.

One of the main draws of the phone is its keyboard for messaging. Typing up a message can be completed by using the generic virtual keypad with or without the aid of T9 predictive texting. Unfortunately, there is no option for a virtual QWERTY if you place the phone in landscape. It’s not too much of a problem because the QWERTY does a fine job. The only problem we had with it was the lack of a shift button which means you have to constantly press the caps button instead.

Just like other non-smart phones we’ve seen recently, you’ll be able to set up specific email accounts. Providers such as Yahoo, AOL, and Windows Live Hotmail are some of the big names supported on the phone. If your specific provider is not listed on the application, such as Gmail, you won’t be able to use it.

Camera and Multimedia:

We were hoping to see LG upgrade the camera on the LG Xenon GR500, but it is stuck with the same 2-megapixel one found on the Vu. The interface is a simple one with four icons on the right side used to view the album, take a photo, turn on/off the flash, and options menu. You can modify some items such as the image size (320x240, 640x480, 1280x960, 1600x1200), brightness, color effects, and white balance. Images taken in low lit areas came out with bland colors, fuzziness, and poor detail. We were expecting photos taken in well lit outdoor areas to produce better results. Unfortunately, colors were still not reproduced accurately with a slight haze over the image.

Videos recorded on the Xenon had similar results to the photos. The maximum video capture resolution is 320x240; making it useful for MMS. For some odd reason, audio from the video had a slight buzzing noise to it. The Xenon is a video share capable device, but we were unable to test this feature out.

Three different audio players can be used to listen to music – you can use the widget based player, music player, or audio player. The music and audio players utilize a similar interface displaying the artist, track name, and a time lapse bar. It is pretty easy to use with three icons on the bottom used to reverse, play/pause, or forward a song. The only difference is that the music player will display the album cover while the audio player will have a visual equalizer running as the song plays. Additionally, exiting out of the audio player will cause the music to stop while the standard music player will continue to play. Finally, the widget based music player will run in the background and also have a bar style equalizer running. You’ll find the usual set of AT&T music programs such as MusicID, XM Radio, and Make UR Tones on the phone.

Audio quality from the speaker came out surprisingly well without any crackling when volume was set to its highest. It was distinct, but lacked any serious bass to give it some much needed power. We like how the phone uses the microUSB port for charging and connection, but it’s not friendly when it comes to using headphones. LG did not pack an adapter in the box to convert it to a 3.5mm port, so you’ll have to purchase one if you plan on using your own pair. Luckily it supports stereo Bluetooth so you can have a wireless option if you prefer.

We were impressed by the video playback on the LG Xenon GR500. After loading a movie trailer clip in 320x144 H.263 format, we watched in amazement how it played perfectly and without any slow down. The quality was equally impressive with great detail and color levels. The audio produced from the speaker was vibrant and audible. The accelerometer will turn the video in either portrait or landscape view if you rotate the phone. The interface is basically the same that is found with the music player. You can even take a snapshot of any part of a video and save it as a photo or set it as your wallpaper.

Internet and Software:

The LG Xenon GR500 is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and dual-band UMTS (850/1900 MHz). You’ll be able to make phone calls if you take it out of the country, but does not support 3G access overseas.

Checking out web pages on the phone was a breeze thanks to its snappy web browser. Mobile sites load up very quickly while more complex sites like ours loaded up after a minute. Once it has completely downloaded everything, you can scroll smoothly in any direction. Pages are rendered correctly like what you would see on a computer. You are given an overall page view of a web site at first, but can zoom in by pressing the associated icon on screen. Additionally, you can open up two different windows and alternate between each. There wasn’t much slowdown when scrolling through longer sites, but you will notice the phone start to lag if you have both windows loading up large sites at the same time. You’ll be able to change the settings to an optimized display for single column viewing to eliminate the need to scroll horizontally.

For travelers on the go, using AT&T Navigator will provide good turn-by-turn directions while offering plenty of local points of interests. The Xenon’s IM client allows you to choose from AIM, Windows Live Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger. Just with other recent phones, you can jump back to the home screen while the IM application runs in the background.

Out of the box, the LG Xenon GR500 comes with 74MB of free memory out of 180MB. Fortunately, it supports microSD cards with capacity of up to 16GB for memory expansion.



1. RAza unregistered

Well thanx buddy for sharing this nice info,this iz really a cool phone i also have that particular phone,would u pl'z tell me how can i update my LG GR 500 Red Xenon.or u have any software relevant to this mobile/ Firmware updater/Software updater send me at my Email ID ie asifraza877@yahoo.com rearly reply 'll be appreciated. thanx...............

2. Amber unregistered

Yea these phones suck and break do not get them!

3. Basketballer777 unregistered

wow... it said that since it has 320 x 240 resolution for video, its good for Multi Media Messages (MMS) but when i try to send a text message with a video with that resolution, it says "Video resolution is too large to insert" and the video is like 10 seconds,,, i miss my old phone.....

4. ka4682 unregistered

This phone is terrible. Got a new one in Jan 2010 and by Sept the touch screen no longer worked - only 9 months old. Took it in and they replaced it with another brand new one, and 8 months later the touch screen again is broken. Would definitely NOT recommend this item. Seems to be some sort of defect with the screen.

5. smileyface unregistered

i think it is a really nice phone. i checked most reviews and ppl r saying its fantastic, i just recently ordered one and i hope im satisified.

6. heythere unregistered

VIDEO & PICTURE MESSAGING SOLVED- i was having trouble with sending pictures and videos because most phones could not receive it since the images or videos were too big . whenever i tried sending any video it would say 'video resolution too large to insert' . if youre sending a picture text , all you do is : go to camera , click the settings button at the bottom before you take any pictures . click Image Size and make it the smallest one ( which is 320x240 ) and others will be able to receive it . if youre sending a video , go to the video camera, again click settings at the bottom , click Video Size then click the smallest which is 176x144 , since the video resolution is too large to insert when it's 320x240. now record a video and click send , it will work ! hope this helps all LG xenon users

7. the hump unregistered

Had this phone for almost 2 years, Great little phone does everything I need. Haven't had any problems with it.

8. Insert display name here unregistered

This phone always freezes on me, and the storage room in the message box only allows less than 200 from inbox AND outbox put together. Bad phone.

9. A.B unregistered

I wouldn't recommend this phone to anyone, i got mine last year and paid $299 dollars for it as i was so excited to get it. After general wear and tear, i found my phone switching itself off at unexpected times, then recently it has not been charging at all.

10. Weehh unregistered

had this phone for over 2 years. love it, other than small inbox does everything I need. Just got a new phone and I actually miss this one, I'm about to go get the next version. Great phone.

11. DeniseB--54 unregistered

I have had the LG Xenon gr500 for 2 years and love it. I have had no problems with anything. Great phone!!

12. Andrew B unregistered

A really annoying drawback is the number pad. If you're in a call and need the number pad you have to unlock it, which I understand. What I don't understand is why 2 seconds later it's locked again. If you need to use the number pad for menus the quick locking is super annoying.
  • Display 2.8" 240 x 400 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 0.08GB
  • Battery 950 mAh(4.00h talk time)

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