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LG Xenon GR500 Review

LG Xenon

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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.

Home screen - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Home screen - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Home screen - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Home screen - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Home screen


The tabbed main menu of the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review
The tabbed main menu of the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review
The tabbed main menu of the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review
The tabbed main menu of the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review

The tabbed main menu of the LG Xenon GR500



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.

Phonebook and dial screen of the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Phonebook and dial screen of the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Phonebook and dial screen of the LG Xenon GR500



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.

There is no on-screen QWERTY - LG Xenon GR500 Review
There is no on-screen QWERTY - LG Xenon GR500 Review
There is no on-screen QWERTY - LG Xenon GR500 Review
There is no on-screen QWERTY - LG Xenon GR500 Review

There is no on-screen QWERTY



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.

Some of the supported email providers - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Some of the supported email providers - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Some of the supported email providers



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.

Camera and camcoder interface - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Camera and camcoder interface - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Camera and camcoder interface


Outdoor samples - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Outdoor samples - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Outdoor samples - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Outdoor samples

Strong light - Camera samples - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Medium light - Camera samples - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Camera samples - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Strong light

Medium light

 

Camera samples



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 player and music programs - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Audio player and music programs - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Audio player and music programs - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Audio player and music programs - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Audio player and music programs



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.

Playing videos on the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Playing videos on the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review
Playing videos on the LG Xenon GR500 - LG Xenon GR500 Review

Playing videos on the LG Xenon GR500

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.

The web browser of the LG Xenon GR500 is very good - LG Xenon GR500 Review
The web browser of the LG Xenon GR500 is very good - LG Xenon GR500 Review
The web browser of the LG Xenon GR500 is very good - LG Xenon GR500 Review
The web browser of the LG Xenon GR500 is very good - LG Xenon GR500 Review

The web browser of the LG Xenon GR500 is very good



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.

AT&T Navigator, IM clients and preloaded games - LG Xenon GR500 Review
AT&T Navigator, IM clients and preloaded games - LG Xenon GR500 Review
AT&T Navigator, IM clients and preloaded games - LG Xenon GR500 Review

AT&T Navigator, IM clients and preloaded games





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PhoneArena rating:
6.5Good
Display2.8 inches, 240 x 400 pixels (167 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size4.16 x 2.11 x 0.62 inches
(106 x 54 x 16 mm)
3.81 oz  (108 g)
Battery950 mAh, 4 hours talk time

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