By Thomas McKinnon 19 May 2009


The most obvious mobile phone technology trend of 2008 was the inimitable touchscreen. If it didn’t have a touchscreen consumers just weren’t that impressed by it- we blame the iPhone.

The trouble with this is that only high-end devices such as the iPhone or HTC Touch Diamond offered a decent tactile experience; and by high-end we mean expensive. What makes these devices so expensive is their smorgasbord of features which, lets face it, not everybody uses or wants. Naturally this left a gap in the market for an entry level touchscreen device.

Enter the LG KP500 FreeTouch. The KP500 sports a rather impressive 3\" resistive touch TFT display which by all accounts is well integrated with the device’s software. Typing messages using either its QWERTY- made possible by an accelerometer- or normal keypads is a straightforward exercise, devoid of frustration. 

Besides its touchscreen the KP500 also offers a stereo FM radio, a functional media player which handles the most popular video and audio formats, a useable document viewer (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF), Bluetooth and a more than capable web browser.

The device’s ergonomics aren’t bad either. It is slimmer and lighter than any touch device we can think of on the market without feeling poorly built. It also offers some welcome buttons (real ones that is) including volume controls, a menu, answer, cancel/power, camera and lock button which actually augment the touch experience rather nicely. In all it is a very neat looking device for what you’re paying.

But to realise this massive price reduction LG have had to strip away a number of the features available in most touchscreen devices. There’s no 3G, no wireless access and no GPS. In addition the camera, albeit a 3 megapixel snapper, is a little thin on features, most notably lacking auto focus.

So while you get a touchscreen device that actually works for a fraction of the price of a high-end device you need to be willing to sacrifice a few features, especially in the connectivity department.

It has a 3\
It lack 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity so browsing is not a strong point.

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