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Practical pep talk

LG’s Cookie has enjoyed a fair ranking among the youth-oriented, affordable touchscreen handsets. One of the follow ups is this, the GD510 or Cookie Pep as it’s popularly called.

tech reviews Updated: May 18, 2010 13:44 IST
Shayne Rana

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/edstoryImg/211009/cell-phone.gifLG’s Cookie has enjoyed a fair ranking among the youth-oriented, affordable touchscreen handsets. One of the follow ups is this, the GD510 or Cookie Pep as it’s popularly called.



With it’s low price tag, funky features and brand name it could be a threat for ultra budget Dual SIM Java mobile touchscreens.



Form

The Pep is a small and lightweight handset that makes you feel like you’re holding something of value. It fits neatly into your palm and is slim enough not to leave a bulge in your pocket. The Pep is equipped with a resistive touchscreen that doesn’t come with a stylus. The 3.0-inch display has taken some hard knocks and came out unscathed, making it resistant to scratches.



Its simplicity makes it attractive and very unisex. A single button below the screen makes it easy to return to the main menu or hang up, etc. A dedicated camera key doubles up as a shortcut button to access running applications and the apps menu.



A universal micro USB port is located on the same side as the volume/ zoom keys. The power key doubles up as a screen lock and is located at the top. A hot swap slot for the bundled 2 GB card is located under the rear panel.



Interface

The Pep uses a version of LG’s S-Class UI with an option to switch over to the Cookie interface which categorises application options vertically instead of horizontally. Three desktops are available, and each one is associated with specific settings — one offers desktop widgets, another is for access to favourite contacts and the third is for LG’s Live Square. This isn’t a social networking platform but a colourful way to keep track of people who you’re most in touch with via text or calls. You can select pre-designed avatars for these contacts to make the interaction more colourful. On the whole, the user interface is quite smooth, from the accelerometer changing the orientation of menus to accessing features and running them.



The keypad was the one feature I had an issue with. There was a visible lag between hitting the screen and the information showing up. The QWERTY (in landscape) is a little too small if you don’t have slim fingers. Multitasking is not much of an issue but you will find the handset running slowly if you have many things running in the background.



Media

The Pep excels in the multimedia segment. To start off, the music player is loud and very clear. The depth in the bass level is impressive, and EQ presets help enhance the overall audio experience. Even on normal settings, the player is capable of making you enjoy your music even in the loudest part of the city.



In normal conditions, ‘peaking’ the volume is never going to be necessary. The FM radio also works out really well picking up all the stations in a few seconds and providing decent reception through most locations. The player reads MPEG4 and 3GP videos without any issues but it doesn’t have a ‘stretch to fit’ option for fullscreen viewing if your videos are in a 4:3 format. Convert your video appropriately and you’re good to go.



A few games of the non-motion variety as well as ones that use the accelerometer are present. LG’s Muvee Studio application, to create slideshows for your pictures, is also available. A voice recorder is also on board for voice memos.



Connectivity

3G support is not available in the Pep so you’ll have to settle for EDGE/ GPRS. Setting up email accounts with POP or IMAP support isn’t too hard. The browser is simple and convenient for surfing.



Google has preloaded a Google Search feature but hasn’t included any of their other options, particularly Google Maps. Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and USB 2.0 are other modes of connectivity.



For social networking, there’s the SNS application that allows you to connect to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Unfortunately, this is not a program that can run in the background — if you get a call or message, you’ll have to quite the application first. An Indian Express Java application is available for getting the latest news updates online.



Other features

LG has included quite a few fun applications in their Pocket Apps section. Some of these include a banner that can be used to display messages, a weight tracker, Running Mate and even a Birthday candle that you can snuff out by blowing into the microphone.

LG’s Data Wallet for keeping secure data is available in addition to all the other basic mobile extras such as a Calendar, Memo Pad, To-Do List, Unit Converter, Stopwatch, etc. A Call Barring feature is also present to block unwanted calls.



Camera and battery

Much like the original Cookie, the Pep, too, comes with a 3 MP fixed focus camera. Features include White Balance, Night Mode and a Self Timer. Image quality is quite good, and pictures appear sharp even on close inspection.



The Pep’s 900mAh battery is managed well. On a single charge you get over a day-and-a-half worth of usage. Standalone talk time averaged in at a little over 3 hours and 10 minutes, which is good for an entry-level touchscreen handset.

Verdict
With a price tag of Rs 6,000 (MOP), it’s a great choice for those looking for a social networking-ready touchscreen handset that’s quite a capable media device as well. It does have a few quirks, but in the larger scheme of things, it still manages to deliver quite well on most fronts. All in all it has a neat, comfortable design that looks good and is light enough to be taken anywhere.

What we like
Lightweight, Comfortable design
User interface is quite fluid in most cases
Multimedia features work out really well
Camera quality is good

What we don’t
Virtual keypads are a bit of a issue