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LG T5100

LG T5100
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LG T5100
(LG Electronic)
Dualband phone
Camera: 1.3 megapixels (SXGA 1,280 x 1,024pixel image size), 4x digital zoom
Display (internal): 65,536-colours TFT (thin-film transistor), 176 x 220 pixels
Screen (external): 4,096-colours TFT, 96 x 96 pixels
Messaging: MMS (multimedia messaging service), EMS (enhanced messaging service), SMS (short message service)
Connectivity: Infrared, USB, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)
Phone memory: 27MB
Battery type: 950mAh lithium-ion
Standby/talk time: 200/2.5 hours
Other features: 180° rotating LCD (liquid-crystald display), picture callerID via external LCD, 40-polyphonic ringtones, scheduler, alarm, 255 items in phonebook, MP3, MIDI, Java MIDP 2.0, organiser, calculator, unit converter, world time function, dictaphone (works only in standby mode with up to 19 seconds for each recording)
Weight: 120g
Dimensions (w x d x h): 98 x 48 x 26mm
Price: RM1,599
Website: www.lge.com.my
Review unit courtesy of LG Electronics Malaysia, 1-800-822-822

WITH so many phones in the market today, it must be getting harder for manufacturers to design ones that stand out.

LG has done well in that respect with its new T5100 clamshell. The design certainly gets your attention.

The top half of the phone can be rotated 180° so that it becomes “inside-out” – that is, the internal screen becomes the external screen.

When the phone is switched this way, it is transformed into a “full-blown” digital camera where the internal screen now serves as the viewfinder for the camera.

Heck, the phone even looks like a digital camera.

To complete the digital camera look, LG has also equipped this device with a shutter button located on the side of the phone (on top if you look at it as a digital camera).

There is even a flash located near the lens. Unfortunately, it only acts as a lamp or torchlight to brighten up subjects in close-up photography.

As with most camera phones, the lens does not have any protective cover. However, the lens is slightly recessed, so there,s no fear of scratching it.

Apart from the design, the other main selling point of the T5100 camera phone is the built-in 1.3-megapixel digital camera.

So-so picture quality

We expected more from the camera because of the high megapixel count. Unfortunately, having a higher resolution camera phone does not mean you get better images.

Even with white balance and brightness adjusted, the images appeared washed out and colours were not always correct. Worse, when used in low lighting conditions, too much noise appeared in the image.

Using the built-in flash helped a bit, but not by much.

We compared photos taken on the T5100 with those taken on the Panasonic X700 smartphone.

Both phones were used to take a close-up image of colourful subjects under a fluorescent light. We chose the highest setting on both devices.

Note, however, that the Panasonic X700 only has a 0.3-megapixel camera and its flash was not used.

There was a huge difference in quality between the two camera phones. Photos taken with the X700 were warmer and sharper, while those taken on the T5100 seemed grainier and darker, even though we used the flash.

Shoots video, too

The T5100 can also take up to 30 minutes of moving images with audio, depending on the available shared memory. Videos are recorded in 3GP format. Just like the still image function, you need an absolutely bright environment to get viewable footage. The zoom function doesn’t work here.

With the absence of any external memory card slot, you have to make do with the 27MB of built-in memory for images and videos.

To free up some space, you can transfer captured images to the PC via the bundled USB cable or the infrared port.

Unfortunately, the infrared port will only work with PCs and laptops that have the LG T5100 software installed.

What this means is that you cannot beam data to other infrared-enabled devices such as PDAs (personal digital assistants) or phones as no software is available for them.

The phone has an empty folder marked “Java.” Users are supposed to download Java apps to the phone and store them here. However, keep in mind the phone only has 350KB of space for Java apps.

The T5100 comes with only one preloaded game called Pocket Athlete, but also offers an MP3 player.

However, there is no Flash memory card slot and storage space is very limited.

Hopefully, future versions of this phone will have an expansion card slot for storing photos, videos and even MP3s.

Finally

Before buying this phone, you will have to ask yourself if it is worth the price.

Keep in mind, it has no Bluetooth, and offers limited infrared capability, low quality still images and no Flash memory card slot.

Pros: Nice design two LCDs built-in flash built-in MP3 player USB cable.

Cons: Price low quality images limited built-in memory no external memory card slot limited function infrared no Bluetooth.

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