Luckily, the LG Cosmos carries over plenty of the messaging features found on the Rumor 2. It has text and multimedia messaging, of course, plus support for Verizon's Mobile Email that lets you send and receive e-mail directly from the phone. You can use any kind of e-mail account, from Web services like Gmail and Hotmail, to your own POP3 accounts. However, you do have to pay $5 for the privilege. If you don't want to cough up the dough, you can just go the mobile Web e-mail route and get your e-mail over the Web interface. It has mobile IM as well, with access for AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo IM, and Windows Live Messenger. You won't get access to your work e-mail on here, however, which you can get on the Rumor 2.
If you're a social networking fan, you'll also appreciate the Cosmos' built-in quick access to popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. However, these are not dedicated apps; they're really just pre-entered numbers that you can send text messages to, so you still need to set up your phone number on the services separately. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it's nice that you're able to send updates and photos to these services in just a few clicks.
We were a little disappointed to see a 1.3-megapixel camera on here, but seeing as the Cosmos is billed as an entry-level phone, we're OK with it. You can take pictures in three different resolutions (1,280x960 pixels, 640x480 pixels, 320x240 pixels). Camera settings include brightness, a self-timer, five white-balance presets, three shutter sounds plus a silent option, five color effects, photometry adjustments, night mode, and even noise reduction. Photo quality was surprisingly decent for a low-megapixel camera. There was little image noise thanks to the noise-reduction feature, and it takes pretty good photos in low light even without flash. Colors did look a little dim at times, but it wasn't too bad. The Cosmos supports up to 16GB of removable memory.
You can personalize the Cosmos with several wallpaper and theme options. You can use your own photos if you want, and you can download more via the Verizon Store. The phone also comes with two games, Pac-Man and Tetris, and you can download more games and apps from the Verizon Store as well.
We tested the LG Cosmos in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless. Call quality was admirable on the whole. We enjoyed strong signal and great voice quality on our end. We heard our callers clearly with nary a hint of static, though there was a bit of harshness at times.
Callers also reported great quality. They said we still sounded like we were on a cell phone, but they could hear us loudly and clearly. Even when were in a noisy environment, we could carry on a conversation just fine; they did complain a little about the background noise, though. Speakerphone calls were good as well; callers said they heard more echo, but that's to be expected.
It's unfortunate that the Cosmos doesn't have 3G or EV-DO, but it is really affordable and we appreciate not having to pay extra for a data plan.
The Cosmos has a rated battery life of 6 hours talk time and 24 days of standby time. According to our tests, it has a talk time of 4 hours and 32 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, it has a digital SAR of 1.18 watts per kilogram.