The display slides to the right to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard underneath. The slider mechanism feels quite solid, and snaps firmly into place. The display switches orientation from portrait to landscape when the phone is open. The four-row keyboard is surprisingly roomy for such a small phone. The spacebar is situated nicely in the middle, and we like that there's a dedicated number row. The keyboard also has navigation keys on the right. The keys are well spaced from each other and each key has a slightly raised dome feel for a pleasant thumb-typing experience. It was certainly easy to text and dial with speed.
The LG Cosmos Touch has a 1,000-entry phone book with room for five numbers, two e-mail addresses, an IM screen name, a street address, and notes with each entry. You can organize your contacts into groups, and you can assign a picture and ringtone for caller ID. The phone has up to 18 built-in ringtones to choose from, but you're free to use your own, too. You can also add up to 11 contacts into a Favorites list that you can quickly access via a dedicated key on the keyboard.
As you might expect, the Cosmos Touch has basic phone features like a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, and voice commands. It also has simple tools like a calculator, a tip calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a world clock, a notepad, a drawing pad, and USB mass storage. Other features include Bluetooth with stereo support, GPS with VZ Navigator, voice recording, and a wireless Web browser with Bing search.
The Cosmos Touch has plenty of messaging features to keep texting fans happy. It has text and multimedia messaging of course, along with mobile e-mail. This lets you send and receive e-mail from Web services like Gmail and Hotmail to your own POP3 accounts. The latest Mobile Email 4.0 update even lets you get Microsoft Exchange e-mail, which is handy if you use Outlook at work. However, the service isn't free; it's $5 a month with a pay-as-you-go option, but it is included if you have a $15 or higher data plan.
Text messaging and e-mail aren't enough these days for most people, so the Cosmos Touch also has mobile IM with support for AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo IM, and Windows Live Messenger. The phone also has immediate access to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace via a central hub called SocialBeat or a few preconfigured numbers where you can send quick status updates. It's not a dedicated app or anything fancy, but it's good enough for basic social-networking needs.
As for media options, the Cosmos Touch has a basic music player, and that's about it. You can load MP3s via the microSD card slot, which can take up to 16GB of expandable memory. The phone does not have V Cast Music preloaded, so you can't buy music over the air.
We were quite disappointed that the phone still has a 1.3-megapixel camera, which is considered very basic at this point. It can take pictures in only three resolutions, and settings include 2x zoom, noise reduction, customizable shutter and cue sounds, brightness, white balance, color effects, photometry, a self-timer, and night mode. Photo quality was subpar, as you might expect from such a basic camera; low-light shots were disappointingly blurry, and colors were rather dim and washed out.
We tested the LG Cosmos Touch with Verizon Wireless in San Francisco. Call quality was average, for the most part. For us, we heard our callers without too many problems. They sounded loud and clear, with only the occasional static or hiss.
Our callers reported a few more problems, however. They said that our voice sounded very digitized and distorted, as if we were speaking in a tunnel. We could still carry on a conversation, but it certainly wasn't the best call quality. Speakerphone calls were about the same, except with more volume.
The LG Cosmos Touch has a battery life of 6 hours talk time and 20 days standby time. It has a tested talk time of 4 hours and 56 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 0.84 watt per kilogram.
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