Pros Intuitive menus, overall look, keypad
Cons Call quality, charging, too shiny, bluetooth music playing
Summary Pros:Gary, to download Audacity (the free version) go here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/windows
- Nice easy intuitive menus. Love the ability to take a numeric option on the menus rather than having to scroll down through a bunch of options to select.
- Well-spaced keypad, with nice tactile button press.
- Nice feel in the hand
- Love the plum color.
- Was able to create and use my own ringtones after a short learning curve. What I didn’t realize at first is that you have to have a contact saved to phone memory in order to assign pictures and ringtones to contacts. Since everything transferred over from my old phone was NOT in phone memory, I had some frustration with this until I finally figured it out. Oh, and speaking of ringtones: You’re cool with files <= 300 kb. I had read some place about a 22khz sampling rate, but really that has nothing to do with it (not that I found). Just keep the file size down and you’re good to go. I downloaded Audacity free and used it to create ringtones. A bit of a learning curve there too, but once I figure out some basics I was on a roll. The nice thing about making your own is that you can carry them with you to other music phones as well. I have ported them over to my new Razr V3xx with no problem (other than figuring out the Razr’s way of doing things).
- The ability to view files on your microSD card as you have them there---standard file tree breakdown---was nice. I didn’t realize this was something specific to LG until I tried it on the Razr, whose menus are nowhere near as user-friendly.
o This phone didn’t seem to hold a signal as well as my old Nokia bar phone. I decided to try a Razr V3xx as well and it got MUCH better signal strength in the same places I was experiencing drop-off with the LG.
o The people I called experienced fades and breaks (silences) which resulted in more repeating than I care to engage in. This was regardless of whether I was using the handset, the speaker, or a bluetooth device, and even after changing out the SIM card in the phone with a different one. I saw in the cnet editor’s review that they experienced the same thing, so I can surmise that this is a standing issue with the phone. They tested the black, I had the plum, so anyone who thinks it would be a color issue (lol) can rest assured it’s not.
o I also tested the sound of the call for myself with a friend who has an old Razr. He called me from the LG and I listened on the Razr. Ordinarily when he calls from the Razr I’m holding the phone away from my head because he’s so loud. But when he called me from the LG I could barely hear him, even when I jacked up the volume. He sounded faint, muffled almost. Although I could hear him, it just wasn’t a sharp clear sounding voice. I could only imagine what I sounded like to other people, since I tend to speak lower when on a cell phone. Since he’s also a very loud talker I found this tres strange. Add this test to what other people were telling me about the call quality on their end and I had to accept that this phone would not be a good one for me to subject listeners to. Note: I could hear other people just fine on the LG---they just couldn’t hear me well, and complained of the breaks and fading.
- Looks: Too shiny---every fingerprint showed up on the cover, resulting in much cleaning. I felt sure that scratches would become a problem given time.
o The proprietary plug for charging and USB access was something I didn’t like. I prefer a standard or mini-usb plug like what comes with the Motorola so that I don’t have to have yet another usb cable floating around. I have a camera and an mp3 player that both use mini-usb---it would be nice if the phone could use the same.
o The charger plug was unnecessarily tight. Getting the charger in and out was difficult, and the phone slipped out of my hands on one occasion, resulting in a bounce check on an uncarpeted floor. I will say that this unintended test of the phone’s durability resulted in no damage to the phone, not even a scratch.
o In order to start the phone charging you had to plug the phone into the charger FIRST, then the charger into the wall. That could pose a problem for people who want to leave their charger plugged into a dedicated outlet that is behind a piece of furniture. I’ve never had this problem with any other electronic device, so it was very strange and worth mentioning.
o The battery icon was counter-intuitive. On the screen on the outside of the phone a full charge was indicated one way, but it was indicated in the exact opposite color scheme on the inside. I could never figure out exactly where my charge stood, especially once it was not longer completely full.
- Playing music on a bluetooth headset (non-stereo) did not function. I assumed I would need stereo headsets, and that maybe this was an issue with all music phones. However, I noted that when I played music with the Razr the music played on that same mono-bluetooth headset with no problems. Maybe it’s a limitation of the CU515 design, or maybe there was a setting I could change to correct this---although I searched diligently I could not find such a setting. I don’t know, because the manual didn’t address it, at least not directly (nowhere did it say you HAD to have a stereo headset to listen to music over bluetooth, but it may have been implied). Anyway, the fact that the Razr CAN play music on a mono headset tells me that LG should fix this problem or more clearly document how to get around it.
- Speaking of the documentation: The manual supplied with the phone didn’t have enough information in it, and some things you had to deduce from other statements. I wish I had a specific example, but I no longer have the manual. Most things I was able to figure out via trial and error, but it was time-consuming and better documentation would certainly benefit users.
Overall I liked the phone, but the call quality (or lack thereof) was a deal-breaker. After all, first and foremost this is a PHONE. Anything else is just icing to me. And since it’s the only phone I have (no landline), call quality is even MORE important for me. So, with much chagrin I traded it for the Motorola Razr V3xx, which has much better call quality and signal strength, and my voice on the other end has much more volume (although not obnoxiously so like the old razrs). However, I sure hated giving up the nice intuitive menus of the LG, and that easy-to-use keypad! The Motorola’s OS could really use a complete overhaul, and it’s keypad is still a bit too compact for non-dainty fingers.
Updated on Jan 4, 2009
Pros I love the internal screen! Adjusted the date and time to make them large. Great reception. I love the speakerphone button on the top and outside the phone. Easy to see and use contact list.
Cons I wish the date was larger on both screens. The external screen could be brighter and larger. Can't use recordings for ring tones. Keep hitting the left side convenience key just touching the phone
Summary I do love this phone. The internal screen resolution is awesome! For anyone who needs to enlarge the fonts to make them easier to see, this is the phone for you! The date on the internal screen could be larger, but the time is HUGE! External screen needs to be brighter and larger. Left side convenience key seems to be set to PTT and I can't change it. I hit that key everytime I touch the phone. Camera is excellent. Sound is awesome and the speakerphone sound quality and loudness is incredible.
Made my own menu of the features I use most often and assigned mute and regular volume options to the two keypad keys inside the phone at the top. I wish I could answer the phone via the speakerphone while driving because opening the phone with one hand isn't that easy. It snaps shut.
Overall, another awesome LG product. If you're buying a phone for an older person who can't hear and see as well as they used to, this is the phone for you! I bought this phone for my Mom. I have a Curve. As far as sound goes, this LG is as good as my Curve and the screen resolution is comparable as well.
Pros Lightweight, great basic phone, good display
Cons requires LG adapter to use plug in headphones
Summary This is my wife's phone. She just wants to use it as a basic phone and we had to get her a new one once we switched from Verizon to AT&T. She was quite unhappy with the battery life--only about 36 hrs of standby with at most 15-20 mins of talk.
We exchanged for new phones twice after discussing the situation with AT&T's tech support.
It was only after the 2nd exchange that the store salesman told me that all the new 3G phones have such poor battery life. His explanation was incorrect, but it got me to do a Google search. I learned that the 3G technology is more of a battery draw, and in many cases dramatically reduces standby and talk time. Since my wife only wants to use this phone as a basic phone and doesn't need the advantages of 3G (faster data speeds, internet, etc), we found that we want a 2G phone because of improved battery life. Another Google search, and I found the procedure:
LG cu515 3G/2G mode selection
type in 277634#*#
then go through the menu:
5. modem setting
2. network mode
1. network mode
2. 2g only
It's now been 48 hrs since we forced our cu515 to be a 2G only phone. My wife has already talked on the phone 60 mins, and standby time has already exceeded
36 hrs. The power indicator is still registering a fully charged battery. When we had the phone in the default mode (dual 2G and 3G), the battery would have entirely died by now. Downside for a 2G only phone: slightly worse phone quality, but we haven't noticed a difference yet. So if you just want a basic phone and can't stand having to charge your phone every night, I'd recommend you disable the 3G network as specified above.
Pros Plenty of convenient options like alarm clock, calculator, large address book. Easy to use menu.
Cons Easily damaged by moisture, outside case shows fingerprints from handling, speaker button is hard to operate with phone open, microphone located right beside the number 6 button and is easy to cover .
Summary Overall the phone works good. I use the push to talk feature a lot and enjoy it. The menu is easy to navigate through. The many options the phone offers are convenient. The ringtones installed leave a bit to be desired. I have had this phone replaced recently with another CU 515 due to the exposure to moisture from changes in the weather from warm to cold.
Pros Seems to have lots of features. It was cheap.
Cons Sound quality is bad. No voice dialing. External Speaker rattles.
Summary Sound quality is bad. I have callers asking me to repeat all the time. AT&T sales web site stated this had voice dialing but it does not so my bluetooth hands free dialing is not hands free any longer. I do not recommend this phone to any one.