Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Lo and Behold – LG KF700!

Sorry for taking such a long time to write this promised update on my new phone! So the whole story started on the eve of my birthday – I lost my 3-year-old Nokia 6610i and I need a new phone. I survived one week with the backup phone my roommate had kindly lent me, and I finally found a phone that I love after spending a week searching for it. I’m not really into phones so that’s why it took me ages to decide on which to buy – I have no idea which are the new models, which brand is better at which aspect and etc. All I did was to camp in front of my lappie and google my ass off for my new phone.

My new phone - LG KF700!

I discovered (considering that I’m so out of touch with phones) LG KF700 – a hybrid between a touchphone and a slider. The interesting hybrid was what that captured my attention and soon, affection. I wouldn’t want to live with a full touchphone – I knew iPhone’s way of typing a SMS is innovative and interesting, I preferred cold, hard keys to press on. Yet, I would love to have access to functions without using hardware keys, but through touch. I guess that’s the main selling point of this phone.

Actually my choice of this brand, LG, is partially influenced by the favourable, positive review wrote by Ivy, about her LG Viewty KU990R. LG KF700 can be said to be a sister of the phone (with extra hardware keys). Thanks Ivy for the review! I’ve never regretted my decision for choosing LG.

I purchased it online from Spider88.com. To be honest, I had my reservations for online shopping because I was worried of data pilfering and scamming. In addition, the price of this phone was cheaper than the market price that is around 400~500 SGD, which got me a little more cautious. I called to their office to make sure that everything is okay, and did a somewhat brief search on the company’s background. No bad records or reviews so far, so I proceeded with the online purchase.

The very helpful lady from their office messaged me upon receiving my order whether I wanted to push forward my delivery. Yes, they do door-to-door delivery free-of-charge (but only for buyers in Singapore, that is), as long as you’ve confirmed your order. On Saturday morning, Ben, the sales person from the company came over and we checked through the whole package before I paid using NETS – it was pretty interesting that he actually brought a portable NETS machine around in his bag. He was really helpful too – for checking me for sure that the bright silver colour code of the phone is not what it looks like (in fact, the real phone looked more like BLACK than silver), and for going through the entire package with me. I must say that I’m impressed!

Of course I took a few photos of my new phone!

LG KF700 and its packaging.

LG KF700 and its packaging. See, just as what I've said - the phone looks more like piano black than bright silver.

Photo collage of LG KF700

Photo collage of LG KF700

Now I shall start writing about the phone! The review is after the jump.

What I like about it

This phone comes jam-packed with a whole lot of features! Let’s see…

  • 3-inch touchscreen – With a resolution of 240*480 pixels, this phone has a bigger resolution that its close rival, Samsung F700. In addition, upon launching the phone for the first time, the phone will prompt you for a touchscreen calibration exercise. This makes sure that the phone responds to your gestures according to individually tailored calibration system, and saves you from all the trouble of extremely precise pressing.
  • Hidden hardware keys – The phone is a hybrid slider, so it comes with a standard set of number keys hidden elegantly underneath the touchscreen. The keypad conveniently omits the need of arrow keys to save space – you can always navigate to a part of the screen or your message with the touch of your finger, albeit a little inconvenient for the latter if you’re not a T9 dictionary fan.
  • Lock / Unlock key – Located conveniently within the reach of your right thumb (sorry left-handers!), you don’t need to slide open the phone just to unlock the phone. And this brings us to the next point…
  • Ease of operation – You don’t need to slide open the phone all the time (all thanks to the convenient lock / unlock key) because you can dial phone numbers, look up your phonebook, check your organiser, access your music player, play games and etc just via the touchscreen! The only instances that you’ll need to gracefully slide open the phone to reveal the hardware keys is when you need to type something.
  • 3.15 megapixel camera – The camera does pack some punch! At 3.15MP, the camera is able to take photos with resolutions of up to 2048*1536 pixels, which isn’t half bad compared to other phones of the same price like Sony Ericsson’s (they usually come with 2MP cameras). The camera comes with a LED flash, autofocus and image stabilising capabilities… that’s a lot to offer for a phone camera (considering that there are still consumer-grade cameras on the market that do not have image stabilisation functions). Check out the photo samples below:
Test photo #1 - Macro. The phone is able to take close up shots and they look pretty good!

Test photo #1 - Macro. The phone is able to take close up shots and they look pretty good!

Test photo #2 - Exposure. The phone detects exposure pretty accurately but for this scene where exposure values differ significantly, the performance falters.

Test photo #2 - Exposure. The phone detects exposure pretty accurately but for this scene where exposure values differ significantly, the performance falters.

Test photo #3 - Nighttime shooting. The camera does not perform well under low-light conditions. As you can see, the photo is out of focused and noise-ridden too.

Test photo #3 - Nighttime shooting. The camera does not perform well under low-light conditions. As you can see, the photo is out of focused and noise-ridden too.

  • Secondary video call camera – I doubt whether I will be making use of this video call camera but you can use it to take photos of yourself (camwhores, rejoice!), although the image resolution is significantly smaller at 640*480 pixels.
  • Touchback – Touchphones now aim to make interaction between the user and the machine two-way. That means that the phone will acknowledge your inputs and respond to them by vibrating. You’ll know when did you press a key and when you did not – especially at times when you tuck your phone in your pocket without locking it. Any accidental input will be alerted by vibrations as well.
  • And lots of user-friendly features – Widgets on the phone’s home screen, the touchscreen locking up when you are making a call, flicking through your contact / message list with ease (although less intuitive than iPhone’s) and etc.

Fumble tumbles!

Well, no phone is perfect!

  • No Wifi – The biggest mistake by the phone manufacturer. This phone doesn’t come with Wifi capabilities and yet it is released at an era where wireless networks are as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Although it comes with 3.5G, bluetooth and GPRS capabilities, nothing beats surfing the web with Wifi.
  • Fingerprint magnet – Just like Ivy has pointed out in her review on the sister phone LG Viewty, touchscreen phones are exceptionally prone to being horribly smeared by fingers. I don’t have sweaty palms and yet the screen still manage to suck out the oil from my fingertips. For people who love their phone to look like those fresh out of the production line or in product shots, you will have to either live with it or have a cloth with you all the time (I chose the latter).
  • Weak backlighting – The screen looks terrific under regular and low light conditions, e.g. indoors, sheltered walkways, brightly lit rooms, but under bright daylight, everything on the screen seemed to be rendered invisible by the glossy surface of the touch screen.
  • Rotating wheel – I find the incorporation of a rotating wheel pretty pointless. Although it can help you to scroll through long lists and provide access to shortcut functions, these maneuvers are usuall a few light touches away and this renders the wheel redundant. The only practical use I can find of this wheel is it being the volume control for your regular phone conversations and the music player.
  • Inability to mute keypad sounds – A common problem for LG phones. The keypad will not shut up unless you set your profile to silence. This means that if you want to have ringtonesm, you’ll have to live with the clanky dingdong tunes of the keypad whenever you use the keys. However, the multipurpose touch screen makes the situation less embarrasing as you don’t need to use the keys that often.
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