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LG Cosmos 2 Review

 

LG Cosmos 2 Review

 
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The LG Cosmos 2 is a modest upgrade over the original LG Cosmos. It’s still a solid performer, and one of the few Verizon cell phones that doesn't require a data plan. If all you need is voice calls, texting, and a music player, the Cosmos 2 will take you far. It even makes the cut for texting phone on our list of The Best Phones on Verizon Wireless. Just don’t buy it expecting a powerful Internet experience.

Design, Call Quality & Interface

The Cosmos 2 measures 4.4 by 2.1 by 0.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.6 ounces. It’s made entirely of a solid-feeling matte plastic, and at least when closed, it looks almost identical to the original Cosmos (save for the fact that it opens the opposite way, with the two menu buttons now on the left instead of the right). The smallish 2-inch screen sports a relatively sharp 240-by-320-pixel resolution with unusually vibrant color for a low-end phone. If you don’t like ergonomically angled QWERTY keyboards, the Cosmos 2 may appeal to you. It features four perfectly straight rows of flat, rubber keys that are spaced slightly apart from each other. I could type on it fine, but I don’t like keyboards that put the spacebar in between letter keys, because it leads to more typos; I’d rather lose the row of numbers across the top instead. On the plus side, the numeric keypad on the front was easy to dial numbers with, and I liked the bright, even backlighting.

The Cosmos 2 is a dual-band 1xRTT (850/1900 MHz) device with no 3G or Wi-Fi. That’s fine, though; blazing Internet access isn’t really this handset’s mission. Calls sounded clear, crisp, and loud, in both directions, with no audible background hiss. A slight hint of static around spoken words was all that distinguished it from a nearby Verizon iPhone 4. Voice dialing worked fine over Bluetooth, though sometimes it took several seconds before it registered my voice command. Battery life was good at 6 hours and 15 minutes of talk time.

UI, Apps, and Data Plans

Navigating the Cosmos 2 is a cinch, thanks to the five-way control pad and instantaneous UI response. But the Myriad 6.2 browser is really tough to use. This is a 2G phone anyway, so buy something else if you’re going to browse the Web.

Multimedia, Camera, and Conclusions

LG upgraded the Cosmos 2’s headphone jack to a standard-size 3.5mm one and added a music player app, but also moved the side-mounted microSD card slot to underneath the battery cover; two steps forward, one step back. My 32GB SanDisk card worked fine, and there’s 51MB of free internal memory. The Cosmos 2 also works as a USB mass storage device so you can load or download your photos and music. The music player app was pretty easy to use and displayed album art when available, but it cut the first half-second off of every track while listening through Bluetooth headsets.

The 1.3-megapixel camera has no flash or auto-focus. Test photos were mostly a disaster. While many looked sharp, I lost several to motion blur thanks to below-average shutter speeds. Otherwise, the main problem was overexposure; sunlit windows became bright white blobs, and the chrome on a drum set turned white. There’s no camcorder or standalone video player.

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