Phone Scoop

printed October 22, 2014
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Review: LG Cosmos Touch

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  2  

Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging Social Networking  

 

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The poor touch response is compounded by the fact that this phone seems to think it is a smartphone with a highly responsive capacitive screen. There are so many ways the menu requires precise tapping, swiping and advanced finger gestures that I wonder if the interface designers knew they were working on a resistive screen device.

The main menu screen, for instance, is a near-copy of Samsung's older TouchWIZ designs. It uses a pullout drawer for widgets, though it's tough to tap the tiny drawer button that hangs off the side of the screen. Once you've placed a widget, you could drag it around the screen and place it where you like, if the phone was able to register the difference between a tap and a hold-and-drag gesture. It's not able, and widgets quickly piled up on top of each other as I was unable to move them to a better position.

There are only 8 widget options for the homescreen, and 2 of them are clocks. You can also place widgets for a calendar, a finger drawing pad or a sticky note, or you can drop shortcuts to start a text message or jump to the games menu or the photo gallery. That's all. There are no options to download more widgets, and the selection was only a small step above useless.

From the main homescreen, you can swipe left-to-right to see a message pane, which I'll discuss in more detail in the messaging section. Swiping right-to-left takes you to the Favorites screen, where you can place 11 contacts in a photo grid for fast access. At the bottom of the main homescreen, you'll find shortcuts for text messaging, the phone functions, the contact list and the main menu. Just above those shortcuts, near the bottom of the screen, there is also a tiny notification bar. When you miss a call or get a new incoming message, you'll see an icon there. If your aim is sharp, you can tap that icon to jump directly to whatever you missed.

The main menu is a basic 4 by 3 icon grid. The grid cannot be changed or rearranged in any way, which is probably fine since this phone isn't packed with too many features. At the top level, you get messaging, music, Web browsing, navigation and search, so that covers all of the basics.

One thing that bugs me on this phone is that none of the shortcut buttons work if you're not looking at the main homescreen. If you're looking at the main menu and you press the camera button, nothing happens. If you press the Send key, nothing happens, even though Send takes you to the call log when you press it while looking at the home screen. Even the volume keys don't work from the main menu. That seems silly and unnecessarily confusing.

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