The original LG Cosmos came out over three years ago, and a lot has changed in the mobile phone world since then. But not a lot has changed on planet Cosmos, which is still up to the same old tricks in its third iteration. The free LG Cosmos 3 is priced right, but just about everything else—from the lackluster camera, to the mediocre battery life, to the flat-out terrible keypad—is wrong. Don’t be swayed by the price. You’ll be a lot happier paying $50 bucks for the Samsung Intensity III.
Design and Call Quality
The Cosmos 3 is your standard slider phone. It measures 4.41 by 2.06 by 0.63 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.58 ounces. It’s made entirely of a solid gray matte plastic, with a textured back panel. The phone slides open to give you a four-row QWERTY keyboard. They keys are little black plastic nubs, surrounded by a sea of silver plastic around the perimeter of the keyboard and around the middle of the phone. The keys themselves are nice and clicky, and I appreciate the dedicated number row at the top. But there’s not much space between keys, making it easy to press the wrong one, and the Space bar—which is plunked down between the V and B keys—completely threw my typing game off. You’ll probably get used to it, but it isn’t ideal.
But while I can deal with the keyboard, I was barely able to put up with the phone’s control and number pads, which are among the worst I’ve ever used. All of the keys are oddly shaped and poorly placed—the number keys themselves aren’t even aligned to a straight horizontal line. On top of that, the Call Start and End keys are difficult to press, and LG has placed dedicated Speakerphone and Clear keys right on top of them, so you often press the wrong one. I never dialed a number right on the first try with this phone. It can be infuriating.
That makes it easy to overlook some of the positive elements here, like the phone’s tiny-but-crisp 2-inch display. With a resolution of 320-by-240-pixels, it has 200 pixels per inch, so text and images look sharp, and viewing angles are much better here than on the Samsung Intensity III.
The Cosmos 3 is a dual-band 1xRTT (850/1900 MHz) phone with no 3G or Wi-Fi. Reception and call quality are average. Voices sound extremely thin but loud and clear in the earpiece, if a little harsh at maximum volume. And calls made with the phone sound a touch muted and fuzzy, but still perfectly audible. The speakerphone gets very loud, so you should have no trouble hearing the phone outdoors. And calls sounded clear through a Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset; voice dialing worked fine over Bluetooth. The 900mAh battery was unimpressive, dialing in just 5 hours and 23 minutes of talk time.
Apps, Multimedia, and Conclusions
Don’t get this phone if you want it to do much more than your standard flip phone. There’s a Myriad 6.2 Web browser, but it only reads WAP pages. Text is very small on the phone’s 2-inch screen, and 2G data speeds are extremely slow.
You get all of the usual apps here, like an alarm, calendar, tip calculator, and a stopwatch. There’s also email support for Gmail, Hotmail, Microsoft Exchange, Verizon.net, Windows Live, and Yahoo accounts, but you need to have a data plan to use it. And if you’re going to pay to access data, you might as well be using a smartphone.
Multimedia support really just means audio, and the Cosmos 3 doesn’t play video like the Samsung Intensity III does. But it played MP3, M4A, and WMA tracks fine over both wired 3.5mm headphones as well as a Bluetooth pair. Some hiss sneaks in around the track when it finishes playing, but only for a second or two. And if you want to listen to music you’ll probably need to pop a microSD card into the slot underneath the battery cover, as the phone itself only has 56MB of free internal memory.
The 1.3-megapixel camera has no flash or auto-focus. Test photos look poor. The camera manages to capture images that are simultaneously soft at their default size, and extremely noisy if you zoom in even a little. You’re not going to find many keepers here.
So while the LG Cosmos 3 is free, its many shortcomings mean that you’ll be paying time and time again with your patience. A much better option is the Samsung Intensity III. It has a better keypad, better multimedia support, better battery life, better… well, you get the picture. If you don’t need a keyboard, the LG Revere 2 is a pretty good choice for a flip phone. It’s free, call quality is good, and it’s easy to use.
|Service Provider||Verizon Wireless|
|Phone Capability / Network||CDMA|
|Total Integrated Storage||0.09 GB|
|Screen Resolution||320 x 240 pixels|
|Dimensions||4.41 x 2.06 x 0.63 inches|
|Screen Type||TFT LCD|
|Screen Pixels Per Inch||200 ppi|
|Available Integrated Storage||0.056 GB|
|High-Speed Data||CDMA 1X|
|Screen Size||2 inches|
|Battery Life (As Tested)||5 hours 23 minutes|
|Bluetooth Version||2.1 + EDR|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc