Review by Samuel Chan on Wednesday December 14, 2005.
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Whether you are a fan of Motorola or not, you cannot deny the success of their RAZR V3; not only has it sold well, it has also helped Motorola to re-establish itself as being the 'hip' company, putting down the soap-maker image. Korean manufacturers are not shy about using the RAZR concept on their phones at all, Samsung has the Z500 series, and LG has the P7200, which we are going to look at today. The P7200 is LG's answer to the RAZR, and it is arguably the only 2.5G model LG put any effort into this holiday season.Physical Aspects
The P7200's design is heavily RAZR inspired, but it feels a lot more ergonomic. Size wise it is only 3mm (0.11") narrower and 4mm (0.15") thicker than the RAZR (the P7200 is 96mm x 50mm x 17mm - 3.77" x 1.96" x 0.66"). Astonishingly, LG managed to squeeze a rotating display, 2 megapixel camera, and auto focus module into this 105g (3.70oz) package, just 10 grams (0.35oz) heavier than the RAZR.
The black plastic doesn't feel cheap at all, partly due to the slightly brushed finishing and the handset's overall weight. The build is extremely sturdy, and scratch resistance is above average.
The keypad is again heavily RAZR-inspired. From the blue backlight to the tactile feeling, not only does it look similar, it actually feels similar. The keys might not be soft enough for fast text messaging, but their spacing and arrangement are appropriate. Generally, I am quite pleased with the keypad.
The volume controls, TransFlash (microSD) slot, and the power/data connecters are found on the left, whereas the hands free jack and the shutter key are found on the right of the handset. The soul of the phone, the 2-megapixel camera, is found on the back of the phone. There is no lens cover, though I never managed to scratch it in my jeans pocket. On the cover of the phone there is a square sub display and three music hotkeys. They are handy for skipping tracks with the phone still in your pocket.
The main display can be swiveled and flipped down. This mechanism feels sturdier than that on Sharp 903. The flip hinge itself is unremarkable, just the usual LG spring hinge that closes a bit too strongly but should be durable - based on my past experiences.Multimedia
The P7200 uses the same 262K color TFT main display found on LG's newer 3G phones. Measuring 2" diagonally, resolution is 176x220 pixels, which is only average. Brightness is not adjustable, yet is sufficient during use. To our disappointment, visibility under sunlight is poor.
The 96x96 pixel external display measures 1.17" diagonally. The specifications stated that it was only capable of displaying 65K colors, but I have not noticed significant difference from the main display.
The P7200 excels in the area of audio performance. The stereo speakers give excellent results in playing music, and ringtones are loud with the 64 voice polyphonic system. For a change, the gimmicky stereo effect of the speakers is actually discernible. Volume wise it is comparable to the Sony Ericsson K700i, only the treble is not as harsh and exaggerated. The audio player supports a wide range of formats that include MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC, WMA, and even Real Audio files. All of these files can be set as the ringtone. Furthermore, you can make use of the music shortcut keys on the cover to start and move around your music collection. I was pleasantly surprised to find a customizable equalizer built in, and you can also choose from three flashy visual effects while playing music.
There is no ringtone editor built in, though you might be better off using your own audio files anyway.
Sam Chan is MobileBurn's roving reporter and reviewer in Hong Kong, where he has access to all sorts of toys the rest of us just can't have.