The situation on the cell phones market indicates that mobile communication
has really become a mass phenomenon. The countries where the number of
users of cell phones exceeds the number of owners of wired phones are getting
more. Demand stimulates supply, and the variety of models offered today
is 1.5-2 times as much compared to the last year.
A cell phone is a conservative thing, and about 70-80% of phones offered
on the market today look very similar regarding design and functionality.
This is normal. But the phone makers stand idle and they do their best
to make you choose their phone and resort to various tricks. As to functionality,
it's clear that the more functions, the higher the price; that is why they
can only play with design.
However, there are different ways as well. A developer can sacrifice
functionality for design (Siemens Xelibri line is the best example of such
approach) or he can try to balance it. Thus, LG Electronics combined in
its G5500 an unusual design and decent functionality. This is a good offer
for the image niche where design is very important.
The most interesting peculiarity of the G5500 is its sliding design.
The phone thus has two active positions, and in every one you can
perfectly handle it. Such design is used for the first time. The Nokia
7650 and Siemens SL55 are built on a similar principle, but the aim
is different. Nokia and Siemens hide the keypad, while in the G5500
the whole keypad and even the joystick are available in both slider's
positions. There are also Samsung Matrix Phone and Nokia 8850, but
the former is from a completely different cohort, while the sliding
panel in the latter is just a kind of a flip. The last model with
a sliding design is the Nokia 8910/8910i.
Such an effective solution allows using a large display and rich functionality
at the same time. It's clear that a part of the screen is quite enough
for voice functions, and if you are going to send SMS or MMS, you can make
the the screen larger.
In spite of the sliding design (the phone actually consists of two parts)
the G5500 is pretty light (80 g) at the dimensions of 94 x 44 x 21.5 mm.
Its body is made of plastic with metallic parts to extend its service life.
The square design (the side edges are parallel, only the top and bottom
surfaces are smoothed) looks attractive, and even the antenna doesn't worsen
The display in the G5500 is really large: at the resolution of 128 x
160 pixels it houses 6 text lines and 2 service lines. The UFB matrix delivers
65,536 colors, with the image quality being excellent even in the sunny
weather - the problem is avoided because the display is a little recessed,
which also provides proper functioning of the slider). If you fold it up,
the two thirds of the display will be covered by the keypad, exposing only
The keypad design is typical of LG. The keys are pretty large and their
shape excellently matches the phone's design; the markings are clear. Above
you can see a 5-way joystick (the fifth is the confirmation position),
with 4 soft keys around it. On the left side is a double volume control.
There are generally more keys compared to an average phone, and it comes
in very handy. In the dark you can use the blue backlight. However, if
you just need to make a call remember about voice dialling for which there
are 10 entries reserved.
The menu, its structure and appearance are typical of LG phones: there
is a column of icons on the right, with an item selected displayed in the
middle. The menu goes down when you get into the submenus. Also, you can
set digital sequences or assign soft keys or joystick positions for frequently
The suite of logos, screensavers and ring tones looks ascetic, but you
can enrich it. Out of 30 high-quality polyphonic ring tones (40-tone polyphony
plus vibra alert) 10 can be modified. You can manually type them in with
the ring tone editor, transfer by EMS or MMS, or download from the Internet
or from PC via a cable or an IR port.
The phone supports SMS, EMS and MMS and offers 11 templates and the
predicative input (including the Cyrillic symbols). Also, you can create
messages up to 980 symbols long, format texts and attach images.
The phone connects to PC via an IR port located on the right side, or
via a data cable with a COM connector. The Internet can be accessed through
the WAP browser 2.0 or the GPRS Class 10 (4+2) protocol. The latter is
preferable. The phone book and organizer can be synchronized with PC.
The phone book is not that great - you can create up to 200 entries;
but it's very convenient - every entry supports up to 6 fields and an image.
Besides, the entries can be combined in groups up to 7. In case of an incoming
call the display shows both the name and the respective image.
The organizer has the whole range of necessary functions, but it also
has some limitations. Thus, the number of events in the calendar is limited
by 20. The other applications like a calculator, currency and unit converters,
alarm clock, a one-minute timer look standard. There are 5 alarm clocks
in all, each can be set separately (one time, once a day, once a week).
The G5500 also integrates a recorder though one record is limited by 20
You can add some functions using the Java as it's supported in the G5500.
But 350 KB is not maximum possible for today (it's dynamically redistributed),
though it will be enough for most users. One application can take 60 KB
at most. You can load both applications and games. Three games are already
installed. Multiply is a clone of tetris, Submarine is an arcade game where
you as a captain on a submarine has to evade various obstacles (similar
to a game named Cave which was monochrome and lacked sound and was installed
on PalmOS computers), and Space Ball - in spite of such name this
is just a kind of Snake.
The only thing to be mentioned is the Li-Ion battery, 760 mAh, which
works about two days at 20-25 minutes of talking a day and moderate usage
of other functions. But sometimes the phone ships with a more capacious
battery (850 mAh) which prolongs its run-down time and makes the phone
heavier (up to 89 g).
In all other respects, the LG G5500 is a well balanced solution regarding
its functionality combined with a fashionable and unusual look. But it's
only the start: the clamshell design has gone to past, while the era of
sliding models has only started.
Write a comment below. No registration needed!