LG KU800 phone Because the posts on disappointing hardware are very popular on my blog (e.g. Netgear storage and Lexmark printer), I’d like to write about a device that also should be avoided: the LG KU800 GSM. The KU800 is the Vodafone version of the KG800, which is sold in Belgium by Proximus (239€).

It was chosen by someone close to me for its neat black design, somewhat iPod-cool, let’s say. The design turned out to be the only thing it’s got going for it. The battery performance is lousy and almost every conversation of more than 5 minutes is broken of. She complained and got a replacement phone: exactly the same performance. A colleague of her also has that phone: the battery won’t even hold a full day.

The GSM forums talk about the same behaviour:

  • gsmarena.com: “it freezes up all the time, especially when im texting”, “the screen goes blank.. the camera freezes… i cant hear people on the other end… and oh the battery sucks”, “the display blocks when I slide it open , the touch pad started to fail sometimes and it has a very low speaker, i can hardly hear what the people i speak to are saying.”
  • yourmobilephonereviews.co.uk: “The battery life is appalling”, “Most of the time the buttons don’t work “, “the phone volume itself is quiet even on the full setting, battery life is rubbish”, “I am now on my 4th one they all have the same problem. It just decides when it wants to turn on or off. The screen freezes, & the vibrate mode gets stuck”

Why can’t there be a phone with great design and the performance and reliability of a Ericsson/Nokia phone? Why is there no designer on the level of Jonathan Ive working at Nokia? Maybe that is a good question for Bob Cringely.