LG 6190 vs. LG 5450
Reviewed on Monday December 6, 2004 by Steve, Toronto
I had upgraded from the LG 5450 to the LG 6190, but reluctantly went back to the 5450 for reasons that might not matter to other users. For instance, you cannot disable the clock on the internal LCD, so it is always in the middle of your wallpaper. The numbers aren't exactly tiny either. On the 5450, the time and date were at the bottom of the screen where they were hardly noticeable (though it would be nice to be able to turn this off as well). Similarly, using voice dial to simply call someone now requires three commands instead of one. First you have to say "Contacts", then the Contact Name, and then "Yes" or "No" to verify that it is correct. With the 5450, all you had to do is say the Contact Name and if the phone interpreted this correctly it would automatically make the call. If it didn't it would simply ask you to repeat the name. I found this much less "clugy" than the 6190, though the 6190 has a very rich menu of voice menu commands(e.g., "redial", "voicemail"). You can even dial digits by voice. Also, the 6190 has a true two-way speakerphone and a camera flash, which are the two features I'll probably miss most. For text messagers, which I can't really count myself as, the Fastap seemed to work well and was a lot better than "abc" mode. I can't compare it to T9 since I've never tried this. I found the camera zoom to be fairly useless, though the flash does work if the subject is close and the external lighting conditions are decent. Looks-wise, the 6190 is quite attractive with a mirror-like finish surrounding the internal LCD and sleek, rounded appearance. The 6190 features a separate Li-on battery and cover rather than an integrated battery/cover like the 5450 and some other clams. I liked the idea of a separate battery, but the cover seemed a bit fragile. I had no problems with it however. The smaller number buttons (due to the inclusion of the Fastap keys) took a little while to get used to and even though the Fastap programming helps to minimize typing errors, there were times when I got a letter rather than a number and my fingers are not that large. RF was comparable to my 5450, which is to say that it ranged from average to good. Sound quality was decent, though a couple of people commented that I sounded "distant" at times. This seemed to be sporadic, so time will tell whether this is a common problem. Unlike the 5450, where the camera lens is awkwardly positioned just underneath the hinge, the 6190 camera lens is located on the front cover, which I think is an improvement. It looks like LG decided to copy other clam makers on this. The one-touch camera button on the 6190 also makes it a bit easier to take pictures. In the end, I decided to go back to the 5450 because I don't do a lot of text messaging, because you can't turn off the clock on the internal LCD, because using voice dial to call someone required less commands, and last but not least because it cost one-third less. However, if text messaging and/or a two-way speakerphone are important to you, I think you will be happy with the 6190.