The LG CU515 is a recent addition to the cell phone market that provides some fairly impressive features at a relatively low price. LG is marketing the phone as a powerful media device, but in reality it falls more into the category of an upper-end utilitarian phone.
Although the CU515 rings in at $250 at full price, after a service contract and mail-in rebate you can get that down to $40. While $40 is not free, as many simple phones are, it is a pretty small price to pay if you are looking for some of the extra features that the CU515 sports. If you are just looking for a plain phone to place your calls and send your text messages, then you are better off going with a free option. If you are looking for some Internet and e-mail access as well as some extra perks, then you cannot really do much better than $40.
As mentioned, LG is touting the CU515 as a powerful media device. This is likely due to its built-in MP3 support, fast Internet access (more on that later), bright display, and fairly decent camera. However, the truth behind this claim is a little shady.
While the phone does have MP3 support, it does not include a USB cable to hook up to your computer to transfer music. Music is stored via microSD card. It also does not come with headphones, but it does support Bluetooth stereo headphones, so that's a plus. So yes, it does play music, but LG is not doing much to help you play it. The media that you download does come in quite fast, but once you get it, you might not be terribly impressed by the inconsistent quality. Although the built-in camera is fairly good with 1.3 mega pixels of resolution, it does not include a flash or any sort of stabilization.
Despite its mixed media performance, the CU515 stands out as a pretty powerful lower end cell phone that comes at a very reasonable price. The phone and texting capabilities of the cell phone are just fine, and there is the added bonus of a pretty good e-mail utility. If you add in all of the extras (including media), then you end up with a very good deal.
The size of the CU515 comes in at about mid-range, weighing just under 3.5 ounces and measuring about the same dimensions as the Motorola RAZR (a bit thicker). Basically, the phone is plenty small to fit in your pocket and carry around comfortably, while not being so small as to be fragile or "designer."
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