Stress test of a cell phone LG KP500


Today in the ”Gadgetstress” lab we are going to stress test one more cell phone with a touchscreen -  LG KP500. This phone was put on the market in 2008. It is now less popular than it was 2 years ago because there are some inexpensive competitors that have recently been produced.

KP500 has an inexpensive resistive touchscreen. The phone is made of plastic with a matte coating. The frame does not contain any metal. The gaps between the keyboard and the frame are quite small. If you squeeze the gadget it will not produce any noise. The buttons are easy to be pressed.  However there are some slits in the peg of the USB port. Such a peg does not protect the port from any liquid or dust.

You can see the box and the delivery set in pic.1 and 2. The phone itself is showed in pic.3 and 4.

The results

Pic. 1. The box

Pic. 1. The box

Pic. 2. The delivery set

Pic. 2. The delivery set

Pic.3. The front side

Pic.3. The front side

Pic.4. The back side

Pic.4. The back side

Below you can read all about the stress test of an LG KP500.

Stage 1 – ability to withstand light shocks

1.1. Drop-down

As usual we began our experiment with a drop-down test. The LG KP500 was sequentially dropped onto each face, edge and corner from 1m on the carpet (video 1) and from 30cm on the ceramic tiles (video 2). The phone easily survived. But only once the back cover was a bit removed.

Drop-down on the carpet from 1m – the grade is 30 from 30 possible

Drop-down on the tiles from 30cm – the grade is 20 from 30 possible

1.2 Ability to withstand squeezing

The phone is thin and flat. This shape protects it from any squeezing. We put the phone on a flat surface and evenly placed a 3kg plank on it (pic.5). The plank adjoined closely to the phone.

When we pressed the phone some buttons on the front side functioned. But we heard no creak. Obviously the device was safe.

Pic.5 The KP500 under pressure of  3kg

Pic.5 The KP500 under pressure of 3kg

The grade is 24 from 24 possible

1.3 Bend test

This phone is relatively light as it is made of plastic. It is not so rigid as the phones with metallic frames. We placed the device between the two supports and hitched a rope with a load of 1kg over it (pic.6). It was enough to make a bend.

 Pic.6. The phone between the two supports with the load on the rope over it

Pic.6. The phone between the two supports with the load on the rope over it

The grade is 16 from 24 possible

1.4 Wearout test

Most people think that a KP500 has a bad quality frame coating which wears out too fast. We decided to check this claim by our wearout test.

We simulated a rough handling of the phone by putting it into a cylinder of a centrifuge together with some keys, coins and plastic balls. The centrifuge rotated the cylinder for 5 min.

When we took the phone out it was absolutely safe. The screen survived. But some small scratches (which could hardly be noticed on the matte coating) appeared on the back cover.

Video3. The rotation of the centrifuge

The grade is 15 from 15 possible

1.5 Quality of the material of which the phone is made

In order to check the quality of the materials of which the gadget was made we scratched the display and the back cover with a nail at the force of 100g (video 4, 5). To tell you the truth we failed to make any scratch.

Video 4. Scratching the display

Video 5. Scratching the back cover

The display gets 15 from 15 possible

The back side gets 15 from 15 possible

1.6 Hot temperature

We checked how an LG KP500 is able to work in hot temperature. For this we put our KP500 into a metallic container. Then we installed a 4Wt lamp inside the container. The distance between the phone and the lamp was 5cm (video 6). In 3 min. we took the phone out. The picture on the screen was as good as before the test, the keyboard worked well and the frame did not become deformed. But the device was very hot.

Video 6. Hot temperature test

The grade is 12 from 12 possible

1.7 Dust resistance test

Dust can break not only buttons, slots and ports. It can also cause serious problems with electronics. This is an urgent problem of all cell phones as people often use them in severe environment. We simulated such an environment by putting the phone into a plastic container and filled it with dust from a vacuum cleaner. For 3 min. we shook this container with the phone inside.

After the test (pic.7) we saw that much dust penetrated inside the charger jack, the USB port (pic.8). As we thought the pegs could not protect the ports. Some dust was also in the gaps between buttons. But the keyboard worked well (pic.9). Fortunately little dust penetrated under the back cover. It proved that the device had a good build quality (pic.10). There was no problem in cleaning the phone from the dust.

Pic.7. The phone after the shake in the dust container

Pic.7. The phone after the shake in the dust container

Pic.8. The dust inside the ear-microphone socket

Pic.8. The dust inside the ear-microphone socket

Pic.9. The dust inside the gaps between the buttons and the frame

Pic.9. The dust inside the gaps between the buttons and the frame

Pic.10. The dust under the battery cover

Pic.10. The dust under the battery cover

The grade is 12 from 12 possible

1.8 Communication quality

The quality of signal reception is one of the most important characteristics of every cell phone. We checked the communication quality of our LG by putting into a box covered with aluminium foil. We also made a hole (40 – 50mm) in the box (pic.11).

Pic.11. The KP500 in the shielded box

Pic.11. The KP500 in the shielded box

The quality of signal reception was quite good.

All the scale marks in the indicator of the signal reception were illuminated. The phone received the calls well.

The grade is 3 from 3 possible

All in all for the first stage the LG KP500 gets 174 points from 192 possible

2. Stage 2 – Tougher conditions

2.1 Drop-down

We increased the height of the drop-down on the carpet from 1m to 1,5m and we also dropped it from 50cm on the tiles (video 7, 8). When we dropped the phone from 1,5m the back cover was removed. We put it back and it was all right. Each time when we dropped the phone on the tiles the back cover was removed but it never fell off. We found no dents, no scratches. The gadget operated well.

Video7. Drop-down on the carpet from 1,5m

The grade is 20 from 30 possible

Video8. Drop-down on the tiles

The grade is 30 from 30 possible

2.2 Ability to withstand squeezing

We increased the pressure to 10kg. It did not cause any damage.

The grade is 24 from 24 possible

2.3 Bend test

At this stage we increased the weight of the load on the rope from 1kg to 5kg. The bend was significant when the screen of the phone was up and when it was down (pic.12, 13).

In spite of this the LG KP500 operated well. No mechanical damage.

Pic.12. Deformation of the phone when the screen was down

Pic.12. Deformation of the phone when the screen was down

Pic.13. Deformation of the phone when the screen was up

Pic.13. Deformation of the phone when the screen was up

The grade is 16 from 24 possible

2.4 Wearout test

We put it into the centrifuge again for 10min. After the test we found some scuffs on the corners (pic.14). In bright light we also noticed some droplets on the screen (pic15). If the light of the display is switched on these droplets are hardly noticeable.

Pic.14. The scratches on the corners

Pic.14. The scratches on the corners

Pic.15. The droplets on the screen

Pic.15. The droplets on the screen

The grade is 10 from 15 possible

2.5 Quality of the material of which the phone is made

At this stage we increased the force of scratching the screen and the back cover to 300g (video 9, 10). This time we made a considerably deep scratch on the screen. But at the back the scratch was not deep and noticeable.

Video 9. Scratching the display

Video 10. Scratching the back cover

The screen gets10 from 15 possible

The back cover gets 10 from 15 possible

2.6 Cold temperature

In our weather conditions it is important to know how your cell phone works in freezing temperatures. Usually in cold temperature batteries of almast all cell phones discharge fast and a screen fails to display a picture.

In order to find out how the LG KP500 survived in cold temperatures we put it into a freezer (from -15 to -20 °С) for 2 hours. The phone was in speaking mode (pic16).

In 1,5 hours the phone was switched off because the battery was empty. We switched it on and continued the test. The phone was in speaking mode until the time of the test was over. We examined the gadget immediately after the end of the experiment (video11). The color rendering of the display was good. The touchscreen became a bit rigid and did not respond at once. Then we warmed up the device and saw two marks in the scale of the battery indicator (in a freezer there was only one).

Video 11. The phone after the test in a freezer

Pic.16. The phone in a freezer

Pic.16. The phone in a freezer

The grade is 12 from 18 possible

2.7 High temperature

We increased the time of the test from 3 to 5min. This was not enough to damage the KP500. The plastic frame did not melt. The color rendering of the display was good.

Video 12. High temperature test

The grade is 12 from 12 possible

2.8 Water resistance test

Cell phones as many other gadgets can be accidentally dropped into some liquids. That is why water resistance plays a very important role and is considered as one of the main advantages of a cell phone. In order to check water resistance of our LG we dunked it under water for 1 second (video 13).

After we took it out we checked the functions of the phone and its sound quality. Everything was OK. The sound volume was almost the same as before the test.

Much water penetrated under the back cover. Fortunately it did not damage the electronic parts inside (pic.18).  Much water penetrated also into the USB port (pic.19). Corrosion appeared on positive contacts. It proved that the peg failed to fulfill its duty.

We dried the gadget and continued the stress test.

Video 13. Immersion in water for a second

Pic.17. The phone after the immersion

Pic.17. The phone after the immersion

Pic.18. Water under the battery

Pic.18. Water under the battery

Pic.19. Water inside the ear-microphone socket

Pic.19. Water inside the ear-microphone socket

The grade is 30 from 30 possible

2.8 Dust resistance test

This time we put the phone into the box with dust again and shook it for 5min. As in the previous stage of this test little dust penetrated under the back cover (pic.20). There was a little more dust inside the USB port (pic.21). There was also little dust inside the loudspeaker  but it was impossible to get rid of it. (pic.22). As for the sound quality we dare say that it was good. The USB port was full of dust. It seemed that the peg did not protect it at all.

Pic.20. Dust under the back cover

Pic.20. Dust under the back cover

Pic.21. Dust inside the ear-microphone socket

Pic.21. Dust inside the ear-microphone socket

Pic.22. Dust inside the loudspeaker

Pic.22. Dust inside the loudspeaker

Pic.23. Dust inside the USB port

Pic.23. Dust inside the USB port

The grade is 8 from 12 possible

2.10 Communication quality

In order to create worse conditions for the signal reception  of the phone we decreased the diametre of the hole in the shielded box and made it 20×20mm. When the device was inside this box only two marks were illuminated in the scale of  the signal reception indicator. Then there were six marks (maximum 7). But sometimes we could not get at it. We presumed that the transmitter was not so powerful to connect to the base station through the shielded box.

The grade is 10 from 15 possible

All in all for the second stage he LG KP500 gets 182 points from 240 possible

Stage 3 – The toughest conditions

3.1 Drop-down

At the last stage of this stress test we increased the height of the drop-down on the carpet from 1,5m to 2m and we also dropped it from 1m on the tiles (video 14, 15).

Video 14. Drop-down on the carpet from 2m

Video 15. Drop-down on the tiles from 1m

As in the previous stages of this test the results were the same. In both cases the back cover was a bit removed but it never fell off. We must also admit that the stilus was very well fixed.

Drop-down on the carpet from 2m. The grade is 20 from 30 possible

Drop-down on the tiles from 1m. The grade is 20 from 30 possible

3.2 Ability to withstand squeezing

The maximum weight which we used for this stage of the test was 20kg. As we thought the phone passed this test successfully.

The grade is 24 from 24 possible

3.3 Bend test

We increased the weight of the load to 10kg. The phone was considerably deformed (pic.24). And the phone could have been broken if we had not stopped the testing.When the test was over the gadget operated well as before.

Pic.24. Deformation of the phone

Pic.24. Deformation of the phone

The grade is 16 from 24 possible

3.4 Wearout test

At the last astage of this stress test we put the phone into the cylinder of the centrifuge for 20min. After the test there appeared more scuffs and scratches. The matte coating frazzled on the corners (pic.25). There were scratches and droplets on the screen. Some of them were quite deep and easily noticeable even in the dark. It distorted the image on the screen.

Pic.25. Scuffs on the phone

Pic.25. Scuffs on the phone

Pic.26. Scratches and droplets on the screen

Pic.26. Scratches and droplets on the screen

The grade is 10 from 15 possible

3.5 Quality of the material of which the phone is made

This time we pressed the display and the back side of the phone with the nail at the force of 600g (video 16, 17). The screen and the back cover were equally damaged. We made two deep scratches (pic.27, 28). Fortunaly some small scratches were not clearly seen as the spesial cover of the phone made them unnoticeable.

Video 16.  Scratching the display

Video 17. Scratching the back cover

Pic 27. Scratches on the display

Pic 27. Scratches on the display

Pic 28. Scratches on the back side

Pic 28. Scratches on the back side

10 points (from 15 possible) for the display

10 points (from 15 possible) for the back side of the phone

3.6 Water resistance test

At this stage we increased the time of immersion in water to 20sec (video 18). When the time of the experiment was over we  took the KP500 out of the water and checked it. The phone survived and operated well. But when we took off the back cover we understoon that too much water penetrated under the battery and further inside the phone (pic.29). There was approximately as much water inside the battery slot as it was in the previous test. The contacts were corroded (pic.30). The peg of the USB port let water in again.

Then we got rid of the corrosion and dried the device with warm air.

Video 18. Immersion of the LG in water

Pic. 29. Water under the back cover

Pic. 29. Water under the back cover

Pic.30. Water inside the slot

Pic.30. Water inside the slot

The grade is 30 from 30 possible

3.7 Immersion in beer

In this stage of the test we used beer as a liquid and dunked the gadget under beer for 10sec (video 19). When we took it out we noticed that the sound button “-“ did not work. The other buttons operated well. There was as much beer under the battery as it was water in the previous test (pic.30). When we looked at the USB port we saw the same result. After we washed and dried the phone the sound button started to work.

Video 19. Immersion in beer

Pic.31. Beer under the back cover

Pic.31. Beer under the back cover

The grade is 20 from 30 possible

3.8 Dust resistance test

The time of the last stage of the dust testing was 10min. The result was almost the same as in the previous stage of this experiment. But there was one more problem – dust penetrated under the glass of the camera (pic.32). It happened because the parts of the phone were badly assembled to each other. The microphone was also full of dust (pic.32). It was impossible to shake out the dust and we had to clean the microphone with a needle.

Pic.32. Dust under the camera

Pic.32. Dust under the camera

Pic.33. The microphone full of dust

Pic.33. The microphone full of dust

The grade is 8 from 12 possible

3.9 Test for the keyboard

The buttons of the keyboard in KP500 quckly respond when you press it. In our case the keyboard never creaked. The front buttons and the buttons on the edges of the phone are placed on the circuits. At first we thought that they were attached well but it was not really so. The buttons on the edges of the LG does not protrude above the frame of the phone and sometimes it is difficult to feel them. You have to look for them. The buttons are made of a good quality plastic. Neither scuffs nor deep scratches appeared on the butttons throughout the stress test. The hot temperature did not damage them.

In the inside part of the keyboard everything was as usual. The sound button was temporarily broken because water and beer penetrated under the carrier of this button. But soon it was dry and the sound button worked again. The keyboard proved to be dust resistant because we found little dust inside the gaps between the keys. The buttons always worked without any fails and creaks.

The grade is 20 from 30 possible

3.10 Communication quality

At the last stage of this test we made a smaller hole in the box (15×15) (pic.34). At first there was no mark in the scale of signal reception indicator. But soon 4 marks appeared. Unfortunaly the KP500 identified the signal but could not receive any call.

Pic.34. The phone in the shielded box

Pic.34. The phone in the shielded box

The grade is 5 from 15 possible

3.11. High temperature

We increased the time of the test to 10min. (video 20). When the time was over we took the phone out and found out that the keyboard did not work. The matter was that the LG switched off during the test. When we switched it on the phone hung up and we could switch it off only by taking the battery out.

We think that the reason was software failure.  We could not repair the phone and decided to stop the test.

Video 20. The results of the overheating

The grade is 0 from 18 possible

3.12. Electric overloads

We did not carry out this test because the gadget was broken

So the charger gets 0 points

The battery also 0 points

The grade for the ability to bear overvoltage  is 0

The grade for the ability to work with minimum voltage supply is 0.

3.13 Disassembling, the quality of the assembly

After all the tests we took the KP500 apart (pic.35). We saw some dust inside the phone. There was some water spots under the display and inside the phone. We also saw water spots on the board. Fortunately there was no corrosion.

Light weight of the LG and its deformation in the bend test proved that there were no metallic elements inside the phone (pic.35 in the left upper corner). The middle part of the phone is made of plastic. The board of the gadget is quite small. So it is more difiicult to bend it. Among the advantages of the board we may also single out:

- high density of the elements on it

- contraction of the processor

- high quality shielding of the board

- big thickness (and therefore rigidity) of the board

The KP500 has a resistive touchscreen with flexible base. This touchscreen is smash-proof. On the other side of the coin this screen wears out faster than its counterparts.

Another disadvantage is the lack of loudspeakers. The only one is provided for speaking and for listening to music. The sound quality is not very good.

Pic.35. The phone taken apart

Pic.35. The phone taken apart

Pic.36. The board

Pic.36. The board

All in all for the third stage the LG KP500 gets 199 points from 351 possible

Conclusion:

Summing up the results we may say that LG KP500 is somewhere in the middle of the list of the crashproof cell phones which have touchscreens. Unfortunately it is very difficult to single out the strong points of this phone. In all the tests the gadget did not work excellent. But at the same time the fails of the phone were not fatal. For example when we dropped it down the back cover was only a bit removed but it never fell off. Among the advantages we may feature a light weight and a Size-conscious design of this device, the comfortable and dustproof keyboard. The KP500 also worked well enough in freezing temperatures.

The KP500 after the test (pic.37, 38).

Pic.37. The back side after the test

Pic.37. The back side after the test

Pic.38. The front side after the test

Pic.38. The front side after the test

All in all the phone gets 555 points from possible 783

According to 100-rating scale the LG KP500 gets 70 points



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Rating: 7.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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Stress test of a cell phone LG KP500, 7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

Comment (1)

  1. David wrote::

    awesome testing guys, thanks.

    I just bought this phone (because I am a ultra cheapskate) and it looks like I got a great deal. Thanks for crunching the (phone) numbers for me

    VA:F [1.9.15_1155]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.15_1155]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    Friday, October 1, 2010 at 17:16 #
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