The LG CU-500 is a powerhouse multimedia cellular phone. It has a plethora of great extra features and is very fast. I got this phone for free when I renewed my plan with Cingular (right before they became 'The New AT&T'.) I chose the phone because of its large screen size, the 1.3 megapixel camera, mp3 playback capability, and the price...free.
The phone is rather large, but still very pocketable. I prefer my phones to be a little chunky and I feel that this phone is the perfect size. The front of the phone is brushed black aluminum with mp3 player buttons and a small external screen that can display pictures. The phone is overall very attractive and looks pretty freakin' cool.
The camera on the phone takes pretty good pictures, and appear very clear on the large screen. I'm not sure how they would look on the computer since I have never transferred pictures to my computer, but I imagine they would look fine as long as you kept the size somewhat small. The camera can swivel forwards and backwards which is a nice feature, and you can even take pictures while the phone is closed, using the external display as a viewfinder. There is no flash, but it still takes decent pictures in low light conditions. The video quality is a lot less pretty than the photos, but still good enough to be able to tell what's going on in the videos. The audio quality of the videos sounds fine when you play it on the phone.
The mp3 player is a cool feature to show your friends some music, but is kind of pointless since you can't plug headphones into the headset jack.
The phone does not have a whole lot of internal memory, and I ran out of space very quickly after taking a few photos and videos. I bought a 1gb memory card, but it didn't work in the cell phone as it is very picky about which cards it will accept. When you buy a card, make sure it is SanDisk brand or it most likely will not be recognized by the phone.
Service is pretty good on this phone, it was an improvement from my Nokia 3450, which wasn't too bad in the first place. Voices are very clear and I have been told that my voice is much clearer on this phone than my previous phones.
The ringtones that come on the phone are pretty cheesy as usual, but I don't mind because I usually have my phone on vibrate. Applications and AIM are very fast on the phone, with little lag time between actions.
I have dropped this phone many times, worn it on my job sites (plumbing construction), left it outside overnight in the dew, and it is still working perfectly. The battery is painted black and the black paint scratched off in a few places when I accidentally got some rocks in my pocket while working, but I guess that is to be expected.
This is a sweet phone, it has a few quirks with memory cards and music playback, but those are not terrible tradeoffs for how reliable and cool it is in general.