Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:56:42 PM
Capable camera, decent touch-screen, stylish.
Inefficient email, difficult to master on-screen keyboard, loading and rendering of non-mobile websites below average.
LG’s first Windows phone isn’t much fun to use. Which is a shame, because it’s actually packed with meaty features.
The GM750 is right out of the LG style bible – sleek, shiny and rounded, with a subtly patterned back and a square touchpad beneath its three-inch capacitive touch-screen. This touchpad seems a token gimmick and is only useful in the browser, when it controls a mouse cursor to hit small links. But it can’t scroll pages, so you’d still need the touch-screen, which was accurate enough anyway. The user interface is loosely based on the multi-home screen cube layout of LG’s 3D S-Class interface – there’s now a fifth screen where you can add shortcuts to any program on the phone. The four other home screens contain favourite media, top contacts, widgets, and on the ‘Home’ home screen, notifications and shortcuts, inexplicably non-customisable. Windows phones now all have a Start button that brings up the programs menu. Confusingly, LG’s interface also includes an all programs shortcut… but to different ones. You’ll eventually get the hang of what’s where, but it’s pretty inefficient.
Though the touch-screen was great to use in almost every function, typing on the touch QWERTY was almost unbearable. The auto-suggest feature is just a spell check, not an intelligent system that guesses your intended word based on nearby letters, so it’s completely unhelpful. Typing in landscape orientation is slightly easier, as the keyboard is more widely spaced, but then there’s no longer an auto-suggest function. To type accurate, we had to go pretty slow and as heavy texters, we found this incredibly frustrating. lyLG Email supports push-email for up to 10 accounts including Microsoft Exchange and Gmail, which sounds a power feature, but is in fact a click-laden process with an inefficient interface. To write an email, you click on the message body, which takes you to another screen to type your message. Then you touch ‘OK’ to go back; ‘OK’ to go to another screen to fill in subject, ‘OK’ to go back to main email body, ‘OK’ to select address, ‘OK’ to confirm address, and finally, ‘Send’. It’s quite depressing that LG has actually managed to degrade the main highlight of Windows Mobile – its business oomph.
(Note: we tested the browser on a 3G connection as it's a Vodafone exclusive and won't vary from handset to handset.) The browser in WinMo 6.5 has finally been updated to have better support for full HTML but while the layout of pages looks just the way it would on a desktop, load times on a Vodafone 3G connection varied from an unimpressive 10 seconds to an unbearable 30 seconds. Pictures are quite pixelated, and even fonts look ragged in 100% view. Mobile sites loaded in under five seconds however, and pictures looked defined with good colour. You can zoom via double tap to 100%, or use the new zoom slider, but there was a bit of a lag when we did.
The music player is standard, decent fare, and Windows Mobile has probably never been in the company of such a full featured snapper – the five megapixel camera is kitted out with panorama mode, adjustable exposure and numerous auto settings. Oddly, it fared the worst in daylight – when colours appeared slightly green, and its shutter release isn’t quick enough for good action shots. But images produced were always clear, and we rate its low light prowess for both landscape and portrait shots.
LG’s S-Class user interface doesn’t enhance or use the power of the WinMo OS, and the email interface is particularly ill-designed. We like the touch-screen (though why the touch-pad?) and the GM750 is decent as a camera and music phone, but frustrating to use for what should be its key features – email, web and customisation.