Neat styling and a light, small profile make this a handy phone to slip into your pocket
The resistive touch-screen is slightly hard work, but the interface makes sense. Texting can be challenging
There are plenty of features in the GT505, from Orange Maps to an FM radio. Oddly, though, there's no social networking app
The GT505 is an unspectacular performer, but is functional and workmanlike
Although this is a touch-screen with a reasonably large display, the decent battery life means you won't have to recharge every day
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,2/2/2012 3:10:29 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Decent styling, small size, good camera
Slow touch-screen, no 3.5mm headphone jack, hard to text
Switch on the LG GT505 and a gentle melody with charming birdsong plays - a noise that may make you feel good before the phone has even done anything. This is a touch-screen phone, using LG's own operating system. This combination has served LG well in phones like the Cookie, a highly popular, budget handset.
This phone has a demure, business like styling: gloss black edge and screen surround, with textured matte black elsewhere. Along with three buttons on the front (to start and end calls or launch a screen of favourites) there are more on the right edge (camera, screen lock and volume). So many buttons, in fact, that you can't help pressing them. There's a neat function to tidy up your on-screen widgets: shake to auto align, it says. Doing so nearly always caused an accidental press on one side button or another, which wasn't what we meant at all.
Build quality is unexceptional. For instance, if you press hard as you swipe across the three-inch touch-screen it makes a faint clicking noise as though the screen has been stretched and is springing back into place. But this is a resistive touch-screen, so as it's pressure-sensitive, some firmness is needed.
But there's a bunch of good things about the GT505, too. First, it's affordably priced but still includes Wi-Fi, GPS and a camera. The GPS comes with Orange Maps, which is chargeable - either £5 or £7.50 per month. What's more, the camera is a decent five-megapxel resolution and has an LED flash. Like many cameraphones, though, there was plenty of shutter lag before the camera took its shot, especially in lower light where the auto-focus needed more time.
It's a 3G phone with fast data speeds - up to 3.6Mbps. Of course, there's Bluetooth, which is just as well as there's no 3.5mm headphone jack, so if you want to use your own headphones you'll need the supplied adaptor. Lose that and you'll have to settle for the supplied earphones or some Bluetooth enabled ones.
LG's operating system is accessible and straightforward enough. The main screen has four icons at the base to launch the virtual keypad, or show contacts, messages and the menu. You can add widgets to the main display. Swipe across it to reveal a new screen, where you can keep favourite contact details. Tap on the top of the screen and you can see a handy status summary showing memory usage, profile, Bluetooth status and more.
You might have expected a Facebook or Twitter app to have been included in the on-screen widgets but no, you'll need to use the web browser and go online to search for your social networks. This would have been a neat extra.
The phone comes with two basic themes: black and white. Choose white for bright menu screens and dainty background of a bicycle and orange flowers, or black for a dark screen with subtle grey swirls. Both are usable, but white is clearly aimed at women, black at men.
The GT505 is compact and light enough to be easily carried around and good looking enough to work as an evening out phone. But you may find with extended use that the touch-screen just isn't fast or responsive enough to be enjoyable, and LG's user interface is adequate rather than dazzling.
Composing a text message is easier when the phone is in landscape orientation, when a QWERTY keyboard appears with a wide set of suggested words. But it's cramped and this snugness means it's easy to make mistakes. Still, with the singular exception of the omission of a 3.5mm headphone jack, this phone has higher specs than you would expect for the price.
If you want a touch-screen phone but feel that a smartphone with its thousands of apps and high cost isn't for you, the GT505 is an affordable and usable phone. And while the lower price hasn't resulted in dropped features, the phone isn't super slick. Decent, yes, outstanding, no.