LG GW300 review in-depth review -

Look and feel

 Its lightweight silver chassis with blue accents is aimed at younger users, while its user interface is based around a grid menu and D-pad that's simple to navigate

 

Ease of Use

Navigation is intuitive, and the preloaded Facebook shortcut gets you quickly to the phone's main function. The QWERTY keyboard is great to type on and we like the inclusion of a dedicated SMS key.

 

Features

The GW300 is light on internet and email features, but top-notch for Facebook and texting. The 3.5mm audio jack is a great little feature for a phone at this price point.

Performance

It's a great messaging phone with a full-featured, easy to use Facebook app, but the email interface is glitch-ridden and it offers up a pretty slow internet experience.

 

Battery life

No Wi-Fi, 3G or GPS means it'll last an age on standby, and does pretty well with talktime minutes too.

 

 LG GW300 review Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:57:04 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Full-featured Facebook app, excellent keyboard, 3.5mm audio jack

Cons:

Glitch-ridden email system, no Wi-Fi or 3G internet so webpages load very slowly

Getting budget phones right is tricky. But the LG GW300 joins the recent line of low-cost social networking phones that manage to be very, very good at just one or two things. Essentially a lightweight BlackBerry, the GW300 ticked off two pretty important boxes for us - a full-featured Facebook app, and LG's best keyboard to date - but while it's great for the heavy texter and social networker, it falters at email.

 

Young 'un

The phone is most obviously targeted towards the youthful end of the phone-buying demographic, with a light plastic shell done in pale silver and edged in baby blue.  The front means business though - black with blue accents, a QWERTY keyboard sits below a comfortable 2.4-inch screen, six buttons and a D-pad. Despite the button abundance, it feels quite spacious. The keys are rounded and springy, making typing a breeze, and the keyboard itself is intelligently designed with number keys doubling up with alphabet keys in the middle. There's also a useful messaging button that takes you straight to a compose-SMS screen, and a multitasking button that lets you switch between open apps. Considering it's managed this, it's surprising that you can't customise shortcuts on the D-pad.

Instead, right is preloaded for Facebook, down for contacts, and left for profiles. The up key takes you to a Quick Link menu where you can at least add links to your most used programs, which for us included the two-megapixel camera, surprisingly decent despite a lack of zoom or autofocus. And don't discount its music cred - the GW300 is one of the only phones at this price point to come with a bona fide headphone jack.

 

Facebook and messaging

The preloaded Facebook app was built specially for LG and it's incredibly full-featured. Once you enter your account details, you won't need to log in again (unless you specifically log out). The main screen shows the news feed, including ability to comment and like posts (unfortunately any erstwhile friend you 'hid' will still show up here), and a toolbar on the left lets you at the usual desktop functions - your wall, your photos, and your friends list. A neat extra is that you can SMS, call or email a contact directly from their profile if they've listed their details. You can also post a status update by pressing the right key from any screen while in the app. Our only beef is that you don't get push notifications on any Facebook events.

The messaging interface is less streamlined, and annoyingly, LG has decided to lump emails and texts into the same field, so when you select 'create a message' you'll then have to further specify whether you meant SMS or email. But it's the email feature that really falters - adding webmail like Gmail or Hotmail was straightforward enough, but the phone loaded all emails from the account's inbox, whether read or not. As we barely ever clear out Gmail, we were immediately inundated with 100 emails (the phone's limit) from April last year, all previously read, but registering as new on the phone itself. Needless to say, with something like a thousand subsequent emails in the account, we didn't bother deleting them and performing another send/receive.

Internet browsing was quite comfortable, and using the D-pad to navigate hyperlinks and scroll was glitch-free. You'll be limited to loading mobile-optimised sites as the device supports only slower EDGE data speeds and isn't Wi-Fi enabled - depending on the coverage where we were, pages loaded in anything from under 10 seconds to 30 seconds. Trying to use non-mobile sites resulted in an 'insufficient memory' message. 

 

The verdict

This is a pretty specific phone - it's for Facebook and texting. The user interface is simple to navigate, and there are decent camera and music features too. It may not be the beefiest phone when it comes to specs, but it does what it says on the box, and does it well.