The look of the LG KF310 is typical of a low-end handset – there is no real wow factor, but nothing offensive either.
The user interface didn’t throw up any problems, its straightforward and easy to navigate. There really isn’t a whole lot of software to complicate things.
The features on the LG KF310 are a disappointment, particularly as it is marketed as a budget internet and multimedia phone. Email on 3 and Google Maps don’t work on this handset, so that leaves Instant Messenger and Skype.
A lack of integration of the apps that do work is detrimental to the user experience. Internet was OK for quick jobs, but due to a lack of memory many mobile optimised sites failed to load.
Battery life was average.
As a budget handset it is fine for making calls and texts. Just don’t expect a whole lot else.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:55:57 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Simple user interface and compact.
Email feature not available yet, no Facebook and Twitter app.
People are always asking us if there’s a market for back to basics phones, and the fact that innovative companies like LG keep putting out phones such as the KF310 proves there is. Though marketed as a budget internet phone, the KF310 doesn’t actually have many internet features – it is really just a standard handset that you can go online with and use instant messenger on. Ho hum.
The palm-sized KF310 is a compact slider with a fairly standard chassis – a small two-inch TFT-screen sits above a D-pad and four buttons for call, hang up and two hot keys. The four direction keys of the D-pad are customisable to link to any programs you want. The sliding mechanism is smooth though it feels just slightly rickety. The keypad is pretty standard, except for the useful additions of a dedicated camera key and a shortcut key that takes you to Home or Menu from any screen.
Again, it’s the standard icon-based grid interface – easy to understand, easy to use. The handset is a 3 exclusive, so one of the hot keys in the home screen leads to Planet 3, the operator’s homepage where you can read news, play games and access your account. Of note is the Games & Apps menu where you can (theoretically) download games, Skype, Messenger, Google Maps and email on 3. See, those last two aren’t supported by this particular handset. Email on 3 would download messages from all the popular webmail services, but ‘is not available yet’. Try to access Google Maps and the menu takes you to the actual website via the preloaded web browser instead. We’re not impressed.
Speaking of the browser – it has an odd quirk where if you scroll too far right, you end up on the left side of the screen again. That said, it functions pretty fast and resizes mobile websites perfectly. On such a low-spec screen, images and clarity of display naturally aren’t anything to shout about, but navigating a site’s hyperlinks was easily accomplished with direction keys on the keypads – down/up jumps the cursor between links, while left/right scrolls the screen from side to side. Unfortunately, the handset kept throwing up messages claiming it didn’t have enough memory to run non-mobile optimised websites.
However, you do get some pretty sweet deals on mobile internet with 3 (as you’re constantly reminded when about to enter the browser). For example, with every top-up you get 150MB of free data, which equates to checking Facebook 100 times per day.
Do Skype and Windows Live Messenger really count as social networking? In any case, the VOIP call program and Instant Messenger downloaded in seconds. However, the programs lack any sign of actual integration with the phone (as a true, internet-friendly handset would display) – although with Messenger at least, you can exit the program and still have it running in the background to notify you of incoming messages.
In our review model, we couldn’t get predictive texting to work in Messenger, which meant really old school thumb typing to send chats. However, this is apparently not widespread in sale models.
Surprisingly, there’s no Facebook or Twitter app, both surely de rigeur in today’s me-obsessed social networking generation. Instead, you get links to both, along with dozens of other social networking sites, preloaded in the Favourites shortcut in the home screen.
Here’s a perfectly acceptable phone for making calls, sending texts and the odd foray online. It’s certainly budget, but we disagree with its internet and multimedia labelling. Still, it’s a decent handset for the price – just don’t expect to get more for your money.