With a host of colourful combinations, the LG KS360 is a distinctive looking handset. Despite housing a full QWERTY keyboard, it maintains a slim figure and consequently feels good in the hand.
While there’s no denying that the QWERTY keyboard makes for a far simpler typing experience, we would have preferred the keys to have been slightly raised. The virtual keys were a tad on the small side meaning a degree of care is needed when dialling.
Alongside the QWERTY keyboard, lies a two-megapixel camera, GPRS, video recording and touch-screen dialling.
With no 3G or HSDPA, surfing the web will take a degree of patience, while the camera suffers from a lack of features.
A decent offering of 300 minutes talktime and 432 hours standby.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:53:28 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
LG has found room for a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard while maintaining a slim frame.
The lack of 3G makes for a sluggish internet experience.
We don’t know about you but we find it rather refreshing when a manufacturer adopts a new approach. LG has pioneered the touch-screen more than most, what with the LG Viewty and the LG Renoir KC910. Although a touch-screen device in part, the LG KS360 has something else up its sleeve. This nifty-looking handset is the first from the manufacturer to sport a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Judging by the range of contrasting colours, coupled with the QWERTY keyboard, it is clear that LG is targeting the texting and social networking generation. Depending on which operator you are with, the device is available in black and red, black and silver, white and soft pink and titanium and bright blue. Despite the fact that it houses a QWERTY keyboard, the handset maintains an impressively thin chassis and keeps its weight down.
The front of the device is adorned with a 2.4-inch display above an array of keys. Alongside the four-way navigation pad and OK key, are two soft keys, a call and call end key and a cancel key. On the bottom left-hand corner is an etched keypad with a single finger pointing to it. Press it and a virtual numeric keypad will be displayed. Interestingly, dialling numbers is the only time the touch-screen comes into play. The virtual keys are on the small side so slightly more care is needed when dialling, although LG has included haptic (vibrating) response to signal a key push.
In truth we found that the KS360 came into its own once the QWERTY keyboard was out. The sliding mechanism feels fluid enough, although the top part of the handset did feel a little loose. Once open, the screen switches to landscape and the QWERTY keypad becomes your main point of control. While the keys are spaced out, having them more raised would allow them to be better determined. We also felt that the top row was too near the screen to feel completely comfortable. However, there is no denying that having a full QWERTY keyboard greatly improves texting time.
It has been a while since we used a handset without HSDPA, let alone 3G, so it was disappointing to find that the KS360 had neither. The time it took for webpages to load was frustrating, and using the sluggish GPRS to log onto Facebook felt like a trip back to the dark ages. With a full QWERTY keyboard neatly stowed away, surely the LG KS360 is screaming out for a faster web experience.
The KS360 has a two-megapixel camera but, like the internet, it won’t blow you away. There is no zoom, although, bizarrely, there is when using the video function, and the lack of flash means you will be restricted to taking photos indoors or during daylight hours.
We found that the pictures lacked sharpness and colour, although the general usability of the snapper was easy to get to grips with. Once you have taken a shot, you are given the option to upload the photo to an online blog (operator dependent), view your albums, send it to a friend or set it as wallpaper or caller ID.
The KS360 is something of a quandary. LG has managed to squeeze in a full QWERTY keyboard while maintaining its run of developing aesthetically-pleasing handsets. However, the lack of 3G has a detrimental effect on the overall enjoyment of the phone. The camera is not good enough
to be a redeemable feature, and the 15MB of on-board memory is a pittance.
If you are a keen texter who is not fussed about additional features, then the LG KS360 could appeal. It is also worth remembering that this is a budget-friendly device, targeting folk who may be happy to ignore its dawdling data speeds.