The curved ergonomic design means it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and though broad, slips into your pocket
Though the QWERTY keyboard undoubtedly speeds up the texting process, we also encountered the odd accidental double key press
A two-megapixel camera, EDGE data speeds and a social networking client are the highlights of a mediocre feature set
A degree of patience is needed with the various features, and the browser takes an age to open and operate
An average battery life, though power levels can be saved by turning off the push email facility
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:59:07 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The QWERTY keyboard will appeal to heavy texters and social networkers
The camera experience is far below what you would expect from a handset of even this billing
QWERTY keyboards come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the slide out variety. The full variety, complete with dedicated numeric keys. And then there are those that are condensed and compact, with each key having a dual functionality. LG’s latest addition to its Town range is the latter, making it something of a BlackBerry clone, though without the high-end specs.
With its curved body, the LG C300 Town is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. To accommodate the inclusion of the QWERTY keyboard, the Town is on the broad side, but it’s not going to cause you any discomfort or awkwardness in your pocket. The keys themselves are slightly raised, which helps you decipher between them and should enable mediocre if not rapid texting speeds. However, we did find on occasions a single key press would be wrongly recognised as a double press. Sandwiched between the display and the keyboard are four hard keys and the D-Pad. These sit on a mirrored fascia, which while useful for making sure your hair is pointing in the right direction, proved to be a real magnet for grubby paw prints.
Situated at the top of the home screen, LG has kitted the Town out with a number of shortcuts that sit in a row at the top of the screen. These include access to LG’s social networking services (SNS) hub, which in turn provides shortcuts to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. They required a degree of patience to open, as did the majority of applications with the LG C300 Town, but you’ll be able to tweet, post and view friends’ profiles just like you would on a PC or Mac. One slight irritation regarding the Facebook app however, was the fact that if you scrolled down a page, to access any of the tabs at the top of screen you’d have to scroll all the way back up, rather than being able to use a shortcut on the QWERTY keyboard, or even simply by pressing the D-Pad left or right.Though you’ll be relying on the sluggish EDGE data speeds to surf the net, LG has fitted the C300 Town with some nifty shortcuts. All of the numeric keys do something, be it the ‘2’ adding a bookmark, ‘8’ showing your browsing history, or ‘*’ searching for a specific piece of text. The mouse pointer jumps rather than glides, but this was still preferable to the four-way navigation that had such a delay, we weren’t sure if it had recognised our command or not. Synching your email account was as simple as entering your address and password, though any subsequent accounts we added proved a lot more difficult to set up with IP addresses and host names needed.
Though there’s no dedicated camera key per se, pressing down on the D-Pad will fire the snapper up relatively quickly. However, the LG C300 Town’s camera will only suffice for those odd spontaneous pics rather than for any album collections. When using the camera to its capacity in the two-megapixel mode, you’ll be unable to zoom in and out and with no flash, night time and even low light shots are pretty pointless. Yet if you are determined to use the LG C300 Town as a storage device for photos, videos and even music, you’ll want to invest in a microSD card to compensate for the miserly 15MB of onboard memory.
We marked the original LG Town as being average. Sadly the C300 falls short of even that. Entry-level phones shouldn’t be judged on their lack of features, but those that they do house should still measure up. The LG C300 Town’s camera is poor, the browser’s navigation process shoddy and the overall speed of firing up applications is lethargic. Though the social networking services are ok, there’s far better low-end, similar billed handsets available.