LG Town GT350 in-depth review -

Look and feel

The glossy white casing will appeal to the younger users it’s aimed at, who will acclimatise to the average keyboard quickly.

Ease of use

The resistive touch-screen needs firm pressure to work and the menus system isn’t as intuitive as it could be. And the keyboard, as previously mentioned, isn’t the easiest to use at speed.

Features

This is a budget phone so it’s no surprise that there’s no GPS, but the absence of 3G, Wi-Fi or a decent camera is more disappointing.

Performance

Given the lack of features, the phone’s performance is limited by the functions it can perform, and it can be slow.

Battery life

The battery in the LG Town, perhaps because there’s no Wi-Fi, 3G or GPS to drain the power, is pretty decent.

 LG Town GT350 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,2/2/2012 3:09:46 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Cool, funky operating system, usable QWERTY keyboard.

Cons:

No Wi-Fi, GPS or even 3G. Poor camera.

The LG Town is the latest phone to chase the teen market, with a slide-out QWERTY keypad, TFT resistive touch-screen and glossy casing. Despite all these features, it’s still going to be a budget-priced affair, so as you’d expect there are some glaring omissions, which we’ll come to in a moment.

Be sociable

It’s especially aimed at social networkers, and even includes keys on the QWERTY to launch Facebook, email, internet browser and instant messenger programs. These work well, and keen updaters will find them handy, though it’s strange that Twitter is nowhere to be found.

It’s styled with a glossy white plastic front and patterned back, which is cute but unsophisticated. On the front there’s a 3-inch touch-screen and three buttons: two round ones to start or end a call (the latter also returns you from a menu to the home screen) and one that is a shortcuts key. You can dial numbers and type texts without opting for the inside keyboard. This is thanks to a virtual 1 to 9 keypad – easy for numbers, but you’re restricted to multi-tap or T9 predictive text as there’s no virtual QWERTY.

The full keyboard inside has four rows of circular, well-spaced keys. Although they’re gently raised in the centre, they’re not especially comfortable for lengthy typing, though you’ll get used to them with time.

Because there are four rows, there’s no separate number row, so you’ll need to double-press the shift key to type a digit, or double-press it to lock it to the secondary characters. Still, the predecessor to this handset, the KS360, only had three rows.

There’s no accelerometer in this phone, so the screen orientation changes not when you turn it but according to whether the keyboard is open or shut. This, of course, is a minor omission.

More seriously, there’s no 3G, so data traffic isn’t fast. This will primarily affect large downloads, so emails, instant messages and status updates should be okay. Still, there’s the internet browser Opera Mini built-in, which is great at squeezing the best out of a poor connection speed. But there’s no Wi-Fi either, which these days is arguably a more critical exclusion. A slow connection is the price you pay for, er, a low price.

The camera is also pretty basic – just two megapixels and no flash, though it does at least shoot video as well as still shots, but only at 12 frames per second. To round off the list of omissions, there’s no GPS, and the touch-screen is the cheaper resistive kind rather than the more responsive capacitive type the iPhone uses. On the plus side, you can wear gloves and the screen still responds to your swipes!

Hanging out

Still, there are other features to like on the LG Town GT350, including three different home screens. The most interesting one is Live Square, which also featured on the KS360 and plonks a small animated version of you (choose human or animal) in the middle of the screen and adds extra characters to represent the people you call or text. The other screens are a washing line with places to hang favourite shortcuts such as a clock, photos and calendar on the line while the other is dedicated to your contacts. Some are effective, others can be a little fiddly, but at least you can choose which ones you want where.

There’s lots to enjoy with the LG Town, from its funky interface to the cute icons, usable keyboard and neat case. But it’s so underpowered that the worry is you might quickly resent the slowly responsive touch-screen and snail’s pace downloads.

The verdict

If you want a phone that’s cheap but has a touch-screen and strong social networking features, this is a contender, but look out for the weaknesses, which are plenty. It’s light on features and the basic 3-megapixel camera with flash takes low quality snaps. Live Square is fun though, with its colourful characters and useful call and text history information. Great for the market it’s aimed at, but if you’re not an avid social networker or instant message freak, you’ll have to look elsewhere.