LG Mini (GD880) mobile phone
It's not a smartphone, but LG's Mini (GD880) has a number of smartphone-like features including multitouch technology
- Brushed metal design, unique look and feel, excellent display, S-Class interface is visually appealing, Twitter and Facebook apps
- Sluggish performance, mediocre Web browser, sharp edges can dig into your hands/pocket, limited widgets
LG's Mini (GD880) mobile phone certainly looks attractive and possesses a unique design, but it is ultimately let down by sluggish, limited software.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Boasting a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity and an FM radio, you could be forgiven for thinking LG's latest flagship handset, the LG Mini (GD880), is a smartphone. Technically it isn't one, but the LG Mini has a number of smartphone-like features, including multitouch technology, over-the-air synchronisation and a variety of social connectivity features wrapped up in an attractive and stylish casing. It's a shame, then, that LG's proprietary S-Class user interface offers questionable performance.
With a combination of matte black and brushed metal, the LG Mini (GD880) is certainly an attractive mobile phone. Its flat edges and sharp corners give it a rather different look and feel to most other mobiles on the market. We are generally a fan of its square, box-shaped design, though the edges do tend to dig into your hands and pocket at times. Despite its name suggesting otherwise the LG Mini isn't a tiny smartphone, but its long and not overly wide design sits neatly in the palm of your hand.
The LG Mini doesn't possess an AMOLED display, but its 3.2in display is one of the brightest in its class, producing crisp, vibrant colours. The oddly shaped screen is long and skinny, making it appear smaller than it actually is. Viewing angles are reasonably good, while the LG Mini's performance in direct sunlight is passable, if not outstanding.
The Mini (GD880) runs an updated version of LG's S-Class user interface. The S-Class UI has always been attractive, but it hasn't alway been effective or a smooth performer — unfortunately, it's the same story with the Mini. In particular, we found scrolling hit and miss compared with the smoothness of the iPhone and Android smartphones, while selecting certain icons or commands often required more than one finger tap.
The main component of S-Class is the three, customisable widget-based homescreens. You can add a number of widgets, bookmarks and shortcuts to each screen, including RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter apps and Google search bar. As a result, the interface is quite flexible for a closed operating system. Widgets are limited and even though you can download extra ones (including Amazon and eBay shortcuts), the LG Mini obviously lacks the range of applications available on true smartphone platforms.
The graphics of the S-Class interface are once again rich, colourful and engaging, while the LG Mini's phonebook offers one-touch access to all contact details, including being able to text message, video call and e-mail contacts from a single screen. Text messaging is an issue: in regular orientation, the LG Mini only has a numeric keypad with T9 predictive text input, while rotating to landscape brings up a full QWERTY keyboard with tiny keys. Though the haptic feedback helps, we wouldn't recommend the LG Mini if you are a heavy texter.
The LG Mini comes with built-in Twitter and Facebook applications, and both have widgets that can be placed on the home screen. The apps are fairly basic but do offer access to most key features, such as status updates, tweeting, setting favourite tweets, viewing your profile, commenting on status updates and sending private messages; more advanced tasks, including accessing groups, sends you to the mobile browser.
The LG Mini has a 5-megapixel, autofocus camera, supports Microsoft Exchange e-mail, has built-in GPS and can synchronise your calendar, messages, e-mail, contacts and more over the air using LG's free Air Sync service (which is currently still in beta). Unlike many previous LG phones, the Mini's camera interface is snappy (especially considering the limitations of the UI elsewhere), making it easy to take a quick snap. A 3.5mm headphone jack and standard micro-USB port for charging or connecting to a PC are welcome features.
The LG Mini's mobile Web browser looks excellent on the crisp display, but the smaller display makes it difficult to select links. Multitouch technology means you can pinch the screen to zoom like you can on the iPhone, but the process isn't as smooth or effective; Pages load noticeably slower than we are used to — even over a Wi-Fi connection — and text smoothing takes much longer than it should, contributing to a rather poor mobile web experience.
The LG Mini has just 330MB of internal storage but a side-mounted microSD card slot theoretically supports cards of up to 32GB.
The LG Mini is available in Australia through online mobile phone store MobiCity.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Fake heads and robot probes: testing smartphones prior to launch
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Xiaomi's Mi6 has the Galaxy S7’s looks, the S8’s power, and iPhone 7’s camera for half the price
- Samsung DeX turns your Galaxy S8 into a shockingly good desktop PC
- Find My iPhone helps nab a thief at Coachella with 100 phones in his backpack
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTVDI EngineerACT
- FTChief Security OfficerNSW
- TPProject ServicesACT
- CCSecurity Specialist - NV1ACT
- FTContracts ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Sales Operations AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager IT HealthcareQLD
- TPService Desk OperatorQLD
- PTProject ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Test Analyst - Gov & Remedy/Service Now backgroundNSW
- FTFinance AnalystNSW
- TPProduct ManagerVIC
- FTWindows Dev Ops EngineerNSW
- FTFinance Analyst with Accounting | 8 Month ContractVIC
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork Consulting ArchitectVIC
- FTTechnical SpecialistACT
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)WA
- TPSenior Full-Stack DeveloperSA
- FTSolution Architect - Datacentre / StorageQLD
- CCSenior Devops EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Sales Operations AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical Requirements Architect - NV1ACT
- CCNetwork EngineerQLD
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectQLD