- Price, design, features list, microSD memory slot
- Proprietary headphone jack, speed of interface
LG's KG290 is an ideal phone for an entry-level user thanks to a decent features list and a compact design.
Price$ 169.00 (AUD)
As many new mobile phones continue to parade all the bells and whistles of the latest technology, it's difficult to believe they were originally built for the simple purpose of making a telephone call. LG has kept it simple with its latest KG290, a sleek and stylish handset that features all the basics – right down to the ultra-competitive price tag.
The slider KG290 is certainly compact and fits nicely in the palm of your hands. The design is fairly standard, but it is comfortable to operate thanks to a spring operated slider and well positioned controls. A five-way navigational pad bears the grunt of the work and although the keypad takes a little bit of effort to press, it's fine for punching out long messages. The KG290 also has dedicated camera and volume buttons on its left side.
Voice quality is excellent, though we would have preferred it to be a little louder at the highest volume setting. Sound on the whole is clear and sharp though, and the handsfree speakerphone also works flawlessly.
Despite being an entry level model, the KG290 still manages to boast a number of handy features, including Bluetooth 2.0 and an audio and video player. Conveniently, LG has included a microSD card memory slot – a feature usually overlooked on handsets commanding such a small asking price. Although no card is included in the sales package and the slot is located in an annoying position underneath the battery, it's still a sweet deal.
Unfortunately, the MP3 player is let down by LG's insistence on a proprietary headphone jack, though sound quality is passable without being outstanding. An FM radio and voice recorder are nice additions while the 1.3-megapixel camera also doubles as a video recorder. Photos taken are good enough for the odd wallpaper snapshot but obviously not much else.
A simple grid layout for the main menu and list layout for submenus makes the KG290 a joy to use. One complaint is with speed: quickly scrolling through lists or searching through the menu often results in some short lag that quickly becomes frustrating. A range of PIM functions – consisting of an alarm clock, calendar, calculator, memo to-do list, stopwatch, converter and world time – round out the features list.
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