So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Excellent internal and external display screens, Easy and functional menu system, Decent quality camera, miniSD card slot for extra memory
- Keypad is large and prevents fast messaging speeds, Black plastic finish, Quite large and bulky, MP3 functionality is dreadful, No speakerphone
Marketed as a "music phone" the LG M4410 is an average handset with an abysmal MP3 application. Avoid this handset if you are looking for a mobile based on its multimedia capabilities.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The LG M4410 is one of many mobile handsets targeting the ever popular and growing MP3 market, but if you're looking for a phone based on its multimedia capabilities, then we advise to steer well clear of LG's latest offering.
Designed to resemble a sleek sports car, the flip M4410 is on the bulky side, measuring 94mm х 47.8mm х 25.5mm and weighing 107 grams. It's not extremely large, but it is quite bigger than a lot of other handsets currently on the market. In saying this, it does cup quite well in your hands and feels well built and extremely sturdy. We were impressed with the quality of the flip mechanism, which seemed effortless to open and close. The gloss black plastic finish used on the M4410 is different, and we feel it detracts from the handset's character and looks somewhat tacky. This will always be a matter of personal preference, but we don't feel that the M4410 is attractive in any sense and the surface does tend to get greasy very quickly with fingerprints.
Opening the phone reveals an impressive 176 x 220 pixel display screen, which is quite large and takes up most of the top half. The display is excellent for photos and pictures, but its viewing angle is quite poor and it is difficult to see in any sort of sunlight. LG have kept it simple with the M4410 controls - a 4-way navigation pad is surrounded by two selections keys, an Answer and End Call key, a Clear Key and dedicated buttons for the phones camera and MP3 player. We're not sure why a dedicated camera key was included with the main controls, as there is a camera button present on the right hand side of the phone. The keypad was comfortable for most part, but they keys were quite large and thus prevented fast messaging speeds, which could be a hindrance to SMS lovers.
When the phone is flipped closed, the M4410 reveals a full colour, 96 x 96 external screen. The handy display, as well as showing date, time, battery life, reception quality, and current profile can also be used to access some of the phones other features. Directly beneath the external display are three MP3 player buttons (Previous, Play/Pause, Next), which can be pressed at any time to bring up a small menu. From within this menu, users can access the phones MP3 player, Camera, view a slide show of their photographs and turn on a torch. This system is pretty convenient and the flashlight is a nice touch (particularly handy for locating your car door lock at night), but there is no way to lock the keys, so when the phone is in your pocket or bag they can easily be accidentally pressed.
The M4410 is marketed as a "music phone", but this couldn't be further from the truth. The MP3 application is poor to say the least and sound quality, especially using the external speaker, is abysmal. Using the supplied headphones does relieve some of the pain, but really, they aren't much better at all. Despite being a multimedia device, the M4410 lacks a standard headphone jack, so you'll have to put up with poor quality earbuds, which is highly inconvenient. Overall, the MP3 player functionality is extremely disappointing, especially when you consider this is meant to be the phones most outstanding feature. LG will have to lift their game when producing multimedia handsets, if the M4410 is any indication of the direction they are heading.
The M4410 also includes a 1.3 megapixel camera, which captures above average pictures for a camera phone. The camera application also included a variety of setting and features including Sepia and Black and White effects, multiple image size options, a timer, night mode, white balance and aperture. A feature we liked is the ability to use the camera's external screen as a viewfinder, which is useful if you want to take self-portraits. The only major problem we had was with night mode, which is extremely poor. This is an issue which is fairly common amongst all camera phones though, so it isn't a downside of this particular unit, but rather a universal problem which still doesn't seem to have been solved. There is also a video recording function, but the quality was extremely poor and we do not recommend using it. Both photos and videos can be saved either to the phones 8MB of internal memory, or to the included 64MB miniSD card.
The menu system of the M4410 is a winner, with items laid out in a simple grid format. The menu system also incorporates a quick shortcuts structure, whereby each menu item has a corresponding number. This makes it extremely quick to access items you use regularly. Handily, the menu displays the battery life and reception indicator at the top of every menu page. We've seen this in quite a few of the LG handsets and it is a feature which we definitely like.
Support for standard SMS, MMS and email messaging (with T9 predictive text input), WAP 2.0 over GPRS, a host of PIM applications as well as BlueTooth and USB connectivity (with a supplied USB cable) rounds out the M4410's features. The biggest drawback in this department is the lack of a speakerphone, which is generally standard across all mobile handsets these days. Battery life is adequate, rated at a talk time of 3 hours and a standby time of 200 hours, but the battery itself is difficult to remove, thanks to a stern cover.
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