Popular with the teenage crowd it’s aimed at, the LG KS360 comes in blue and pink (pink edition is exclusive to Orange), and features a slide-out Qwety keyboard as well as social networking functions. Enough to satisfy the teens perhaps, but will it stand up as a handset in its own right?
What we like
The slide-out Qwerty keyboard is much nicer to use than a resistive touch screen which would have been the other option. The handset does have some touchscreen capacity – but it’s very limited and seems, well, a bit pointless. You can only use it when the hard keyboard is hidden, and can basically only type phone numbers with it.
The 2-megapixel camera is fairly good quality, and you have the flexibility of shooting stills or video. The handset’s battery life is not bad either, we got over a day’s worth of use out of a half-charged battery.
The buttons each make a really satisfying click when pressed. It’s not very sly though if you’re hoping to text during lessons though, which isn’t something we’re condoning of course.
What we don’t like
The 3-line Qwerty keyboard is cramped and difficult to use – RSI-ahoy! The other buttons tend to be a bit frustrating too – the layout on the front panel is especially confusing when you have the handset landscape, and when you press the handy camera shortcut button you then have to select if you want camera or video. Not ideal if you’ve got just seconds to take that shot.
The web browser is cramped and very old-school. Using Twitter Mobile (as there are no dedicated social networking apps) wasn’t too slow but the overall experience felt very clunky. And considering the size of the screen (2.4in), the space is not exactly put to good use with overlarge fonts and menu bars. On the Orange handset we tested, we could only set up Orange email accounts and no other service providers would work which isn’t ideal.
As always, our biggest bugbear was the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack – and the cheap headphones that come with the handset are really poor: the sound was very muddy, they were uncomfortable to wear and very flimsy indeed. Sound quality through the built-in speaker is a clearer but still not up to much.
As a very basic handset, the KS360 is passable. It will fulfil your texting and calling needs adequately once you get used to the confusing button layout and the cramped Qwerty keyboard. However, for the price, we’d recommend something more along the lines of the INQ Chat 3G which will give you easy social networking and faster connectivity for similar money.