A cheeky little handset, the LG Pop is a touchscreen phone for those on a budget. But does it pack enough of a punch to keep today’s demanding users happy?
What we like
This is the smallest, lightest handset we’ve seen for quite a while; but despite this, the screen is a comfortable 3-inches. It’s slim and although it’s in plastic casing, it maintains a stylish brushed silver finish. There is just one button on the front of the handset, which can be used to do different things depending on when you press it. The sides of the handset house the camera button, volume controls, microUSB port and power/screen lock button – it’s all really simple and straightforward.
Designed with the environment in mind, the handset has an eco-conscience – made of hazardous-free components and with completely recyclable packaging, the handset even gives you a signal when the battery is full so you don’t waste extra electricity.
There are three home screens for quick and easy access to the essentials functions – like the music player or your contacts. The 3-megapixel camera is pretty good, and can do both still shots and video with some basic image editing. With space for an 8GB external memory card, you can fill it up with around 200 mp3 files or 10 videos – nice and roomy.
Although you can’t download additional apps, the Games and Apps section has a fair few already available, some of which could be really quite handy. We liked Weight Tracker which we’d definitely use if we were dieting or trying to get into shape.
The media player was easy to use and being able to control it from the homescreen is a useful extra touch.
Call quality is nice and clear, and we had texting with the keyboard on landscape Qwerty mode isn’t exactly a joy but we didn’t have any major problems. Setting up our email account was also straightforward, and while it isn’t the most intuitive phone-based inbox, it does the job for checking email on the go.
What we don’t like
We’ve never met a resistive touchscreen we like, and the LG Pop is no exception. Typing becomes a tedious, awkward affair as you have to press heavily and hold in order for each letter to register. It’s even more annoying when adjusting settings and the keyboard doesn’t have a landscape option, particularly when entering passwords.
The menu is full to bursting with colourful favicons, but many of the functions feel a little superfluous. We would have liked to have seen more dedicated social networking apps, and fewer novelty apps like Mellow Candle. That said, the handset has no 3G and no Wi-Fi so browsing the web can be frustratingly slow relying on GPRS, as can updating social networks through the provided app.
While the LG earphones that come with the handset do a passable job, as always we’d prefer to see a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so users aren’t limited to proprietary headphones.
For a budget handset (available for around £100), the LG Pop isn’t bad. Unlike many other handsets of this caliber, the Pop keeps things simple and straightforward. However, the connectivity limitations really let it down and as internet access is a huge draw for many, this could be a deal-breaker.