BlackBerry-style QWERTY blowers have fast become the must-have mobile for kids. And while RIM’s efforts like the Blackberry Curve 3G still carry a (relatively) premium price tag, LG is looking to capitalise with the C300 Town, which rocks social networking skills with messaging at its heart.
Old-school phone fanatics will doubtless recognise that LG has taken its cue from the Palm Treo 500, especially when it comes down to that white and red colour scheme. But this is very much a phone of its time. The social networking system app, which lets you tap into your Facebook, Twitter and, ahem, MySpace and receive the latest updates on your homescreen is inspired.
It’s easy to setup and allows you to swiftly check the latest happenings as well as utilise the surprisingly tactile QWERTY pad for sharing your latest aimless thoughts with all and sundry.
Likewise, for such a basic phone, push email is surprisingly neat, with a well laid out mail app and a straightforward method for creating and replying to messages.
The menu system is foolproof and icons are rendered relatively bright and sharp on the 2.4-inch panel. Yes, we’ve seen better, but the 240×320 pixels do mean costs are kept down. Ideal for recession-battered phone fiends and kids with pocket money to spend.
There’s no denying that the camera is a disappointment though. While a 2 megapixel number is to be expected on such a cheap blower, the lack of even an LED flash is poor and the options for tweaking settings are virtually nonexistent.
The inability to directly share snaps from the gallery with Twitter or Facebook is a real own goal and would make the C300 a proper social networking winner.
There are other issues too. There’s no 3G or Wi-Fi, which put it well behind the Nokia C5, BlackBerry Curve 3G and Palm Pixi Plus.
However, at £70 on pay-as-you-go (£50 pre-order at Orange), it’s hard to argue with the LG C300. In fact, it’s positively brimming at that price, even if your PAYG deal will need to be data heavy in order to handle excessive Facebook and email usage. The LG C300 Town won’t be winning any awards.
But if you’re obsessed with the sharing life’s minutiae and money’s more important than lightning fast mobile broadband, this is a viable bargain alternative to the aforementioned rival big name QWERTYs.
The LG Town is out soon, available from Orange, T-Mobile and Phones4U
Posted by Joe Minihane