The company is breaking some traditions here by launching a mobile, the KS360, primarily directed at SMS-addicts. It comes with a neat slide-out QWERTY keyboard which stands out because it's an entry-level, non-business oriented mobile retailing at Rs 11,500 only.
When the keypad slips out, the screen automatically switches orientation to typing-friendly landscape mode and you will notice the interactive wallpaper that LG has included with this model. The backdrop is nicknamed Live Square and contains several faceless figures congregating around a park, which initially seem unworthy of further attention. It begins to show its worth after you have sent a few text messages or made some calls.
The previously non-decipherable characters take on the identity of the people with whom you have been communicating as they become one of the avatars on your display and will light up whenever you receive a reply from them.
Likewise, for frequent callers where you will discover your regular acquaintances assuming animated characters on the phone's display. Another feature that screams out loud is Bluetooth messaging that can give an avid texter some respite from escalating bills.
The LG KS360 is all about messaging so its features have been kept simple. For instance, the camera is a 2-megapixel with no flash, there is no 3G or Wi-Fi and an onboard memory on just 15 MB is just unacceptable. What it does have is shortcut keys to SMS and an instant-messaging client topped with a 2.4 inch display.
You must make full use of the QWERTY keypad by downloading the Opera Mini onto the KS360 that will let you view full sized web pages made easy by the on-board zoom feature. Buy the LG KS360 for what it was intended and you won't cry foul.
LG's KM710, modestly priced at Rs 12,500, is for those who want to tote around with music. Dubbed as the Mark Levinson phone by LG, the phone bears a scroll wheel and touchpad in the middle to facilitate quick access to multimedia functions.
Two annoying things that can put you off is the MP3 button (touch sensitive) at the bottom of the phone, which gets in the way every time your palm or finger touches it and goes straight to the MP3 mode.
Another drawback is during calls, all the touch sensitive controls lock up and you cannot select options like hold and mute without having to unlock the phone. The camera, although a 3 megapixel one, suffers from shutter lag. This phone is though aimed at replacing music players.