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LG GD880 Mini Review

 

LG GD880 Mini Review

 
Page 1 of 3

Introduction and Design

You know that “cycle” and “cyclic” are among the most overused words in the fashion world and we often get to see things that used to be in vogue become all the rage years later. The rule doesn’t really seem to apply to the inhabitants of the cell phone universe, although we have recently witnessed a major u-turn back to handsets with really small overall size, say, models like the Nokia 8390 and Panasonic G51 that were massively popular back in 2002-2003. The market adoption of huge cell phone displays was, however, to change all this, since larger screens simply require heftier weight and increased physical size. Quite a few “mini” devices have been introduced this year, say the Xperia X10 mini and mini pro, HTC HD mini and LG Mini GD880. The former two are tiny indeed, while the latter pair is better described as compact alongside of most contemporary devices.

The guys over at LG appear to have hit the nail on the head and the Mini GD800 seems like a definite success with regard to size. We believe them when they say the handset is the world’s smallest cell phone to integrate a 3.2-inch screen. The overall design is so simplified that it even looks a tad incomplete – the GD880 looks more like one of those nameless devices manufacturers use to showcase new operating systems. We have to admit the LG Mini GS880 reminds us of the prototype of the iPhone 4, it just happens to be a bit more jagged and angular.

The build quality is really good – the metal elements give the phone a solid and reliable feel, not to mention the handset is not on the weighty side of life either (102gr). The LG Mini GD880 is slightly discomforting to carry about in your pocket, but feels awesome in your hand. Its rubber back, however, doesn’t exactly help towards a better, safer grip.

Said 3.2-inch display is capacitive and comes with surprisingly high native resolution of 480x854 pixels (similarly to the Motorola DROID). The image quality and color saturation are both very, very good. LG Mini GD880 does not utilize all the rage AMOLED technology, but LCD. The screen remains relatively usable in direct sunlight if you increase its brightness to the maximum setting. The manufacturer states the display is scratch-resistant, although we haven’t tested that claim really. Our personal impression is the coating is solid and hard to damage.

The hardware buttons are only three - volume rocker, power/off and camera shutter. We can describe them in just one word “awe” – they are so awesome they get no “some”. All three feature great travel, feel distinctive to press and are large enough. One of the things we are quite happy about is the particular way the manufacturer has managed to conceal the microSD slot. The sliding cover seems reliable and feels quite comfortable to use. Moreover, the handset is equipped with 3.5mm jack, so you can plug in a pair of headphones to your own liking.

The Mini GD880 is yet another piece of proof LG has a great and truly creative team of designers. Having seen the unique LG Crystal GD900 with its transparent keyboard and the affordable jewel LG Pop GD510, it seems it’s about time the manufacturer released a device with a totally different overall look. We do like it a lot, not to mention the great build quality. Read on to find out if the manufacturer has done equally well with the software that powers the GD880.

Interface

Let’s get down to brass tacks. The LG Mini GD880 is a feature phone running the famous S-Class interface. The 3D cube with sides hosting separate home screens is rather conspicuous in its absence and it seems LG has given up on it. Still, the contemporary version of the software does bring several pleasing novelties and improvements alongside of the iterations on models like the LG ARENA KM900 and LG Crystal GD900. The home screen no longer comes with four dedicated pages and their number has been reduced to three. You are allowed to place whatever you like on any of them, including widgets, shortcuts to all phone functions, links to websites, etc. Finally, you’ve got the option to download more widgets and we are as happy as can be. At the time of the current review, the widget catalogue is rather limited and features but a few, most of them dedicated to online stores (Amazon and eBay), news like CNN, Fox and New York Times and...

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