LG is looking to stem Samsung’s entry-level touch phone dominance with the compact Pop GD510, set to take on the likes of the Genoa
. And from what we’ve experienced it's definitely a contender.
The GD510 is very compact, much more so than either of its Korean rival’s offerings, measuring a mere 97.8 x 49.5 x 11.2 mm and weighing in at just 87 g. It sports a 3" touch-screen (240 x 400 pixels) and much like the iPhone
has a solitary physical button underneath the screen.
Unlike the iPhone’s button, the LG’s doesn’t take you to the home-screen, but to the call info display showing calls received, missed and made. It also changes colour depending on the mode it is in or the action you are currently performing.
When the phone is on and unlocked or when a user receives an incoming call the button is green. When making a call or opening an application the button will turn red to indicate that pressing it will end the call or close that app.
There is also a power button on top of the phone, a volume rocker on the left side and a button on the right which opens the phone’s camera interface, or with a quick press your favourite apps. In all a pretty decent design that compliments functionality despite the phone’s compact frame.
The notable UI is displayed on its 3" screen which although it is a resistive touch-screen is much more responsive than the LG GM750
’s display, also boasting an accelerometer to easily switch between portrait and landscape mode. Landscape handled the menu structure wonderfully, but we did however find the QWERTY keys too small in landscape mode.
The phone’s browser is basic and requires users to scroll their way through pages. In addition the phone only features GPRS and Edge connectivity, so browsing the web isn’t a blistering affair.
The camera’s image capture abilities are decent, but not impressive, coming courtesy of a 3 megapixel snapper that lacks a flash. The GD510 only has 42 MB of on-board memory, but supports microSD cards of up to 8 GB in size. You don’t get any memory cards with the phone, but you do get two additional back covers featuring a green floral design and a solid orange one.
LG’s Pop sports the company’s S-class UI and, just like the Samsung Star with its TouchWiz UI, boasts three home-screens. Unlike the Star however users are not able to add all the widgets to the home-screens. Instead they are restricted to arranging chosen widgets (such as the music player and calender) on the first home-screen.
The second home-screen can’t be loaded with widgets, only allowing quick access to your favourite contacts.
The final home-screen features a graphical interface that LG calls Livesquare which provides users with graphical representations of the people who contacted them throughout the day. These representations (Livecon avatars) can be changed from animated people to animals. It doesn’t just look nice, but is actually useful for quickly contacting or adding people to your phonebook.
Complimenting the three home-screens are four icons located at the bottom of the screen which are for the phone’s onscreen dialler, contacts, messages and the main menu.
The main menu groups the icon-based phone functions into four groups, which are Communication, Entertainment, Utilities and Settings. You can set-up your personal email (like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail) quite easily on the GD510.
Generally the UI is easy and intuitive and we felt more fun to use than the TouchWiz set-up of Samsung, although given the graphical nature of the interface it’s partial to a bit of lag here and there.
Although it doesn’t have a flash for the camera, Edge connectivity or a 3.5 mm audio jack, the GD510 is a pretty good all-round touch-screen phone for the entry-level market, thanks to its spiffy UI and compact size. It retails for a decent R1 749.