Until now, I had never purchased nor used an LG device. I got this device out of a spirit of adventure. The QWERTY keyboard onboard such a mid-tier device was an object of fascination for me.
The KS360 has ended up a bundle of surprises, and I bet that you are itching to find out for yourself. So, let’s cut to the chase…
2. 240 x 320 pixel screen + touch dialling
3. 2 megapixel camera (no flash; no autofocus)
4. Side Slider form factor
5. Bluetooth, USB
6. WAP 2.0/XHTML browser
7. Email client
8. 15mb shared memory + MicroSD slot
9. Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
Form factor, Display, and KeypadThe KS360 looks like the regular slider phone – except that the slider opens sideways this time to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. In size, its also quite compact.
The KS360 spots a huge 2.4-inch display that takes up most of the front. Below the display are several buttons, including a clusted navigational set, two soft key buttons, hang up and dial buttons, a “C” button that takes you a step back in whatever menu you are in. The last button is that which activates the touchscreen dialer.
This touchscreen dialer gives you numeric as well as alphabet keys for either typing in a number or typing out a name from the contacts application respectively. The implementation of this touchscreen dialer is beautiful, and it works well. Note though that the touchscreen functionality is avaoilable only in the standby mode with the slider closed. How did LG pull that?
The LG KS360 has well thought-out ergonomics. With slider closed, it fees good in the hand, and is very comfortable even with the QWERTY keyboard slid out.
The display is quite brilliant, and bright. It is one of the better displays in this price bracket. You are also able to adjust the brightness and time-out.
Slide out the QWERTY keyboard, and the display rotates to landscape mode. In this mode, you can hammer out your email, and text messages, and also enter text into webpages.
The QWERTY keys are small but slightly domed for easier usability. The keyboard works well, but don’t expect the most spectacular performance for a phone this size. The smaller a phone is, usually the more of comfort and usability is given up with text entry.
The spring-loaded keyboard slides in and out smoothly, and feels very well built. Actually, the whole device has a feel of sturdiness and quality, though it is made of plastic.
MultimediaThe KS360 has a fixed focus 2MPX camera that delivers good shots. No; not great or spectacular shots. But what do you expect from a 2MPX camera without flash, and without autofocus?
Close-up shots in good lighting come out fine. Anything beyond that is more of a hit-and-miss affair.
Video playback is included in the KS360. Anything above 20 frames per second, though, and playback gets jerky and unstable. I converted a number of DVD movies to MP4 at 15 fps, and they played smoothly. Of course, 15fps meant that the video quality was greatly tampered with.
The KS360 has a built-in MP3 player too. It is quite basic, and produces fairly good sound in terms of quality and loudness. If you are a music buff who is used to iPod-like quality music, however, stay away.
Part two coming up shortly. I am deliberately breaking this review into paarts so as to keep page size down for those browsing on mobile.