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Another standout feature is the camera, which has that most uncommon feature for an Android phone, a flash. Admittedly it's only a single LED so only has a range of a couple of metres (as opposed to a Xenon flash that at least doubles this range) but it's better than 'nowt'. The camera itself, which can resolve 5-megapixels and has autofocus, is a bit better than what you get on most smartphones but still falls markedly behind dedicated camera phones (let alone proper compact cameras) and is really only good for occasional snapshots.
In terms of aesthetics, this is a rather cluttered looking phone thanks to all those buttons though the matt black back, brushed metal top section and glossy black screen surround all combine to give it an understated and functional feel. Unsurprisingly that keyboard does make this a fairly chunky device at 15.9mm thick but it's by no means a brick and is noticeably slimmer and shorter than the iPhone.
So far this is all pretty impressive stuff but for us this phone does have one major failing - it uses a resistive touch-screen. This means the surface of the screen is soft and thus very scratch prone. Moreover, the bit of pressure required to elicit a response makes this less responsive than capacitive touch-screens, which can detect even the slightest glance. It also means there's no support for multi-touch so typing on the onscreen keyboard is very slow. Now we appreciate some people do prefer resistive screens as you can use them with gloves on and can use any old pointy item as a stylus. However, for most situations we still feel capacitive screens are better.
To view, however, the screen is perfectly adequate thanks to a typical resolution of 320 x 480, 3in size, and ample brightness and sharpness. Viewing angles aren't quite as good as you get on AMOLED screens but are still absolutely fine for everyday use.
Moving onto software and this phone continues to impress us. For the most part this is simply due to Android being a pretty decent mobile phone platform that is intuitive to use, has a great web browser, handles email well, and excels at all the phone basics too. However, LG has made some positive additions that help this phone stand out from the crowd.