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It wasn't that long ago when phones with 5-megapixel cameras were non-existent. Things have changed, though, and 5-megapixel phones are not what you'd call ubiquitous, but certainly widespread enough for you to be able to shop around.
LG's tri-band KC550 brings the 5-megapixel phone to the masses being only around £100 on a pay as you go tariff. As I write this review, it is available from Phones 4U, Carphone Warehouse and Tesco, for example.
This handset won't win any prizes for distinctive looks. Its livery is mostly black with some silver and white highlights on the front, a sliver band round the edge and a slate grey lens cover on the back.
In physical design, this is a fairly chunky slider that feels slightly out of proportion in the hand. The main reason for this is its thickness. At 14.9mm that particular dimension is somewhat over the odds. Two thirds of its thickness is in the bottom layer which contains all the side-mounted buttons and connectors and that camera.
Thickness isn't the only reason for the slightly disproportionate appearance of this phone, though. Its width to height ratio is a little different to usual, too, making it slightly squat. It is 51.4mm wide and 96.9mm tall. Open the slide to reveal the number pad and it just shades over 130mm tall.
The number pad benefits from that 50mm plus of width. Its keys are large, and alternately coloured black and slate grey. This checkerboard look makes it easy to find and hit keys, which is a help as the number pad is flat. I was able to create SMS messages at a fair old lick.
The phone weighs 110g, which is certainly within acceptable parameters. The 2.4 inch screen manages a pretty usual 320 x 240 pixels and 262 thousand colours. LG could have made the screen a little larger, but to keep the KC550 at a lower end price compromises have had to be made.
Beneath the screen with the clam closed a large D-pad surrounds a silver select button. Call and End buttons sit on the bottom left and right of the front fascia, softmenu buttons above these. A clear key disturbs the symmetry of the arrangement sitting as it does on the right side of the D-pad.
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