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7/10

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LG KF300

The mobile phone world isn't always about pushing at the envelope to try to produce something flashier, cleverer and more trendy than what has gone before. Sometimes it is about producing a handset that does a straightforward job, and does so for an audience which lacks the flying fingers of today's touchscreen lovers.

That's what the KF300 from LG tries to be. A 'slim and stylish flip phone for those who prefer an extra large keypad and changeable font sizes', says LG's website.

It certainly fits the 'extra large keypad' criterion. Flip phones can have disappointingly small key pads considering how much space they actually offer, but here each of the 12 numberpad keys is vast. I don't think I've seen larger on a mainstream phone, only on phones patronisingly aimed at the 'elderly' or the 'infirm'.
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The rest of the buttons are also large. The navigation pad is surrounded by softkeys, Call and End keys, a Clear key and one which shortcuts you right into the handset's camera. Presses on the four points of the navigation key take you to SMS creation, music playback, profiles and contacts.

With all that in mind it won't surprise you to learn that overall this is a sizeable phone considering that it is a flip. It is 98.8mm tall, 49.5mm wide and 16.2mm thick. It grows to a shade over 180mm when the flip is opened. For all that heft it weighs just 98g.
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The size of this handset has not only allowed LG to fit in a big numberpad. The screen section also has its own surprises in the shape of four buttons nestled beneath the screen. These are shortcuts to the phone's alarm, calendar, photo album and a favourites listing which you can populate with up to 12 more shortcuts which themselves map to the 0-9, * and # keys. Between them this little lot means that a lot of what the phone has on offer only needs to be a maximum of two key presses away.

The screen itself is not compromised too much by the presence of those buttons. At 2.2in diagonally it is an average size, and its 240 x 320 pixels are perfectly adequate. Above the screen is a large grille containing the handset speaker.

There is a front screen and this displays the time in absolutely huge characters. It also tells you the number or contact ID of incoming calls and will display an alert for incoming messages.

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