Just a couple of years ago, smartphones were the preserve of the high-end-contract-using classes. Not only did the phones cost a bundle on a pre-pay deal, data did too. The cost has tumbled on both sides now, but the feature phone isn't dead yet. Enter the LG Ego WiFi, which runs LG’s proprietary phone platform rather than an advanced OS like Android. It’s stuck in a tricky middle ground though, with a smartphone-like price, but no smartphone-like flexibility.
The LG Ego isn’t a real smartphone because it runs a relatively “dumb” operating system. But, to look at the specs list, it seems to offer everything a budget smartie pants phone would. It has 3G HSPA mobile internet. It has Wi-Fi. It can retrieve your emails and your friends’ tweets and Facebook updates. It even looks like a budget smartphone.
With a 2.8in touchscreen and a fairly petite – if chunky – plastic body, the LG Ego invites comparisons to phones like the Samsung Galaxy Europa and Vodafone 845. It has a two-tone design - the screen surround is glossy black, while the full-back battery cover and soft keys are white. Bisecting the side of the phone diagonally, the black/white border between back and front is the phone’s one conspicuously style-oriented move.
It’s not a particularly stylish or classy phone though. The too-large icons on the soft keys, unsubtle camera lens and speaker grille on the back make sure of this. It’s rather like Samsung’s classic non-smart touchscreen hit of 2009, the Genio Touch, without the cheerful colour backplates.
On the LG Ego’s right edge is the microUSB slot, covered by a plastic flap. The only other on-body connector is the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. There’s also a microSD slot under the battery cover to supplement the measly 50MB of internal memory available to you.
Button-wise, it’s bare basics here too. The power buttons sits on the top edge, volume controls on the left edge. Aside from these and the three front soft keys, everything else is operated using the 2.8in touchscreen.