In designing the front facing navigation system LG has taken something of a risk. The Call and End keys, along with a button which on a short press is a back button, on a long press is a keylock and during a call toggles the speaker, are fine. These three buttons are dwarfed by the huge silver navigation key and its blue frame. The frame incorporates three more buttons. One labelled ‘menu’ calls up the main applications menu on screen. Naturally enough, that on screen menu is circular. The other two on the left and right sides of the frame map to softmenus. They are a long way from the softmenus themselves, and it took me a while to get used to the arrangement.
You spin the silver wheel to scroll through screen menus, making selections by pressing its central OK button. I found myself scrolling either too fast or too slow for quite a while before getting it just right. Thankfully, there are multiple ways of getting round the various menu levels including pressing the wheel at its left, right, top and bottom edges as you would a standard navigation pad, so you can manage without the spinning if it defeats you. Indeed, when on the main screen, these presses have their own functions, for example pushing up takes you to Three’s Mobile TV menu.
The front facing camera for video calling is tiny and embedded into the fascia on the top right of the screen, where it is pretty much invisible. Video call quality, incidentally, was fine.
The main, 2.0 megapixel camera’s lens is on the back of the casing. It is not protected under the slider mechanism and LG hasn’t even bothered to recess it so there’s minimal defence against scratches. Still, its always present nature means you can use the camera having to be bothered about open a slider.
Test images were reasonable, though, not unusually, you need to allow for a bit of shutter lag. The sample image below was shot through a shop window, hence the reflection, but the colour rendering is pretty good.
The U400 has a very musical skew. One manifestation of this is Melody Composer which offers you 31 musical styles, 10 different instruments and five tempos with which to compose tunes. Set them as ringtones or just play them to annoy passengers on public transport or people in your living room, I guess.