Just as with the LG Arena and Viewty Smart you can call up a cube around four of whose faces you fingersweep. These faces represent the four main screens, and you tap one to bring it up full size. It is as redundant now as it was then.
Web browsing was a mixed experience. The phone completely refused to load the TR home page, complaining of an ‘internal out of memory’ error. Moving on to the BBC news page I got more success but then that is formatted for mobile devices. Looks like you might have to take a few chances with browsing.
When you do get to pages that work you can browse by running a finger around the Transparent Touchpad to move a cursor around the screen, and double tap to choose a link. This worked very well. When web pages were at a zoom level that made text quite small – often the optimum when trying to see a lot of data – it was more accurate than tapping the screen with a fingertip.
The Crystal is a 3G device. It also has Wi-Fi but sadly it is missing GPS. This really detracts. A modern top-notch handset has to offer all three features to stand a chance of capturing the imagination.
There is an FM radio on board as well as a music player, but LG has shot itself in the foot by using microUSB as the headset connector. At least there is a 3.5mm connector just past the headset microphone, but I’d prefer 3.5mm on the phone itself. And the headset/mains power/PC connection jack is on the upper left side of the phone making pocket-snagging inevitable.
That’s doubly annoying as this is a fairly pocket and hand-friendly mobile measuring just 105mm tall (and according to my ruler 135mm with the Transparent Touchpad out), 52.8mm wide and 13.5mm thick and weighing 120g.
Obviously at this size it can’t accommodate a super-large screen. But at 3in it is a fairly good size and its 800 x 480 pixels are sharp and clear. The screen size is only really a let-down when it comes to text entry. There is an accelerometer built in, which worked smoothly, and when the screen is in landscape mode there is a QWERTY keypad. It is just that bit too small for comfort, though, and I found it slow to respond, both of which factors combined to prevent total accuracy. In portrait mode you get handwriting recognition too, but it works just one letter at a time so it is slow.