While on the subject of usability, we also like that LG has adopted the, fast becoming standard, slide-to-unlock system whereby, after pressing any button, you simply slide a finger up the screen to unlock the phone. We also like the status dialogue that appears when you tap the top of the homescreen. This displays detailed information about time, battery life, signal strength, and memory usage (both onboard and of the memory card) as well as giving you quick access to select a profile (silent, meeting, normal, etc.), play and pause music, and turn Bluetooth on or off.
Elsewhere the operating system is essentially the same one that we’ve seen on LG’s phones for some time. The homescreen consists of three desktops, which you can slide left and right with the annoying, slow, and cumbersome rotating cube effect that LG insists on using. On the first screen you can put widgets, which are the usual selection of apps like a calendar, picture viewer, analogue clock, and music player. The second screen is dedicated to what LG calls Livesquare, which basically shows you little avatars of your favourite contacts along with message notifications for each one. You can then drag the avatar to the message or call icons to either message or call them. You can even highlight multiple avatars and send group messages. It could be useful on occasion but we feel that for most people it will be a seldom used gimmick. The third screen is simply for dragging and dropping links to your favourite contacts.
The main menu by default uses a peculiar sideways scrolling array of icons that we again find cumbersome and unnecessary. You can, however, revert to a simpler tabbed layout of fixed icons that is much easier to navigate.
The rest of the operating system is basic and a bit slow but is easy enough to use. However, the web browser is distinctly tedious to use so those that want to regularly browse on the move should probably steer clear. Then again, with this being a non-3G phone that also lacks Wi-Fi, web browsing was always going to require the patience of a saint.
Something that will also slow you down is the use of a soft resistive touchscreen. With its lack of multitouch and requirement of pressure to activate the screen, typing speed in particular is slowed down to the point where the QWERTY keyboard is next to useless and the keypad layout will instead be your primary port of call. The softness of the screen will of course make it prone to scratches as well.