To look at, the screen is neither exceptionally good or bad, it’s merely an okay colour LCD display. It’s plenty sharp enough, viewing angles are good, and there’s enough colour and brightness to make it usable on sunny days as well as enjoy videos (though very few video formats seemed to be supported). The only thing that’s lacking is resolution, which stands at just 240 x 400 pixels. This combined with particularly poor text scaling is another thing that really inhibits the web browsing experience.
As for the camera, this is a very basic 3-megapixel unit that lacks both autofocus and flash. Nonetheless, it produces passable photos with accurate colours and a reasonable amount of detail. Video, on the other hand, has too low a framerate to be of much use.
Underneath the battery cover is the SIM slot, a microSD slot (that supports cards up to 8GB), and of course the battery, which is a 900mAh unit. We’ve now come up with a standard test procedure for battery life that consists of playing two hours of mp3s with the screen off, watching two hours of video with the screen at full brightness, and browsing the web for an hour (a custom made page constantly refreshes itself every minute) then recording the remaining battery life. Sadly, this phone’s poor video support meant we had to use a different video clip to the one we normally use. It also doesn’t report the exact battery level and we had to rely on the number of bars on the little battery icon. By the by, one of the three bars was still remaining after our tests. LG reports standby and talk times of 15 days and 3.6hrs.
However, despite putting in a reasonable performance when it comes to battery life and having some neat touches in its design and interface, our overall impression of the GD510 Pop is that it’s a bit pointless. It has a largish screen but is poor when it comes to doing anything that takes advantage of it – namely browsing the web and watching video. If LG kept the same design but put a headphone jack on it and improved video playback and web browsing, it could be a great small phone (even without 3G and Wi-Fi, etc.) but as it stands, for a phone with such limited functionality, we’d rather have one with a smaller screen and a decent keypad.
With its small body and neat design, the LG GD510 Pop could have been a great low-cost touchscreen phone and certainly it’s the best device of this type that LG has yet produced so if you’ve liked its previous designs, it’s well worth considering. However, for most users we feel LG has simply cut too many corners in the hardware, rendering the relatively large touchscreen essentially pointless. Ultimately, on a phone this basic, we’d rather have a sturdier design with some proper buttons for text entry.
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