The GT350 could very easily be categorized as a Cookie Series device but instead it’s been called the Town. The reason for this eludes me. It’s a mid-low end device that’s designed for the avid texter/social networking fiend but the question always is, does overall functionality or features really make up for lack of performance? Take a closer look.
The simple but tasteful design is definitely an appealing factor about the GT350. It has a 3 inch resistive touchscreen with a 240 x 400 pixel resolution (256K colors) that’s just about perfect for a handset in this range. It’s clear and fairly visible in direct sunlight (can’t expect much more). LG has deviated a bit from conformity by placing the volume/zoom keys on the left side making it just a little bit awkward for the right handed. On the same side is the MicroSD card slot (2GB card included). On the right side you’ll find the micro USB port and camera shutter release while a standard 3.5mm handsfree socket is well located at the top near the power button.
The GT350’s slide out keypad is by far its biggest asset. It pops in or out smoothly without much of an effort. The keys are just a bit hard to press but the layout is extremely set and the keypad overall is very well designed for comfortable use with four way navigation keys neatly placed on the right. The handset is comfortable to handle with the keypad neatly tucked in.
Features and Performance
I’ve never been a fan of LG’s user interface S-Class or otherwise and the GT350’s is no exception. It’s sluggish and not altogether comfortably responsive for speedy usage. It took annoyingly long to open applications like the music player or video player and a few others. A few options like accessing the Running Apps, the drop down menu that offers quite a bit of functionality from the desktop like changing profiles, activating and deactivating Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and accessing the music player were handy. As usual the UI also comes with three desktops assigned for separate tasks – shortcuts that are neatly assigned to specific backgrounds, favourite contacts and LG’s LiveSquare.
Media functionality, although limited to just the basics, was decent at best. The music player managed to scrape through with decent tone quality. There was a reasonable punch in the bass line and the higher frequencies were well balanced. I could have used a boost in the decibel level but as is, it was ok. There are a few presets included that do make a bit of difference but not much to sing praise over. The FM radio was also just about adequate with a fair amount of reception in most places of the city that I happened to be at. While commuting though, it was quite a bust. No points there.
The video player only supports low resolution 3GP and MPEG4 files. If you’ve converted them properly they’re not too bad, but there will be a bit of framing irrespective. Videos captured from the camera won’t have this problem though.
There are a couple of games like Music World and Sudoku Café and other mildly entertaining apps like A Banner apps that allows you to display anything you type on the screen like a ticker. The app even allows you to edit the colors and fonts to an extent. It serves no real world purpose but it can be fun.
The GT350i is an EDGE enabled device that also comes with Wi-Fi for net connectivity. The problem is that irrespective of where you are even if you’ve switched off the Wi-Fi, the moment you try accessing the net via Opera (preloaded but takes really long to load) or the native browser or the social networking options (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Orkut Flickr, Picasa) it automatically switches on the Wi-Fi. I could not find an option to change the priority to EDGE, Wi-Fi just seems to take precedence for some reason. This was even after I changed the Java settings to activate the EDGE service. It was really annoying.
Features like instant messaging for Windows Live and Yahoo! are on board. I thought Google was simply left out of the picture till I came upon the Google app that only features Google Mail and Search. Aside from the native Email option for POP or IMAP accounts, LG has also included two additional email apps – BlacMail and Push e-mail, They’re easy to set up and use, but all these mail apps do tend to be a bit overkill. NewsHunt, Just Cricket and RockeTalk are also included.
All the standard features you’d expect to find in a mobile handset in this range like the Calendar for appointments, schedules etc., Calculator, Converter, Voice recorder, Stopwatch, Alarm clock et al are present. A few extras like Weight Tracker and Running Mate make handy additions to the handset’s feature set. LG has also included a document viewer for MS document files that include PPTs and PDF files.
The GT350’s 2MP camera comes with very basic features like White Balance, Night Mode, Self Timer and Colour Effects. Image quality is also very average. Images appear more or less focused but bright lights tend to looks over exposed and large clumps of colors get blended together. You can't expect too much from a 2MP camera these days but in this case there are better options.
Another average performer is the 950mAh battery. On a single charge it ran for just about a day and a half with very limited usage. Talk time ranged in the 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hour segment which isn’t anything spectacular or great for that matter.
The Bottom Line
With a price tag of Rs. 7,900, the GT350 Town is not something I’d recommend if you’re looking for a Wi-Fi enabled device. It’d be better to save up a bit more and go in for the slightly higher Optimus GT540 or Samsung Galaxy 3 smartphones which give so much more to use. If touchscreen is not a prerequisite the Micromax Q7 is a good option or LG’s own Cookie Fresh or Plus are also good choices.
|Screen Resolution||240 x 400|
|Number of Colours||262k|
|EGPRS or EDGE||Yes|
|Talk Time with Standard Battery||5.5 Hrs|
|Standby Time with Standard Battery||550|
After Sales Service
Published Date: Nov 27, 2010 03:12 pm | Updated Date: Nov 27, 2010 03:12 pm