Armed with an attractive design and lots of ways to entertain, the LG A7110 has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. Not only does the handset slide and the camera flip, this phone also supports Cingular's EDGE data network and ships with the AIM messaging client built in. Oh yeah, it makes clear voice calls, too. Despite the attractions, however, we were disappointed that the camera was only VGA quality and the battery life was so short. But if you want a phone for voice calls that can store a ton of low-quality pictures, the A7110 delivers. It's also fairly priced at $199, but you should be able to pick it up for less with service. The LG A7110 is a compact device at 3.6 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches, and it weighs a slight 3.9 ounces. A stubby antenna adds a bit more bulk, and the phone has a solid feel. Both bright and vivid, the 650,000-color display measures nearly 2 inches diagonally. Be advised, though, that it disappears in direct sunlight, and while you can change the backlight time, you can't alter the text size. Yet the A7110 earns high points for a slick, sliding design (similar to the ) and a keypad that provides easy access to its many features.
Immediately below the screen are the spacious navigation buttons. A five-way toggle acts as a shortcut to the Web browser, the address book, AIM, My Media, and text messaging, and there are two soft keys. Other controls consist of a Clear button and the traditional Talk and End keys. Above the display is the barrel-like camera lens that swivels 180 degrees. You can point the lens toward you for a self-portrait (the display acts as a viewfinder) or point it away from you to take pictures of others. The flash swivels as well, but it is more of a steady light; once you turn the flash on, it stays on until you're finished with your picture. We are sure this hurts the battery life, but as any frequent subway rider will tell you, it is always nice to have an extra flashlight on hand just in case you get stuck underground.
Once open, the phone's buttons can all be operated with one hand. The keys are backlit and well spaced. On the side of the phone is the infrared port, while a volume rocker and a camera button are also within reach.The LG A7110 comes loaded with a plethora of features in addition to those needed for making voice calls. The 250-name contact manager can store entries for phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and you can pair contacts with a photo or a ring tone for caller ID. The phone comes with just 10 polyphonic ring tones, but of course, Cingular will be happy to sell you more online. Other goodies include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, an alarm clock, a memo pad, a calculator, a world clock, 20-second voice memos, and a unit converter. Notable omissions are Bluetooth and a speakerphone, but an infrared port is included. It's a nice touch, and it can be used as a data/fax port, but we would have preferred to see Bluetooth capability for data syncing and wireless headsets.
Though it's only VGA quality, the A7110 has one of the better cameras we have seen on an entry-level phone. The camera can store images at three resolutions: 128x160, 320x240, and 640x480. The other camera features include a multishot capability, a self-timer, a 4X zoom, five multiple white-balance settings, three color effects, a brightness adjustment, and four image quality choices. The camera can also capture video at either 128x96- or 176x144-pixel resolutions. Because the phone has a relatively robust 32MB of memory, you can capture as many as 360 photos at VGA quality and as much as 30 minutes of video. Still, a phone such as this is begging for a megapixel of resolution. When done with your shots, you can send both pictures and video in a multimedia message, but the messages are capped at 100Kbps (or five seconds of video).