LG Crystal GD900 (Unlocked) review: LG Crystal GD900 (Unlocked)

Pixels aren't everything
The GD900 suffers from the same problem as its stablemate, the LG Viewty Smart GC900: despite a massive 8-megapixel camera, it doesn't take very good photos.

In good light, our snaps were pretty average for a phone, with washed-out colors and a lack of detail. In dim conditions, photos were very noisy and the LED photo light gave our images a pink cast. We appreciate the shutter speed, however, with a snap in good light being taken less than 2 seconds after pressing the button. Still, the GD900 would lose out to the cheapest compact camera in a fight.

The GD900 has inherited the GC900's huge range of editing options, allowing you to do everything from crop your photos to selectively replace certain colors. The edits that we tried were quick and easy, and we liked how well they took advantage of the touch screen. But be warned: saving the edited images takes a few moments, so it's not for the impatient.

The GD900 also has a video recorder with its own editor, as well as an FM radio and a music player. There's a fair amount of room for all your media thanks to 1.5GB of onboard memory and a slot for a microSD memory card.

S-Class is low-class
The GD900 sports LG's S-Class user interface. While we appreciate that LG has tried to improve the usability of its phones, we think the company has gone overboard with the S-Class UI. We hate the pointless spinning cube with its own dedicated button, also seen on the LG Arena KM900 .


Despite LG's best efforts, we find the spinning S-Class cube aggravating

The multiple home screens are good, especially since you can customize them with spinning shortcuts to your favorite contacts, images and music. But it's just another hoop to jump through when the various widgets aren't well-designed. For example, the weather widget shows the same shining sun no matter what the weather's like, reducing it to a shortcut that's only useful if you open the full application. Also, while we like being able to see thumbnails of our favorite photos via the widget, it's frustrating that you can't open them in the gallery to edit them or send them over MMS or e-mail. It doesn't help that the phone's slightly sluggish at times, with widgets taking their time to pop up one after another on the screen.

Overall, the touch-sensitive surfaces, spinning-cube UI and plethora of widgets are great ideas in theory, but the more we used them the more annoying they got.

Online adventure
The GD900's browser does an excellent job of rendering complex pages, and we like the freedom of scrolling around using the touch screen or the keypad. Multitouch is also a welcome feature when surfing the Web, although zooming in and out isn't as smooth as we'd have liked.

The built-in Wi-Fi and 7.2Mbps HSDPA for speedy surfing over 3G make sure that even big sites like CNET.co.uk load quickly. The 76-millimeter (3-inch) screen isn't the biggest we've seen, but it's clear and bright.

Conclusion
If you're Wonder Woman and you need a phone that complements your invisible plane, the LG GD900 Crystal packs a good range of features into a unique body. But it doesn't look as cool as we'd hoped, and two touch screens sometimes prove too much of a good thing, leading to inadvertent taps. The GD900's responsive keypad makes up for the poor on-screen keyboard typical of LG touch-screen phones, but the S-Class user interface needs to improve before the phone can be truly pleasurable to use.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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    LG Crystal GD900 (Unlocked)

    Part Number: GD900BLKULK
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Talk Time Up to 360 min (2G)
      Up to 240 min (3G)
    • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
    • Combined with With digital camera / digital player / FM radio
    • Service Provider Unlocked
    • Weight 4.4 oz
    • Diagonal Size 3 in
    • Sensor Resolution 8 megapixels