Underneath the display are three physical keys: Send, Back, and the End/Power key. All three keys are circular and have a nice domed surface, and are easy to press as well. The left spine is home to the volume rocker, the task menu key, and the headset/charger jack, while the camera key is on the right. The screen lock key is on the top, and the camera lens is on the back. The microSD card slot is located behind the battery cover.
The LG Sentio's phone book has the capacity to hold 1,000 contacts with room in each entry for five numbers, three e-mail addresses, three instant-messenger IDs, a Web address, a company name, three street addresses, a birthday, an anniversary date, and a memo. Its basic features include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a notepad, a world clock, a tasks list, a calculator, a stopwatch, a unit converter, and a tip calculator. You also get voice command, instant messenger, e-mail, a HTML Web browser, Bluetooth, and GPS with Telenav Navigator support. For social networking fans, LG includes Social Buzz, an app for managing your various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, on the Sentio.
As for entertainment options, the Sentio has a YouTube app and there's a music player. To load songs on the player, you'll have to do so via the included USB cable. You can also load songs to the microSD card for additional storage. Its player interface is simple, you can create and edit playlists on the go, and you get the typical player settings like repeat and shuffle. We found it the player easy and intuitive to use.
The 3.0-megapixel camera on the Sentio can take pictures in five resolutions and three quality settings. You can also adjust the white balance, the ISO, the shot mode (continuous, normal, or frame shot), color effects, and turn night mode on or off. Other settings include brightness, a self-timer, and the choice of three shutter tones plus a silent option. The Sentio camera's photo quality was quite good, surprisingly. Its night mode does a decent job in low-light situations, and the images overall white balance is OK. It also had good color accuracy as well.
You can personalize the LG Sentio with graphics and sounds, as well as games and apps--the phone comes with Guitar Hero 5 Mobile (demo), Millionaire 2010 (demo), Need for Speed Shift (demo), Pac-Man, and Photobucket Mobile. You can download full versions of the games and more options from the T-Mobile Web store.
We tested the LG Sentio in San Francisco on T-Mobile. We were pleased with the call quality overall. We heard our callers clearly without a lot of distortion, and volume was good as well. However, we did occasionally detect a bit of hiss.
Our callers said they could hear us loud and clear with little to no background noise. However, calls in its speakerphone mode did result in a lot more echo and hiss, and callers said that we sounded a bit more muffled than usual. For us, they sounded about the same, albeit with more of a hollow and tinny sound quality, but that's to be expected with most speakerphones.
Similarly, the Sentio's audio quality over the speakers wasn't the best. It sounded rather bland and flat. As always, a headset is your best bet with the music.
The LG blesses the Sentio with support for 7.2Mbps 3G networks, and we were suitably impressed by it. We experienced almost no buffering when streaming YouTube videos and loading CNET's home page only took around 20 seconds.
The LG Sentio has a rated battery life of 6 hours talk time and 13 days standby time. The Sentio has a tested talk time of 6 hours and 12 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Sentio has a digital SAR of 1.26 watts per kilogram.