LG A140 review: LG A140

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Typical Price: £15.00
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2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Bluetooth connectivity; video-recording capability via the VGA camera; slim design.

The Bad Terrible screen; no 3.5mm headphone jack; bundled headphones are abysmal; casing feels tacky and cheap.

The Bottom Line The super-cheap LG A140 looks good on paper, but it's let down by poor multimedia capabilities and a dismal screen. You have to accept some compromises in a phone of this price, though.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

5.5 Overall

When a phone proudly lists it thinness as a major selling point, you know you're not looking at a contender for handset of the year. The LG A140 is comprehensively outmatched by rival phones in the same price bracket, but the features that it does have are still remarkable when you consider the minuscule price point.

The A140 is available on a pay as you go deal for around £15.

Slimness at a cost

At just 12mm thick, the A140 is slim -- and LG wants you to know it. It's slender dimensions are listed on the box as the top selling point of this cheap and cheerful device, although it could be argued that LG is selling it short.

Also included are Bluetooth connectivity, a VGA camera (with video-recording capability), multimedia messaging and limited access to the Web. All of those features are usually conspicuous by their absence on similarly priced handsets.

Weighing in at a mere 73g, the A140 is also incredibly light. This is partly down to its slender construction, and partly because of the relatively inexpensive nature of the components used. Some parts of the plastic casing look nasty, and the battery cover doesn't fit tightly enough in places, resulting in an unsightly gap.

The A140's VGA snapper is capable of capturing images and video, but the quality is predictably naff. Still, it's a good feature, considering the price.

This rather underwhelming physical appearance may have something to do with the fact that the A140 isn't actually a purebred LG product -- it's been designed and manufactured by French firm Sagem Wireless, a company that is hardly noted for its desirable phones.

The phone's glossy back doesn't look too bad. But, unfortunately, it also serves to make the phone harder to hold when you've got sweaty hands -- so don't even think about attempting to make a call when you're particularly flustered.

Interface infuriation

The A140's one-piece keypad looks great, but it makes rapid texting problematic, as it's hard to properly differentiate between the buttons laid underneath the plastic surface. The navigation pad is also uninspiring. It's somewhere between a square and a circle, making it less intuitive to use when you're in a hurry.

Low-quality screens are practically a given when looking at budget phones, and the A140 does nothing to buck this unfortunate trend. The low-resolution 128x160-pixel display is hideously washed-out. Even at maximum brightness, it looks duller than a British summer. The only upshot is that it places relatively little demand on the phone's battery, which results in above-average stamina.

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