At this year's Mobile World Congress, LG wasits latest handset, the LG KF600, which features a split-screen design. We were just as keen to get our hands on this mobile, as interesting as it looked. Would we find its functionality to be as intriguing as its appearance?
The LG KF600 is currently available on Orange, free on a monthly contract.
If phones were cars, then the KF600 would fall somewhere in between a VW Golf and a modded Fiat Punto -- it feels solid, but one look at it and you might find yourself asking 'why?' It's not that it's an ugly phone by any means, but certain features seem unnecessary.
Take, for instance, the split screen with touch-sensitive navigation pad that changes depending on what feature you're using, from the music player to text messaging. Every time you access a different part of the phone's interface, the navigation area at the bottom changes the displayed keys to suit your needs.
On paper, it sounds very exciting, but we don't really like it. After months spent with aphone, we realised that touch-sensitive keys have their ups and downs and the KF600's navigation pad reinforces that issue.
We found the screen clunky to press compared to using a mechanical four-way navigation key. We also wanted to touch the top screen, which you frustratingly can't do. If you want a full touchscreen phone, you could always look to the new LG KF700. The
system works overall but it felt slow and unresponsive at times.
We were slightly disappointed with the plastic that covers the two displays, which felt less solid than we expected and isn't as high in quality as other LG phones' screens, such as the's screen. We also weren't impressed with the keys on the keypad -- they were too flat to easily distinguish between each one.
Fortunately, the sliding mechanism is smooth and spring loaded, so you won't struggle to pop the phone open. The back of the phone has a rubbery finish that feels nice to touch and while the keypad is flatter than we'd have liked, it does have a mechanical cancel key on it.
Chocolate users will know how frustrating it is to have to use a touch-sensitive cancel key, particularly since it makes it much easier to delete things accidentally. The KF600's mechanical cancel key is far more responsive and only deletes things when you press it, which is hard to do unintentionally.
While we weren't convinced by the touchscreen navigation pad, we do think that the software interface looks good and is an innovative idea, offering you direct access to different functions depending on what you're doing. A nice touch is the selection of Keith Haring- inspired, animated themes. The phone is brought to life in a different way to your average phone theme. It's something we hope to see more of in the future. The question is, though, does it make using the phone easier?