As strange as it may seem, LG has never had a phone on, at least until the summer of 2010. Indeed, the Sentio marks LG's first handset in T-Mobile's stable. Aside from that accolade, don't expect anything groundbreaking--the Sentio is strictly in midrange feature-phone territory. However, we like its smooth and svelte design, and its multimedia features work well--for the most part. Perhaps the most attractive part of the phone is that it's very affordable--it's only $69.99 with a new two-year contract with T-Mobile.
The LG Sentio is remarkably slim and stylish. Measuring only 4.2 inches long by 2.1 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick, the Sentio is one of the thinnest touch-screen phones we've seen. At 3.3 ounces, it's definitely one of the lightest phones as well. It doesn't use steel or glass, but it is wrapped in a smooth and soft slate gray plastic that grips well. Its gently curved corners and edges add to the overall ergonomic feel of the phone.
Smack dab on the front of the phone is the 3.0-inch touch-screen display. According to LG, the Sentio's display supports 262,000 colors, and it shows--its images look nice and colorful, and we can appreciate the subtle shading of the menu icons as well. However, it's not quite as vibrant as some of the glass displays that we've seen on more advanced smartphones. You can adjust the font size and the backlight time.
The Sentio's home screen is customizable with widgets or application shortcuts. By simply tapping on the arrow on the right side of the screen, you can drag and drop widgets from the slide-out tray to the home screen. You can make any feature or function of the phone into a widget shortcut icon. At the bottom row of the home screen are four additional shortcuts to the phone dialer, the contacts list, the Web browser, and the main menu. Its menu interface is similar to that of other LG phones, such as the LG Vu Plus--and its main menu is divided up into four pages: Phone, Media, Organizer, and Settings.
The Sentio's screen is resistive, so it's not quite as responsive as that of a capacitive touch screen--such as those used on the iPhone. We found that we needed to push a little harder to get the phone to respond. However, the Sentio has a vibration feedback to increase the feeling of responsiveness and you can adjust the type and intensity of the vibration.
To dial a number, you need to use the virtual number keypad on the phone dialer application. Thankfully, the keys are large, and the number input area is quite roomy as well. The phone dialer has shortcuts to Recent Calls history plus the Contacts list. For text messages, you can enter in letters either via T9 predictive text on the nine-key keypad, or a virtual QWERTY keyboard. To trigger the keyboard, you need to rotate the phone 90 degrees to the right for the accelerometer to kick in. We certainly prefer to use the QWERTY keyboard for text input as it is a lot faster to type on, and we like that the keyboard is quite spacious as well. However, that means the text input area is relatively small in comparison when the onscreen keyboard is displayed. You can toggle the auto word correction on or off.
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.