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LG Craze

LG is the current king of the prepaid landscape slider. If you have kids and they want a phone, you might want to consider the LG Craze.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon

First impressions

While LG may struggle to compete with the iPhone and its ilk, the Korean electronics manufacturer sure knows how to make a great budget messaging handset. The last two years saw LG release the WebSlider and then the Xenon, both affordable horizontal sliders with full QWERTY keyboards, which achieved success in Australia with a youth audience.

The LG Craze follows in the footsteps of both, again the slider is landscape orientated, and like the WebSlider, the Craze features limited touchscreen input. This means you can dial phone numbers using the screen and menu selection with a capacitive touch panel just below the screen, but all other input is handled with the keyboard and a nicely designed joystick.

The Craze will be available exclusively through Telstra prepaid when it launches in Australia, and as such, it features full Next G network compatibility. This means fast web access and great service across most of Australia, which is quite an impressive element to a prepaid proposition.

Outlook

If we were gamblers, we'd back the Craze with a friendly wager. Landscape sliders are absolutely still in vogue, especially with teens and students, and its affordable price should get it over the line and into pockets across Australia. Stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks.