LG GS101 review: LG GS101

Aurally challenged

Despite supporting earphones, the GS101 doesn't have an on-board radio and can't play MP3s or other audio formats. As an entertainment device, it's limited to the single pre-installed game. Space Ball is a cheeky clone of Nokia's classic Snake, and will only keep you amused for brief periods of time, at best -- Angry Birds it ain't.

Space Ball is a rather blatant rip-off of the famous Snake.

One welcome benefit from the GS101's lack of technological grunt is that it sips battery power like a man trapped with a rock on his arm rationing his water. A single charge is good enough to keep the phone running for a couple of days at the very least -- if your usage is modest you can expect to get even more than that.

The GS101 comes with a calendar function, alarm, a basic memo-creation tool and some other standards, including a calculator, a stopwatch and a measurement unit converter. You'll also find the 'fake call' feature that amused us on phones like the Samsung E1170 and E1360. This allows you to create bogus incoming calls that can be used to excuse yourself from certain awkward situations. It's a nefarious practice, but one that proves more useful in the real world than you might imagine.


Compared to powerhouses such as the Nexus S or iPhone 4, the GS101's humble specifications are fairly pathetic. But like all budget handsets, LG's device isn't fighting for the attention of dedicated smart-phone addicts. The GS101 is aimed more at mobile newbies, such as your technophobe grandmother or your pre-teen nephew.

There's no need to worry about installing apps, enduring painful system reboots or performing meticulous memory management. The GS101 is as basic as they come, but with this simplicity comes vastly enhanced accessibility -- something veteran phone addicts often forget.

There are plenty of budget phones around though, and being easy on the eye isn't enough to sell this cheap and cheerful handset. The similarly priced LG A140 boasts expandable memory and a camera, two elements which go a long way to enhancing the mobile experience. But if you can do without these additional trappings and rate a better quality screen over music playback and photos, the GS101 is certainly worth a look.

Edited by Nick Hide

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