CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. How we test phones

LG KF700 review: LG KF700

Tossing the KF700 into a mobile market obsessed with the iPhone could be a tough pitch for LG. HSDPA data speeds and multiple methods of input could be what's needed to turn a few heads away from the competition.

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
3 min read

If "I" and "phone" are two syllables that you never want to hear connected in conversation ever again, then you've come to the right place. The KF700 is yet another touchscreen, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve to keep just about everyone happy, namely what LG calls "touch, tap and spin".


LG KF700

The Good

Responsive touchscreen. Finger-friendly menu. Excellent Web browser and HSDPA. Good battery life.

The Bad

Average camera. No stylus holding slot. Display could be wider.

The Bottom Line

LG has slipped many high-end features into the KF700, but priced it as a mid-range handset. The touchscreen is great, and Web browsing is fantastic.

It may be completely redundant to say, but people love touchscreens. Phones with touch-sensitive menus have captured the imagination of the ever-growing mobile buying market, even though it's often agreed that touchscreens are less than ideal for text input, which is an important and necessary element of a mobile phone. To circumvent this issue, LG has included three methods of input in the KF700; touch via the touchscreen, tap via the numeric keypad, and spin, referring to the spinning toggle on the underside of the handset.

If you're unfamiliar with the KF700, it's quite easy to get a basic idea of what it looks like and how it feels to hold. Picture LG's popular touchscreen Viewty, shrink its width a few millimetres then add to its girth and you've pretty much got the attractive KF700 in mind. With measurements of 102x51x14.5mm, the KF700 is about an average size for a slider phone handset, though smaller than most touchscreen handsets we've come across lately.

Even though the KF700 lives below LG's flagship models, the Secret and Viewty, it still comes with a raft of useful features. It's a tri-band GSM (900/1,800/1,900MHz) handset that is HSDPA capable on the 2,100MHz UMTS frequency. It also features the same touchscreen optimised Web browser we saw (and loved) in the Viewty, taking advantage of the fast HSDPA downloads.

As a media player, the KF700 supports a decent selection of music file formats including MP3, AAC, AAC+ and MP4. On the back of the handset is a 3.2-megapixel camera and an LED flash which lay almost flush with the battery cover. The front of the handset features a VGA quality camera for video calling located above the 3-inch display.

For the most part the touchscreen is fantastic. Most menu items are large and finger-friendly, and after calibrating the screen we managed to navigate most functions with our fingers. The KF700 is bundled with a stylus, but like the Viewty, there's no slot to store it in which leaves it dangling from the side by a lanyard strap. We predict most people purchasing the KF700 will leave the stylus shrink-wrapped in the box.

As with the Viewty, the KF700 is a mean Web browsing machine. Using the touchscreen to pan and scroll across sites is a godsend and you can see why people make such a fuss about the iPhone's Safari browser. The only thing that would improve this experience is a slightly larger, particularly wider, display. This is overcome somewhat by allowing pages to be viewed in landscape mode.

During our tests, battery life has been impressive for a handset sporting 3G network support and a large, bright screen. From a full charge with moderate usage of all features, we managed between four to five days for each cycle.

This certainly is a difficult time for any of the handset manufacturers to be tossing touchscreens into the market. Trying to catch the attention of an iPhone hungry market can't be easy, but LG's "touch, tap and spin" approach will appeal to anyone wanting the ease of a touchscreen and the accurate mechanical input.

The KF700 does a little bit of everything and does most of it well. The media playback is adequate, the camera is OK and its connectivity options are good, though it lacks extras like Wi-Fi and GPS. The stand out is its Web browser, and coupled with the responsive touchscreen, it's pretty much worth the price of admission alone.