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LG KS360 (WebSlider) review: LG KS360 (WebSlider)

With touchscreen numeric input, a full QWERTY keyboard and super-cheap price tag, there's no better phone for teens that love to message.

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
4 min read

Whether you're a lolly goth, a mod, a prep, a nerd, a princess, a jock, an emo or a geek, we're guessing the WebSlider will appeal to anyone aged between 12 and 16. The mix of glossy black plastics and glitzy metallic finishes (either red, pink, silver or blue) gives the WebSlider the appearance of a phone that's twice as expensive — though this isn't saying much considering its super cheap price tag.


LG KS360 (WebSlider)

The Good

Cute design. Great QWERTY keyboard. Touchscreen numeric input. MySpace and Facebook.

The Bad

No 3G. No 3.5mm headphone socket. Complex email set-up. Camera has neither a flash or auto-focus.

The Bottom Line

There are a few components missing from the WebSlider, but overall we think this is the perfect phone for teens that love to message. No other phone offers a touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard for this price.

On the front of the phone is a 2.4-inch colour display featuring numeric touchscreen input. What this means is that the touchscreen element is only active for entering phone numbers, and only after you press the "number pad" button next to the green calling key. The rest of the menus are navigated using the standard five-way nav keys.

Similar to the Hiptop Slide, the WebSlider slides open horizontally revealing a full three-row QWERTY keypad. Also similar to the Hiptop is the tiny size of each key. Perhaps it's that practice makes perfect, but we've found it far easier to type on the WebSlider than on the Hiptop, and those with smaller fingers will no doubt find it easier still.

Around the handset we find a microSD card slot and combo charging/headphones port on the right side and a volume rocker and camera key on the left. The location of the camera key is the opposite of what we'd expect to see, and means you hold the camera upside-down to take pics, but this hasn't taken us very long to get used to.

For AU$199 don't expect everything and the kitchen sink, in fact, keep your expectations reasonably modest. The WebSlider is a catchy name, but the MessageSlider would more accurately describe this phone. Its 2G GPRS data speeds means you'll probably only use this phone to look at tiny mobile web pages and email messages.

On the back of the WebSlider we find a 2-megapixel camera with a self-portrait mirror, though no auto-focus or a flash. The WebSlider also plays MP3 music files and MP4 video files, though if you're planning on taking pics or listening to music on this phone we suggest you pick up a microSD memory card to supplement the WebSlider's measly 15MB of memory.

As important as sending messages to your friends is, new mobile users will love the integrated MySpace web link for staying in touch online. The link is located in the main menu and sends you straight to the MySpace log-in screen. For people who prefer Facebook or Yahoo Messenger, web links are available for both using the Boost Live menu.

Making calls with the WebSlider is great; we love the touchscreen numeric pad. Once connected we found we usually had good reception and could hear clearly.

Messaging is fast and easy, though it does take some time to get used to finding the punctuation symbols — the main punctuation symbols are located above the alphabetical letters. We were disappointed with how difficult it is to set up an email account. While other phones can set up an email account just by using your email address, the WebSlider requires you to input your incoming and outgoing mail servers, and know whether you have an IMAP or POP3 email account. This is too complex for the targeted tween market.

Web browsing is fine, though it's slow. The built-in browser did a good job of rendering the pages we saw and uses a "magnetic hand" tool to scroll from one link to the link on a page, making browsing much easier. Most people with a WebSlider will be on a prepaid plan so we were glad to see that the browser tells you exactly how much data you used during a session when you close the browser. This will help you keep track of how much you are spending on MySpace or Facebook.

LG estimates the battery life for the WebSlider is five hours of talk-time and nearly 18 days of standby time, which should give a lot of parents some piece of mind; knowing that their kids should have enough battery power to make an emergency call if needed.

There's so much to like about the WebSlider; its cute design, the touchscreen and most importantly, the full QWERTY keyboard for messaging. A 3.5mm headphone socket and a better music player would be nice, and a flash for the camera too, but all-in-all we think the WebSlider is the perfect prepaid mobile for anyone who loves tapping out long SMS messages.