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LG Town C300 review: LG Town C300

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The Good Brilliant 38-button Qwerty keyboard;. Lightweight design;. 3.5mm jack and microSD card slot.

The Bad No 3G or Wi-Fi;. Getting online is a pain;. Direction pad is sometimes awkward to use.

The Bottom Line Its lush Qwerty keyboard is ideal for tapping out lengthy emails, but the LG Town C300's lack of 3G connectivity and the general shoddiness of its online experience make it hard to recommend wholeheartedly.

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5.5 Overall

Boasting an attractive frame and a keyboard so great your fingertips will dance a merry jig of joy when you compose your first text, the LG Town C300 certainly looks the part. It's a shame it's so lacking in the data connectivity stakes, and that going online with it is akin to pulling teeth.

The LG Town C300 can be purchased for around £60 on pay as you go, or £100 unlocked and SIM-free.

Phone about Town

Once the sole dominion of suit-wearing business types, the mobile phone Qwerty keypad is slowly but surely trickling down to the masses, with devices such as the Samsung Genio Qwerty and Nokia E5 proving that typing heaven needn't come with an expensive price tag. LG's Town C300 is a new addition to this merry band of button-heavy budget blowers, and aims to bestow BlackBerry-style text input on mainstream mobile users.

The C300 certainly has the looks to impress, with its mirrored front and attractive 38-button keyboard. The inclusion of such a large number of keys has had a perceptible effect on the dimensions of the device -- it's wider than most candybar-format phones, although when placed alongside your average touchscreen mobile, the difference is negligible.

The keys are slightly raised which makes them easy to discern from one another. Typing on the C300 is a real pleasure, and is unquestionably one of the key selling points of the entire device. If you're accustomed to T9 or even touchscreen text input, returning to your traditional interface is very hard after sampling the delights of LG's finger-friendly phone.

Keys to the kingdom

To complement the excellent keypad, LG has included four action keys -- two for call-related activities and two for menu commands. Nestled in between these buttons is a four-way direction pad, complete with a selection key with a big, friendly 'OK' printed on it. The main issue here is that the selection key is raised too high, and you'll find yourself accidentally pressing it when you actually meant to select a direction.

The C300's 38-button Qwerty keyboard really is wonderful to use, and makes typing a real pleasure.

Owing to the wideness of the C300's frame, LG has opted for a landscape screen rather than a portrait one. Again, this is a move that mimics the BlackBerry design, which the C300 seeks so hard to emulate. One big advantage of having a screen in this orientation is that it allows you to view photos and videos more easily. In terms of quality, the 2.4-inch display is decent enough, although the 320x240-pixel resolution feels a little on the low side.

When you consider its wide footprint, the C300 doesn't weight all that much. At 92.5g, it's hardly going to give you wrist-strain. This is largely due to the fact it's constructed almost entirely out of plastic. To its credit, the components don't feel cheap, but the lack of heft does give the impression the C300 is more of a toy than a serious phone for serious mobile users. This feeling is reinforced by the use of bold colours.

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