The LG GW525 is a mobile phone with a great keyboard, decent music playback and a responsive touchscreen.

Over the past couple of months we have seen a bunch of phones with full qwerty keypads aimed at regular users. These include the Samsung Corby TXT and the CorbyPRO and now the LG GW525. If you engage in heavy messaging throughout the day, then this is a nice little phone but one that is beset by a number of problems.

LG GW525: features

The LG GW525 is quite bereft of connectivity options. Apart from 3G support, it offers nothing much else. There is no Wi-Fi and no GPS although there is a handy microUSB port to connect to the PC. The GW525 has an average 2.8in screen capable of displaying a resolution of 240x400. There isn't much internal memory to speak of either- 40MB expandable up to 16GB using a microSD card. The phone also has a 3MP camera but no flash.

LG GW525: Design & Usability

The LG GW525 is a bulky phone that doesn't look all that great. Plus, it's built completely with plastic. However, the phone's build quality is quite solid and the keyboard slides out smoothly. The keyboard itself is easy to use and the keys are large and spaced apart widely enough for comfortable use. The phone's 2.8in screen is also decent to look at indoors.

The LG GW525 uses the same LG S-Class UI employed by the LG Cookie and the LG GT505. The resistive touchscreen is responsive but the phone's processor isn't powerful enough to make the navigation process smooth. As a result, there is often an irritating pause before an action is carried out.

The phone has a couple of hardware buttons including two to receive/end calls and one to aid in multi-tasking. Typing using the virtual keyboard isn't that great an experience and it's inexplicable that you can't use the direction keys on the hardware keyboard to navigate the menus.

Surfing the web through the default browser isn't all peach and roses either. It had problems rendering commonly visited sites such as Cricinfo Mobile and even Wikipedia. Plus, browsing using GPRS is painfully slow and the lack of Wi-Fi becomes even more evident. Battery life is quite poor too and a daily charge is necessary.

LG GW525: Multimedia

The LG GW525's 3Mp camera is one of the poorest we have seen on a phone. Images were blurry and hazy and they looked like they had been shot using a filter commonly seen in Hindi movie songs from the 80s. There is no autofocus either making detailed close-up shots a pain to shoot. The images also had too much noise with no white balance to speak of. The QVGA videos recorded were similarly of poor quality.

Music playback was a much better affair and the phone is quite good for listening to bass-rich tracks. Although not very good, the bundled earphones are decent for a casual listen and the external speakers are loud but not very clear.

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LG GW525: Specs

  • 2G Network: GSM 900/1800/1900
  • HSDPA 900/2100
  • 106.5x53x15.9mm
  • 125.5g
  • TFT resistive touchscreen, 256K colours
  • 240x320 pixels, 2.8 inches
  • full QWERTY keyboard
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
  • Downloadable themes
  • Alert types: Vibration
  • Downloadable polyphonic, MP3 ringtones
  • Speakerphone
  • Phonebook: 1000 entries, Photocall
  • Call records
  • Internal: 40MB
  • microSD (TransFlash), up to 16GB
  • GPRS: Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32-48 kbps
  • HSCSD
  • EDGE: Class 10, 236.8 kbps
  • 3G: HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • USB: Yes, v2.0 microUSB
  • Primary camera: 3.15Mp, 2048x1536 pixels
  • Video
  • SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
  • Radio: Stereo FM radio
  • Games
  • Java: Yes, MIDP 2.0, MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+/WMA player, MP4 player, Voice memo, Photo/video editor, T9, Organizer, Document viewer (DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF)
  • Li-Ion 950 mAh
  • 2G Network: GSM 900/1800/1900
  • HSDPA 900/2100
  • 106.5x53x15.9mm
  • 125.5g
  • TFT resistive touchscreen, 256K colours
  • 240x320 pixels, 2.8 inches
  • full QWERTY keyboard
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
  • Downloadable themes
  • Alert types: Vibration
  • Downloadable polyphonic, MP3 ringtones
  • Speakerphone
  • Phonebook: 1000 entries, Photocall
  • Call records
  • Internal: 40MB
  • microSD (TransFlash), up to 16GB
  • GPRS: Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32-48 kbps
  • HSCSD
  • EDGE: Class 10, 236.8 kbps
  • 3G: HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • USB: Yes, v2.0 microUSB
  • Primary camera: 3.15Mp, 2048x1536 pixels
  • Video
  • SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
  • Radio: Stereo FM radio
  • Games
  • Java: Yes, MIDP 2.0, MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+/WMA player, MP4 player, Voice memo, Photo/video editor, T9, Organizer, Document viewer (DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF)
  • Li-Ion 950 mAh

OUR VERDICT

The LG GW525 appears expensive when compared with similarly priced phones. It has that excellent keyboard and touchscreen, and enjoys decent media playback, but we don't like the sluggish interface, the camera is awful and there are too many high-end features missing.

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