We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Smartphones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

LG GD900 Crystal review

£341.37 inc VAT

Manufacturer: LG Electronics

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The LG GD900 Crystal was one of the most awaited phones of the year owing to its unique transparent design. The Crystal certainly looks great and is packed with features but certain design flaws, a bad camera and an inconsistent interface keep it from a very good score.

The LG GD900 Crystal was one of the most awaited phones of the year owing to its unique transparent design. The Crystal certainly looks great and is packed with features but certain design flaws, a bad camera and an inconsistent interface keep it from a very good score.

LG GD900 Crystal: Features

The LG GD900 Crystal scores high on features but a glaring fault is the lack of GPS. For a phone that costs as much as the Crystal does, LG's decision to not give it any navigation tools looks decidedly strange. Overall connectivity is taken care of by Wi-Fi and 3G support and a useful microUSB port. The Crystal sports a 3-inch touchscreen and another touch-sensitive transparent alpha-numeric keypad. For imaging it has an 8MP camera with an LED flash that is able to capture videos in 720x480 resolution at 30fps. It comes with 1.5GB of internal memory expandable up to 32GB through a microSD slot.

LG GD900 Crystal: Design & Usability

At first glance, the LG GD900 Crystal looks very classy. The phone uses a mixture of plastic and metal which feels solid when the keypad hasn't been slid out. Once the keypad slides out, the Crystal's USP comes into view. LG touts the Crystal as "the world's first transparent phone." In truth it's only the keypad that is transparent. When in use the keypad lights up with a soft blue glow which is a very neat effect. However, this same design element has some drawbacks, the first of which is the keypad's feel. While the front feels solid, the back of the transparent keypad feels uncannily like a Tic-Tac box. We were wary of handling the phone since it felt fragile and quite frankly, cheap. Also, fingerprints and smudges quickly get into the process of reducing the keypad's transparency so you will have to constantly clean it.

The LG GD900 Crystal's 3.0-inch screen might not be an AMOLED but it's still one of the best we have seen on a phone. The screen supports a resolution of 480x800 and is able to output 16m colours and as a result, it looks very vibrant. Under sunlight too, it doesn't lose any clarity.

The LG GD900 Crystal uses LG's proprietary S-Class Touch UI. You get a choice of four home screens all of which you can customize to add widgets, favourite contacts, shortcuts etc. Since the screen is capacitive, it is optimized for finger usage. Basic usage is fine and intuitive but problems started to emerge after  we used the phone for a while. There is a degree of inconsistency as sometimes the phone refuses to acknowledge any touch input which resulted in us tapping the same icons more than once to get a response. Also, although the phone keeps things breezy, accessing multimedia functions makes it slow down, especially when using the music player.

NEW! Explore PC Advisor's virtual BlackBerry smartphone

LG GD900 Crystal: Multimedia

In spite of the slow operation, the LG GD900 Crystal has a very good music player. The phone is very good at playing all kinds of music. It also offers a wide variety of EQ options including a Dolby preset that really changes the way music sounds. All in all, even if you are not a fan of how the phone sounds in its default mode, it lets you tweak around the settings to find the perfect balance. The bundled headphones are also very good (a pleasant surprise considering the extremely varied quality of headphones that phones nowadays ship with). The speakers are also good though at high volumes the audio does get distorted. Video playback, surprisingly, is just about average in spite of the great screen.

Although the LG GD900 Crystal comes with an 8MP camera, it is unfortunately a poor imaging device. Although colour levels were satisfactory, the images we shot with the phone lacked clarity and let in too much noise. The images were also quite blurry and lacked sharpness. The flash is useless and without red-eye reduction photos taken in low-light conditions were very mediocre. Videos were only slightly better as the ones we captured were also quite noisy. The only plus point was that the frame-rates were acceptably crisp.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>


LG GD900 Crystal Expert Verdict »

LG GD900 Crystal reviews verified by Reevoo

LG GD900 CrystalScores 6.5 out of 10 based on 4 reviews
Cellular phone
Digital camera, 2nd camera, FM radio, digital player
WCDMA (UMTS)/GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Vibrating Alert
touch sensitive screen (multi-touch)
IEEE 802.11b, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, IEEE 802.11g
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) Bluetooth
Accelerometer, TV Link
Mobile Email Client
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)
EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates For Global Evolution)
WAP 2.0
Java MIDP 2.0, CLDC 1.1
HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access)
8 Megapixel CMOS
16x Digital Zoom
H.263 video and AMR audio recording
TFT, 800 x 480 pixels: 3"
WMA, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, AMR, MP3, WMAPro
1.5 GB - shared, microSDHC
Lithium Ion battery
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

The LG GD900 Crystal is a little too expensive to justify the bad camera and the lack of GPS. For a phone that is clearly targeted at users looking for an all-purpose premium product, LG should have ensured that the camera was better and the UI more refined. Yes, the design is certainly eye-catching but after a week of using the phone, we felt that the phone could have been a lot better. The LG GD900 Crystal ia good, but not great.

  • LG GD880 Mini review

    LG GD880 Mini

    Boasting a 5Mp camera, Wi-Fi, 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity and an FM radio, you could be forgiven for thinking LG's latest flagship handset, the LG GD880 Mini, is a smartphone.

  • LG GD910 review

    LG GD910

    Boasting 3G connectivity, a full touch-screen interface and 2GB of built-in memory, the LG GD910 watch phone is surprisingly intuitive to use for such a small device, but its price tag is simply ridiculous.

  • LG Chocolate VX8550 review

    LG Chocolate VX8550

    The LG Chocolate VX8550, available in the US from Verizon for $250 - £125 - with a two-year contract, eschews a button-oriented navigational ring for a navigational wheel.

  • Acer M900 review

    Acer M900

    The Acer M900 is a 3G touchscreen smartphone with built-in camera, computing and more, that runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 software.

  • LG GW525 review

    LG GW525

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

IDG UK Sites

Android M / Android 6.0 UK release date and new feature rumours: Android M live video stream -...

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer