A teen-friendly handset at an affordable price, the LG Viewty Snap GM360 has plenty of social networking functionality to keep you occupied and a powerful 5-megapixel camera.
When we look to the touchscreen mobile market it can be all too easy to overlook other players when the iPhone and Android handsets seem to dominate the landscape.
But we’re forgetting a huge consumer segment that not only needs to work on a more modest budget but does not require the firepower that these powerful smartphones offer. This, of course, is the teen market.
When I tested out the LG Viewty Snap GM360 I decided to look through the lenses of adolescence and work out if this phone is the shizzle (oh dear, I don’t even know what words are cool any more).
The GM360 is encased in shiny black plastic with silver edging and aside from the slightly cheap looking clear plastic on the three physical buttons under the touch screen this is a well designed and nice looking slim line handset.
The 5-megapixel camera on the back is prominent as it should be being a Schneider Kreuznach auto focus lens with LED flash.
If I was a teen or tween this phone would definitely appeal to me (as long a I could stick some Hello Kitty decals on the back!).
The TFT touch screen is 3.0-inches and is resistive rather than capacitive. This, I found, made it slower to register input and would not be my ideal choice because you have to get used to applying some amount of pressure.
If you’re moving from a phone with a physical keypad or another resistive touchscreen phones like some of the Samsung and LG ones then you won’t mind at all.
There are three main ‘dashboards’ on the GM360: the homescreen, the social hub (which houses Livesquare), and the contacts page where you can drag and drop various contacts for quick access.
Underpinning all of these is the menu strip at the bottom that houses the dialler, your phonebook, messages and a shortcut to the overall menu for settings, utilities, applications and so on.
The homescreen can have up to four widgets at a time and you can choose from the message centre (which shows how many unread text messages, emails, voice mails or missed calls you have), a Facebook widget, one for radio, an mp3 player, a calendar and other similar ones.
The Livesquare is a little odd but I think it would work as a cutesy interface for teens. Your friends can be represented as little cartoonish avatars with settings such as a park. This is a novel way of placing your friends and when you touch on the avatar you’ll see the latest communications you’ve had with them. These little avatars bow bubbles, move around and let off streams of love hearts into the air. Cute.
Aside from the usual SMS and MMS capability you can also add your email account. I added Gmail but for some reason it was syncing and collecting my email even though I had received new mails.
The range of social networks that can be added is quite varied: as well as the ever-popular Facebook and Twitter there are also options to set up Orkut, Picasa, Flickr and MySpace plus you can toggle push delivery on and off for the various networks you have added inside SNS settings.
Push email, for some reason, is a Java powered application tucked inside Games & Apps but so is Opera Mini 5, which is a good mobile web browser.
The 5-megapixel camera woth LED flash is very good and there’s a video camera too that records in QVGA. You’ve got an MP3 player, a picture gallery, Google search, an FM radio and other bits ad bobs including a voice recorder and a drawing panel.
While there is 2GB memory on board there is also space for up to 16GB via microSD.
At €49 this is a great little budget phone and the camera is top notch too.
No Wi-Fi, the resistive touch is finicky and the Java applications can take a wee bit of time to load.
Definitely a phone for the teens: it has all the functionality most young people require but the email client is simply not powerful enough for a business person and the interface is too cutesy and juvenile.
Get your early bird tickets now!