LG GM750 review
We review the LG GM750, a sleek-looking device, with both Windows Mobile Professional 6.5 and S-class user interfaces on board.
Verdict: This good-looking device suffers from an inferior touchscreen, low processing power and a schizophrenic brace of user interfaces
Price: Free with contract or £275 SIM-free
Pros: 5-megapixel camera, WiFi, Windows Mobile 6.5
Cons: Unresponsive touchscreen, slow processor, confusing menu system
Design: Gloss black plastic with bevelled chrome-look edging
Operating System: Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional
More Info: LG website
LG certainly knows how to deliver a sleek-looking phone, and the GM750 is no exception to that rule. But while it also features an impressive spec-list for its price point, LG may have slipped up in bringing it to market a little too early.
It's a little on the chunky side, at 110mm x 54mm x 13mm and 120g, but LG takes the edge off the dimensions, quite literally, by bevelling the edges so it appears a little slimmer than it actually is. The gloss black of front and back is tempered by a silvered strip that runs around the sides and it feels solid and well-made in the hand.
Beneath the 3in touchscreen are the usual call start and stop buttons plus a square touchpad which can be used to scroll through menus. Around the sides are a volume rocker, micro USB power/sync slot, microSD card slot, camera shutter and a 'multitasking' button that reveals all open applications. The lens for the 5-megapixel camera is on the back (there's also a VGA camera on the front should you feel the need for videoconferencing) and a power button on top.
The 3in resistive touchscreen has 262,000 colours and 240x440-pixel resolution. It looks okay, but proved to be a big of a nightmare to use. It's one of the least responsive touch screens we've used, regularly refusing to recognise the difference between our brushes and presses as we struggled to negotiate the menus. After a few frustrating minutes we figured out that if we used our thumbnail, the screen became much more reliable but it's an uncomfortable workaround, especially when using the onscreen QWERTY keyboard.
The LG GM750 runs on the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system. But it also has LG's S-class user interface, which seems to have led to a little bit of schizophrenia since both UIs are available. The icon-based S-class UI features five separate home pages – home, contacts and media, plus two more which are configurable, with one featuring a range of widgets, and another which allows you to add shortcuts to any of the phone's apps. It looks fine, but seems unnecessarily convoluted, since if you could customise all the pages, you could decide for yourself what your preferred layout should be.
If you don't fancy S-class however, you can press the Start key in the top left-hand corner to bring up the now-familiar Windows Mobile menu, which is actually a bit easier to navigate, with its big, thumb-friendly buttons.
The browser is standard Windows Mobile 6.5 which basically means it's good, but not great. You can quickly zoom by double tapping the screen, but for something more subtle you'll need to go through several menu levels to bring up a zoom bar on screen, which is a pain. Usefully, you can use the touchpad to move a cursor around the screen, which is handy for accessing links, though strangely, you can't scroll with it.
Fast access is available via HSDPA 3G or broadband via WiFi, but even with the latter, pages seemed to take longer than usual to process, which leads to the suspicion that the processor might be struggling to keep up with the demands placed on it.
It's easy to set up as many as ten email accounts, with most requiring just an address and password. There's a slightly convoluted menu system to open your mail, but once you're there, there are easy options to reply or call your sender if their details are in your contacts.
The 5-megapixel camera starts up in about three seconds and takes about the same length of time to take a picture, which puts it firmly in the midrange in terms of speed. There's no Schneider-Kreuznach lens like you'll find on LG's higher end smartphones but it delivers a maximum 2,560x1,920 pixel resolution and picture quality in good light is pretty decent, with sharp edges and good colour balance. It holds up well in dim light too, which helps make up for the lack of a flash.
Movie watching was a bit disappointing overall. You're stuck with Windows Media Player with all its limitations, including the fact that it doesn’t work with the onboard accelerometer to flip the screen into landscape mode when you turn it on its side (you'll need to dig into the menu to flip it). We often noticed a tendency for the picture to lag and then proceed jerkily, and there was definite striping with more complicated images.
Music quality was noticeably poor on the GM750 too, with the supplied headphones delivering a painfully tinny sound. You can add your own headphones but you'll probably need the supplied 3.5mm/micro USB adaptor.
The hefty 1500mAh Li-polymer battery held up pretty well in our test, giving almost two clear days of fairly intensive use, which compares well with other high-spec smartphones.
The LG GM750 looks good on paper with a fine list of specs including its touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera and WiFi. But it feels like it could have done with a few days' more field testing before it left the factory to iron out problems with the lack of sensitivity of the screen, the slowness of the processor and convoluted arrangement of some of the menu options. For a smartphone on a budget, there are better models to be had than this.