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Well rounded

In the bid to capture the youth-driven mid-range market, LG has launched a media-centric handset with a QWERTY keypad. Shayne Rana sees how it fares...

tech reviews Updated: Mar 10, 2009 20:20 IST
Shayne Rana

In the bid to capture the youth-driven mid-range market, LG has launched a media-centric handset with a QWERTY keypad. Shayne Rana sees how it fares...

Form
The KS 360 is a funky looking phone with round keys on a slider QWERTY pad. It has a 2.4-inch (240 x 320 pixels) TFT semi-touchscreen LCD display and the touchscreen feedback is accurate. The individual keys of the five-way navigation system make it easy to sift through features. A single button activates a number pad on the display and the contacts menu has an alphanumeric keypad to search names. But the keys are a bit tough and you have to keep sliding out the keypad to type. The volume/zoom keys are located on one side with a dedicated camera key, while the microSD card slot and ‘port-for-all’ is located on the side where the keypad slides out.

Interface
The LG interface is quite colourful and eye-catching. The orientation of the screen changes to landscape mode automatically once the keypad slides out. The UI is quite fast in most instances but scrolling through the ‘Call Log’ menu when you got a missed call and trying to view a received message at the same time takes a lot of time. Unless files are placed in any of the preloaded folders, they won’t show up. You need to format the bundled 1 GB card to rectify this problem.

Camera
With simple and very basic settings that include White Balance, Multi-shot, a few colour settings and Exposure Compensation the KS360’s 2 MP camera is very easy to use, except for the bad placement of the shutter release. Image quality is not bad at all and even if the colours seem a bit too bright, the pictures look quite good. There’s an on-board photo editor to jazz up those images as well.

Media
The KS360 was a disappointment when it came to the music player. While the quality of the audio is not bad after adjusting the EQ presets that also include a 3D setting, the decibel level is too low. The bundled handsfree isn’t bad but you can’t use your own earphones. The speakerphone isn’t very loud either. The video player’s interface looked good but all my test videos in 3 GP and Mobile MP4 framed quite badly. The KS360 also has an FM radio with decent pick up. But the Auto Scan function stopped at every slight frequency disruption and asked me if I wanted to store the station instead of storing them automatically. The embedded games are fun.

Connectivity
The KS360 comes with EDGE/GPRS and the browser is a wee bit slow. It doesn’t have support for Flash though. You can set up your personal POP or IMAP email accounts. Bluetooth with an A2DP profile works like a charm and the audio sounds really good if you have a good stereo BT headset to use. Also, data transfer is quick with the USB 2.0.

Verdict
On a single charge with average usage, the KS360 gave me about a day and a half. Talk time came in at about two hours and 45 minutes. It’s possible that most of the issues I faced was because this is a test piece. With a streetprice of Rs 9,999, LG could have done much better if the few multimedia bugs had been worked out. After all, media features are the most important for a handset catering to the youth segment.