gw520

The LG GW520 is a neat enough looking package, with the black plastic front and sides offset by silver trim.

It seems a little on the chunky side at 107x53x16mm and 125g until you consider some of its QWERTY-packing rivals such as Nokia's E75 (112x50x14mm, 139g), or HTC's mammoth Touch Pro2 (116x59x17mm, 179g). In that company, it's actually quite svelte.

From the front it bears more than a passing resemblance to the KP500 Cookie with its touchscreen and three buttons, though it doesn't come with a stylus.

The 2.8in screen is big enough, though the real estate beneath it could have been a bit better utilised than merely providing a border.

home screen

At the bottom are call start and stop/power on keys surrounding a circular shortcuts button that also doubles as a task manager. These are all covered by rubberised plastic so they're nice and grippy.

Around the sides are volume buttons, the screen lock key, camera shutter and microSD card slot (none supplied), covered by a plastic grommet.

On the top is a microUSB slot for charging/syncing, again covered by a plastic grommet. The all-silver back features a large loudspeaker grille and the lens for the 3-megapixel camera.

Screen

The GW520's 2.8in resistive touchscreen features 262,000 colours and 240x400 pixel resolution. It's decently bright and clear, though it suffers easily in sunlight, and it's a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

All touchscreens have to manage that trick of finding a balance between sensitivity and usability – sensitive enough to distinguish your presses and brushes, but not so insensitive that you have to bash at it to make yourself understood.

Sadly the GW520 doesn't quite manage that trick, and we often found ourselves tapping firmly but to no avail as we attempted to access functions, particularly when using the browser. The haptic feedback was a bit hit and miss too – you can adjust the levels of buzz for the home screen and menus, but it disappears when using the browser.

There's an accelerometer to switch the screen to landscape mode when you turn the handset on its side, but it only works in a few circumstances and it will automatically flip when you open the keyboard, or when using the web browser, video viewer or browsing pics from your gallery.