LG gw520

As a messaging phone it's not bad at all, and that QWERTY keyboard is one of the better, as well as one of the most discreet, we've seen. The social networking side of it has been overplayed by LG though, with only Livesquare and Facebook ticking the social boxes

We liked:

The LG GW520 is a neat little package, certainly compared to the bricklike dimensions of many QWERTY keyboard phones and manages to retain the compact good looks of the Cookie while adding extra functionality.

The keyboard is a joy to use and much better than we expected for a handset at this price with neatly spaced, tactile keys.

The Livesquare app is fun and useful – nice to see a new approach to arranging your contacts and Facebook was easy to set up and use, though we'd have liked to have had our updates pushed to us instead of having to check them at intervals.

The push email system worked well though

We disliked:

The touchscreen looked good but could be unresponsive, especially when browsing. The widgets interface impresses to tease since there's only a limited number of widgets available – why not make all the menu options available as widgets?

The browser is clumsy and slow and the biggest disappointment about this handset and we really missed Wi-Fi access despite the presence of HSDPA 3G network connection. The camera is distinctly so-so and nothing to get excited about either.

Verdict:

And with the speed of change involved in online networking, we'd have liked other apps besides Facebook to have been available. As a low(ish) cost introduction to touchscreen phones it offers a lukewarm welcome but the clunky browser, unresponsive touchscreen and lack of Wi-Fi left us with a distinct chill.