LG GD900 Crystal review

Is the first transparent phone clearly just a gimmick?

LG GD900 Crystal - how does it measure up?
LG GD900 Crystal - how does it measure up?

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Internet on the LG GD900 Crystal was something we liked - primarily because we enjoyed swishing our finger in a big circle to open the browser.

When opened, you're greeted with a fairly basic menu, with offerings of the homepage, bookmarks and history displayed in front of you.

It's a similar system to the Nokia S60 browser, and gives you access to what you want more often than it blocks your path to the home page.

The internet browser uses multi-touch (with LG seemingly among the first to nab the method from Apple) so you can pinch and zoom to head in and out.

The lg gd900 crystal internet

LANDSCAPE BROWSING: The GD900 struggles to reformat some HTML sites in landscape mode

Unfortunately the design of the phone is such that pinching and zooming isn't an easy action to complete on the 3-inch touchscreen - and what's worse is there doesn't seem to be a way to smart-fit the text on the screen to fit the size of display you want, meaning you're constantly scurrying backwards and forwards trying to read what you were after.

The touchpad, as we mentioned before, is a godsend for the browser on the LG GD900 Crystal. One of the most annoying things about the phone is the fact that not only is the touchscreen accuracy off by a few millimetres, but there's no way to recalibrate it to the touch of your hand.

This means that pressing links on the browser is a pretty hit and miss affair, and after stabbing at the screen five times and not hitting the right option, we wanted to throw the phone against a wall. And if you're trying to hit an option in a list of hyperlinks, you better settle down for the long haul before you get the right one.

The lg gd900 crystal portrait

Which is why the touch keypad is so helpful, letting you scroll the mouse around the screen as you would on a laptop version.

The browser is pretty fast, and there's a helpful screen that offers you Wi-Fi and 3G connection (although it calls the latter UMTS to confuse the majority of people... don't worry, they're the same thing).

It also integrates both an RSS Reader and a 'Saved Pages' option, and the two are nice extras to the browser. The RSS Reader is a little basic, and adding feeds to it can be a total nightmare. Even when there's a little icon on the screen shouting at you that a feed is ready to be subscribed to, the LG GD900 Crystal defaults to Google's Reader, so unless you want to copy out the address, it's not worth doing.

The lg gd900 crystal internet

Saved Pages is exactly what it sounds like - saving pages so you can take them offline later without the need to faff about looking for a connection. It works in exactly the same way as you see with offline browsing on your PC and was an unexpected perk in the LG GD900 Crystal.

As you'd expect with a feature phone like this, the browser is more suited to looking through mobile web pages than the full internet - it manages the former with blinding speed, and the latter like a drugged-up pensioner with a dodgy hip.

And another problem reared its head with the internet browser - it constantly sucked up all the GD900's internal memory, which in turn shut down the browser. (Grrrr...)

And worse than that, some options in the menus caused the whole phone to restart something that was becoming a common theme throughout the review - double grrr....).

The browser is good, but it doesn't have the slick feeling you might have seen on other, more expensive phones. There are some good ideas, but we can't imagine you'd ever choose trying to look up something on the GD900 Crystal over a computer - however, those of you who have had an iPhone will know it's perfectly possible to have a decent web browsing experience.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.