At a time when LG is churning out luxury handsets such as the Prada II and KC910 Renoir, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a budget device from the Korean manufacturer. Budget does come at a cost though, and in the case of the LG KF300, this hits both the features and design.
The KF300 is a very plain-looking device; it’s a clamshell with not very many redeeming features. The front is almost holographic, with a hidden screen that springs to life if you press a button, receive a phone call or text. Although the resolution isn’t as pin-sharp as that on the inside of the device, it does comprise 256k colours, which is impressive for an exterior screen, but is also a little pointless considering the budget nature of the KF300.
Open the device up with the satisfyingly springy hinge and you’re transported almost back to the 90s. The buttons take large to a whole new level, with super-sized text to ensure you never press the wrong key by accident. The layout of the essential keys including call buttons, camera shortcut and two soft keys are simple, just like the rest of the phone.
To make things even easier for you, there are four buttons directly below the interior screen. These are quick alarm, instant calendar access, photo gallery and favourites, which is a fully customisable sub menu.
In standby mode, you can directly navigate to your most used functions by pressing a direction on the navigation pad. This is customisable to an extent and a useful addition for those who only use a couple of features on a mobile phone.
The sides of the LG KF300 are plain, with only a proprietary charging/headphone port gracing the right-hand side and volume keys on the left. This means that you can’t activate the camera to take a self portrait using the external screen, or launch the MP3 player while the clamshell is closed.
The internal screen is crystal clear for such a low-end device and this works seamlessly with LG’s ultra-simple UI. One thing that puzzles is that the icons in the menu are tiny compared to the text when you enter the sub menus. It’s quite clear that the KF300 has been designed for older generations, and for this market alone, the device works like a dream.
The browser is standard Java-based, so don’t expect to be able to zoom in and out of pages easily as you can on Symbian-based devices, or skim a page with an optical navigation key, because there isn’t one.
The camera is 2-megapixel, and is quite frankly not really worth using unless you’re planning to use any snaps for your phone wallpaper. There’s no flash and most images are grainy.
Even the games onboard the KF300 are basic. You can choose between Backgammon and E2E4 Chess, but they are suitable for a commute to work if you know how to play those two particular pastimes.
The LG KF300 is nothing short of basic, but it’s a perfect companion for the older generation, or those that only want to phone, text and take some low-quality snaps now and again.