The LG Mini is a small and thin phone that can help you stay connected with its social networking applications and instant e-mail access. Unfortunately, it is a bit slow and limited when compared to other phones using a different operating system.
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We were fairly impressed with the Mini’s form factor – LG was able to cram a 3.2-inch screen unto a 102 x 47.6 x 10.6mm box. Users will only find a couple of buttons (Volume up and down, Camera hotkey, and Power), a hot-swappable microSD card slot, a USB port (for charging and synchronising), and a 3.5mm jack on the device, which gives it a ‘simple’ look.
Other features onboard include a 5-megapixel camera, secondary camera (for video calling), HSDPA and HSUPA, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
The 3.2-inch TFT capacitive touchscreeen is bright and crisp, while the three page home screen made it easy for us to add widgets, bookmarks, and shortcuts. During our test, we were able to put Twitter, Facebook, Calendar, Dual Clock, Google Search, as well as shortcuts to our Phonebook and Messaging on the home screen.
Like some of its predecessors that use the S-Class interface (the 2009 LG Chocolate, for example), the Mini struggled in giving us that ‘smooth’ experience we saw in a couple of recently launched Android/Apple phones. Scrolling through the homescreen and main menu was sluggish, with the unit clearly lagging behind our action.
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A user needs to type on the virtual 12-key numerical pad (T9 can be turned on or off) when composing messages, although it converts into a full QWERTY keyboard once the orientation is changed from portrait to landscape. We definitely recommend the 12-key numerical pad for users with large fingers as the QWERTY keyboard is a bit crammed and tiny.
One of the highlights on the Mini is its social networking service (SNS) which allows a user to sign in to their Facebook and Twitter account and place them on the homescreen as a widget. The widget only shows the latest updates, but pressing on the icon allows a user to add a comment, view a post entirely, or even post a status update. Other applications include e-mail (with support for Microsoft Exchange), Music player (compatible with MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, WMA9, WAV, AMR-NB/WB/WB+, and MIDI), FM Radio, and Voice Recorder.
The Phantom Web Browser supports flash but was a bit slow in loading our website. The Pinch to zoom function works well, but you can definitely see a bit of lag as soon as it tries to render the zoomed in text. The 5-megapixel camera performed well in well-lit environments, but struggled in dark places (as it does not have a flash).
The Mini lasted close to two days during our test, with us checking e-mails, commenting to Facebook posts, and loading a couple of websites.