LG Mini (GD880) mobile phone

It's not a smartphone, but LG's Mini (GD880) has a number of smartphone-like features including multitouch technology

LG Mini (GD880)
  • LG Mini (GD880)
  • LG Mini (GD880)
  • LG Mini (GD880)
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Brushed metal design, unique look and feel, excellent display, S-Class interface is visually appealing, Twitter and Facebook apps

Cons

  • Sluggish performance, mediocre Web browser, sharp edges can dig into your hands/pocket, limited widgets

Bottom Line

LG's Mini (GD880) mobile phone certainly looks attractive and possesses a unique design, but it is ultimately let down by sluggish, limited software.

Would you buy this?

Boasting a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity and an FM radio, you could be forgiven for thinking LG's latest flagship handset, the LG Mini (GD880), is a smartphone. Technically it isn't one, but the LG Mini has a number of smartphone-like features, including multitouch technology, over-the-air synchronisation and a variety of social connectivity features wrapped up in an attractive and stylish casing. It's a shame, then, that LG's proprietary S-Class user interface offers questionable performance.

With a combination of matte black and brushed metal, the LG Mini (GD880) is certainly an attractive mobile phone. Its flat edges and sharp corners give it a rather different look and feel to most other mobiles on the market. We are generally a fan of its square, box-shaped design, though the edges do tend to dig into your hands and pocket at times. Despite its name suggesting otherwise the LG Mini isn't a tiny smartphone, but its long and not overly wide design sits neatly in the palm of your hand.

The LG Mini doesn't possess an AMOLED display, but its 3.2in display is one of the brightest in its class, producing crisp, vibrant colours. The oddly shaped screen is long and skinny, making it appear smaller than it actually is. Viewing angles are reasonably good, while the LG Mini's performance in direct sunlight is passable, if not outstanding.

The Mini (GD880) runs an updated version of LG's S-Class user interface. The S-Class UI has always been attractive, but it hasn't alway been effective or a smooth performer — unfortunately, it's the same story with the Mini. In particular, we found scrolling hit and miss compared with the smoothness of the iPhone and Android smartphones, while selecting certain icons or commands often required more than one finger tap.

The main component of S-Class is the three, customisable widget-based homescreens. You can add a number of widgets, bookmarks and shortcuts to each screen, including RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter apps and Google search bar. As a result, the interface is quite flexible for a closed operating system. Widgets are limited and even though you can download extra ones (including Amazon and eBay shortcuts), the LG Mini obviously lacks the range of applications available on true smartphone platforms.

The graphics of the S-Class interface are once again rich, colourful and engaging, while the LG Mini's phonebook offers one-touch access to all contact details, including being able to text message, video call and e-mail contacts from a single screen. Text messaging is an issue: in regular orientation, the LG Mini only has a numeric keypad with T9 predictive text input, while rotating to landscape brings up a full QWERTY keyboard with tiny keys. Though the haptic feedback helps, we wouldn't recommend the LG Mini if you are a heavy texter.

The LG Mini comes with built-in Twitter and Facebook applications, and both have widgets that can be placed on the home screen. The apps are fairly basic but do offer access to most key features, such as status updates, tweeting, setting favourite tweets, viewing your profile, commenting on status updates and sending private messages; more advanced tasks, including accessing groups, sends you to the mobile browser.

The LG Mini has a 5-megapixel, autofocus camera, supports Microsoft Exchange e-mail, has built-in GPS and can synchronise your calendar, messages, e-mail, contacts and more over the air using LG's free Air Sync service (which is currently still in beta). Unlike many previous LG phones, the Mini's camera interface is snappy (especially considering the limitations of the UI elsewhere), making it easy to take a quick snap. A 3.5mm headphone jack and standard micro-USB port for charging or connecting to a PC are welcome features.

The LG Mini's mobile Web browser looks excellent on the crisp display, but the smaller display makes it difficult to select links. Multitouch technology means you can pinch the screen to zoom like you can on the iPhone, but the process isn't as smooth or effective; Pages load noticeably slower than we are used to — even over a Wi-Fi connection — and text smoothing takes much longer than it should, contributing to a rather poor mobile web experience.

The LG Mini has just 330MB of internal storage but a side-mounted microSD card slot theoretically supports cards of up to 32GB.

The LG Mini is available in Australia through online mobile phone store MobiCity.

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: lg, mobile phones, smartphones
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?