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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LG GD900 Crystal preview: First look

If a phone can get away with looking like a dummy phone, it's art. Let's see. You wouldn't want to touch the LG Crystal. At least a couple of minutes you'll just sit back and admire. OK, you'll eventually start exploring it and the question will slowly emerge.

What kind of keyboard do you put on a full-touch phone? Well the answer is simple - a touchpad. The LG Crystal keypad is not a real keypad, but a transparent touchpad instead. And it's not there as a typing commodity, it's there for the coolness of it. How sick is that you may ask? Well, we don't really know but we're infected.

We are previewing a pre-production unit here but it's the most final design that LG currently have and happily matches the latest official photos, so the exterior will most likely stay the same in the final retail version.

If you've followed the Crystal as closely as we have, you will know that back in the day when it was first displayed to the public it had a strikingly different blue front panel gradient that later on silently disappeared. We guess them focus groups are more fond of uniform gray than gradient blue.

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LG GD900 Crystal official photos: the two on the left feature the new design as opposed to the other two

Now, even if it yells handle with care, the LG Crystal carries a bulletproof spec sheet. All-inclusive imaging, multimedia and connectivity on the inspired S-class interface: prepare to be impressed and entertained. To help you take your eyes off the phone at least for a short while, here is a quick summary of what the LG Crystal is all about.

LG Crystal at a glance:

  • General: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 900/2100 (alternative version: 850/2100) MHz, GPRS/EDGE class 12, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • Form factor: Touchscreen slider
  • Dimensions: 105 x 52.5 x 13.5 mm, 127 g
  • Display: 3-inch 16M color TFT touchscreen, 480 x 800 pixels
  • Memory: 1.5GB integrated memory, hot-swappable microSD card slot (up to 16GB)
  • UI: LG S-Class Touch UI
  • Camera: 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and D1 video recording at 30 fps, QVGA time-lapse and slow-mo video recording
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, standard microUSB port
  • Misc: Accelerometer for screen auto rotate, proximity sensor for screen auto turn-off, FM radio with RDS, DivX/XviD video support, TV-out, touch-sensitive keypad, gesture shortcuts, multi-touch input, office document viewer
  • Battery: 1000 mAh battery

Design is the defining feature of the LG GD900 Crystal but - quite against the general rule - it doesn't imply crippled functionality. The see-through keypad is cool enough to not only get the handset noticed but make it hard to resist. And then, the wide range of skills is just the thing for those who need a different kind of inspiration.

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Closer look at LG GD900 Crystal

So, the question as always is if performance will live up to the hype. The LG Arena turned an impressive performer and walked away with plenty of our respect and admiration. Now, that means we won't let the Crystal get away with anything but flawless.

With an early pre-release sample of the LG GD900 in our hands we've put together a brief preview to highlight the phone's most interesting features (exterior design being first on our list).

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LG GD900 Crystal along with Apple iPhone 3G and LG KM900 Arena

Now let's waste no more time and look into the crystal ball. Design and ergonomics coming up so we guess we need to wipe the Crystal clean of our drool for those beauty shots.


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