LG U310 Review

Sun 20 May 2007

Filed Under: LG, Mobile Phone, Mobile Phone Reviews 

hyp4mhz

Welcome to the LG U310 mobile phone review. We decided to review this one because the 3 network is heavily promoting the phone as ‘The Big Brother 2007 mobile phone’.

The U310 classed as an entry level 3G mobile phone due to price. So it has the basic mobile phone functions and anything else is a bonus. It’s a good looking phone that’s even better looking in the flesh.

We reckon its pretty good phone but a tad over priced.

Battery Life

The battery life of this phone is very average. If you use your phone for any length of time be it voice calls or web surfing, even videos it will barely last a day. Left on standby you can expect 4 days.

Speed

The phone is fast. When you activate any of the phones menu system there’s only a small delay as you navigate between options. The CPU is good enough for video processing and MP3s and JAVA games run smoothly and quickly. It seems to load web pages with graphics and other content faster than the U8360.

Construction

The U310 is a well put together phone. The front and back are made made from shiny and reflective plastic that is reasonably scratch resistant. The screen, keypad, and extra buttons all align correctly. The flip system feels sturdy and the rotating camera moves with better precision than other older models. It does not have any creaking panels! The phone feels light but tight. Again pictures over the internet don’t do the phone justice, it is a nice looking phone in the flesh even with the buttons on the front.

The keypad is sized for normal sized hands although a few buttons like the ‘C’ and ‘Back’ buttons are smaller than the rest. The keys have a OK click feel to them finished in matte silver plastic. Keypad backlighting is blue. Like all LG clam shells its various ports are hidden by hinged covers with all the ports custom connectors. they are located along the 2 sides of the phone rather than at the base. The MicroSD slot is on the right and the headphone/charging on the left. It has a dedicated camera activation button on the side and volume up and down.

I noticed that some distortion on the main screen when ever I closed the lid, caused by pressure on the cover.

Functionality

The U310 has almost all you need in a standard mobile phone in 2007. The only notable features beyond entry level are the external music controls, 3G, Web Browser and OLED external display. It is very stable with no crashes experience to date.
You can group contacts and assign customised tones, you can also use the profile features like silent and outdoor, and customised profiles, speed dials, set various alarms, a good looking calculator, world time application, unit converter application and so forth. See the features list above for more.

Yes you can change background images on external and internal screens.
Yes you can use images and ringtones that are stored on the memory card.
No you cannot transfer downloaded content from 3 to your memory card.
Of note is the Memory Info function which tells you how much memory you have left in a neat pie chart!

Connectivity

Bluetooth functionality is good. It allows you to use various bluetooth headsets but only limited functionality when connecting to a PC without the LG software suite installed. Unfortunately no infrared or USB cables are included.

MP3 and video/sound

The LG’s inbuilt speaker sounds as per any other mobile so its very average. The MP3 player has a visualiser function and you can even create playlists. The music player software is basic not as comprehensive as the Sony-Ericsson Walkman phones. Eg. no equaliser, track info etc… Sound from the standard headphones is distortion free but a tad harsh. However when the benchmark Sony earphones where plugged in proved that the U310 did play nice rounded sound. With the lid closed your can still play music and select playlists and view the visualiser.
The LG U310 did not have a FM radio which is a disappointment – in this price range (and for being the latest model) FM radios should be standard equipment – and expected.

For streaming video the LG player is the standard version used on the entire LG range so its pretty good. Video streaming is OK but still a bit choppy – it has a wide screen mode that means turning the phone over on its side for the full screen.

Web Browser

The included browser is a LG version and works well. Since the phone tech is pretty good downloading pages and content is fast. Superior to the U8360. Yes, you can go to your own URLs.

The camera/video recorder

The LG U310 takes OK pictures for a mobile phone. It also has a lot of features for a camera phone. Features like brightness, various scenes modes light daylight, indoor outdoors, night mode, a timer, various effects like sepia etc.. multiple picture size and quality.

Regardless of the range of settings overall picture quality is probably below-average when comparing to a mid range mobile but acceptable if judged against it entry level competitors. It doesn’t produce sharp pictures and the colours left a lot to be desired.

Although it only has one camera lens, it is on a rotating mount hence for video calls or camera you have to adjust the location of the lens. The camera bezel feels reasonably solid. LG have addressed the very slow camera start time on their phones and this one can be activated in less than a second. However there is still a noticeable delay between pressing the button and the picture being taken.

The screens

The U310 has dual screens as per most flip or clam shell designs. The inner main screen is truly a good thing. It’s nice and bright lots of colours and so forth. As good as the U8360 and better than some in its price catergory. Can’t complain really. The outer screen is the latest OLED technology. Quality of the picture despite being only 65K colours is easily superior to CTSN.

Call quality and network reception

Since 3 is the only network that sells this phone and their coverage in Australia is not exactly extensive. Like other LG phones this one tries hard to maintain a 3G connection. It switches between GSM and 3G with minimal lag. We estimate that it is capable of maintaining a 3G connection beyond the limits of a towers range by about 1km.

Voice call quality is very good on GSM or 3G networks. Voices sound bright rather than flat. Video calls are OK but still has a bit of a lag between screen refreshes.

Issues

When you close the lid when viewing a streaming video it is not displayed on the external screen. We missed this feature! – as the U8360 had it and we used it! The other is poor software and hardware bundle. Eg. For this price range we expected at least a couple games and a memory card.

The SMS message ringtone only plays for 10 seconds and cannot be adjusted.

LG Phone software for Windows

This piece of software that comes with the phone is pretty good. Much better than prior versions. It has all the stuff which you need to manage the data on your phone. Unfortunately you have to install it before you can send files via bluetooth.

Network

You can’t buy usually buy this phone outright as it is often tied to the 3 network and can’t be unlocked.

Summary

Although it does everything well there are not many features that make this phone a must buy. While it does look good, better than the pictures suggest it doesn’t have much else. I would describe it as just a nice looking compact mobile phone.

The standout features in this price range is the OLED external display which is superior to CSTN displays, external memory card slot. However it is not as feature packed as the U8360.

It is primarily a 3G mobile phone so you are tied to a 3G network in our case 3 but it does roam well on other networks.

Our recommendation? It’s a good starter 3G phone but there are better. If you only plan to watch Big Brother on it then consider the cheaper pre-paid U8360.

  • Network
    Tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz)
    3G UTMS W-CMDA 2100 MHz (Aust only)
  • Design
    Flip Phone
    L93.7 x W49 x D18.3 mm
    Weight 89 grams
    Black/Silver/White/Pink
  • Display/s
    Internal: 262K TFT – 176 x 220 pixels
    External: 65K OLED – 96 x 96 pixels
  • Camera/Video
    Single 1.3MP Camera
    x2 digital zoom
    Video capable MP4, WMV, 3GP
  • Connectivity
    Bluetooth
  • Memory
    10 MB internal memory
    MicroSD memory – up to 512MB
  • Ringtones
    MP3, MIDI, WAV, Vibration
  • Features
    SMS, MMS, IM, WAP, Email
    JAVA MIDP 2.0
    Wireless modem for PC
    Wireless audio and video streaming.
    Web browser
    Speaker Phone/Hands free
    Media player MP3, AMR, AAC, AAC+ MIDI
    *See below for more details.
  • Speed
    Vs Nokia 6230
    Navigation 9/10
  • Battery Life
    Battery Life :
    800mAh Li Ion
    Claimed operating times:
    Standby 160 hours
    Voice 124 minutes
    Video 68 minutes
  • Sample camera pictures

LG U310 Best features

Price for features.
Dual screens one of them OLED!
Great main and external screen.
Bluetooth.
Multiple alarms with external button control for snooze and off.
External media controls.

  • Could do better features (based on price range)

Connectors should be on the base.
Not enough internal memory.
Should be able to access memory card without installing the PC software.

  • Worst features

No Infrared.
Headphone socket is in the wrong place, awkward and propriety.
Headphone socket cover gets in the way.
Poor package only stereo headphones, A/C Travel charger, CD software and user guide.
No additional software installed eg. No games or different backgrounds.
No MicroSD card include as part of the package.

  • Detailed features

Flight mode
World clock
40 dialled numbers
40 received calls
40 missed calls
100 Calendar
100 To Do
5 Memo
5 Secret Memo
20 Dateulator
300 SMS in phone
500 Contacts in phone with pictures

Price history

$259 AUS PRE-PAID 3 2007

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