Review: LG U890 music phone

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The Propaganda

The U890 is billed by LG as a music phone for the fashion lovers. Or a fashion phone for music lovers – it’s difficult to decide. With 3G capabilities, it’s an upgrade from their popular U880 model, although this time available in blue and pink.

The Good

The music  capabilities are well integrated into the phone. There are external controls, enabling you to turn it on, skip through tracks and adjust the volume without opening the phone. Alternatively you can use the 3 Player (when in 3G coverage), which is 3’s music programme. This makes buying new tracks a piece of cake, making it tempting to part with significant  amounts of cash on a regular basis.  It’s equipped with stereo Bluetooth, so you can listen through headphones without the wires. If you do want to use wired headphones, you have to use those supplied as it’s not a normal headphone jack. Storage comes in the for of 71MB of internal memory, and a MiniSD slot for expanding this.

LG have also managed to squeeze on a surprising number of shortcut keys onto the keypad. There are buttons dedicated to Mobile TV, the 3 homepage, messages, recent calls, ringing profiles, phone list… the list goes on.   This doesn’t make the phone chunky though – it’s one of the slimmest 3G phones out there, at 1.8 cm thick.

The Bad

The keypad. Seriously. It’s horrible. Vaguely nodding towards the RAZR laser-etched pad, it’s difficult to hit the right button first time. Or at least the right button exclusively. This is especially true with the shortcut keys – because there are so many, it’s tricky navigating.

You also can’t listen to music in the background whilst using the phone to, say, send a text. When the music is playing all your shortcut keys suddenly turn into controls for the player, making it impossible to do anything else.

The Truth

Design-wise, it’s personal preference. I’m of the opinion that it looks like a chunkier but smaller in length phone put through a mangle – whilst it’s thin, it’s not small in the other dimensions. However, I know several people that really like the design, so I’m willing to compromise on that.

When it comes to functions, it’s generally a good phone. The music features are well integrated and there are sensible additions, like stereo Bluetooth, and a MiniSD memory card. However, it won’t compare to many other music phones on the market, such as the SE W850i, because of factors like not being able to have music playing in the background whilst you do other things. 

Available free on contract with 3, it’s a 3G phone with decent music credentials. However, with LG’s launch last week of the U400, a seriously feature packed music phone, this model might find itself out of favour.

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