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Review GSM phone LG C3400
LG lived on the Russian market any which way till recently spending great money on advertising its phones but still having poor sales. The waste of the shipped models roused many complaints. It was not just high but the highest among all the manufacturers. A new strategy of development on the Russian market is to change the situation and overcome it. The company is at the start of its way by many means, though positive tendencies are on hand ad the LG C3400 is one of the significant products.
The company cloned its solutions with reluctance not offering wide model line unlike Samsung, Nokia and others. The company tried to focus on promoting separate devices. Today the situation is the opposite, there are many models with similar characteristics and based on the same platform being released. Their stability is getting higher. The LG F2300 gave life to a complete line of devices and the most interesting in the mid segment is LG C3400.
The design is kept in the company's style, that is a middle-size drop, the antenna is internal which is typical of the last models. The dimensions form 91x47x25 mm, the weight is 93 g. The front panel looks interesting due to the camera surrounded by a LED flash that can serve as a lamp (it's nice turning off is only manual since a lamp lights only for some time on many devices). The phone lies well in a hand being comfortable to carry wherever you like.
As different to the latest stylish tendencies, the external screen is monochrome. As for me, that is exactly what a working horse should posses, since bringing some style is only the second role of this device. The external screen backlighting is softly pastel, the resolution is 96x96 pixels. Digital clock, date, signal level and battery charge icons are shown on the screen. The external screen may serve as a viewfinder for selfshooting, it's quite workable in this role, since you only need to get into the frame but not see the whole of you.
There is a standard interface connector on the bottom end. A headset connector closed with a rubber shutter fixed to the body is on the left, a coupled volume button is a bit lower. A separate camera button is on the right. A strap hole is close to the right top corner.
The device is easy to open with one hand, inside we see a large screen, the manufacturer claims a 65K STN one. The screen quality of the elder models with TFT 262K screens doesn't' differ from this one, they are equal. Per se, all the screens show 65K but some displays are artificially distinguished by marketing. The resolution is 128x160 pixels which allows showing 7 text lines and one service line (short message mode).
The keypad with large well-distanced keys is made of plastic. An Ok button is inscribed into the navi one. The keypad backlighting is blue, well seen in various conditions. Working with the pad makes no troubles.
The back panel closes the battery compartment with no backlash. The battery is 950-mAh Li-Ion. According to the manufacturer the device can work for 200 hours in the standby mode and up to 3 hours in the talk mode. In Moscow the phone worked about 4 days (40 minutes of talks, up to 20 minutes of using other functions). You can achieve 5 days' battery life with total talk time forming 25-30 minutes and no using other functions. Full recharging takes about 2.5 hours.
A SIM-card holder is standard.
There are 16 MB of dynamical memory quite enough for all the applications and an integrated VGA-camera, though still little for using the device as an mp3 player. The melodies are more for setting as a call signal.
The main menu is represented by three rows of icons which got traditional for the last models. The pictures are qualitative and look good that makes the device pleasant to use. Submenus look like lists and the items that may not be disposed on the screen are scrolled automatically in a horizontal line. There is a fast navigation with the help of number sequences. Also it is possible to choose up to 9 functions for a personal list that is called by moving the navi button up.
Phone book. There is a possibility to save up to 200 names in internal memory, up to 5 fields for a name (4 numbers, one e-mail address). Also you may choose a users' group and an icon. The icons are preset pictures of people faces and animals. During the call a chosen picture will be displayed besides a name on the screen. There is a possibility to assign a photo to a name but it should be saved in a minimal size first.
When entering your data you'll have to choose the main number and only then add others one after another, by the way, some of them may be missed. The total list may contain both numbers from SIM-card memory and from the internal one. Also an assigned picture may be displayed opposite to a name.
There are 7 users' groups and it is possible to set a personal melody and a picture for each one (that is another set of pictures).
Messages. There is a support for EMS that allows to attach melodies, pictures to messages, format text and send concatenated messages. The phone supports predictive text input T9 (a possibility to add your words into the dictionary). There are several dictionaries for different languages and up to 6 editable templates.
The device supports MMS and the company made it possible to format several pages, insert several pictures instead of one.
All the messages are stored in the internal memory, first SIM-card memory is filled with SMS and only then the internal one is used. In general it is comfortable to work with messages, the device is up-to-date.
Call lists. Here one may view standard lists of outgoing, incoming and missed calls. Each one contains 10 numbers, for some entries date and time of the call are specified. Similar numbers are summed up but not displayed in order.
There is a general call list, 20 last entries from all the lists are summed up there. And it is this list that is displayed when pressing the Call button from the standby mode.
Profiles. All the sounds may be adjusted from here, from a call signal to a key press sound and alert type. Everything is traditional.
Settings. Phone settings such as the screen, call signals and what is the main alarm clocks are adjusted from this menu. There are 5 of them in the phone and each may be set for once, everyday and every week. The presence of such a number of alarm clocks will satisfy even the most demanding user.
There are decoration schemes like themes changing the appearance of the windows and not only their colors.
Organizer. It is possible to save up to 20 events in the organizer and a date and time for the alert are set. You also may set it recurrent (every day, week, month, and year). The calendar displays the whole month, the dates with set events are distinguished with another colour and a sign indicating the type of the event (meeting or a memo) appears in the bottom. The main minus of the organizer is a limited number of entries.
Tools. Here is a standard calculator, a unit converter, world time function, a dictaphone (works only in the standby mode with up to 15 seconds for a record) and an automatic answering. The last item is interesting for all the records are stored on your phone with no operator service, you can choose personal greeting and record it. The general memory status may be viewed from this menu. Musical composer allows both entering notes from a number keypad and from a note stave, choose the most comfortable for you.
Downloads. Uploaded images, melodies and programs are stored in separate folders. There is a set of plain melodies, one game created specially for Russian gamers are installed in the new device. The name of the game tells for it "Games from life". There are three such games (or three subdivisions of the same game), they are alike in something. The first game is a Throw, you are a man taking a run and then throwing a monitor. Naturally, the one who throws his monitor farther. Also there is a game for equilibrium, driving a moped. The direction the company forwards - creating local applications - is right, but the realization rouses at least a grin.
Karaoke. The screen possibilities applied for the karaoke are not high, it hold only two lines and more, the second line is shown on the top causing confuse. No points are given as the result of your singing, the manufacturer thinks you can estimate your possibilities by yourself. The function is predicted for entertaining in the company and may draw attention to you for a while. It's not a break for a mobile phone in any way. New melodies are downloaded from the LG site. As we said earlier, the application gets mass on all the LG phones not only those equipped with several loudspeakers.
The MP3 layer allows sorting the songs, listen to them. The application is not of great interest as the space is limited.
Service. The device supports GPRS class 10 that is why I'd recommend to adjust wap-browser using batch communications, that will be cheaper. The only thing to add is that the wap-browser is 2.0 version. The thing that disappointed is the absence of history, it is often necessary to enter the same address again. Downloading melodies and pictures makes no troubles and the same for applications.
Camera. An integrated camera allows to take photos with several resolutions, they are 48x48 pixels (used only in the phone book), 160x120, 320x240, 640x480 pixels. File format is JPEG, it is possible to choose a compression level and quality (high, medium, low) for all the resolutions except the maximum one. The quality for 640x480 is only low.
The screen serves as a viewfinder in the shooting mode. There is a tool panel on the left and there you may choose the main parameters for shooting, it is particularly comfortable to do that using a side button for volume level adjustment. Not all the chosen settings are saved till the next shooting, one has to adjust them again and it is a slight disadvantage.
The photos may be black and white, colour and also Sepia effect may be applied. There are 5 light levels and x4 zoom.
One of the preset frames may be used when shooting.
In general the photos are not bad. And by the way there is a possibility to view photos as icons and having chosen one you may see it in a full screen size.
The photos taken may be used as wall papers for the internal screen. The quality of the pictures on a PC is not so bad but not excellent. The camera by LG is average in characteristics if compared to other manufacturers. The flash is rather weak and is unnecessary in the majority of cases.
Synchronization with PC. Synchronization is possible via a cable not included into the kit. . The settings are rather trivial and everything works without troubles. There is a wide range of melodies, pictures for the screen in the standby mode (wallpapers) besides Java programs on the disk. The synch program doesn't always (not programs of all the shipments, to be precise) allow uploading animated images to the phone and Java-programs.
There is a possibility to synchronize phone book and organizer entries with a PC, there is synchronization with MS Outlook.
We measured the productivity with JBenchmark 2.0.2. And got the following results smilar to the ones for LG F2300:
The total score is rather low that shows not high productivity of the processor and memory subsystem. That is clear that such productivity is characteristic for the previous generation devices but not current, an old platform tells upon.
The quality of the sound is typical for LG phones and no problems appear in the majority of cases. The volume of the 64-tones call signal is enough not always, it's loud and comparable with other models by the company but. Well assembling quality and various colour solutions that will attract youth should be considered advantages. Subjectively, the polyphony quality has not changed as compared to the LG F2100 and remained 40-tones. A feeling the company has made a mistake writing an inexistent characteristic once again appears. The best way is to use mp3 melodies sounding perfectly. Good assembly should be mentioned as an advantage. The internal screen is one of the best in the market and the inner is rather well-done also but takes an intermediate position and is inferior to Motorola, Samsung, Sharp. The external screen is monochrome but it can't be treated as a shortcoming, the model wins more from that since information is readable under any conditions.
The model resembles the LG F2300 much, though is different in supporting mp3 files, more memory, plainer external screen. The device is pleasant and interesting for the mid segment in general. The presence of Java, mp3, a camera, synchronization with PC via a cable (a typical gentlemanly kit) is to the fore. The price difference from the LG F2300 forms 30-35 USD and the LG C3400 costs about 190-200 USD now. The model is quite appropriate for this price and offers a normal price/quality ratio, it's not overpriced unlike the lately models by the company. The phone is significant against a background of the actions LG takes to fix its positions in Russia. This model belongs to the new product line built on the old platform, though offers a variety of solutions achieved by combining various characteristics (design, memory capacity, mp3 support and so on). The changes or the first quarter of the year influenced positively and the brand has all the chances to fix on the market again. The main plus is the company finally moved the question of the service centers and equipment quality from the dead point; the new models have quite an acceptable waste of 3-4 percents and not more. And thus it will be more curious to see the new models that are to be launched in September.
Published 30 May 2005
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