This is part 2 of my LG 420g review. If you haven’t yet read the beginning, click here for part 1 of the LG 420g review.
The main display on the LG 420g is fine, but not impressive. The screen on the LG 600g is larger, and the resolutions on these two seem to be the same. I couldn’t find any official specs on the screen resolution, but to my eye it looks no sharper than the 128 x 160 screen on the 600g. It’s not great in direct sunlight, but it works. It’s about what I expected there.
The menus are laid out differently than on the 600g. It might be confusing to some, and make perfects sense to others. I think this is really a matter of personal opinion here. I think a bigger problem is the slow navigation through the menus. It’s not a huge concern, but there’s definitely a noticeable delay between when the navigation keys are pressed and when the scrolling actually happens. It seems to me that LG has made the menus prettier, but at the expense of keyboard responsiveness. I have had a few instances where I navigated to the wrong menu item because my keystrokes got ahead of the system.
Fortunately, this lag didn’t crop up in text entry. There, the both the T9 and the standard multi-tap entry modes were very responsive. The 420g also seems fine to me in terms of how easy it is to handle. It seems well-balanced, and one-handed use isn’t a problem.
The keypad works as it should, and provides a little helpful tactile feedback in the form of a “click” when each key is pressed. However, I don’t really care for the directional pad. While it is definitely large enough, I don’t like the fact that it is flat. This makes it hard to tell where the keypad ends, and also makes it hard to feel the separation between the directional keys and the center “ok” key. In my opinion, both the LG 220c and the LG 600g have better directional keypads as a result of raised keys, and I’m curious as to why LG decided to use this flat style on the newer 420g model.
Another thing I don’t like is that the shortcut keys – left, right, up and down on the directional pad, as well as the right soft key – cannot be customized. They are locked as follows:
- Up: Compose new text message
- Down: Contact list
- Left: My folder
- Right: Sound profile
- Right soft: Messages
And of course, there’s the browser shortcut key, which also cannot be locked as far as I can tell. As someone pointed out on my review of the LG 220c, on that model it’s possible to lock that browser using the phone’s settings menu. I tried to accomplish something similar with the 420g, but could not find a way to lock out the browser. Incidentally, the default security code on the LG 420g is 0000, in case you happen to need it for any other applications.
I used my LG data cable to plug my 420g into the USB port on my PC. Unfortunately, it didn’t allow me to transfer any files across this connection. It did charge my phone, but that was it.
However, I was able to successfully use bluetooth to pair the LG 420g with my computer as well as several other phones, and completed several file transfers, including pictures and ringtones both to and from the 420g. I was also able to use bluetooth to send my contact list from my Samsung t401g over to the 420g.
It also worked fine with a couple of bluetooth headsets I tried. As always with my reviews, I haven’t tested the bluetooth connection to any navigation systems or GPS devices, since I don’t have access to any of these devices. However, I think it’s safe to say that the bluetooth service will work for sending and receiving calls, but NOT for hands-free dialing. The 420g doesn’t have built-in voice dialing, and I don’t believe it supports the proper bluetooth profiles for navigation systems that have their own contact lists and phone books. If anyone can try this and prove me wrong, though, I’d be happy to hear about it.
In the final installment of this review I’ll go over the camera, browser, and organizational tools, as well as a summary of the pros and cons. I hope to get that published in a day or two, then move on to my LG 620g review.