Mid-range slider phones tend to be pretty dull, but the LG KS360 offers something different. Pop it open and instead of a standard keypad you get a full Qwerty one -- designed with messaging in mind. We limbered up our thumbs, ready to put the KS360 through some serious texting.
The KS360 will be available to buy around the beginning of September on Orange and a little later on O2. It will come free on certain contracts and will be available on pay as you go, but pricing has yet to be announced.
When it's closed, the KS360 looks like a fairly average slider phone. At the top there's a relatively large screen above a set of navigation keys. The nav keys are a little too small for our liking, but with some manoeuvring you can get to where you need to go. The OK key, in particular, is very fiddly to press and could have done with being much bigger.
Fortunately the slide-out keypad is slightly better spaced and if you're a keen texter, it's not bad. We do feel that the keys could have been defined better with a raised edge, for example. Texting was easy enough, but you might find every now and then you hit the wrong key because of how flat they are.
The LG KS360 keeps things very simple in the features department. There's no 3G or Wi-Fi and the camera only packs a 2-megapixel sensor, with no flash. But then again this phone isn't being pitched as a super-phone -- it's all about messaging, so you get shortcut keys to SMS and an instant-messaging client (although this may be network-dependant).
Our LG KS360 was on Orange and came with MSN Messenger, meaning you can use it to chat instantly with all your friends. There's also an email client, so you can set up your Gmail account or any other POP3 or IMAP account. You'll need to find out all your email settings, which should be available online.
The onboard Internet browser isn't very good, but you can download Opera Mini, which is what we did. Using Opera Mini on the KS360 really opens it up to the Web, allowing you to see full-size Web pages and then zoom in on the relevant parts. It's not just a recommended app for this phone -- it's a must-have if you want to browse the Web.