LG claims the Pop GD510 is the world's smallest touchscreen phone. Whether that's true or not, it certainly is a tiny handset compared to the likes of the iPhone and HTC Hero. It's also got a diminutive price tag. You can currently pick it up on a pay-as-you-go deal with Orange for £90, with £10 worth of free credit thrown in for good measure. It can also be yours for free on a £10-per-month, 24-month contract, or for around £140 SIM-free.
The Pop is about two-thirds the size of more expensive touch handsets like the iPhone and Hero. Although the case is made entirely from plastic, LG has painted it metallic silver, which helps give the phone a more upmarket look. The resistive touchscreen dominates the front of the phone. It's only a 76mm (3-inch) display, but, for such a small screen, it's got a pretty sharp resolution of 240x400 pixels. As a result, text and graphics look surprisingly crisp.
As with the iPhone, there's only a single button on the front of the phone. It acts as a multi-function key to access the menus and pick up or drop calls. A halo of light around the edge of the button glows either green or red to give an indication of which function the button is currently mapped to. This may sound confusing, but it works really well in practice.
A-Class of its own
Most of LG's touchscreen phones use the company's S-Class interface, but the Pop makes do with the cut-down A-Class version instead. This is no bad thing, as the A-Class version's less flashy interface is actually slightly easier to navigate, and it's satisfyingly responsive.
As with LG's other handsets, the home screen on the Pop is split into three panels. You can drag and drop widgets onto these panels and rearrange them as you like. The phone comes preloaded with a number of widgets, including a useful Post-it Note app and one for Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The rest of the phone's features are accessed via the main menu. Here you'll find extras like the photo gallery, games menus, FM tuner application and music player.
The music player is fast and easy to use, but, sadly, the phone doesn't have a standard headphone jack. Instead the micro-USB port doubles up as the headphone connector. This means you can't easily swap the supplied headphones for another pair of cans, which is annoying, as they're not all that hot in terms of sound quality, lacking bass and consequently sounding quite tinny.
The phone's 3.2-megapixel camera is nothing to write home about either, as it lacks more advanced features like autofocus and an LED flash. Outdoor shots taken in good light look reasonably sharp and colourful, though.
What, no Wi-Fi?
As you might expect given the Pop's low price, it lacks features like 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. Data access is only possible via a slower Edge connection. There's no GPS support either. On the plus side, the lack of these features means that the phone's battery life is reasonably good. You'll get around two to three days use from it before it needs a recharge.
When it comes to call quality, the Pop puts in an excellent performance. The earpiece is very loud for such a small handset, so callers sound crisp and clear. There's also a neat feature whereby you can silence an incoming call by just flipping the phone over and placing it face down. That's handy if you receive a call during a meeting.
The LG Pop GD510 may have a fairly basic set of features, but it still manages to impress with its cute, minimalist styling, responsive touchscreen and easy-to-use interface. Those with more money to spend would probably be better off opting for Samsung's similar S5600, as it has the added benefit of 3G support. If you can't stretch that far, though, the Pop is a decent back-up option.
Edited by Charles Kloet