Pink, it seems, is the theme of the moment -- LG is the next in line to do the pretty thing with its most recent 3G handset, the U880.
You don't have to opt for pink. The clamshell U880 is also available in silver and black. You do have to go to 3 to get this handset though, as, at the time of writing, the network has an exclusive deal. You can get it as a pay as you go handset, or for free on various tariffs.
Pink and pearl is not a colour combination we'd usually choose, but if that is your taste then the LG U880 wants you -- this handset is pink and pearl throughout, except for a narrow strip of baby blue, which for some reason sits near the hinged area inside the clamshell.
For 3G video calling a handset needs a camera. This one sits on the clamshell hinge and can be rotated for both shooting stills and video, and putting yourself in the picture during video calls. Annoyingly you can't rotate the lens so it's completely hidden away -- and thereby protected -- inside the hinged section.
Left and right edges house a range of buttons and connectors. On the right edge is a button that activates the camera, the mains power slot and a slot for a tiny TransFlash memory cards -- also known as microSD. Both these slots are protected by permanently attached covers, and the memory card cover in particular seriously got in the way as we inserted and extracted the card. The same can be said for the headset slot protector on the left edge. There's a volume rocker on this left edge too.
The front of the casing contains a reasonably large 65k colour display, and internally there is a much better 262k colour one, which is bright enough, but at just 176x220 pixels is low on definition.
Opening the clamshell reveals more pink. There's a dedicated key for starting video calls, the 3 triangle key and another that calls up the handset's menu -- a grid of three icons wide by four icons deep that provides access to everything on board.
The navigation button has four icons on its North, South, East and West points. North takes you to the handset's Quick Menu (10 shortcuts to your favourite stuff), South to your contacts. East and West have long and short press functions -- East combines access to the messaging software and the create new message screen while West can drop you into the profile selector or send the handset straight to vibrate mode. Coupled with two soft menu keys, a back button and delete key, there's plenty to learn in terms of getting around, but all the keys are large and comfortable to use.
There are some interesting features hidden away in the depths of the U880. There's a standard memo tool in the Organiser which you can use to make notes, but then you can designate notes as 'secret', making them accessible only if you tap in the handset password.
And when you check on the free memory, as well as the numbers, you get a pie chart showing used and free resources -- themed pink and blue, of course.
Memory is something you may want to watch because, keeping up with other handsets, the U880 plays music. Pause/play, forward and back buttons sit below the front screen so you can control playback without opening the flip. You can initiate playback by pressing the pause/play button. The forward and back buttons step through tunes without telling you whether they are on the internal memory or a memory card, which will be useful if you don't have many tunes on board, but painful if you have a lot and want to find one in particular.
If that's your aim, then opening the flip, where things are not quite so straightforward, might be your best bet. Now you need to navigate to the My Stuff folder (where you access everything you've saved to both the internal memory and memory cards), then choose what you want to play.