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LG KG271 and KG275 budget phones

Two not-half-bad cut-price handsets. But when will the UK see them?

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At the time of writing we can find no sign that LG intends to release either of these handsets in the UK, which is a shame as both are decent and desirable phones ideal for anyone who wants a spare handset or just a basic phone without a camera or media player. Based on current MRRP prices in Thailand, the KG275 will set you back about £22 and the KG271 around £27. The Motofone F3 comes inbetween the two at around £24. The fact that one major UK retailer currently has the F3 on offer for a tenner plus £10 of airtime would perhaps suggest a similar price for the LG phones if they ever make it to these shores.

LG KG275LG KG275
LG's KG275: business-friendly looks

Which does rather lead to the question: Just why is it so hard to buy a modern, cheap, unlocked handset across the counter in the UK?

On a recent trawl of stores in Manchester, the best we found was a £30 Samsung C300 in Asda. Sad to say it was locked to Orange so that involved driving to an independent specialist and getting it unlocked for a further £8, so nearly £40 spent - not including petrol - and the C300 is getting a bit long in the tooth.

Alcatel handsets are often seen advertised at low prices, but supply seems to be a constant problem with retailers large and small, and most seem locked. Entry-level Nokia handsets such as the 1112 are quite simply antediluvian.

Yet in many parts of South-East Asia one can nip into any half-decent electronics emporium, pick up a new, modern, unlocked handset such as either of the LG models above for little more than £20, grab a SIM card from any corner Seven-Eleven or Family Mart along with a pre-paid top up card, and, bingo, you're good to go.

LG KG275LG KG275
LG's KG275: and not-so-business-friendly looks

It's hard to feel we are not only making things unnecessarily complicated in the UK, but also being forced to buy more complex, more feature-rich phones than many of us actually need.

Verdict

LG has come up with a fine pair of phones. They're well made, small, light, easy to use and with plenty of features for the price. OK, there's no camera, Bluetooth, games or a media player, but for the core content you have to like them.

Looking for a cheap phone to use abroad that you can face losing? Look no further than either of these two...

Top three mobile application threats

90%

LG KG271 and KG275 budget phones

The KG271 has the better keyboard and an FM radio, but...
Price: TBC RRP
95%

LG KG271 and KG275 budget phones

...the KG275 wins out - just - by being the cheaper and better looking of the two...
Price: TBC RRP

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