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LG GD900 Crystal

LG GD900 Crystal camphone

See-through styling – a clear winner?

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Review The LG GD900 Crystal wouldn't be the first mobile to sell itself on a gimmick. But in today's increasingly competitive market, a gimmick just isn't enough. The new Crystal's schtick is that it has a see-through keypad – as in, transparent.

LG GD900 Crystal

LG's GD900 Crystal

It's not completely transparent of course, the numbers are displayed as grey etchings, which light up when the keypad is touched. And it's not just a keypad either, since it also doubles as a multi-function trackpad.

Also on board is a 3in touch screen, 8Mp camera, HSDPA 3G (7.2Mbps), quad-band GSM, Wi-Fi, the Symbian S60 operating system and LG's very cool S-Class user interface. So it's clearly more than just a pretty keypad.

The LG GD900 Crystal isn't the slimmest or lightest slider at 105 x 53 x 14mm and 120g but it's perfectly pocketable, nonetheless. The front is dominated by the 3in, 800 x 480 pixel, capacitive touch screen and above it are loudspeaker, VGA camera and light sensor. Below the screen are three touch-sensitive keys: call start and stop, plus a shortcut to the spinning cube version of LG's S-Class interface, which we last saw on the Viewty Smart.

Funky as the cube UI looks, we found it a bit of a pain to navigate around, and generally preferred to use the icon menu with its water drop themed buttons, which can be reached using one of the four onscreen buttons – phone, contacts, messages and menu. Around the sides are a micro USB slot (not LG's proprietary power slot, for once) protected by a plastic cover, volume rocker and camera shutter button, with a power/lock key on top.

LG GD900 Crystal

The slider reveals the camera at the back

On the back, the camera lens is hidden behind the slide along with LED flash and self-portrait mirror. You'll need to remove the back to get to the microSD card slot. There's no card supplied, but it can handle up to 32GB – which is about as good as it gets – plus the GD900 features a generous 1.5GB of onboard memory.

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