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LG Optimus GT540 Android smartphone

Economy class social networker?

Notable among these is LG's SNS social networking client, last seen on the InTouch Max, which pulls in updates from your Facebook, Twitter and Bebo accounts and presents them in a widget. You'll need to brush the widget to see each new update – rather than being presented with a rolling list ¬– and it doesn't incorporate your e-mails and text messages either. Still, it’s better than having to access your social networking apps individually each time you want to check them.

 LG Optimus GT540

Available in black and silver, but the metal finish casing is actually plastic

Lacking the slide-out Qwerty keyboard of the InTouch Max, the Optimus has to rely solely on its touchscreen display for keyboard duties. Unfortunately, the resistive screen isn't sensitive enough for this to work effectively and, all too often, I had to re-type letters or double press when the screen didn't register my choices.

In the early days of touchscreens, we might have put up with this sort of thing but, with capacitive screens fast becoming the norm, the resistive variety is starting to look like a throwback to another, transitionary, era. There's no stylus included in the package either, which might have been useful for accessing smaller keys and links.

The 3G network connection and Wi-Fi ensure fast access, but it can often be a problem selecting smallish links, and with no pinch-to-zoom option you have to brush the screen to bring up the zoom icons if you need to get a closer look. There's no support for Flash video of course, though the dedicated YouTube app on board means you can still get some streaming video.

 LG Optimus GT540

With no slide out Qwerty keyboard, it's a fairly compact handset overall.

The screen is however bright and sharp enough to make watching video a pleasure. There's no option to stretch movies to fit the screen but motion is smooth, details are sharp and there's a fair range of formats accepted, including MPEG4, H.263, WMV, DivX and Xvid.

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