Review by Samuel Chan on Tuesday March 07, 2006.
|Sponsored links, if any, appear in green.|
Siemens was the first manufacturer to introduce slider phones, but it was Samsung that took the idea and made it popular. For those who resent folder style phones but still envy the large screens and keypads that seem to be featured with the form factor, sliders offer an alternative solution. Two years after Samsung introduced its first GSM slider, the D410, LG has finally decided to dip its toe into the water and bring out the S5200.Physical Aspects
The LG S5200 looks like a cross between a Motorola V1000 (cancelled) and a Samsung D500. The phone itself is a fairly small and solid device, measuring 93mm x 46.6mm x 21.4mm (3.66" x 1.83" x 0.84") - it can easily fit into your pocket. Although the front is made of smooth plastic and is prone to fingerprints, the 95g (3.35oz) weight makes it feel less like a toy. The back of the phone is made of quasi-velvet textured plastic, and this gives the phone a firmer grip, especially when sliding the screen up. Build quality is excellent as the moving parts all click into the right places. On top of that, scratch resistance is above average.
The camera is located at the back of the screen portion of the handset and remains hidden when the phone is closed, sliding up the phone will reveal the lens, a mirror for self-portraits, and an LED flash. The side keys are minimal, with only the volume control and the multimedia/shutter shortcut buttons found on the left and right respectively. The 2.8mm headset jack is found on the right and the charger/sync port is located at the bottom.
The semi-automatic sliding mechanism is similar to the one found on Samsung E800 - only better. The spring on S5200 carries just the right amount of force.
The number keypad is revealed with the handset in the open position - tactile feeling is excellent, and the blue backlight is sufficient. Even though I do not have big fingers, I do find the keys a bit small. However, the D-pad and the soft keys are well situated and sized; crossing over from the numbers to the D-pad is smooth, and it is easier than performing the same thing on a swivel handset such as one of Sony Ericsson's recent attempts.
Generally, I am quite pleased with the design of the phone, though some ergonomics are sacrificed for size.
Sam Chan is MobileBurn's roving reporter and reviewer in Hong Kong, where he has access to all sorts of toys the rest of us just can't have.