LG GD550 Pure review: Slide and go
Basic retail package
The LG GD550 Pure retail package is downright low-end. A USB cable, a charger and a one-piece headset is all you get inside the box.
LG GD550 Pure 360-degree spin
The LG GD550 Pure uses the BL20 New Chocolate blueprint and of course the shape, size and feel are pretty much the same. Including the fact that it does get quite tall when slid up. At 105.5 x 51 x 12.4 mm when closed, the phone is by no means small but at the same time is reasonably comfortable to handle.
The screen is the generous 2.4” but some people will perhaps frown at the unnecessarily wide bezel. It feels the LG GD550 Pure could’ve easily fit that display in something more similar in size to a Nokia 6600 slide.
The phone weighs in at 132 grams, which is obviously a bit more than the all-plastic BL20 New Chocolate. The metal backplate does account for much of the extra weight. We’re not going to complain about it anyway. The excellent brushed finish and solid feel of the phone are much appreciated.
Design and construction
The LG GD550 Pure does look great, blending maturity and simplicity. The body is imposing but clean of excessive embellishments. There’s no clutter of controls. It’s a fine example of minimalist, traditional design, focusing on clean lines and symmetry.
The LG GD550 Pure has a 2.4” display of QVGA resolution. Contrast levels are nothing spectacular but the viewing angles are quite good. Sunlight legibility is excellent too. Overall, the GD550 Pure offers reasonably pleasant viewing but no adjustable screen settings. .
The ample metal-framed D-pad is the main navigation control on the LG GD550 Pure. It has a nice big confirm key and its own backlighting.
Between the screen and the D-pad is the pair of soft keys to make your way around the minimalist UI. Both the D-pad and the context keys are pleasantly tactile and solid to press.
The earpiece, which doubles as a loudspeaker, is centrally placed above the the LG GD 550 display.
The right side of the handset features the volume rocker, the camera key and the microUSB port hidden under a plastic cap. The shutter key is well sized and quite responsive with a distinct half press. What we don’t like however is that it won’t power up the camera when the slider is closed.
The mouthpiece is located on the lower deck of the slider while the bottom of the phone is completely bare.
The left-hand side of the LG GD550 Pure features a Ring/Silent switch on the same lines as the iPhone. We were surprised to see such a control on a phone like this. It’s quite handy of course and we are sure a lot of people will appreciate it.
There are two things to find at the the top of the phone: a Power key and the battery cover release latch.
Sliding up reveals the standard numberpad with three extra buttons – Call keys and a Clear key – the same as on the BL20 New Chocolate. The keys are massive and with great tactile feedback. This certainly is a heavy texter’s keypad.
Rearside, the only thing of note is the 5 megapixel camera lens.There’s no LED flash, but we have to admit we’ve seen a pre-production version with LED flash but we’re not quite sure if it will make it to mass market.
Under the rear cover is a 900 mAh Li-Ion BL-4U battery powering the LG GD550 Pure. The battery is quoted at up to 320 hours of stand-by or up to 5 hours and 30 minutes of talk-time. Those are pretty good numbers and real life performance backs them up.
The SIM compartment and the microSD card slot are also here. The memory card is hot swappable.
The LG GD550 Pure has lots of metal on its body and the build quality is excellent. This is a solid and mature handset that may not melt a geek’s heart but will offer users durability and comfort. An excellent keypad, a decent enough screen and mature, subtle styling – the LG GD550 Pure is a phone to use and enjoy.