LG GD550 Pure review: Slide and go
There’s nothing like the PURE UI
So, we’ve come to the interface – or the lack thereof. We’re not being sarcastic here. The LG GD550 Pure won’t leave you scratching your head in wonder. It’s all right in front of you and the D-pad will get you where you want to go in no time.
The LG GD550 Pure is the first and so far only device to feature the PURE UI. The name fits the job perfectly. It’s straightforward and easy to work with – you don’t even need to read the manual. It's very fast and responsive too.
So, how simple can it be? Well to begin with, the thing doesn’t even have a homescreen. So, what? If the iPhone can do without a homescreen, why wouldn’t the LG GD550 Pure?
It’s a slider and the form factor gets involved with the navigation. Slide up and you get straight to the menu. Slide down and the lockscreen kicks in.
In closed position, the lockscreen has the usual status bar on top and a reasonably big time and date line. For the lockscreen you can opt between quite a selection of wallpapers and clock styles, including dual time zone. Of course you get notifications too – like missed calls, or incoming messages.
If you get a notification on the lockscreen, the only way to take relevant action is to slide up. Notifications are otherwise static – you can’t scroll or select them with the D-pad. The soft keys don’t work on the lockscreen either.
What you get when you slide the phone up is essentially a rotating view of the five main icons and these take up the upper half of the screen. You scroll them horizontally with the D-pad. These menu items include Camera, Organiser, Calls, Messages, and More (each with 3 to 4 submenus).
The lower half of the screen is taken up by the items associated with the currently selected menu icon. They’re scrollable with the D-pad too – up or down.
And what about the soft keys you might ask. The thing is they only get busy in the deeper levels of the interface – usually to reveal more options or take you a step back.
One thing to note is that sliding down will terminate all applications and processes apart from four (Call, Camera, Video player, Music player) that you can explicitly mark as exceptions through the settings menu.
This does at least partially makes up for the fact that you can’t activate the camera when the phone is closed. You need to slide up, press the button to launch the camera and then safely slide down. Not the best solution, but the LG GD550 Pure is not a cameraphone after all.
To sum it up, it’s simple and it works just fine. The PURE UI is straightforward, easy to navigate and is responsive and nice looking too.
A phonebook full of faces
The phonebook in the LG GD550 Pure can store up to 1000 entries. You can opt to display the numbers on SIM, in phone memory or both simultaneously. You can order the contacts by first or last name.
Contacts are either displayed as a list or as pictures. In the pictures layout, you get something quite reminiscent of the Cover Flow interface, only everything is much smaller. Below the contact images you can see the details of the selected contact.
There are plenty of available fields, so it's unlikely you will find anything missing.
Telephony is OK
The LG Pure offers smooth and problem-free performance when it comes to the most essential task of a phone - making calls. It offers good reception and in-call sound, with pleasing voice quality on both ends of a call.
There is no smart dialing however.
We ran our traditional loudspeaker test and the GD550 Pure scored a Very Good mark. Here is how it ranks against some of the other handsets we've tested. You can find more information about the test itself and the whole list of tested devices here.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Apple iPhone 3G||66.1||62.1||71.7|
|LG BL20 New Chocolate||66.5||66.2||73.7||Average|
|Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH||70.1||66.7||75.8||Good|
|LG GD550 Pure||73.6||73.7||76.3||Very Good|
|Nokia 6700 slide||75.5||65.8||82.7||Very Good|
|LG KF750 Secret||75.6||72.7||82.8||Excellent|
The LG GD550 Pure can handle all of the most common type of messages: SMS, EMS, MMS and email.
We aren't really the biggest fans of the handset's messaging department but we still believe it's capable enough for most occasions.
The first three message types share a common editor. All you need to do to switch between them is insert some multimedia content - like a photo or audio track for example. The editor itself has rather basic looks and that's one thing we weren't particularly fond of.
The email client is quite easy to work with and mailboxes can be set up in no time. Creating an account is very simple - you need to type your email and password, then choose the type (POP3, IMAP) and your mailbox is automatically configured.