LG GD880 Mini preview: First look

GSMArena team, 12 February 2010.
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LG GD880 Mini 360-degree view

The LG GD880 Mini is smaller than the highly popular LG KP500 Cookie, yet it packs a 3.2” display – bigger than the Cookie’s. The GD880 Mini measures 102 x 47.6 x 10.6 mm and weighs 99 grams and it’s very comfortable to hold. It’s the thinnest touch phone by LG (it beats the LG BL40 New Chocolate by a whisker) though it’s not quite the thinnest on the market – the Toshiba TG01 has the title here with its mere 9.9 mm worth of girth.

The blocky design is a love it or hate it type of deal – some will appreciate its rigid simplicity, while others will scoff at it for being too ‘square’.

Design and construction

The LG GD880 Mini is consciously minimalist in design, all square angles and straight lines and the same goes for the paint job – brush metal and black plastic. The front is in tune with the overall simplicity and its most prominent feature is the display. There’s not a single key on the front of the Mini.

Above the display we find the earpiece covered by a fine metal mesh and the video-call camera, both placed on a strip of brushed metal. Bellow that on the black bezel around the screen, there’s a proximity sensor that switches off and locks the screen automatically during a call and an ambient light sensor.

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The LG GD880 Mini will make cubists proud

The clean line on the left side of the phone is only broken by the volume rocker. The right side accommodates the shutter key and the microSD card slot. The microSD slot is sealed with a sliding cover.

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Volume rocker on the left

The sides of the phone are made of metal with long thin grooves. The buttons bulge slightly but have the same finish to blend in with their surroundings.

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The microSD card slot and shutter key on the right

The top hosts the 3.5mm audio jack, a covered microUSB port and the Power/Lock key. Both are easy to access and nice to use. The Power/Lock button is slightly raised to make it easier to press.

The bottom houses the loudspeaker grill and the mic hole.

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On top: Power/Lock key, 3.5 mm audio jack and microUSB port • On bottom: loudspeaker and mic hole

From behind, the LG GD880 Mini looks more like a small black box than a mobile phone. The LG logo at the bottom and the 5-megapixel camera lens in the top left corner are the only things breaking up the soft rubbery plastic.

That plastic on the back feels really nice to the touch but it collects a massive collection of fingerprints.

The camera is quite lonely in its corner – just a “5 MEGA” label below it – and it’s left to fend for itself. There is no flash and no lens protection – the glass of the camera is slightly inset into the back hardly providing any protection.

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5MP camera on the almost featureless back • a look under the hood

The back cover comes off easily in a slide to open fashion. It holds firmly though, no wobbles or creaks. Underneath is a 900 mAh Li-Ion battery and the SIM card compartment.

The square angles, the straight lines, the brushed metal – the LG GD880 Mini has all the appearances of a cigarette case. We don’t mean that in a bad way – just Google “cigarette case” and you’ll find thousands of cases with intricate patterns etched into them, it’s a fashion accessory in its own right.

But there’s another way to look at it – you’ll often read that this or that is the new black, but clean black exterior is always fashionable, just ask Prada or Hugo Boss.

Whether you see it as a sleek, expensive-looking gadget or a fashion accessory that completes your outfit, the LG GD880 Mini looks right in every setting. We only wish there was more consistency n the materials and finishes used on the phone exterior. There are at least four of those used and they follow any pattern.

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The GD880 Mini and the BL40 New Chocolate: LG know good design

It’s not all looks though – the phone is very solid, with just enough weight, so it’s very easy to imagine that it was cut out as one whole piece from a slab of metal. It has the feel of a luxury item, which no amount of software or number-crunching in the specs can achieve (though that high pixel count certainly helps).

The GD880 Mini, true to its name, fits easily in the hand and in the pocket.

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LG GD880 Mini held in hand

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