LG GD880 Mini review: Going minimalist

GSMArena team, 28 April 2010.
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Unboxing the LG GD880 Mini

The retail box that the LG Mini comes in is not nearly as inspiring as the phone itself. It covers the basics – a mini charger that uses the supplied data cable to charge the phone, a one-piece wired headset, some manuals and a disk with software.

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The LG Mini comes in a modest retail package

There’s no complimentary microSD card so you’ll have to get one – the 330MB of internal memory won’t do for all the DivX videos you’ll probably want to put on the Mini.

LG GD880 Mini 360-degree view

The LG GD880 Mini measures 102 x 47.6 x 10.6 mm. That’s smaller than, say, the LG KP500 Cookie. At 99 grams it’s light, but not too light – there’s a pleasantly solid feel to it.

The Mini is the thinnest LG touch phone to date – not the thinnest on the market overall, but it’s at a point where any thinner would’ve ruined the industrial feel without making the handset noticeably more pocketable.

Design and construction

The LG GD880 Mini is button-phobic – it’s got only 4 physical keys in total and that’s if you count the volume rocker as two keys. The front is defined by the touchscreen – if a touchscreen can replace several buttons it can replace them all.

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The LG GD880 Mini will make cubists proud

The few hardware keys on the phone are necessary compromises – removing them would have hurt the usability. The lack of an actual center key takes some getting used to – force of habit will have you pushing on the LG logo for a while.

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 to automatically lock the screen during a call, as well as an ambient light sensor.

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The earpiece and sensors above the display

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 material used for the top of the LG GD880 Mini is slightly (but noticeably) different than the side finish. It’s not a big deal, but it looks like the phone has been repaired with a non-original part.

The sliding cover of the microSD slot is made from yet another material – we wish LG were more consistent with their choice of materials.

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 has the loudspeaker grill and the mic hole.

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Top: Power/Lock key, 3.5 mm audio jack and microUSB port • Bottom: loudspeaker and mic hole

The back of the LG GD880 Mini is clinically clean – only by design though, in everyday use it readily collects ample amounts of fingerprints. The soft rubbery plastic is nice to the touch and helps a comfortable grip.

There’s no flash to help with troublesome lightning and nothing to protect the camera lens from scratches.

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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 LG GD880 Mini has a palpable air of luxury – it can easily be a fashion accessory. So it will easily stand out among most of today’s phones that are caught in the numbers game – this one has more megapixels, that one has a faster CPU, etc.

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The LG BL40 New Chocolate dwarfs the GD880 Mini

The Mini’s look is posh and techy at the same time. In the end though, it’s what the user thinks they’re getting – a cool expensive gadget or a fashion accessory.

The GD880 Mini, true to its name, fits easily in the hand and in the pocket. It’s got that solid luxury feel – without being too flashy. We’ve no reason to question its long-term durability.

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LG GD880 Mini held in hand

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