Standing at 96.9 x 51.4 x 14.9 mm, LG KC550 is a relatively a compact slider, though a little too thick. The weight of 110 grams is understandable, as much of the phone body is made out of metal.
The slick and shiny front panel with metallic accents meets the rubbery mat surface on the back of the LG KC550. There's metal on the back too, as the stylish and practical active lens cover has a brushed metal finish). Still the LG KC550 is anything else but sleek, fashionable or hot as the LG KF750 Secret, for example.
It's surprising how this design copied word-by-word from the LG KF700 manages to look lower end on this handset. We guess, it must be the obtrusive plastic Call and End keys.
The earpiece of KC550 is discreetly etched near the upper edge of the front. The glossy black front is quite neat, with the LG logo under the 2.4" screen followed by an ample D-pad and rocker-styled controls.
The D-pad is quite comfortable with its joystick-styled confirm key. On either side of the D-pad are the two rocker combos: left soft key/call key and right soft key/end call key. The latter has a C knob integrated within. Those keys are rather plastic and add for the unassuming looks.
Even sliding the KC550 open reveals its lower price tag - it's not as smooth as in high-end sliders. Opening the slider, reveals the flatbed alphanumeric keypad. It has the signature LG styling that has been used rather frequently ever since the original LG Chocolate came out. The keys are large and have adequate press feedback, but offer little touch orientation.
There is nothing but the mouthpiece and the battery cover latch at the bottom. The top is also very plain, with the lanyard eyelet in the right corner.
On the left side of the handset we only find the LG universal connectivity port hidden under a nice sliding cover.
The crowded right side hosts the volume rocker, the two-step shutter key, and a microSD card slot with a rubbery protective cap.
We like the rubbery surface on the back and the active lens cover with brushed metal finish is both a handy tool and a nice accent. The 5 megapixel autofocus camera lens with Power LED flash and a self-portrait mirror is under it. The loudspeaker of KC550 is also at the rear. We only wish that the front of the device looked as good as the back.
You may remember how pleased we were with the battery cover release mechanism of KF750. Well, in KC550 it's based on the same idea but this time a little extra effort is required. Having pressed the latch, the battery cover needs to be pulled to get it removed.
Underneath is the 900 mAh Li-ion battery quoted at 450 hours of stand-by time and 6 hours of talk-time. Unfortunately, we can't comment on the real-life performance of the KC550.
Given the focus on affordability, LG KC550 is a nice surprise in terms of construction. We are quite pleased with the build quality and handling, although the handset looks are obviously not among its selling points.