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Review: LG Fusic

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Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging  

Overall, the Fusic's menus are well organized and easy to use, but that pleasant experience does not begin on the home screen. The Fusic is the second phone to allow customization of the home screen and main menu with downloadable themes. The included themes are not exactly attractive, and most the downloadable ones are even worse.

Any dark colored theme or wallpaper, which means most them, makes the soft key labels difficult to read. This is because the labels are thin black letters with a white outline of equal thickness. The thin white outline is not enough to make the black letters stand out. But with a white or light colored background the white outline blends in and everything looks fine. You cannot change the color of the labels or outline. Fortunately menus and labels are very easy to read on every other screen.

The soft keys and D-pad all serve as shortcuts to applications. The D-pad shortcuts can be customized, but the option is hidden deep in the settings menus. The left soft key opens up a "favorites" menu that can be populated with tasks like starting a new message or opening a bookmark in the browser. Unfortunately the shortcuts that can be added are rather limited, making a shortcut to turning on Bluetooth no faster than navigating there using the menus itself (and that requires 6 key presses!). The right soft key serves as a shortcut to the contact list. These are the only two shortcuts that are labeled. Each direction on the D-pad also acts as a shortcut, none of which can be changed or labeled.

Although the themes also affect the look of the main menu, it is always clearly laid out and simple to use, whether you choose to use the icon layout or the list view. As usual, the list view requires scrolling to see the entire list of selections, while the icon view displays all 12 on the screen at once.

Once inside an application, the menus are clear and easy to use. Where possible, LG displays the menu options for an application on screen instead of requiring you to press a softkey. When soft key labels are required, the left always performs the default option and the right summons the options menu. In all cases each choice in any menu is labeled with a numeric shortcut. Once you have repeated the same task a few times, you can use these numbers to fly through the menus and quickly complete any task.


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