Thin is in

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 August, 2006, 12:00am

The main focus for new handsets used to be making them smaller and smaller.

Then features became the top criteria, with cameras, MP3 players, and big, high-resolution displays becoming the main attraction.

Now the trend is for the handsets to be as thin and light as possible.

A scan through your neighbourhood shop reveals a flurry of wafer-thin handsets.

Starting with Motorola's RAZR series, and then from emerging makers such as VK, thin

is in.

The two latest handsets to hit the market in this category come from LG and Toshiba.

LG has remade its Chocolate model into a 'bar', while Toshiba has made its presence with the TS30. Both handsets are a mere 9.9mm thin.

But just because the two models have been put on a diet doesn't mean they don't have any muscles.

Both come with

1.3 megapixel cameras, large 256,000-colour displays, and most of the essentials for a modern day mobile phone, including on-board music players.

Perhaps the only compromise for these two lightweights is that they just support standard GSM networks and not high-speed 3G.

There are additional, although subtle, differences. The LG model comes with Bluetooth while the Toshiba only comes with Infrared.

The Toshiba also incorporates an external memory card slot, which is useful for storing music and photos, while the LG model doesn't. This is a big minus for the LG model.

Both models are mid-range, with the LG priced at HK$2,280 and the Toshiba at HK$1,680.

PROS: super thin, sleek styling and affordable

CONS: no 3G, LG model lacks external memory