Product LG Optimus One
Website LG UK
System Specifications 600MHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 170MB internal storage, 3.2-inch HVGA 320x480 display, 3MP camera, microSD 32GB supported, 1,500mAh battery, Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, micro USB, FM radio, GPS, Android 2.2 Froyo OS, 129g
Price From £250 for unlocked or £20 a month for 24-month Three contract
BEYOND ITS USE of the Android 2.2 operating system, a big plus for Google fans, the LG Optimus One feels average. It has a very standard look with its matte black finish with a silver trim with green flashes on the bottom of the handset. It also has the increasingly common four buttons for home, back, search and settings, a microUSB port, 3.5mm earjack and volume buttons.
The handset boots up quickly in less than 30 seconds, and it is fluid when swiping between homepages or scrolling through the apps on the apps menu. The responsiveness of the screen was an issue as sometimes it took two or three presses of the screen to select apps.
With Android now so familiar, the many homepages that can be swiped back and forth feel comfortably familiar. For those who can't have enough homepages there is a default setting of five but the user can have any number of them up to seven.
With Android 2.2 the Optimus One gets all the latest Google mobile services like Flash support, and these have been enhanced this time around with the addition of voice control. Voice commands can be used for searching the Internet and navigation. Voice search was fine when it understood what was being said and this issue arose with all the voice related apps.
Navigation was further complicated by the fact that it would not always be able to locate itself when in the urban canyon or indoors. However the big disappointment was surfing the Internet.
Compared with 1GHz handsets the Optimus One seemed sluggish in downloading web pages, and scrolling and zoom pinching could be problematic at times. The screen did not always recognise what was being done and the zoom would move in an unintended action. The conclusion to be drawn from this is that effective Internet reading and surfing should be done with a larger display and a more powerful processor.
With a not so impressive browsing experience the question arose, could a limited 600MHz chip do augmented reality justice? You would imagine that GPS linked graphics overlaid on a video feed would require a lot of number crunching. But it doesn't.
Anyway at first the augmented reality feature seemed quite fun but after a while you realise that rather than being truly informative what you find with the augmentation tends to be a collection of other people's holiday snaps.
Connecting the phone to the computer was simple enough with the LG provided drivers turning the handset into a USB drive. Pictures, video and audio can be quickly loaded into the handset's media folder. Disconnected from the computer the MP3 audio file played, the pictures could be scrolled through but for some reason Android doesn't support avi video files. It only supports Xvid, WMV and DivX.
What was more surprising was the size of the battery, 1,500mAh, and the average battery life that is actually experienced using the handset. With a mixture of radio, web browsing, email and phone use the handset needed to be charged at the end of every day otherwise the battery would be very low at some point on the following day.
The LG Optimus One, like a McDonalds meal, gives Android fans what they want and some new shiny toys, but ultimately this is a budget phone whose technical specifications fail to impress. µ
The UI is as good for Froyo as it was with the previous version of Android.
The handset proves that a 3.2-inch display for web browsing just feels inadequate with a problematic pinch to zoom.
The 600MHz chip is just not adequate for mobile Internet.