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LG Optimus One review

 Review: February 2011  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The LG Optimus One is a budget smartphone running Android 2.2 (Froyo).



It may sound like a character from a bad science fiction movie, but the Optimus One is actually an entry-level Android phone from LG. The Optimus One is powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and is a budget smartphone, competing with the likes of the HTC Wildfire and the Samsung Galaxy Apollo.

The Optimus One isn't a large phone, but it's a great size for single-handed use. It feels quite solid, being heavier than most phones of this size. It's rather plasticky and anonymous in style, but then so are most mobiles these days. A narrow metallic strip around the edge gives it a little more class than we were expecting. We're also pleased to see four real, physical buttons beneath the screen. These are easy to press, and light up when in use. First impressions, then, are good.

The screen is the next thing to catch our eye. It's the same size as the HTC Wildfire at 3.2 inches across, but with a slightly higher resolution, which is very welcome. The colour resolution is rather low - just 256k colours - but the screen is bright and is quite acceptable for most uses. It's capacitive too, making it responsive to the touch, although once again perhaps not as smooth as in the high-end phones. But so far, so good.

The user interface is Android 2.2 with some customisation by LG. There are some customisable shortcuts at the bottom of the home screen and LG have provided their own keyboards - a QWERTY and an alphanumeric, both with word prediction. There are one or two other minor customisations, but it isn't as extensive as what HTC or Samsung have done to their Android phones. Still, Android does the job even if it lacks the sparkle of the iPhone interface. The processor runs at a respectable 600MHz, so it's reasonably quick at responding to user input. It isn't up there with the super-smooth responsiveness of the HTC Desire of course, but this is a much cheaper phone.

Like other Android phones, the Optimus One gives you plenty of toys to play with. The web browser is a highlight, being fast and well designed for the mobile internet. Multi-touch zooming is possible. The Optimus One has a fast HSDPA connection, giving download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps when possible, and using GPRS or EDGE when on a 2G network. The 3.2 inch screen is just large enough to use the web comfortably, although as with the Wildfire, sometimes we're left wishing for a higher resolution display and a faster processor. One thing missing is Adobe Flash video support.

Music support is adequate. The music player isn't highly functional, being the basic Android 2.2 player, but it does the job and there's an FM radio too. Sound quality is average, and you also get the option to plug in your own headphones via the 3.5mm audio jack.

The camera is very basic, with a resolution of just 3 megapixels and no flash or focussing. You really won't be able to use it for more than quick and dirty snaps - it's certainly not capable of taking print-quality images. It records video at VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels) and these tend to play in a rather jittery way, thanks to the slower processor and lower screen resolution.

One of the attractions of an Android phone is the apps. Out of the box the Optimus One comes with Facebook and Twitter, and these integrate well with contacts and messaging. You can download more apps from the Android Market, although with the built-in memory of just 170MB, there isn't an awful lot of space here, either for apps or content. The phone does have a microSD card slot, however, and you can use this to add up to 32GB of storage.

A highlight of Android phones is Google maps. This works with the GPS and assisted GPS tracking to show you where you are and what's around you. Turn-by-turn navigation is possible too. You can even use the voice recognition tool for speaking to your phone whilst driving. Or if you're just plain lazy.

Battery life is excellent for a smartphone. There's a whopping 1500 mAh battery under the hood, and this in combination with the smallish screen and weaker processor gives more than enough power. Connectivity is excellent too, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB all present and correct.

To conclude, the Optimus One is a nice phone. It's not a remarkable phone, but it does the job. Priced to go head to head with the HTC Wildfire, it competes well. Like the Wildfire, there are compromises with the display size and resolution, with the processor speed and with the available memory. The Optimus One compromises seriously when it comes to the camera, but it's slightly cheaper too. We think that the Wildfire just has the edge, but both are great phones and it's good to see as many manufacturers as possible embracing Android.

LG Optimus One features include:

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LG Optimus One user reviews

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Average rating from 11 reviews:

Reviewed by Vipul from India on 16th Jan 2012
Lukin guud ,bt nt dashin,smart , . . it wdnt be optmius .

Reviewed by jen from canada on 8th Nov 2011
i hate the camera and ihate the calender, no organizer. so im returning it and getting the samsung ace.

Reviewed by sumit from india on 27th Oct 2011
faltu.......3rd class go fo wildfire s... best option

Reviewed by Pandhari from India on 18th Sep 2011
Things do not like about phone... 1.Battery is not good ...drain so fastly 2.No 3G ....for video call that is future after one year. 3.No flash support as it is arm6 processor. 4. Things i like about phone...... 1.Good UI... 2.Cheaper. But the bigest problem is all 2,3 disadvantage is future of next .....u will be lag compare to others......so its ur call

Reviewed by Lauren from London on 4th Sep 2011
This phone was a 12th birthday present from my Nana but was not much good so I chucked it in the garden and forgot about it and Dad got me a N8

Reply by Michael from U.K. on 4th Mar 2012
You are a spoilt little brat then !

Reviewed by ta from nepal on 23rd May 2011
cool phone i am enjoin it..yup the batteryz sucks sumtym but guyz d functions n videoz cameraz r fabulous..i dont want to lose it...lg optimus has good n slim look especially frm backcovers it look dam cool..wifi n internet i had not complaints..and yup keep on killing apps n better reduce the backlight when batteryz low it will try to save its battery in maximum way..android phone has really mad mobiles addicter to teenagers n wen i got this i didnot wanted to use laptops n computers for internet why to surf net on those things which is best in my lg optimus...so lg has done good work...u had better buy it if u wan a cool looking mobs..

Reviewed by pzoi from Vietnam on 16th Apr 2011
Photo taken by camera is cool enough for me (7/10). Video recording is 5/10. Screen quality is cool 9/10, but the touch screen gets laggy sometimes. Would like to update to android 2.2.2 but others say the lag and multi-touch bug still there... GPS cant be used by its own(?!), has to be accompanied with GPRS or wifi. Dont play games and it would last 3 days, or 1 hours with Angry birds -> recharge asap. Android smartphones are dumb, cause i kill the apps and it keep showing again and again, just so they can drain my battery. Overall, if u wanna buy a new experience and explore things, give it a try.

Reviewed by Dave from UK on 15th Mar 2011
I've had an optimus for a while now (4 months) and have to say that I grow more weary of it every day. I am not a heavy user, making 2-3 short calls per day and sending and receiving an average of 10 sms. I use the 3g for about 20minutes and the wifi for about 10 minutes per day. Even with taking every precaution (turning off all unnecessary options such as wifi, gps, bluetooth and killing apps regularly) I can't get more than a day out of a charge. I find the touchscreen on this particular device is very fiddly and needs calibrating once, to twice a week. It has very limited phone memory, due to the many pointless factory apps and being android, not all apps can be moved to sd memory. This equates to the following, download a large app such as angry birds for instance and a medium app such as the facebook app and there is very little room for anything else. This lack of memory results in irritatingly frequent crashes and renders even the most simple functions (such as the phonebook) inoperable. That said, having google maps included is fantastic and it works adequately on the good sized screen. The factory web browser is slow, but opera is a free app and runs a lot faster. It's a nice looking unit, the camera is simple to operate and much better than I would've expected from this level of phone. The wifi is very simple to set up, but if you want to use any other e-mail service than g-mail this can be very tricky. Overall I would say this is a good phone for someone looking for that first step into android, especially for low usage, but anyone requiring reliability, or battery life would perhaps be better off looking elsewhere. Personally I would be dreading finishing a 4 month contract with this model, if it weren't for the fact I choose one of the more expensive networks, who will change a handset 4 months in if you make enough of a fuss ;)

Reviewed by Jay from England on 5th Mar 2011
Best phone I've ever had. Internet is superfast either by 3G or Wi-Fi. No complaints at all after 2 days of use. Battery won't last long the first few days because you're using it constantly and have a number of settings still on, but I think 2 days of general use will be fine between charging. I used it constantly for 12 hours and then needed to charge it.

Reviewed by Martin from Britain on 11th Feb 2011
The Optimus is a prime cell phone, it will transform the way you use cell phones for good.

Reviewed by Jason from London on 7th Feb 2011
I tried this phone in recently, it's very good and nice in the hand as you've said. How ever it wouldn't be a buy for me. If someone just gave it to me, I wouldn't mind. Doesn't compete with the Wildfire or it's older brother the Optimus Seven (WP7) please do a review for the Optimus 7!

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