LG Optimus One Review

We first saw the Optimus back in February at Mobile World Congress when it was called the GT540. We’ve also seen some rather excellent LG Optimus One hands-on videos, like this detailed LG Optimus Review.

The LG Optimus One is an Android phone running 2.2 (FroYo) and is available on most networks here in the UK now.  This loan device was kindly loaned to us from the team at Three and included the free navigation pack which is great for when you want to use the navigation service.

Unfortunately there was a slight delay on receiving the device due to a delivery issue and this meant that the drive from Torquay to Nottingham which was going to be done using the Optimus One as the only sat nav was not able to be done, however we did still get some hands on time with the device to do a review for the site.

The Optimus One has an impressive set of specifications which include

  • Android 2.2 OS (upgradable to 2.3)
  • 3 Megapixel Camera
  • HSDPA 7.2mb/s
  • Navigation Pack Included
  • Bluetooth, WiFi & GPS

The Optimus One is a very reasonable priced handset and is available on The One Plan from Three for just £25 a month which includes 2,000 Minutes, 5,000 Texts, All You Can Eat Data and 5,000 Three to Three Minutes.  The data allowance means you can use this device for data as much as you like including navigation with no worry about additional costs.

The front of the Optimus One has a 3.2 inch screen (320 x 480 pixels) and has the four main hardware keys on most Android phones which are for Menu, Home, Back and Search.

The back of the phone has the 3.0 megapixel camera plus logos from Google and Three.  A reasonable camera for a phone this price but a shame there is no flash, not even a single LED flash which is disappointing when a lot of phones these days have a flash to help take pictures in poor lighting conditions.

You can record video on this phone but only at VGA quality and 18 frames per second (30 frames per second is best and seen on phones like the Nokia N8).  Although you can record video the only real use with this quality would be on the phone itself, not for uploading and sharing via YouTube although it is possible.

The bottom of the phone has the speaker port and the Micro USB post which is used for charging and for connecting to a computer via the supplied cable in the box for transferring data or for using as a USB modem.  The modem part is handy but as this phone runs FroYo it has WiFi Tethering so you do not need the cable to be able to use this phone as a modem.

At the top you have a 3.5mm headset jack which is a great addition as it fits most standard headsets including high end ones from iPod’s and iPhone’s and being at the top the cable will not get in the way when putting the phone in your pocket.  There is the on/off button which also puts the phone into standby mode if you quickly tap it.  In the middle there is also a small slot which is used to remove the back cover so you can access the memory card, SIM card or battery.

The left hand side is plain, apart from the silver strip which goes all around the phone.  This does nothing and is just to add to the design of the phone.

The right hand side continues the silver design on which was on the left hand side but also has the volume up and down keys which can be used in the main menu for controlling the system volume like ringtones and profiles and is also used when in phone calls to control the volume.

As mentioned at the start of the review, the LG Optimus One comes with a special in car cradle and charger (SCS-320) and is to be used when driving and the free Google Navigation software.

The Optimus One slides into the supplied cradle and the suction goes on the windscreen and can be adjusted in the car so you get the right height needed when driving.  You also get a USB car charger so you do not run out of power half way through your journey.

There are a wide range of connectivity options built into this phone including HSDPA at 7.2mb/s (no HSUPA though), WiFi 802.11b/g, GPS for use on navigation applications like Maps and Foursquare and Bluetooth 2.0 for file transfer and connecting to bluetooth headsets.

The LG Optimus One does have a lot going for it, It will be upgraded soon to Gingerbread (Android 2.3), it is thin, light and very portable and available on some great network plans.

It is lacking in some areas but these would not be an option at the price LG are putting this out at.

It would have been great to have been able to test out not only the large 3G network Three have to offer but also trying this out with the integrated Google Navigation on a long 5 hour journey to see how it handled the task.  However this was not able to be done but it was nice to get hold of this new device to see what LG have managed to do.

The 1500mah battery managed to get me through a day easily and this was with 3G on the whole time as Three do not allow you to lock the phone to 2G mode.

Overall a good specification phone, the build quality is a bit too plastic for my liking but defiantly worth a look at especially if you use Google Navigation a lot and need a good satellite navigation system.

Link: Three Blog