One of the mid-budget phones in the Optimus series, the Optimus Hub fits in comfortably between the Optimus Net and the Optimus Sol, in terms of pricing. And guess what, it’s grabbing a lot of attention, too. You ask why? For starters, it’s got the perfect price tag, suiting most of us looking for a phone, which is neither too cheap, nor too expensive; and next, its other siblings haven’t really made too much of an impact. Does the Optimus Hub (E510) do enough to modify our top smartphones under 15K list? Read on to find out.
Design and Build Quality
The Optimus Hub comes in a glossy black outfit with a grey strip running along the sides. This candybar phone has a nice look and feel to it, despite all the plastics that have been used for its construction. The Optimus Hub has a nice 3.5-inch scratch resistant screen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels and three capacitive buttons at the bottom. Above the screen, we’ve got a proximity sensor, but an ambient light sensor has been omitted. There’s quite a bit of bezel under the screen, but thankfully, it wasn’t as much as we saw on the Sol.
Front and back
The lock button and the 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the top, while the charging port is located at the bottom. Moving on, the volume rocker is located at the sides, while the 5 megapixel shooter is located at the back along with an LED flash. Sadly, LG found it best to leave out the flash. The memory card is located under the back cover, so it’s hot swappable.
The Hub doesn’t disappoint in the looks department, but a slightly better build would have been more than welcome.
Features and Performance
The Optimus Hub runs on an 800 MHz ARM v6 processor with LG’s Optimus 2.0 user interface running atop Gingerbread 2.3.4. There’s 150 MB of internal memory and 512 MB of RAM on board as well. We’re not too sure about its plans for ICS, but considering LG's recent history about upgrades, we’re not pinning too much hopes on the Hub. Not much has changed in Optimus 2.0, in terms of looks, but it definitely looks quicker and more fluid. However, we had a problem with the Optimus Net UI – it didn’t look too polished, with poor colour schemes and we’ll have to sadly say that for the Optimus Hub as well. Multitasking has been handled pretty well, but there’s always this erratic time when your phone just slows down and you’ll have to be patient with it to be up and running. We’ve seen that on a lot of Androids now, so there’s nothing new, out there.
The phone gets an AnTuTu score of 1,435 points, which is a full 400 points, lower than the score the Mi-350n got. In our Linpack test, the E510 got a single thread score of 9.343 points and a multi thread score of 8.074 points, which again is in the same range as the Spice Mi-350n. The benchmarks clearly expose the processor’s frailties.
The interface is pretty plain with no major shift from what a stock Android looks like. There are no added equalizer presets, either, so what-you-hear-is-what-you-get. The E510 comes with in-ear headphones and the music quality is fairly nice. It’s not as good as the Walkman experience, though. Audio format support is limited to MP3, WAV, AAC and WMA, but you’ve got a ton of third party apps to sort that out.
The screen, though not as bright as the ultra AMOLED on the Sol, is pretty comfortable and bright enough for watching videos. You’ll have to look to other apps in the Android market, if you want playback support for files besides MP4 and H.264, though. HD videos didn’t playback via the stock player and stuttered greatly via third party apps, so it’s best you stick to standard definition. A so-so performance in the media section for the Hub.
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