Android devices are becoming really affordable these days and the choices are getting harder to make all the time. But a low price tag doesn’t mean you’ll always get the best functionality for your buck. So naturally when the LG P500 aka Optimus One came in looking all slick and stylish, I put it through the test as I for one, never judge a book by its cover. Here’s a closer look.
The Optimus One really is a sleek looking handset. It’s light weight (129g) and comes neatly packaged inside a shell with a rubberized coating that makes it easy to grip and very comfortable to hold. The 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen proved very responsive and easy on the eyes with its 320 x 480 pixel resolution showing off 256 in colors. The light sensor didn’t seem to be to sensitive to changing light conditions as it took a little too long to switch on the light if I moved the handset away from my head.
Sleek and comfy
LG’s button placement is spot on and makes for very easy handling and control. Slim volume/zoom keys are located on the right side and blend perfectly into the chrome border around the device. It lacks a camera shutter release but you’ll get over it. The micro USB port for charging PC connectivity is placed at the bottom while the 3.5mm handsfree socket is at the top near the power/screen lock button. A Micro SD (supports 32GB) hot swap slot is located just under the rear panel and not hard to get it if you need to.
Features and Performance
The Optimus is one of the few Android handsets that’s shipping in the country with Froyo out-of-the-box. Running on a 600MHz processor there’s virtually no lag during any kind of operation. Screen scrolling, display rotation, accessing the media library, screen animations et al are fluid. The virtual keypad is comfortable to use and if you prefer, you can switch from QWERTY to standard mobile phone alphanumeric. LG also has its own QWERTY style which is a little less user friendly as compared to Android’s native version. Again, if it doesn’t work for you simply switch.
Froyo is the way to go
On its own Froyo, as an update to an already user friendly UI, brings quite a bit to the table like better management of speed, moving apps to your SD card to save space on the handset and more. However LG has added a few very handy options of their own. Like with the Optimus GT540, you can create sections in the main menu to segregate apps according to preference. LG has also thrown in their own Task Killer app as well that helps relieve the battery of un-due stress. OI File manager is also preloaded so you can access your file system whenever required. The system also offers a quick access option to a polite SMS excuse if you can’t take a call.
LG usually shows tremendous prowess in the media department, but for some reason the Optimus One doesn’t quite match up to what I’m used to from the company. While the overall audio and tone quality are nothing to complain about I was disappointed that LG didn’t include any audio enhancements with the device. No EQ presets, Dolby mobile or any such option were found here. Of course being an Android device you have plenty of player choices from the Android market. The video player was also a bust. While it plays quite a few formats with .AVI extensions, it does support high resolution videos so even if you don’t have to convert files to another format, you’ll still have to reduce the resolution.
A few more media tweaks would have been nice
A few extras that LG has thrown in today include an FM radio that works out just fine, Aldiko’s Book Reader, PhotoFunia (that took usually long to make any changes to any pictures I selected), Voice Search and Google’s Speech to text feature that works like a charm.