Sunday, December 12, 2010

LG's Android breakthrough

LG made its entry into the Android market with its first smartphone, the LG GW620. While the phone wasn't a bad first attempt, it failed to make its mark in the smartphone market. LG then introduced the Optimus, an entry-level smartphone which took some flak for its resistive touch screen. The company recently launched the P500 (Optimus One) in India, a handset which reportedly sold one million units in its first 40 days in the market. We got up close with the phone to see if this was really LG's redeeming Android attempt.
First impressions
At first glance, the P500 is a very unconventional looking smartphone. Encased in a slim rubberised panel, the phone certainly feels sturdier than most smartphones, but doesn't really give you that sleek, corporate feel. The screen is a decent sized one, at 3.2-inches. There are four buttons below the screen, and instead of the usual touch sensitive ones that we're seeing on most phones now, these ones are physical. While these buttons (for Menu, Home, Return and Search) don't really impress with their looks, it was nice to physically click them. The two buttons in the centre are placed on a brushed aluminium surface, which reminds you of the phone's predecessor, the Optimus.The 3.5mm headphone jack and power button are located at the top, and the mini-USB-cum-charging port is at the bottom. The sides are bare except for a volume rocker switch. There is a 3-meg camera located at the back, but the phone lacks an LED flash. We also missed having a physical camera button.
Unlike in the Optimus, the P500 doesn't have a blinking indicator light, to alert us for new notifications.
User interface
The P500 runs Android v2.2 or Froyo. Although v2.3 or Gingerbread has already made an appearance in the market, Froyo isn't outdated yet and worked well on this handset.You can choose to have either five or seven home screens, which are customisable.LG has added a curved dock at the bottom of the screen which houses buttons for the dialpad, contacts, messaging and browser. You can't customise the dock though. You can choose to add a number of widgets on your home screens, including a handy little messaging widget which displays your most recent texts. However you may want to skip this one if you're a stickler for privacy.You can also add folders to your menu screen, and you can drag and drop applications into that. This feature is especially useful if you have a lot of apps.Unlike the previous Optimus, the P500 has a capacitive touch screen, which was quite responsive. The only time we had problems was during scrolling, when we would inadvertently activate icons.
You have a choice of Android or LG keyboards. The LG keyboard was actually a pleasure to type on, and even offered predictive text. In portrait mode, you can choose to have either an alphanumeric or QWERTY keyboard, which gets a thumbs up from us. We are big fans of handset customisation!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...