One might think that all smartphone manufacturers have long been placing the Android OS in their handsets. Not so with LG, but the company has taken its time and produced a phone that is versatile and practical at the same time. It is the LG GT540, also known as the Optimus for marketing purposes. It takes the place of the GW620, and since it is the next logical step, development costs have been kept low, savings that are passed on to the customer.
The LG Optimus now features a QWERTY keyboard, a feature that people who don’t like T9 and word functions will be happy with. This causes a need for slightly larger construction, but the Optimus is still modestly sized at 109 x 54.5 x 12.7mm and fits in any small pocket users desire. The handset is fashioned from lightweight plastic that is sturdy in structure and features smooth, sleek curves cut from the shell that gives the phone a sleek appearance.
A 3-inch touch screen covers the front of the handset. A resistive touch screen instead of capacitive, it is still incredibly accurate and produces far fewer mistakes than those who are apprehensive would believe. The screen carries HVGA resolution with a TFT display, rendering images that are quite sharp for a phone in the middle price range. Resolution found on the Optimus is rated at 320 x 480 pixels and 256K colors are displayed.
The LG Optimus provides customers with two types of home screens. Those familiar with the Android OS will recognize one, while the other is customized by LG. The one created by LG allows customizable buttons found at the bottom of the screen that grant access to shortcuts, widgets, and folders. Messaging is instantly accessible from this screen as well. Three to seven home screens are available and the theme can be completely changed.
One drawback of previous LG smartphones has been meager battery life. LG has fixed this problem with the Optimus. The handset is equipped with a 1500mAh lithium-ion battery that provides 7 hours and 20 minutes of talk time and 500 hours of standby time. Most other smartphones can only dream of that level of performance.
Several nice enhancements await users of the LG Optimus. Some of these include an alarm clock as well as a world clock. For those who can’t be bothered to bust out the pen and paper, a voice recorder and organizer are available. The Optimus also remembers entertainment hounds and includes a dedicated Youtube plug-in. A PDF viewer is found among tons of other applications.
Although it is LG’s first attempt at using Android technology, they have created a user-friendly experience with the Optimus. Users already familiar with Android smartphones will not be insulted and new users will not cry out of frustration. The Optimus offers a good balance of complexity and simplicity.
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