LG Optimus One Android smartphone

LG Optimus One review: A responsive touchscreen and the latest version of the Android OS make the LG Optimus One great value for money

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  • User Reviews (7)
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LG Optimus One
  • LG Optimus One
  • LG Optimus One
  • LG Optimus One
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    2.50 / 5 (of 7 Reviews)

Pros

  • Low price
  • Good screen and design
  • Latest version of Android

Cons

  • Thin volume keys
  • No Flash support
  • Mediocre camera

Bottom Line

The LG Optimus One may well be the best budget Android smartphone on the Australian market. A responsive capacitive touchscreen and the latest version of the Android OS combined with decent physical hardware make it great value for money.

Would you buy this?

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LG's Optimus One is a great example of an affordable yet highly functional Android smartphone. A successor to the original LG Optimus, the Optimus One includes a 3.2in capacitive touchscreen and runs the latest version of Google's Android platform. It is excellent value for money and doesn't skimp on features.

Read our original LG Optimus review.

Check out our guide to the Best budget Android smartphones.

The LG Optimus One is not going to win any design awards. It uses a basic plastic chassis with silver edges and a soft, rubber-style back that makes it comfortable to hold. We like the curved, sloped edges on the top and sides, as well as the use of physical buttons below the display (menu, home, back and search); the keys click reassuringly when pressed and provide decent tactility. Many competing Android smartphones use touch-sensitive keys, which are often unresponsive or easy to accidentally press, so the Optimus One is a step ahead in this regard.

The LG Optimus One feels reasonably well put together; while it doesn't have fancy metal casing, the plastic body feels well constructed and doesn't creak or rattle. A minor complaint lies with the volume controls, which are a little thin for our liking, although they are well positioned. The power/screen lock key requires a forceful press.

Low-end Android smartphones often compromise on display quality to keep costs down, but LG has managed to equip the Optimus One with a noteworthy 3.2in capacitive screen. While it may lack the vibrancy of displays on more expensive handsets like the HTC Desire and the Samsung Galaxy S, the Optimus One's screen is perfect for a device at this price point. It has a respectable 320x480 resolution, making it better than direct competitors like the HTC Wildfire and the Huawei IDEOS. The screen is responsive to finger presses and has reasonable viewing angles, but it is hard to see in direct sunlight.

The LG Optimus One is one of the first smartphones to ship with the latest version of Google's Android operating system, 2.2 or "Froyo". In addition to all the regular features and functions of an Android phone, including access to the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services, Froyo offers built-in wireless tethering, the ability to store third-party apps on your microSD card, and general performance improvements. One benefit of Froyo that doesn't apply to the LG Optimus One is Flash support for Web browsing; the phone's modest specifications mean that it doesn't have enough processing power to offer full Flash support.

LG has skinned the standard Android interface with a UI overlay called LG Home. It offers customisable quick access icons at the bottom of each home screen (set by default to phone, contacts, menu, messaging and Web), and a main menu than cleanly separates Android default, carrier default and downloaded applications. We love the quick toggles in the notifications drop-down for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3G and silent mode; a tap of each box allows you to quickly turn these settings on or off.

The on-screen keyboard supports Swype text entry. Swype allows you to slide your fingers over the letters you want to type in a single motion, letting the software work out the word you're trying to write. Though it sounds awkward, Swype is very easy to pick up and surprisingly accurate. As with most on-screen keyboards, the software will learn as you type and add words you use regularly to its database.

The LG Optimus One has a 3-megapixel camera that takes average pictures and lacks a flash for night-time photography. We had trouble keeping the handset steady when shooting photos and video, with even slight movement resulting in blurry photos. Web browsing is more than adequate and is aided by the multitouch-capable display; you can pinch the screen to zoom in and out of web pages. The browser also features text reflow, so text will automatically be reformatted to fit the screen when you zoom in and out. Overall performance is adequate but not outstanding; the LG Optimus One can often be a little sluggish when loading graphically intense Web sites, though we didn't experience too much lag when running multiple applications simultaneously.

The LG Optimus One also features a built-in accelerometer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a digital compass and a GPS receiver. Only 170MB of internal memory is on board, but a microSD card slot for extra storage is included and the phone comes with a 2GB microSD card in the box. Battery life is about what we would expect from an Android phone: the Optimus One should last a full day, but it will need an injection of power every night.

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Carlos

1

I have had the Optimus One for a month.Nice phone but some problems need to be resolved.(1)Occasionally with incoming calls an excuse message screen appears on the screen before you can take the call so in fact you loose the call as it goes to voicemail. There are no switches to cancel option in the menu hence you are stuck with that function. Sometimes when you end a call the call can't be ended and if you go to the notification bar to try to cancel it from that mode a blank screen appears and then oops reboot required. Ask support and they can't help. It's not a one off problem with my phone because my wife has the same problem. Tried to get it fixed whilst on warranty and was told to try the return key function. That did not work. Then after one month I thought redemption had come when the LG suite on my computer blinked telling me there was finally a phone upgrade. I tried to do the upgrade and it reached 5% of the install when it bricked my phone. I rang customer support they had no knowledge of this new upgrade till they looked at their own site to confirm this. They ran a test whilst I waited on line and then asked me to mail it out for repairs. This is a good phone but software is a bit buggy hope they can resolve this cause I'm on a two year plan.

Deevo

2

I've also had the Optimus One for just over a month and I've had no problems at all. Sounds like Carlos and missus got corrupt software so a reload should take care of that. Let us know how it went please Carlos - I'd be very interested to hear about LG's customer service.
I really like this phone. It's very quick and responsive, has great sound, has smart, useful software and has a look of understated elegance.
It's not plasticky at all - just under the rear plastic cover/skin (which has a really nice texture) it has a solid, shiny metal chassis. Very nice.
Did the reviewer actually open up the phone? It's a bit of a work of art under there...
And another really nice thing is that the Android 2.3 update is coming. Apparently there's enough Optimus owners in the world now to really be able to exert a bit of influence on the manufacturer, so joining that showboat can't be a bad thing.
I see I've used the word "nice" a lot above, but that sums up the Optimus One - Nice!

mike

3

hi could some one help me and explain to me on how to log out of face book on the lg optimus on
cheers mike

Billy

4

Ive just been upgraded to the Optimus One and so far i like the comments ive seen about it, but for me as long as it receives and makes calls Im pretty happy with any phone.Will post another comment when I receive it. Mind you they dont really post negative comments now do they,lols.

Siska

5

Just got my optimus one today. I had problem with detecting wifi. for some unknown reasons, my LG optimus one can't detect my wifi but can detect neighbour's wifi. Not sure if it's faulty phone??? cos my nokia, my laptop, my husband's iphone4, my sister's iphone 3GS can detect the wifi at my home. So it can't be my wifi's problem. it has to be my LG's problem. So i'm just wondering if anyone else have the same problem as me

NicT

6

Love my Optimus one but have recently noticed when typing there is often a delay before the letters register on the screen. This becomes extremely frustrating. Not sure how to fix, otherwise its great.

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Lara

2.0

1

Pros
cheap
Cons
no flash
• • •

i had this phone for just over 6 month, it was going pretty well for the first month but after a while the screen would go blank, it was still on because the keys lit up. i would have to take the back off it and take the battery out put it back in put the cover on and then turn it on again and wait for it to load. in the begining it would only have once ever 1 or 2 months but then it started happening at least once a day. sometimes my contacts names took a long time to show in my messages. also when typing the letters take a while to register so i would think that it didnt work but then everything would happen at once

EmmJo

3.5

2

Pros
Most things about phone
Cons
Maps App
• • •

Have had this phone since Feb 2012 on Virgin Big Plan $19BYO. Love the phone, but only problem is that Maps seems to be using about 52% of battery, even though data, wifi and bluetooth are disabled. I used maps when I first got the phone then disabled it. Called LG, complained to shop where I bought it, researched on internet - LG suggested factory reset. Has anyone else had this problem and how did you fix it? Battery lasts 1 week on standby and 2-3 days if used for regular calls, so maybe not a big problem. Is there any way of easily fixing this?

Kat

2.5

3

Pros
Good interface
Cons
Can't detect WIFI at home
• • •

Can't detect our WIFI at home.

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