LG launched Optimus One Android 2.2 smartphone in Australia for $349 RRP outright through Optus stores with a great value for money GPS Kit bundle including NDrive GPS application using Navteq maps, windshield mount and a car charger cable (extra value worth around $99). You can get it from Optus online for $309 or Virgin Mobile plans $24 and up.
I tested a loan revew unit from LG for a few weeks and found that while the LG Optimus One phone hardware (600mhz CPU, 3MP camera, 3.2″ 320×480 screen) isn’t as advanced as the industry leader HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S Android phones, LG makes up for this by shipping with the latest version of Android 2.2, costing less than half the price of those phones and including the GPS car kit.
Apart from the camera which is a disappointing 3Mp with no flash the LG Optimus One is just as good as the original wave of android phones released by HTC a year ago and a half ago but with the key benefits of running the latest 2.2 version of Android (which includes wifi hotspot capability), bundled free Swype software keyboard and at just over $300 costing less than half what the HTC Dream and HTC Magic cost when they were released..
LG traditionally sells *a lot* of cheap basic mobile phones and isn’t known for innovative smartphones. The launch of the LG Optimus One shows that they’re serious about bringing the cost of smartphones with mid-range hardware down to a level at which they’re affordable for prepaid mobile users to buy outright or get on a cheap monthly plan.
Compared to the HTC Wildfire which sells for a similar price the LG Optimus One has a better bundle and bigger screen resolution (can display twice as much information) so it’s the clear choice at the moment for Australians who want to buy a value for money Android smartphone.
EDIT: Avoid the original LG Optimus model phone because it had really cheap hardware with a poor quality Resistive touchscreen. Make sure the phone you buy is clearly the “Optimus One” model.
EDIT 2: When LG was questioned about the possibility of an LG Android tablet at the press conference I attended they strongly hinted that they wouldn’t launch a tablet product until a new version of Android is released which specifically supports Tablets.
LG Optimus One Specifications
- Android: Latest version 2.2 (Froyo). Most Android phones sold in Australia still only run Android 2.1. Android 2.2 is faster, allows apps to be installed to external SD storage, sync with Outlook Calendar or create a portable Wi-Fi hotspot using the phone’s data connection.
- Bundled GPS Car Kit includes NDrive GPS App worth $AUS82 including onboard Navteq maps for Australia and NZ with map updates for the life of the phone hardware as well as a windshield mount and a car charger cable (total value around $99). Since the NDrive GPS App uses maps stored on the phone it doesn’t need a mobile phone signal to use which is quite handy.
- Display: 3.2″ 320x480px LCD Capacitive Touchscreen, 256K colours
- CPU: Qualcomm 600mhz. Similar benchmark speed score to a HTC Desire running Android 2.1 because Android 2.2 is more speedy.
- Frequencies: HSDPA 7.2. WCDMA : 900 / 2100. GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
- Dimensions L*W*D: 113.5 x 59 x 13.3 mm
- Weight with Battery: 129 grams
- Battery: 1500 mAh
- Standby time Max 700 hr (2G) / 550 hr (3G). Talk Time 480 min (2G) / 450 min (3G)
- Wifi: 802.11 b/g
- Senors: GPS Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
- FM Radio: Yes
- Video and Audio playback: Audio (WMA, (e) AAC+ / WAV), Video (H.263, H264, MP4, WMV, AVI, DivX / Xvid)
- Camera: 3 megapixels. No flash. Records video H/264 / MPEG4 VGA @ 18fps.
- Memory: Internal 170MB, External Micro SD: Up to 32GB
- Document Viewer: PDF, DOC, PPT, XLS, GIF, JPG, TXT