LG Optimus One P500 budget Android smartphone

Froyo on the cheap

LG Optimus One

Review Time was when smartphones were always high-end handsets. But as economies of scale help bring prices down, Android’s open option has made it appealing to a wide variety of manufacturers and it’s adding smartphone goodies to some very modestly priced handsets.

LG Optimus One

LG's Optimus One: Android 2.2 on the cheap

Case in point: LG's Optimus One. The follow-up to the Optimus GT540, it immediately has the edge on its predecessor with a much classier casing: metal striping and sturdy rubberised plastic shell replace the GT540’s metallic but cheaper plastic casing.

Gone too are the rounded top and bottom in favour of more conventional handset lines. It looks a little less unusual, but is none the worse for that.

It measures 114 x 59 x 13mm, weighs 129g and the 3.2in screen sits above the standard four Android hard buttons, with Home and Back mounted on a rocker, and Menu and Search on separate keys. Other features are sparse: just a volume rocker on one side, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a power/lock button on top, and a micro USB charge/sync slot on the bottom.

You’ll need to remove the back to get to the Micro SD memory card but thankfully you won’t have to remove the 1500mAh battery to change it.

LG Optimus One

Smarter design, better build than its predecessor

I felt a bit cheated by LG’s last Optimus, which undid the good work of the Android OS and LG features know-how with an insensitive resistive screen that made it a pain to use. This time round, the touchscreen is capacitive and much more sensitive to the difference between a brush and a press, if not quite as quick to react as others a little bit higher up the price scale.

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