LG Optimus One P500

The LG Optimus One is a sturdy budget Android handset which includes some useful features and a pleasant user experience.


8.2
CNET Rating
8.1
User Rating

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Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


Android's "Froyo" update is making its slow, inexorable march across the handsets of the globe, and it's now appearing on new devices as the default operating system. After the hash that was the manual Telstra update this is definitely a plus.

One handset that comes with the Android 2.2 update pre-installed is the LG Optimus One. It forms the "budget" end of LG's planned ten-strong Optimus line.

Design

LG describes the Optimus One as a "bar" phone and it's a compact device that fits easily in the palm. It doesn't have the luxury feel of the HTC phones yet feels sturdy with its soft-touch back cover.

LG provided four "hard" shortcut buttons on the front of the device — Menu, Home, Back and Search — with a power button on the top and a volume rocker on the right-hand side.

Features

The Optimus One features a 3.2-inch, capacitive LCD touchscreen which features a resolution of 320x480 pixels. This is a higher resolution than the competitive HTC Wildfire.

Connectivity on the Optimus One include HSDPA for high-speed mobile data, Wi-Fi for use both at hotspots and as its own hotspot, and Bluetooth. The device also comes with GPS and free use of the Ndrive navigation system for turn-by-turn directions.

For the happy snappers among you there is a 3-megapixel camera which also is capable of recording video at 640x480.

The phone comes with a standard micro-USB port on its base for charging and syncing, and a 3.5mm audio jack/microphone on top. The device has 150MB of internal storage, which can be expanded up to 32GB with the use of a microSDHC card (a 2GB card is bundled with the phone).

The Optimus comes with three different keyboard choices — Android, LG, or Swype — even if the method for toggling them between them by accessing "Swype Tips" is a little obscure.

LG claims the battery is good for up to 450 hours of standby and six hours of talk time.

Performance

Despite a slower processor, in use the LG Optimus One is fairly zippy. Flicking through menus is flawless and the CPU-optimising capabilities of Froyo means that most applications load relatively speedily.

The touchscreen is responsive and the added pixel density over the HTC Wildfire is obvious when playing games or video. As an adjunct to this, the newly released Angry Birds for Android does run, but after 10 minutes or so it begins to chug. Using a multi-tasking tool like Advanced Task Killer may help to free up some resources.

Call quality was a little under par for what is, let's face it, still a telephone first. The earpiece is quite noisy, with appreciable static even when not on a call. It seems the company has attempted to combat this by employing noise reduction however this does more harm than good. If the voice on the other end is low enough, the noise reduction will cause the sound to strobe as if someone is turning the volume knob up and down quickly.

On the other hand, music sound quality produced by the handset was very good, but only if you upgrade the bundled headset with ... well ... anything else. The player itself is useable, but there are plenty of viable options available on the Android store.

We were impressed with the quality of the camera too which was able to deal well with some tricky lighting conditions, though low-light performance was as poor as can be expected with no flash. The video camera is serviceable — if you want better performance, invest in a Bloggie or something similar.

Battery life was quite respectable for a smartphone with between one and two days between charges. Charging via a PC is predictably slow with a full charge taking five hours.

The phone comes with a number of applications, including its own App Advisor, and is mildly skinned. Most of the apps worked as advertised though we were disappointed with the voice recorder: it would record for as long as you wanted to but only to an arbitrary amount of time. Moral: don't rely on this for work!

Lastly, the GPS is not bad for free. While it can't compete with even a decent GPS — it can randomly shout "Left" when you're supposed to be travelling in a straight line — it's something that LG's competitors don't offer. (Just watch those cliff roads.)

Conclusion

We enjoyed our experience with the LG Optimus One. It may not offer the beefiest spec sheet or even the highest-resolution screen, but for the price it provides a weighty build and a decent user experience. The only thing it lacks is a bit of "pizazz", and this means it does little to stand out from the crowd of almost-identical Android handsets. If you're looking for something with a bit of personality you don't have to pay more, as the HTC Wildfire — and to a lesser extent the Legend — goes to prove.

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AshleighR Facebook
9
Rating
 

"Great, Sturdy phone."

AshleighR posted a review   

The Good:Very strudy. I have dropped it on many occasions, without it breaking. Great, user friendly layout.

The Bad:Overall apperance could be improved on. But just get a nice case for it :)

I have had this phone for almost two years now, without any problems.
Very happy with it, still works perfectly, however in saying that now (2012) it is a little outdated and cant handle some updates etc out.
However if you want a phone that does the basics well, I would definitely recommend this phone!!

 

KessaB posted a comment   
Australia

It is the 11 June 2012 now

 

KessaB posted a reply   
Australia

It is now the 11 June 2012 and the phone is still in repairs 'awaiting"
parts. I picked up on the phone on the 10 May 2012 from the last repair and had to return it 4 days later due to another problem with the phone-memory card bracket is broken. Which was not broken the 1st time when it was sent away. The phone has been away since the 14 May 2012 and I am NOT a happy Crazy John's customer at all.
WHILE MY BUM STAYS POINTED TO THE GROUND I WILL NOT EVER TOUCH AN LG PHONE OR BUY ANYTHING FROM CRAZY JOHN'S. BONES :(.

 

KessaB posted a comment   
Australia

Mine has been in for repair since 24 April 2012-the main board was found to be faulty-this was replaced. When I eventually got my phone back on the 10 May 2012 it had to be returned to the store on the 14 May 2012 due to coming back from repairs with the memory card bracket being broken. Called Crazy John's 2 days ago to find out if it was back and was advised they are waiting for parts. I only purchased this phone in November 2011.
MY ADVICE: DO NOT BUY-TOUCH-ANYTHING THIS PHONE OR CRAZY JOHN'S! BONES! :(.

 

Grink0fi posted a comment   
Australia

This phone got me angry - I am going to get my money back.

It went to this Emergency mode screen and would not work. All I need is a working phone.

MaythamH Facebook
10
Rating
 

"the best phone to ever be recorded in the lg phones' history"

MaythamH posted a review   

The Good:everything

The Bad:nothing

the best phone to ever be recorded in the lg phones' history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MaythamH Facebook
3
Rating
 

"ugly"

MaythamH posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:everything

its like so uglyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RemyMore
10
Rating
 

"best phone ever"

RemyMore posted a review   
Australia

The Good:everything

The Bad:Lg costomer service [sorry for bad spelling]

Great Mobile phone if you use norton utilies and secruty

ShaneT Facebook
2
Rating
 

"Appalling customer service LG Virgin Mobile"

ShaneT posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Battery, Voice calls, MSG

The Bad:Customer Service, MicroUSB port, Lag

The phone itself doesn't seem too bad but then only had it for a few weeks before the MicroUSB port fried itself.

Virgin/LG took 8 weeks to return the phone and long story short is that I was treated like rubbish during the process.
- Told I was a liar
- Had to initiate all communication with both companies
- Virgin Staff were incompetent
- LG spent the whole time telling me how awesome their customer service was without actually committing to doing anything to help

Poor form all round. Luckily the useless twit that signed us up got our contracts mixed up so am going to get them cancelled and take my business elsewhere. Will not be getting an LG phone though.

 

NewtoLG posted a comment   

The Good:Call quality (not sure why the main review comments about problems), App store, GPS Nav, customisable home screen/s

The Bad:3G connection a little slower than I'd like

This is my first smartphone. I've had this phone about two month's now and I love it. I really can't understand why people shell out so much more money for an Iphone when this has everything you need and more. The touchscreen is pretty responsive, the app store is fantastic, it's got free GPS maps, it's user friendly and best of all it's so affordable (Virgin $29 Big Cap). I love how my contacts are all linked in with their Facebook profiles and how you can customise the homescreen/s to suit you with pictures and regularly used icons. Call quality is great, no problems there. I don't sit on games all day - I really mainly use it as a phone and for messaging, with maybe 10minutes browsing or playing a game each day and I get about 2, even 3 days sometimes out of the battery. Even the photos aren't too bad really, but I'd still use my digital camera for special ocassions. Syncing with the LG PC Suite for Outlook calendar and contacts etc works well although I'd like to do it via Bluetooth - not sure if that works though as haven't tried yet. I am still getting used to the keyboard so I'm a bit slow, but I think the Swype keyboard is the best of the 3 installed ones, definately speeds up the typing. In all reality a hard keyboard is probably better but if you want a touchphone you're pretty limited to grab a decent phone that has one. I have an email address at a private domain but that was no problem to setup, although it is pull style (eg I have to request the emails to come through) whereas I think Gmail is push? Though I could just route my emails through Gmail if I wanted push them through auotmatically. Wifi is a breeze too. The only negatives I've found so far is that the 3G connection is not super quick (prefer to be on Wifi when at home)and on the very odd ocassion - I'm talking maybe twice - the touchscreen has kind of frozen. But once I press the lock button on the top it's reset itself. This doesn't bother me, I mean these phones are practically like computers these days so of course they're going to seize up from time to time. There's still so much more of the phone for me to explore yet but hope this reivew helps!

 

NewtoLG posted a reply   

Oops! I must have deleted my rating before submitting. I gave it 9/10!!!


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User Reviews / Comments  LG Optimus One P500

  • AshleighR

    AshleighR

    Rating9

    "I have had this phone for almost two years now, without any problems.
    Very happy with it, still works perfectly, however in saying that now (2012) it is a little outdated and cant handle some..."

  • KessaB

    KessaB

    "It is the 11 June 2012 now"

  • KessaB

    KessaB

    "Mine has been in for repair since 24 April 2012-the main board was found to be faulty-this was replaced. When I eventually got my phone back on the 10 May 2012 it had to be returned to the store on..."

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