The LG Optimus GT540 is a sleek feel without the exuberant price tag.
Getting into the nitty gritty of the phone, there’s not much innovation to tingle your senses, but the navigation is pretty intuitive and makes efficient use of the touch screen. The scroll tab is a blessing for longer lists like your Contact List as scrolling no longer remains a hit and miss ordeal. Even though the qwerty keyboard in portrait mode becomes very inaccurate very quickly, the two-hand landscape typing mode is pretty convenient, considering you tap with your finger nails. If you don’t have those long enough, I wish you all the good luck, because then typing can get exasperating because you are daling with a resistive and not a capacitive screen. Additionally, press-and-holding the screen long enough brings up useful shortcuts and menu selections to play with, adding more options to the permanent shortcut buttons on the chassis.
The LG Optimus GT540 impressed most with its Multimedia front, with features like the Storyboard in the Video Editor that lets you work magic with audio, video and text to conjure up a fine movie, depending on your skills of course. Add to that Android’s nifty Music player with its easy playback manageability and the Video player with DivX and Xvid compatibility, and you are set for the afternoon bus trip back home. The camera, though without the vital flash, clicks decent pictures at 3 mega-pixels and comes with face recognition, but for that you have to, well, face the camera, of course. Camera menu scrolling is a tad cumbersome with a retro looking dialer mechanism that only slows things down, but not a big deal. Video quality, however, is not as superb, jerking a bit too obviously, though you can record for as long as your memory card allows, since internal storage is a mere 130Mb.
All this in the hands of a first time smart phone user will suck up battery fast, and so a daily charge will comfortably get you through talk, surf and watch. Downloading applications is supposedly exciting, the built-in Android Market full of games and what not, but alas, we UAE residents will never know since the unregulated Market is blocked by the TRA. I used SlideME alternatively, downloading games and apps, and they ran just fine.
These are details, none of which are real deal breakers for LG and they have done a well-rounded job of bringing Android, albeit out-dated, to the hands of casual smart phone users At a lucrative price of AED 940/- (US$255) which is cheaper than any other Android handset in the market, that should smooths out any jagged drawbacks of the Optimus GT540.
Find out what a sleek smart phone feels like with lots of LG-added jingles to keep you entertained, with slight resolve to get you through; again, give it a few days and the Optimus will do as you command. Well, a 2 step command to End Call, at least.
Sample Images (All images are untouched)