LG released the Optimus Me rather quietly earlier this year. It’s a mid-range phone in the same vein as the Vodafone Smart and HTC Wildfire, running Android. Can this follow on from the success of the LG Optimus One?
What we like
Measuring 108mm, it’s a compact handset that fits neatly into the palm of your hand. Made from plastic, it feels fairly solid. Below the touch sensitive Android keys is a long call accept/cancel button that also doubles as power control. Other connections include microSD and a 3.5mm jack, while on-board connectivity includes WiFi, Bluetooth and HSDPA.
At 2.8-inches the screen is fairly small, it’s fine for You Tube videos and although ideally we’d like the resolution to be higher than 480x320, this resolution is expected at this price point.
Browsing is acceptable, the screen responds fairly quickly to swipes and pinch to zoom works well, although (as you’d expect) it’s not as responsive as pricier handsets such as the LG Optimus 2X. Text is a little small, but it wraps to fit to space when you double tap.
Native Flash support is welcome, and while the quality is a little tinny, the speaker produces a respectably loud sound.
Running Froyo you get all the usual Google goodness, including dragging down to access the shortcut bar and you customise five or seven homescreens with the usual selection of shortcuts and folders and there are some LG specific widgets. Facebook and Twitter work well, although the alert text is tiny on the screen.
LG has made a few tweaks, including call, main menu and message shortcuts along the bottom of the screen, along with a series of dots informing you which page you are on.
The 3-megapixel camera is pretty good with accurate colours and relative sharpness, although there’s no flash. There’s a decent smattering of features though including: mono, negative, solarize, sepia and aqua filters, ISO and white balance.
Press the search button down to launch Voice control, which as long as you speak loudly is pretty accurate, offering three or four options to choose from.
Powered by a 600Mhz processor, it’s not lightening quick but acceptable for day to day use, web pages load fairly quickly and you can easily swap between applications.
We don’t like
VGA movies taken using the 3-megapixel camera are poor – they are blocky and soft and it struggles with tricky lighting situations. The location of the lens means it’s easy to accidentally slip your finger into shot.
LG App Advisor provides app recommendations, based on popularity, as an alternative to wading through the Android Market. It seems a little pointless because you can only view eight at once, and you can’t filter it based on genre.
The small screen does mean the keyboard feels a bit cramped in landscape mode, and for our large fingers we found it easier to swap to portrait mode.
On-board memory is just 140Mb, which means you’ll need a MicroSD card; this is typical of most phones now, although frustratingly you need a card before you can take photos.
We really like the Optimus Me, it’s compact and solid. The screen is a bit small and low-res but it’s fine for viewing the odd video. If you are looking for an affordable all-round Android handset, the LG Optimus Me is worth a look.