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Ok, so clearly not the best phone on the market but that's not what you're buying here. I've had this phone 2 years and it hasn't shown any sign of depreciating in value (if anything it's gone up in value thanks to my amazing games and music ;)). Let's start with the good points here, the obvious one is that it's cheap, cheaper than most comparable phones on the market, that's the reason I bought it! It's a decent looking phone as well, it looks more expensive than it is, it has this metallic quality which is quite attractive when you campare it to plastic wannabes, and if you're going by the Lynx adverts then this is the phone equivalent that will get you girls! ;)
With android 2.1 it's not too bad, it's not too demanding for the phone and you also get a 2gb sd card with it depending on where you buy from. So, where can you go wrong? Ok, there are a couple of badpoints...the screen is a bit tempermental, it is a bit harder to use than other touch phones because of its lack of sensitivity but it's definately something you can get used to. Other than that, I can't really see any bad points with the phone itself which either means i'm getting lazy or LG know how to make decent mid-range phones!
I've had the LG GT540 for nearly two years now, and upgrade time is fast approaching, so I thought this was the perfect time to review it. This was my first smartphone. I had previously only had very basic handsets and found the world of the smartphone to be a bit daunting. The GT540 seemed like the best value for a newbie like me, and an ideal first step on the smartphone ladder. And, to be fair, that's exactly what it was.
I got the phone on a £15 a month contract with O2 and didn't pay anything up front, but I made the mistake of not opting for a contract which had a data allowance, so I ended up paying on average £10 extra each month. The phone itself ticks a lot of the boxes for someone wanting a mid range smartphone. It can download apps from the android market, read PDFs, surf the web and send and receive emails. I used it mainly for these functions, and attempts to use other features, like google maps when I was out and about, were disastrous. While I will admit that it got slower with age and punishment, I don't think I've ever successfully loaded a map on this handset.
The display is bright and the touchscreen is nicely responsive. I didn't have any problems with calibration. The handset feels light, but sturdily constructed. It's not the slimmest phone on the market by a long shot, but it isn't a brick either. Battery life was pretty average, but if you're connected to the internet a lot, it will drain pretty quickly. It also has a micro SD slot which is very helpful for expanding the storage capacity. However, I never actually needed this function. For some reason I would regularly get error messages saying the SD card had suddenly been removed from the slot, despite there never being a card in the slot, and this would often cause problems for the phone's operation, for example, media closing or text messages being abandoned.
I also had constant problems with the phone call interface. For example, if on the phone to the bank or other call centre, and I needed to use the keypad to select choices, there would be a pretty lengthy delay in the touchscreen activating again after having been dark during the call. It also took several attempts to hang up on every single call I made, as the swiping action for hanging up was not at all responsive and it would often freeze or crash instead. The camera was also only okay. I prefer to take pictures on my digital camera than on my phone, so the limitations of a 3 megapixel camera weren't a deal breaker for me, but it is worth knowing that the zoom is pretty dire, with much of the detail being lost. It's perfectly adequate if you use apps like instagram or vignette to take photos though.
But, for the newcomer to the smartphone market, it is a pretty good start. Not ideal for heavy usage by any stretch of the imagination, but for those of you who want to check emails periodically or download the odd app, it's a nice introductary handset.
When my fossilised nokia finally died after years of good service, I finally gave in to this growing craze of smart phones and thought that I would start with a cheap, low end one, and to my surprise, it was remarkably good on so many levels.
First one, being smart. Being an Android, it is given many possibilities of customization, and allows the user to basically create their own little world right in the palm of your hand.
The second good thing about it, was its size, LG did a very good job when they made this phone, it's light, but solid.
With this phones good strong features, it does carry some weaker aspects, one being dreadfully slow at times, most of these times were when running apps like the navigation tool, and games, even low level games like Angry Birds will stutter and lag more over time.
Even though it's a mixed bag with this phone, it is still quite strong in a few aspects, and would be ideal for someone who, like me, just wanted a low end budget smart phone for the purpose of getting a good starter and didn't expect to much in the form of bells and whistles.
when i first got this phone i was on a very very tight budget, and probably should have just settled for something that sent and received texts and also can make calls. but i wanted something new, i got it out the boxed plugged it in and it didnt turn on, ok well that was a bad start but i over looked it. when i finally did manage to turn it on it was great, it was sleak very stylish, and was a great novelty to play with, i spent all my time on it. but i noticed very quickly that its capacity for information wasnt very much and again like most lg phones i have previously had, it because very slow and unresponsive. i also started noticing that for only a little bit more on the price i could have had better phones that would have suited my needs more perfectly, but however a tight budget is a tight budget.
i dont really know how i can sell this phone because to be honest aside for the novelty to "begin with" i lost interest very quickly and it didnt perform how i expected it to. in short i should have settled with the phone that could send/receive texts and make calls :(
Fairly recently I was out with some friends and my 'Gadget Man' brother, we were deep in conversation when an irritating, high pitched beeping tune rang from my back pocket. Pulling out my old nokia with it's black and white screen and interchangable cases I recieved a sheer look of pure distain from my brother. How could I possibly be seen dead with that phone? He questioned me.
The truth is, I loved my old phone, it was sturdy, I'd dropped it more times than I could care to count, and even submerged it in water doing the ever dangerous, 'texting in the bath.' I wasn't ready to step into the consuming world of 'smart phones.' However, my brother insisted and so a week later I was unwrapping my early christmas present from him, The LG Electronics Smartphone.
Suddenly I was faced with mp3 on my phone, (completely useless as I have an mp3 player) a camera on my phone, (also useless, I have a camera!) and the incredibly daunting premise of.....touchscreen! The next thing I knew I was sending texts containing pure gibberish! When I tried to answer a phone call, every app opened and my phone began flashing. And the worst part, my battery, which on my old phone could easily last me up to a week, was dying in a day! I went camping with some friends and completely lost contact with the outside world before I'd even spent a night there!
And the worst part? As a completely clumsy by nature, fall over my own feet if I try doing more than one thing at once kind of girl, I simply could not stop dropping it!! Whereas my sturdy, trusty little nokia had survived trips down the stairs, I had a crack on my brand new screen within a week simply by knocking it off the coffee table! Needless to say, I soon reverted back to my old ways of monophonic ringtones and snake.
I'm sure to technology loving folks that can walk down the street without tripping on a crack in the path, then this phone could easily be a fantastic lovable little gadget. However, if like me you prefer to keep your texts and phone calls simple and much prefer to push a button than a flat screen, or if you drop everything that is ever put in your hands, maybe this isn't the phone for you. It certainly wasn't for me.
The LG GT540 is an Android smartphone that is designed for the budget consumer and as the name suggests it isn't the worlds quickest or best phone.
The phone itself:
The feel of the phone is fairly plasticky and the back cover is a bad imitation of a metal cover. The screen also is plastic and sometimes feels like it is pulling away from the phone, this is because it is the cheaper (and older) style of touchscreen called a Resistive Screen. More expensive phones have Capacitive Screens that support multitouch and other fancy iPhone style features.
Battery life on the GT540 is in my opinion very poor lasting only a day with moderate use. The battery is Li-Polymer which is found in the iPhone 4 but is no where near the same quality or capacity. The battery is rated at MAh.
The GT540 comes preloaded with the out-dated version of Android that is 1.6 (donut). But it can be updated to version 2.1 update 1 through LG's update tool, however as at August 2011 the tool has been removed from the site due to a large amount of phones being bricked (including mine!). On both 1.6 and 2.1 the phone lags terribly making things such as playing games (especially angry birds) an absolute pain!
The camera on the GT540 is a fairly standard 3MP with no flash. The video quality is a painful 480p compared to the HD capabilities of some other handsets.
As said in the above paragraph the phone was bricked from the LG Updated tool and it was subsequently sent for repair.
The standard warranty repair was excellent and I received my phone back 7 days after being sent (via Free Next Day Delivery).
I have had this phone for around 8 months since my Sony Ericsson K550i finally succumbed to being dropped onto my steel toe caps too many times to mention!
I was on a budget and I wanted the initial cost of the phone plus line rental to total no more than around £35 when spread over the life of the contract. I decided upon the LG GT540 with O2, largely because I got a PS3 that I managed to sell for £200 and the net effect was that the phone plus line rental would work out at around £24 a month. With the desired amount of minutes, data and text I thought "Bargain!" but how wrong I was.
First things first, when I received the box and excitedly opened it the phone looked great. Nice and sleek, good size screen and slightly narrower than the iPhone.
Next step, was the initial set-up, screen configuration etc and I was shocked at how bad the touch screen is. I also own an iPod touch and the difference is absolutely enormous. The phone seems almost resistant to navigating with any speed or dexterity and hitting the right key on the QWERTY keyboard is actually quite difficult.
With regards to the main aspect of any phone, the call quality etc then I have never had problems with this. I can hear the person at the other end and they can hear me. However, when ending calls I seem to have to press the end call button 5/6 times to get it to respond. This is a general problem with the phone. Not only is the touch screen unresponsive but the phone as a whole seems to freeze a lot. The amount of times I've had to press a button for a number of seconds to get the screen to come up is ridiculous.
Network signal is also lost frequently and for no reason I am presented with an 'Emergency calls only' alert despite anyone else on the same network having no problems. Turning the phone off and on again invariably sorts out the issue but it's another negative.
The battery indicator is also wildly inaccurate. Often I am told to charge the phone only for it to decide it doesn't need it a couple of minutes later. Other times the battery has died without a word of warning.
Overall, I have probably not even scratched the surface with regard to features and apps because the phone is just so frustrating! I can get all the same apps via the superior wi-fi of my iPod and so this is what I do and the better touch screen etc means they can actually be enjoyed whereas I doubt this is the case on the GT540.
*This review is my own work although I may post it elsewhere on the internet.
The time had come for me to update from my fading Motorola phone and come into the new age of smartphones. I was on a budget of £150 and this phone comfortably fitted the bill will an excellent price of £100. The design is modern and slim and looks great in piano black with the option of purchasing in white if you so desire. Its lightweight and looks alot more expensive than you would think.
Impression and features
Besides the price it was the vast array of features that this phone offers that led me to buying it. Your getting all the modern features you would come to expect these days with, Bluetooth, Mp3 player, Google's android operating system 1.6 (more on that later) and even a built in WiFi connection. This means you can connect to the internet wherever there is a WiFi hotspot and get the latest news or apps for the phone.
On starting the phone up you a presented with a great deal of pre-installed apps to get you started such as Facebook twitter, YouTube and Google maps. The capacitive touch screen makes selecting apps easy and i have found it to be very responsive. However make sure that when asked to calibrate the screen you use an object with a small point (i used a pin) as this will make sure this screen is set up as accurately as possible.
As i mentioned earlier the phone is running android 1.6 software. Whilst this software runs smoothly it is out of date with newer models as Google is developing the software fast and is already on version 2.3. Fortunately LG has at least offered an update for the Optimus taking it up to android 2.1. This was a bonus to me as i didn't expect any update for the phone. The newer 2.1 software (which can be downloaded from the L.G website onto the phone) is quicker than its predecessor. You get the option of more advanced apps and better feature can be added to the phone.
The customization that android 2.1 offers is incredible with new themes and services to add as you please you get the phone set up how you want it. Apps can be added to one of up to 7 home screens simply drag the app you want on to the screen and your good to go. Some free apps i would recommend would be the Opera browser (Faster and easier to use than the stock browser) and Win-amp music player. This player offers album art, playlists, shuffle, party shuffle and loads of other features that the stock player doesn't have.The phones built in camera is not the best at only 3mp but this is personally a feature i don't use that often . I would suggest if you take alot of photos with your phone then the camera will disappoint you.
Messaging is something everybody does alot of these day and i was worried about making the leap to touch screen texting after being so used to using a keypad. I am happy to report that the GT540 is easy to text with and has option of voice texting (speak recognition, very snazzy) for those who should want an alternative. The phone can be flipped landscape to give a qwerty keyboard look or held portrait for a more traditional experience. The keys responded really well but it will take some getting used to if this is your first touch screen phone.
The battery life on this phone is fairly good lasting around 2/3 days on one charge depending how many apps you have been using through out the day. Alot of apps tend to run in the background and drain the battery so the free app Advanced task Killer will shut off these apps and keep checking to see whats running every 30 minutes. This is a great feature as you will notice when you exit music player for example it never fully closes and this is the only way i have found to completely shut it.
This phone has so much to offer, more than i could ever put into this review. It holds its own against many newer rivals thanks to the updated android operating system however it will eventually fall behind like many smart phones running android. Google doesn't tend to update devices once they have been on the market a year or 2. Having said all of that i am very happy with this phone and its still performing strong after 7 months of use. 9/10
Best price at time of review £99
The LG GT540 device is the latest touchscreen smartphone available at an affordable price contributing similar features to highly complex phones for instance the iphone. The main reason for comparing the LG GT540 to iphone is due to the phone including features that are available in a powerful smarphone like the iphone.
LG GT540 allows apps to be downloaded from the android market, hence many apps which are popular with iphones are available on the LG GT540 namely TalkingTom. In addition, some apps are similar to the iphone apps however the difference is in the name due to different developers. The android market includes free apps to paid apps which vary in the price range.
The phone includes 3.0 megapixel camera which does include the zoom function. The phone can zoom in up to 15x however the zoom can detriorate the image resolution at times. In the same way there is a function to make videos with zoom, once again the video becomes pixelated once the zoom is activated.
The negative aspect of the phone would be the touch calibration. Although the phone includes a way of allowing touch calibration many people still cant use the touch in right sense especially to text. I purchased the phone 3 months ago. At first the difficulty which I exprienced was based upon finding it extremely difficult to text due to the touch being quite sensitive. However after playing around with the phone i managed to figure out a way of working the phone and now I am able to text accurately. Nevertheless when attempts are made by family members to use the phone, I have received a number of complaints regarding this function.
Another disadvantage is that once apps are downloaded and the memory starts decrease the phone slows down at times. The phone has frozen on me once or twice, and sometimes when using an application the app may shut down automtically. This could be blamed on the app rather than the phone itself.
In general the phone is good buy due to the value for money. I purchased the phone for £100 and for the price the phone offers many great features like other smartphones such as the iphone which has a heavy price tag. Subsequently I would recommend this phone to those users with a low budget interested in buying a smartphone.
When i first got the phone i thought it was amazing and couldn't stop using it, after a while i started to get bored with the whole 'tough screen' idea, but then again thats not just this phone its all touch screen phones, there are some massive advantages to this phone, reasons to buy it.
It is very easy to opperate, you have a 3.5mm headphone jack (the normal headphone size) so you can listen to music and the radio very easily.
There is also a really good camera, which has many different settings so you can take funny pictures and very nice scenary photos. The android system is very good on the phone, it can be quite slow at times but other than that it is very good. You will be bery suprised with the amount of games you can get on the phone, there are many applications you can download via the android market and downloads at a quick speed.
The phone would last about a day on a full battery if i was using it a considerable amount, and when i say considerable amount i do mean quite a lot, i would be tezting someone/on the internet/playing a game pretty much throughout the day and was quite happily suprised at how far the battery life would go. I don't use my LG anymore as i did get bored of it, but as i like technology i tend to get bored quite quickly.
I LOVE this phone! I have previously always used basic Nokia candybar style phones, as they are so simple to use. I'd been put off touch screens as they look too hard to use for a bit of a technophobe like me, and I'd generally preferred separate keys as I text a lot. However when my last Nokia broke after only a year I decided to take the opportunity to move on with the times and try my first touch screen smart phone. I researched online for ages, as I needed something relatively cheap (around £100) and on payg and I finally decided on either the LG GT540 or a Samsung Monte. I went along to my local Orange store as I had some money in my payg phone fund to spend, and they only had the LG available for £109 - but I'm so glad they did as I wouldn't change it for the world.
So lets get on to the actual review - please bear in mind I'm not very technical, and a lot of this is very new to me but probably isn't for most!
This is a very "smart" smart phone! It has brushed metal effect casing (though it's actually coated plastic) and modern curves at the top and bottom, which makes it look sleek and stylish. The call, cancel and home buttons are proper buttons at the bottom, with the sub menu and back buttons being touch buttons. The main menu button is actually on the touch screen. There's a volume rocker button on the left side of the casing, and camera and search buttons on the right side, as well as the usb/charging point. On the top there is a headphone point which is universal, so you can use any headphones with it. It's a nicely weighted phone, which feels substantial in the hand without being overly heavy. The whole thing looks and feels very high quality and not at all flimsy. It also comes with a screen protector. I bought a silicone protective case from ebay too, so as to avoid any scratching.
It comes with all the usual things you'd expect on a phone these days - messaging/calls, an alarm, calender, calculator, FM radio, camera (3mp) and video recorder, plus also has a voice recorder, google maps, email, internet browser, app market, media player and 2 demo games (monopoly and the sims 3). It doesn't have any games other than the 2 demos, however you can download a huge choice from the app market - many of which are free. There are several polyphonic ringtones and notification tones already on the phone, but again you can download others from the app market.
This really is (in my opinion) a great little performer for the price. It does take a minute or so to turn on, I presume because there's so many functions to load. One of the first things I did was upgrade it online from Android 1.6 to Android 2.1 which makes the general performance faster I believe. It took me a day or two to get used to navigating my way around, being my first touch screen, but it's actually far more simple to use than I imagined. The main worry for me was the texting, but I find it very easy. You can choose to hold the phone portrait, where you text using buttons and predictive text like on a standard candybar phone - or you can turn it landscape and it turns into a qwerty keypad. The only thing I found difficult at first was calls - especially if you have to use the keypad during the call as it locks itself. It doesn't take long to get used to though, and I can see the benefit of it locking to prevent accidental touching of buttons during the call. To lock the keypad you just press the end call button, and to unlock it you press the home button to activate the screen, then touch and slide the unlock button on the screen. You can also create you own touch pattern for unlocking it if you wish. There's a button you slide left to put the phone on silent, or to silence the phone when it rings. If you slide the main screen to the left it goes to your Facebook (or Bebo/Twitter) status, which you can update from there, and if you slide to the right it goes to your photo gallery. The internet browser is fast and easy to navigate on the large screen.
The app market is one of my favourite things about this phone - I've had so much fun browsing the apps! There's so many useful, fun, weird and wonderful apps to download. I particularly like the sky+ app, and the bubble blaster and angry birds games. You do have to remember to quit the apps properly though or they stay running and run the battery down. I generally have to charge the battery daily, but I do play with it a lot and could probably get a couple of days out of it if I didn't use it so much. I think poor battery life is a common feature of most smart phones though.
As I mentioned before I use this on payg. I bought it on Orange, which on the dolphin package only has a measly 100mb of browsing data when you top up £10. Orange also lock most websites they believe to have adult content which is a pain as this includes a parenting forum I use and things like youtube. I have since got it unlocked and changed to O2 which offers much better internet options for your money on payg, as well as optional bolt ons.
Overall I think this is a fab little phone which has loads to offer - I had no idea just how much a mobile phone could do, and it's quickly become my best friend. It seems to do everything the more expensive Iphones etc. can do. The best thing is the ease of use, as if someone like me can use this then anyone can! I'd highly recommend it.
In this day and age, you need a mobile phone. Basic functions that users specify are a decent, clear screen, the ability to dial out, receive calls, take a quick photo, maybe a video and send and receive text messages. You'll be quite lucky to find a phone that doesn't do all of these things. But as time is passing, phones seem to be turning into entertainment devices, capable of gaming, magnificent data speeds and full-clarity film viewing. The LG GT540 "Optimus" is no exception to this.
My reason for buying this phone was because my previous phone, the HTC S710 on Windows Mobile, was becoming out-dated and severely restrained in functionality. With the Apple iPhone on the market, I found it frustrating that the S710 would only do certain things, while other phones ran off into the distance with their abilities. The S710's only saving grace, in the end, was its WiFi ability. The 200MHz processor was unbearable at times and the bulk the phone had with its slide-out keyboard looked very unfashionable. Windows Mobile 5 had been surpassed by the iOS, Android, Blackberry and even Windows 7. I felt it was time to move on, and Android would be my next stop.
At first, I had resigned myself to waiting for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8, which was due to arrive in Q4 of 2010. My own impatience got the better of me, and I saw the LG "Optimus" at a very attractive £129.99, which was coincidentally the same price as the X8 was due to be released at. I clicked, ordered and received a couple of days later.
So, what makes the "Optimus" stand out? Well, its design is very sleek. Rather than a rectangle with rounded off edges, or a clam-style flip-phone, LG opted for a very 21st Century design. At 109mm x 54.5mm and 12.7mm thick, it isn't the smallest phone you will ever see, but fits snug in the hand and in the pocket. Its sides are straight, with buttons on the left for Volume up and down, and two on the right for the camera and search functions. The USB input is also on the right, at the top, and requires you to get your fingernail in to pull out the protector, which hangs on with a sturdy thread. Connecting the USB requires drivers, but after that, is drag-and-drop through your OS's explorer. No need for additional PC Suites, as applications on the Market, available for free, will back up your important messages and contacts to the Memory Card when you ask them to.
The top of the phone has a 3.5mm jack, which fits those average headphones you will have at home for iPod's, PC and Laptop music, etc. However the headphones that come with the phone seemed to work better than the ones I had been using at home, and also have a microphone on there for hands-free, which is why I still use them over any other headphones. The top and bottom curve inwards slightly, taking away the boring rectangle look.
The cover of the battery, the microphone and speaker, are made of a plastic, but are slightly grooved with an almost wood-finish, which compliments the phone very nicely and looks stunning in the default colour of Black. (The phone is available in Pink and White also, to my knowledge.)
The screen is a 320 x 480 pixels (3 inch) TFT resistive touchscreen, which is very handy to know when converting videos down to a size that your bundled 2Gb memory card will easily store, without losing a lot of quality on the screen. The colours are superb, and the brightness is easily viewable on the lowest setting in the dark. In the light, however, the screen does suffer from glare, and thus a brighter setting is required, as well as a possible hand over the top to shade the screen while you look at it. The debate between resistive and capacitive touchscreens rages on, which some preferring one or the other. Personally, I find no problem using the GT540's resistive screen. It works on the principle of slight pressure rather than just a slide of the finger, but I've also found it to be very responsive to a slide of the finger on occasion. It will work with your finger, some gloves and a stylus. (Not supplied) An accelerometer is also built in, which means rotating your phone will change the screen to the nearest 90 degree angle. This is handy for typing in particular, if you prefer the QWERTY keyboard layout. (I personally prefer the keypad layout with T9.)
Underneath the screen are the main buttons you will use to access the menu's and to make/end/answer calls, if you so choose not to use the swiping method on the screen. In the top left is a sensor for the menu and settings, on the top right is "back," which should not be confused for delete. On the bottom, left is answer/make call, the middle is the "Home" button to take you back to the main screen, and the right is call end.
On the inside of the machine, a 600MHz CPU is at your beck-and-call, with the much-acclaimed Android Operating System (OS) from Google. The phone does come stocked with Android 1.6, but there is a stock update to 2.1, which fixes minor and major bugs, as well as offers a few extra tidbits and improvements in the system. The 2.1 update also comes with "The Sims 3" game, available for free via the LG website with instructions on how to install the game.
Games such as "The Sims 3" run very well on the device, providing that some CPU-hogging applications are closed with the use of a task manager, available for free on the Android Market. The much-loved "Angry Birds" however seemed to jitter at times. Again, I found closing certain applications running in the background helped with this. The games are extremely responsive on the device, providing there is no jittering.
Application-wise, there is probably way too much to go into. Given the phone is on an OS provided by Google, you will need a Google Mail account. Being with Virgin Media, I thought that my email would suffice, given Virgin Media now uses Google Mail for the mail service. Sadly, this wasn't the case, and I am unsure if there are plans to introduce this in the future. (The message on the phone specified the problem as Virgin Media not enabling the calender function on their part.) The Google Account is required to access all Google services including Google Talk, Google Goggles, Google Maps, Android Marketplace and YouTube, amongst others.
There is one camera on the phone, which is billed as 3.0 Megapixel, but has been clocked at 3.15MP - a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. There is no flash, so night pictures are going to suffer. The camera during the daytime, in a decent light, is very good though. The camera also offers video recording in an MP4 (Android 1.6) and 3GP (Android 2.1) format. The video, again, is very good, however the sound is quite poor and sounds almost boxed-in.
GPRS, EDGE, 3G , Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) and Bluetooth come as standard. Infrared does not.
The built-in Media Player has problems playing some formats. I have experienced problems with certain types of DivX and XviD encoded videos. Again, the marketplace will help here, as there are plenty of Media Players to choose from.
The music quality through both the headphones and loudspeaker are very good. The music can go quite loud, so a precaution should be taken when wearing the headphones. There is also a built-in radio, which does require any wired headset to be connected to the phone to listen to. However you can listen to it through loudspeaker while the headset is connected.
The call quality is also of an good standard, and there are numerous options while you are on the phone to people, such as mute, loudspeaker and the ability to browse the OS behind the phone call.
The battery (1500 mAh) lasts around 450 hours in my experience, when it is not used at all. I tested this when I first got the phone, as it was locked to O2, and I am on Orange. I usually get around two days of infrequent WiFi usage, phone calls, text messages and market updates out of the battery, and charge overnight with the charger comes packed with the phone. You can also charge by USB as long as there is power running through the device you are charging from. Be it a TV in standby, your Laptop in standby or your TV's Set Top Box. I would advise not using GPS, WiFi and 3G when they are not needed to conserve battery power. GPS and 3G are set as standard and will need turning off by the user.
All in all, the phone itself is an excellent and powerful piece of kit, for the price particularly. I would expect to be still paying around £129.99 maximum at the moment, but I'm sure there are other retailers out there that will offer it cheaper. The Carphone Warehouse pushed this phone very hard during the Autumn of 2010 for around £99.99, before the 2.1 update came along.
A word of warning, however, is that LG seem to have stopped rolling out updates for the GT540 now that they have other "Optimus" models on the market that they would rather concentrate on. There aren't huge steps that an upgrade to 2.2/2.3 will do for the phone, so 2.1 does suffice and operates excellently on the device. The phone is also unable to handle flash, unlike other makes and handsets (namely HTC) on the market. The applications, such as YouTube and SkyFire browser can help ease the burden slightly, with videos, but games on Facebook will not work through any browser on the phone, because the processor cannot cope with it. There is, however, a chance that the makers of the games you wish to play are also making an Android application. Certain Poker applications have successfully been made and use Facebook Connect to get your Facebook details and allow you to play without a browser running.
A recommendation to anyone wanting to try out Android without a massive price-tag, along with the HTC Wildfire. A superb phone at an excellent budget that I am very happy with the purchase of.
Thanks for reading.
These days, mobile phones aren't simply about making and recieving calls - they function as mini computers allowing the user to utilise a number of web-based apps whilst running a designated operating system. Today i'm looking at the 'Optimus GT 540' - a stylish touch-screen mobile which is made by LG. If you haven't got an iPhone, Windows Phone, or Blackberry, chances are, your handset will be running 'Android' - its a versatile and generally easy to use system which is gaining popularity at a rate of knots. The Optimus used an earlier version of Android (1.6) when it was released, but now comes equipped with the increased functionality of Android 2.1. Put simply, the Optimus GT540 should be able to run the majority of the software that you choose to download, in a smooth and effective manner.
Price, Design, and Appearance
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In terms of the price, the Optimus can be bought sim-free for around £150 - wheras if you have a contract (where you pay £20 or more a month), the phone will probably be available to you free. Primarily constructed from plastic, the Optimus doesn't feel especially like a quality item - that said, it does look pretty good with its slate grey fascia and gently contoured surround. Clearly modelled on the iPhone design, it also incorporates three physical buttons below the screen, and two touch keys which function as an 'option' key and a 'back' button. Due to the fact that a predominantly plastic phone can get damaged rather easily, the first thing you should consider is investing in a case. I opted for a leather flip opening case which cost £3.99 from eBay - it provides great protection for the Optimus from all angles, and can be kept in place whilst you're charging the device.
Screen Quality & Additions
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At a time where the iPhone's clear screen is ahead of the competition, i'm pleased to announce that the Optimus follows closely behind. The 3" wonder really is crystal clear and especially easy to see. Nowadays, touch screen phones are of two varieties, 'capacitive' and 'resistive' - the latter isn't quite as responsive. The Optimus does use the inferior resistive variety, but it actually works very well. In my experience it's been efficient and a pleasure to use - it's just that you have to apply a little downward pressure when using it. The real downside is the fact that the screen is made from plastic rather than glass, so there's plenty of scope for it to be scratched easily - that said, you wouldn't really expect a glass screen on a £150 handset. The GT540 has all the features you would expect to see on a modern mobile, including an alarm clock, calendar, calculator, voice recorder, FM Radio, and camera. The camera is of the three megapixel variety, and can be operated by a designated button on the phone's side - it features a number of settings including selectable ISO, and adjustable white balance, but falls short because of the fact that there's no flash. Surprisingly however, the picture quality is *acceptable* providing you're shooting in decent light. The 640 x 480 movie mode is adequate (rather blocky due to aggressive compression), and there's a video editor mode so you can tinker with your creations later on. The phone's internet browser is very effective, and the fact that the screen is so clear makes for a decent surfing session. In my experience i've found that the majority of web pages load quickly (if you've got a decent signal that is), without any incompatibility errors (Flash is supported). Unfortunately, there's no pinch-in to zoom like on the iPhone - instead you'll have to make to with the separate zoom button which makes things slightly less intuitive. Still, it's not something which particularly bothers me.
Functionality & Battery Life
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The fact that the Optimus runs Android means that there are a wealth of 'apps' which are available to download. A handy pre-installed piece of software is the 'market' tool which takes you direct to the Android store and lets you search for, and subsequently select the app of your choice. Surprisingly, many of the available apps are free of charge, which is great to see - although you will have to pay for the better-known games. In terms of the battery life, well how long is a piece of string? The total time will depend on what it is that you're actually doing with the phone - If you're a frequent Internet browser or designated games player, then you'll need to charge the phone every day. However, if you're simply a texter and occasional caller, then the battery will last for around three days. Unfortunately (and this seems to be a problem with Android in general rather than with the Optimus), some apps will eat the battery at an astonishing rate - it's an issue which isn't made any better by the fact that an app can be running in the background without you realising. You see, some of the third-party applications don't seem to have a designated 'quit' feature, meaning that they'll keep on going until you manually end them. A handy tip is to go into the 'settings' menu, then choose 'Running Services' where you'll be able to see, and subsequently quit all of the apps that you want to stop - problem solved.
Back to Basics & Ease of Use
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So let's take a look at the Optimus's primary function - making and receiving calls. It should be pointed out that the output of the earpiece is nice and clear, and the speaker volume can be easily adjusted via the rocker buttons at the phone's side. There's also a speakerphone option which can be turned up to a fairly loud volume. As a touch screen phone, texting is a little more tricky, as the separation between the onscreen buttons is fairly mimimal, and it's easy to hit the wrong keys - that said with practice, SMS messages can be fired off at quite a speed. In terms of the phone's ease of use - well, it's not a device that I can see being especially easy to operate for elderly users - there's just too many settings, and I would suggest that the target market is computer-savy younger generation.
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Ultimately, the LG Optimus GT540 is a decent phone which packs in the features, and includes a wealth of options that many of the more expensive handsets would be proud of. Due to the versatility of its Android operating system, the Optimus can be tailored to suit your needs, allowing you to download a number of apps which will further refine the user experience. A word of warning however - what I have noticed is that the GT540's reception isn't as good as my previous LG phone's reception - meaning that there's roughly one 'bar' less of signal wherever I am. This is my major bugbear with the phone, as I have occasionally had calls going straight to voicemail even though the phone has been turned on.
Just a quick word to finish about some of the best free android apps that I use on a regular basis - here are my top five:
1: Sky+ - a really great TV guide which is handy even if you aren't a Sky subscriber - simply set the app to show you the terrestrial channels that you watch on a regular basis. To be honest, i'm not the biggest fan of the Murdoch empire, but the Sky+ app is one of the best phone-based TV guides that i've come across to date - the app can even be used to set your Sky+ box when you're out of the house, so you'll never miss an episode of Holby City again!
2: Wapedia - basically a quick and easy version of the Wikipedia website, optimised for smart phones. It's neatly arranged - perfect for when you need to find out how old Joan Collins really is, or when attempting to cheat in the pub quiz (not that I would do that of course). Each article has a link to the full Wikipedia site, so you can find out more info about any given subject if you should wish.
3: BBC News - so you can be kept up to date with the breaking news stories on the go. You can set up this particular app so that your phone will alert you when something really important has occurred.
4: Google Sky - basically a star map which tells you what you're looking at in the night sky from your present location. It's nicely presented and interesting for all the wannabe Patrick Moores - perhaps not quite as good as the iPhone's 'Pocket Universe', but it's the next best thing.
5: ESPN Goals - for all you football fans out there - you can set this to your favourite team, so as well as keeping up to date with the Premiership scores, you can keep an eye on the fortunes of your beloved conference side.
Well I was due an upgrade phone on my o2 network and as you know some upgrades are limited to the phone you can have. So firstly I went with the dell streak, which I wasn't happy with, then I got a htc hd mini which I also wasn't happy with (reviews may follow). So anyway o2 told me I couldn't exchange my phone no more as they have a limit on them. So I decided to trade my htc hd mini in, at the car phone warehouse. I got £99 for my htc and then saw this lg phone for what was advertised at £99 but apparently that was only on orange to get it on o2 it was £110 so anyway I decided to buy it as I really wanted an android phone.
I will lost down and explain the build it applications now that come installed on your phone that you cannot erase. Not all will be listed as there is far too many to list but I will list the ones that I think need to be mentioned.
The alarms are pretty easy to set and as it seems you can set as many alarms as you like, I currently have 4 set as I tend to switch them off and go back to sleep loll. On setting the alarm you can chose from 6 different alarm tones or you can chose one from your audio tunes you have downloaded. You have an option to put you phone onto vibrate also. Also it has a repeat and a snooze. I find the alarm really good and it always wakes me up on a morning and normally I am a hard person to get out of bed.
This is just like on your normal computer, its speeds are pretty fast and it uses yahoo search bar to easily find things. You can also zoom in and out by sliding your fingers across the screen.
The camera is a 5-mega-pixel camera, it works fine and takes a great picture it has several different settings, which in all honesty I don't understand half of them loll. The main problem I do have with this camera is the fact that there is no flash on the phone, so any pictures taken in a dimly lit area don't come out very clearly, but apart from that it does take some very good pictures and to prove this there is a picture uploaded of one I took of my kids, which was taken in a pub but unfortunately I had to take them into the toilet to take it as it didn't come out well first time loll.The video camera also works well, it is more or less the same as the camera for the poor lighting but the sound on it and everything is excellent. To switch from the camera to the video you just slide the button on the screen down. They are both really easy to use and both good quality.
When you open your contacts, it goes straight to all your contacts listed in your phone book; you just click on the persons name and then click on call number. To add a new contact can be done easily from this too you just click new contact at the bottom of the screen. You can also favourite people, so if you phone one of your contacts quite often when they are favourited you just click favourites at the top of this screen and it will take you straight to that contact. You can also set up groups, which I have not done yet so I can't say how this is done. Also the call log is accessible from here too. The end call function when in a call I find a bit of a pain, as it don't always cancel straight away as you have to slide the button across the screen, I have found on some occasions, I have even silenced my phone. As you silence your phone in the same way, when the screen is locked.
This is pretty basic for when you want to ring a number who is not in your contact list; you have to go through your dialler, as it cannot be done any other way.
This is where you find all your pictures and videos that you have taken on your phone, their can all be shared using either, blue tooth or messaging. You can also share them using face book if you have it set up on your phone.
This is available on all android phones where you can get free applications, or some paid ones. You can really get thousands of items on here, including face book and msn messenger and the games available on here for free are really endless. They are all easy to download. One downloaded they appear at the bottom of your menu listed under downloads.
On here you can play all your music that you have transferred onto your phone, you can go, you can search your music by artist, album, genre or you can even create a play list of all your favourite tracks. The music plays well on the phone and the volume is pretty decent, although I do find that some songs tend to jump a little bit but nothing that really interferes with the song.
The messaging does take a little bit of getting used to, if you're used to your simple phones. It took me a little while to get used to it, I am used to my inboxes and outboxes, but this is all set up in conversations. So all messages to one person are set up in one box, which makes it harder to delete just certain messages if there is only one you want to keep on your phone. I usually just delete the whole thread at one. The thing I didn't like about this phone is that you cant save messages into a saved folder, which I used to always do with my jokes I got sent through.
Typing a message is pretty easy and you cant send a blank text by mistake, which is good. You can either type using querty keyboard, t9 dictionary or just your standard input. I prefer the t9 as its what I am used to so I have not given the others a try really. It took me a while to figure out how to get my phone book up though instead of having to type a persons name in. to do this you need to press your menu key on the left hand side then click phone book, quite simple when you know how. I do find it easy to use but unlike my other phone I had you cant enlarge you text messages, which I was disappointed with as I wear glasses to read and don't take them out with me, so if I am out I do struggle to read my texts.
In here you control all your settings that you need for your phone including your wireless and blue tooth. You control all your sound settings and set your ring tones from here. Basically anything you want to set up on your phone you will find from here. I could explain them all but there really are far too many settings to go into detail.
This is just like using it on your computer, you search for a song you want to listen to and click play. The quality of it is just as good as on your pc although I do find it tends to take a bit longer to load the songs up, other than that its excellent, apart from when the kids want your phone just to play music on loll.
This is easy to install on your phone and once you sign in it will save your details so that you don't have to retype them each time. Face book is much basic through your phone; you can view people's profiles, comment on statuses, add your own status, and view photos. But there is a lot you cant do, like you cant play any of the games on there, also you cant see if you have been poked or send any pokes (which is not too important loll). You can however accept any friend requests you have, and also view any emails and send emails too. So all the basic stuff you want from face book you can do.
This is also needed to be downloaded and like with face book once your details are inserted it will store them for you. This is just basic messenger, you can see who is online, and can chat to whoever is online too. You can also have group conversations. The thing I found with this is, you can send messages when you are appearing offline but you cant receive a message back when they reply which I didn't quite like but I suppose you cant have everything.
I don't really rate much to the battery life on this phone, I does depend on what your using it for, if you have your msn signed in then it just eats the battery and even when playing games and checking face book the battery life soon goes down. I usually have to charge my phone up at least once a day, a lot of times twice a day just so my battery does not die in the middle of the night. But then again I do use my phone a lot. But if you just use your phone for the basics then the battery would be fine.
WHATS INCLUDED IN THE BOX
Earphones, these are just basic but you could buy better ones if required
2 mg memory card seems enough for me
Manual a pretty basic version
MY OVERALL OPINION
Although this phone has a few faults that I have mentioned I would certainly recommend it. This is one of the best phones I have ever owned. There is so much you can do with it. It can keep you entertained for hours with all the applications you can chose from. Although they all seem to download to your phone memory so you can usually only store about 8 games at a time before it tells you that your memory is getting low. Its even pretty hard wearing, I have dropped this phone a couple of times and its still has no marks at all on the phone, the worst thing to ever happen is the back has come off.
So for £110 I would say this phone is really worth getting, even my kids love it, as there is so much on it that they can do also. Anything else you want to know you can always ask. Thanks for reading xx Also posted on ciao under kineticspade x
I have an iPhone and more recently had a few issues when I accidentally dropped it during the night and stamped on it the next day. I needed another phone to use whilst mine was being fixed and I went and brought a phone I felt was similar in what it offers.
I settled for the LG Optimus GT540. The phone itself can come in white and black and mine is in this nice black. The phone on first look is thick and bulky and it can come across as being to big. Nowadays phones seem thin and very quick so when you notice a bulky phone you tend to put it down and move on.
The phones weight is 115.5 grams which is not to bad but it is slightly heavier then some phones you have in the market. The size dimensions are 109 x 54.5 x 12.7mm. The size of the screen is what grabbed me being 3 inches.
The phone has buttons which are not used as part of the touch screen technology. For instance the dialling button is actually a real button on the phone and not a touch screen button. This is the same for the main menu button as well. I do like phones which have some buttons which are not focused entirely on the touch screen part.
You also have the Android market and this is kind of similar to the iPhone apps you get. Android is a way to download application such as games and software to your phone to help you in the future. Some are free and some you need to pay for as well.
The phone has already installed on the device the Google search function, maps and even GTalk as a messenger type system. The reason this is good is because if you use the internet you have a search engine all ready and waiting.
The phone does have Wi-Fi connection which is good if you out on business or near a Wi-Fi connection. You find these in places like restaurants and hotels. If your out and about you have the 3G type connection which is slower but still does a decent job.
The phone itself as mentioned is bulky but the touch screen is very quick. You have the ability to move the programmes on the main phone along with a simple slide of the finger. I admit sometimes the screen can take a few seconds and then other times speeds along fine.
There is a camera which is 3 Megapixels and it has face detection on there which can be a blessing as sometimes phones never help you when it comes to taking a picture of someone else's face.
The camera offers decent pictures and video capturing although in the dark the pictures could be better as the flash tends to ruin some of the images you want. The battery is one of those which can last a lot longer if your not online.
I went online quite often and it loaded up pretty fast and the power on my battery disappeared within moments. .It can be frustrating so the average battery time if your on the internet and at 100% power is about 2 hours. If your just using the phone for texts and calls it can last around an entire day.
Messaging is done via a standard keyboard you use on your computer. You can touch the letters you want to use or you can use the normal texting method which is pressing the number keys until the right letter pops up. Messages are usually pretty quick when they are sent and you get notified by many routes when you receive a text as well.
I have mentioned quite a bit thus far but for me the best part about the phone is the price. I got this on Pay As You Go for just £109.99 and this price seems to be everywhere. That is incredible for a phone which is a Smart Phone and it offers plenty of good things. Imagine if the iPhone was this price you would be buying tones of them.
I admit the battery is poor at times and the touch screen could be more quicker when loading screens up. The camera is good enough to capture decent pictures and the media player already loaded on helps you view decent movies as well. I would point out you could insert a memory card with a movie on and watch it on your phone.
Other features include a radio which is pretty good and you have got a MicroSd slot which helps you store extra features because the manual suggests the phone has just 139MB available internal memory which is a worry when you have applications you can download.
The internet is good because it uses HTML and the one final thing to mention is to protect the phone. The back can easily scratch as can the front screen and even though it looks bulky and is much cheaper then other smart phones this is still a phone and any damage is not good.
I would rate the phone 7.5 out of 10.