LG Optimus Spirit Android phone
LG Optimus Spirit review: A cheap Android phone that offers plenty of bang for your buck
- Competitive price
- Responsive touchscreen
- Good build quality
- Cramped screen
- Sluggish performance
- Average battery life
The LG Optimus Spirit provides decent value for money so long as you're not expecting it to rival more expensive Android phones. It can be a little sluggish to use at times and the cramped screen makes text messaging difficult.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
Google's Android platform has made huge waves in the pre-paid market over the last year or so, and the LG Optimus Spirit is a good example of what you can now get for minimal outlay. A successor to the popular LG Optimus One, the Telstra-exclusive Optimus Spirit provides good value for money at $149, though it can be a little sluggish to use at times.
Design and display
Like most smartphones that retail for under $200, the LG Optimus Spirit is not going to wow anyone. It looks like a standard phone with a black plastic case — gloss black on the front and sides and a metallic, glitter-like finish on the back. Build quality feels excellent for the price — the Optimus Spirit doesn't creak or rattle.
We like the Optimus Spirit's physical buttons below the display (menu, home, back and search). These keys click reassuringly when pressed, are back-lit for night time use, and provide good tactility. Many competing Android smartphones use touch-sensitive keys, which are often unresponsive or easy to accidentally press.
LG has equipped the Optimus Spirit with a 3.2in capacitive touchscreen. It obviously lacks the vibrancy and crispness of the screens found on more expensive smartphones but it has a respectable resolution of 320x480, decent viewing angles, and is bright and clear. The screen is responsive to finger presses and swipes but is a little hard to see outdoors in sunlight.
Software and performance
The LG Optimus Spirit runs the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android operating system. The latest version is 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but don't expect the Spirit to get this upgrade: latest OS upgrades are normally reserved for higher end smartphones, like LG's Optimus 3D.
With that being said, the benefits of a 4.0 upgrade on the Optimus Spirit will be minimal, since its a budget phone with a small screen and a slower processor. As it stands the phone offers all the regular features and functions of an Android device, including access to the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services including Gmail. One benefit of Android that doesn't apply to the LG Optimus Spirit is Flash support for Web browsing; the phone's modest specifications mean that it doesn't have enough processing power to offer full Flash support.
LG has skinned the standard Android interface with a UI overlay called LG Home. It offers customisable quick access icons at the bottom of each home screen (set by default to phone, contacts, messaging and menu), and a main menu than cleanly separates Android default and downloaded applications. We love the quick toggles in the notifications drop-down for silent mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and sync; a tap of each box allows you to quickly turn these settings on or off.
The Optimus Spirit's default on-screen keyboard is a little cramped, so typing text messages and e-mails can be a painful process. The compact screen also makes scrolling around Web pages and clicking links rather annoying. However, multi-touch support (meaning you can pinch the screen to zoom in and out) is a real plus at this price. Disappointingly, the Optimus Spirit is a little sluggish during general use. Of particular annoyance is the jerkiness of animations when you are sliding through home screens. Some apps, like the camera and maps, also take a while to load.
The LG Optimus Spirit has a 3-megapixel camera that takes average pictures and lacks a flash for night-time photography. Colour reproduction is excellent for a low-end camera phone though, and provided you keep the handset still shots are clear.
Other features of the LG Optimus Spirit include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Telstra has given the phone a Blue Tick rating, which means it should deliver enhanced reception and coverage in regional and rural areas of Australia. Only 150MB of internal memory is on board, but a microSD card slot for extra storage is included and the phone comes with a 2GB microSD card in the box.
Battery life is about what we would expect from an Android phone: the Optimus Spirit should last a full day, but it will need to be charged almost every night with persistent use.
The LG Optimus Spirit is available now exclusively through Telstra for $149.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Beleaguered Samsung now fending off reports of Galaxy S7 Edge phones catching fire
- New Samsung loyalty program hints that the Note line may not be dead after all
- Google's Pixel XL is much easier to repair than the Nexus 6P
- Google Keep adds app shortcuts, pinned messages in update
- New Windows 10 preview adds an iPhone Live Photos rival, Windows Ink improvements
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPAndroid Developer | Tech Start-UpNSW
- FTProject SchedulerSA
- TPSenior Software EngineerQLD
- CCFront End Developer - Mid LevelNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Manufacturing ConsultantNSW
- TPJava Developer -- ContractWA
- FTWindows Server Engineer - multiple roles!ACT
- FTImplementation Consultant SydneyNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- CCLevel 3 Microsoft Resource EngineerVIC
- CCSenior Security AnalystVIC
- CCContract Senior Systems Analyst (Java/Oracle) 161102/SSA/624Asia
- CCSitecore DeveloperNSW
- CCDynamics AX Functional ConsultantQLD
- FTDynamics CRM DeveloperWA
- FTSenior Consultant Commercial PricingVIC
- CCBI Program Director/ManagerNSW
- CCDatacenter EngineerNSW
- CCEMC Storage ConsultantWA
- CCContract Systems Analyst (SQL/Web) 161027/SA/842Asia
- CCWeb Content EditorQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst- (MQC, QTP, BPMN, Visio or System Architect;NSW
- FTWeb Business AnalystQLD
- FTNetwork Specialist - Palo Alto FirewallsVIC
- FTEmbedded Software EngineerSA