Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
LG Optimus Me (P350) Android phone
LG Optimus Me review: A budget Android smartphone that targets first-time smartphone users
- Reasonable price
- Capacitive touchscreen with multitouch
- Most features and benefits of Android
- Small, low-resolution display
- Occasional sluggish performance
- Poor on-screen keyboard
The LG Optimus Me has a low-res display, and its price tag isn't as low as some of its competitors, but it still offers most features and functions of higher priced alternatives.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
LG's Optimus Me (P350) is the latest in a wave of cheap Android smartphones targeting budget-conscious consumers. Its low-resolution display and average performance are frustrating, and the $229 price tag isn't as low as some of its competitors, but the Optimus Me still offers most of the features and functions of higher priced alternatives.
Read our roundup of the best budget Android phones.
LG Optimus Me: Design and display
The LG Optimus Me Android phone has a stylish, rounded design with a back that curves inward towards the centre. The handset is made from quality-feeling plastics, with a glossy black finish on the front and matte grey on the rear. Despite its budget price, the Optimus Me feels sturdy and well constructed. However, the external volume keys are poorly positioned and not raised enough, and the rear battery cover is difficult to pry off.
The LG Optimus Me has a 2.8in capacitive touchscreen. A capacitive display at this price point is an advantage, though the low 240x320 resolution is not. In a similar fashion to the HTC Wildfire and the Huawei IDEOS U8150, the Optimus Me display suffers from poor viewing angles, is difficult to see in direct sunlight and its small size makes text input and Web browsing frustrating. The Optimus Me's screen is fine for most day-to-day use, but the default on-screen keyboard is tiny, and scrolling around Web pages and clicking links is an arduous process. However, the addition of multitouch support (meaning you can pinch the screen to zoom in and out) is a real plus on a phone at this price. Below the screen sit the standard, backlit touch-sensitive Android shortcut keys (menu, home, back and search), as well as physical answer and end call keys.
LG Optimus Me: Software
The LG Optimus Me runs the 2.2 'Froyo' version of Google's Android operating system. In addition to all the regular features and functions of an Android phone, including access to the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services, the 2.2 version of Android includes built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card. One benefit of Froyo that doesn't apply to the LG Optimus Me is full Flash support for Web browsing. LG says that the Optimus Me doesn't have enough processing power to offer full Flash support.
The LG Optimus Me has an LG UI overlay on top of the standard Android interface — it is minimalist and offers some nifty features. We particularly like the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Airplane mode and slient toggles LG integrates into the standard Android notifications bar, the fact that downloaded applications are separated from default ones in the main menu and the ability to have up to seven home screens for live widgets.
Performance is adequate, but not outstanding; the LG Optimus Me is predictably a little sluggish to activate the accelerometer when tilted, and we also experienced occasional lag during testing, particularly when using the browser.
The LG Optimus Me has 2GB of internal memory along with a microSD card slot, and comes with a 3-megapixel camera. LG claims the Optimus Me will provide a talk time of seven hours and a standby time of 510 hours from its 1250mAh battery — its small, low-res display means battery life often stretched to two days in our tests.
The LG Optimus Me is available outright and unlocked for $229 through mass retailers in Australia including Woolworths and Dick Smith Electronics, as well as mobile phone dealers Allphones and Telechoice.
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