Review: LG Optimus S
The LG Optimus S is a sleek little touchscreen phone. At first glance, you might mistake it for a cheap feature phone, but the soft touch paint and solid build quality exude serious smartphone style over youthful play. The phone will initially launch in black, but my review unit is a deep, dark purple that seems to glow. It attracted a nice bit of attention. The phone is only fractionally larger than the HTC Aria, the smallest Android phone I've seen, and it uses the same screen size (and pixel resolution) as AT&T's diminutive device. It's also only slightly shorter than the Sanyo Zio, another Sprint ID phone, but it is a bit heavier than that device. Still, the Optimus S, with its rounded corners and tapered profile, is comfortable in the pocket of all but the tightest pair of jeans.
Beneath the 3.2-inch touchscreen up front you'll find the row of familiar Android buttons: Home, Menu, Back and Search. These are hardware buttons, each ringed by a shiny, chrome band, and each with plenty of travel for a solid click. I greatly prefer hardware buttons to the touch sensitive controls you'll find on a phone like the Samsung Transform, the third in the Sprint ID launch trio.
Besides the main buttons up front, all of the other buttons on the LG Optimus S are too shallow by far. The volume rocker on the right side could be difficult to find, especially during a call, with the phone held up to my head. The power / screen lock button up top was tough to find in a hurry, though that's not a huge problem. The camera and voice dialing buttons, also on the right but closer to the bottom, were also a bit too shallow. The camera button was raised a bit more than the rest, which help me find the half-press to focus. Still, the camera and voice dial buttons were placed too close together. From time to time, you'll inevitably hit the dialing button when you mean to open the camera.
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On the left side of the phone is the microSD card slot. The slot is covered by a port cover, and on my review unit it was so tight that the first time I replaced it, miniscule shavings of plastic rubbed off, making the port look dusty. Some wear and tear might actually help here. Up top you'll find the 3.5mm headphone port. The entire back cover peels off easily, revealing the battery.
CTIA Fall 2010
Phone Scoop is on site in San Francisco to take in all the breaking news and hands-on experiences of the fall CTIA trade show. Be sure to check for full coverage and handset first impressions here.
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