Review: LG Optimus S
The Web browser on the LG Optimus S is the stock Android browser, but don't expect all the bells and whistles of more powerful Android 2.2 phones. Notably, Adobe Flash support is missing, probably because the Optimus S' 600 MHz processor isn't up. Flash 10.1 does not even appear in the Android App Market as a download option.
Otherwise, pages loaded at a moderate pace, not as quickly as I'd expect from a phone on Sprint's faster EV-DO Rev. A network, but Web sites looked great, very much like their desktop counterparts. The New York Times homepage would not load in its full desktop form, it only offered me the mobile version, but CNN did offer a "full page" link, and it looked exactly like it does on my PC.
The browser was very responsive to touch input. Flicking around large pages, there might be a brief delay at first, but this usually went away after a moment. Pinch and zoom gestures also showed some delay for the first instant, then zooming became a smooth and fluid experience.
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Sprint ID packs provide a robust and relatively quick method for customizing the LG Optimus S. Though the process was not quick, it was certainly much faster to switch between ID packs than it would have been to make all of the same adjustments manually. Sprint has promised quite a future for the Sprint ID concept, with more branded packs coming from E! Online, MTV networks and Oprah, among numerous others. But the carrier has yet to offer specifics on those future pack plans, so for now I would only rely on what's available.
Beyond Sprint ID, Android offers plenty of customization options. I was pleasantly surprised to find Live Wallpapers active on the LG Optimus S, even though the Samsung Transform, a phone that has a faster processor, did not get that option. Chalk that up to the performance benefits of Android 2.2, I suppose. Live Wallpapers were fluid, but with many apps running at once and a Live Wallpaper chugging along, the phone could feel even more sluggish. Still, the Live screens are fun for showing off. Otherwise, Android offers plenty of customizable shortcuts and widgets, with tons more available from the Android App Market. There are theme apps and custom icons available from the App Market, and the level of customization is near limitless if you're willing to dig deep into the somewhat confusing heap that is the Android store.
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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