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Review: LG Optimus T

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Though the LG Optimus T has some significant flaws, for such a compact, inexpensive phone I did not find any of them to be dealbreakers. Call quality and occasional signal problems with the data network were the two worst offenders, though neither kept me from having conversations and browsing the Web. The camera was almost a complete bust, I squeezed one good image out of it in my entire test run. Touch response was also problem, though it did not hurt every feature, and I've certainly seen more expensive touchscreen feature phones with worse response. The overall experience just wasn't as good as I'd expect to find on a much more expensive device, but for a phone that costs $30 at launch, a lack of performance might be a reasonable trade-off.

The Optimus T does not feel cheap. It gets some real improvements to the basic Android interface, courtesy of LG, without feeling like LG intruded on what makes Android a good OS. The phone gets some of the best Android 2.2 features, including the 3D image gallery, live wallpapers, and all the shortcuts and customization options you'd expect, plus Wi-Fi tethering and a solid messaging and Web browsing experience.

If money is no object and you just want a compact phone, the HTC Aria on AT&T offers better features all around. But for the price, on T-Mobile's network, I would easily choose the Optimus T over a phone like the aging Samsung Behold II, and I would have a tough time deciding between this and the myTouch 3G. The phone also offers significant advantages over the T-Mobile Comet, which is free with a contract agreement. In the end, the Optimus T sacrifices some performance for a small size and inexpensive launch price, but it doesn't skimp on the extensibility and advanced smartphone features that define an Android phone.

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