Hands On: LG Ally Android Phone
May 10, 2010, 7:00 PM by Eric M. Zeman
LG is prepared to debut its first Android handset for the U.S. with Verizon Wireless. It comes loaded with augmented reality software, Android 2.1, a 3 megapixel camera, and a full QWERTY keyboard. Phone Scoop takes it for a spin.
Phone Scoop was able to spend a few moments with LG's first Android handset for the U.S., the Ally. The Ally is a sideways slider that has a full touch screen, camera, and Android 2.1. When closed, it very much resembles the LG enV Touch from several years ago.
The device is weighty. It has a thick profile, and is by no means sexy. It looks like any another touch-based messaging phone from LG. Nothing sets it apart as an Android phone. (There's certainly nothing to mark it as an Iron Man phone, which LG is using as a marketing vehicle for the phone.) The weight lends itself to a feel of quality though. It didn't feel cheap or plasticky at all. The solid construction showed no signs of weakness. The slider mechanism felt very solid.
On the front are four hardware keys — send/end, and back/menu. Above these keys are two capacitive buttons similar to those found on the Droid Incredible or Motorola Droid for search and home. All the buttons had good travel and feedback, and even the capacitive buttons were responsive.
The display looks good. LG wouldn't tell us the exact resolution, but it is similar to that of the Motorola Droid. It definitely has more pixels than the iPhone. In the dark environment in which we saw the phone, the screen looked great.
The keyboard is one of the biggest I've ever seen. It has four rows and each row stretches from end-to-end. It's massive. The individual keys feel fantastic under the thumb. Each key is sculpted similar to those found on the BlackBerry Bold 9700. They are easy to find, easy to use, the keys have perfect travel and feedback. I am not a fan of huge sideways-slider keyboards, but this is one of the better ones that I have used. Using it will take some getting used to, though.
There are some buttons on both the left and right sides, including those for the camera, volume toggle; and hatches covering the microUSB and microSD ports. All of the buttons and hatches were easy to manipulate.
As far as the hardware is concerned, it lives up to the semi-ruggedness with which I equate LG's phones. It is strong, tough, and will live up to daily abuse.
On the software side of things, the Ally runs a stock version of Android 2.1. Aside from the augmented reality application pre-installed on the device, there's nothing remarkable about it.
There are two distinct menus. One of them is the standard Android 2.1 menu with the 3D cube effect. The other will be more recognizable to users of LG's feature phones, and uses tabs to denote some of the different sub-sets of applications.
In the few moments that we spent with it, it was speedy, responsive, and performed well.
The Ally has a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash; video capture; microSD support, a 600MHz processor; and Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi.
LG told is that it will be available starting on May 20 through Verizon Wireless. Pricing was not provided.
LG's first Android phone for the U.S. scores well on most counts, but misses the mark in a few places.
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Should be interesting
So on the low end Verizon will have the Ally (Stock android), Devour (MOTOBLUR), and the Droid Eris (Sense, until it is sold out)
Of the three, only Devour is running old software now.
Only downside for reps (IMO) is that It's going to be even harder to position the KIN now I think. That, and hopefully the battery on this one will be secure, unlike the Touch
And what do you mean by hopefully the battery is secure unlike the Touch? Are you referring to the LG EnV Touch? What was unsecure about it? Would it fall ...
I just might get the wife and me a pair of these a few months from now if they do...
NOT the aloha
Unlike the Motorola Droid, where the text prediction only works with the virtual keyboard.