Review: LG Ally
The Ally has a 3.2-inch display showing 480 x 800 pixels. The smaller size boosts the pixels-per-inch count and leads to sharper icons and graphics. Everything looks really good on the display. Even the smallest text is legible, and images on the screen are free of pixelation or jagged edges. For a phone this large, however, it should have a 3.5-inch display.
As for viewability, indoors is no problem. Outdoors wasn't great. It survived cloudy days, but bright sunshine obliterated it, making on-screen items unreadable. Despite the glare and smudge issues, colors look good.
Signal performance for the Ally was slightly below par when compared to most Verizon Wireless devices. The signal bar indicator placed signal strength consistently in the 3 or 4 bar range most of the time, but that didn't correlate at all with how well the phone performed. Despite holding onto 4 bars, the Ally was unable to make a call in the New Jersey vault (my local ShopRite, a known dead zone). And times when the Ally had zero bars of coverage it performed just fine. The Ally didn't seem to care what the signal indicator read, it did as it pleased. The lack of consistency was annoying. I missed several calls, and noticed plenty of slow data sessions to boot.
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Phone calls that managed to connect sounded very good. I heard a few distortions every now and then, but the majority of calls were clear. Those I spoke to said that I sounded clear, as well. Earpiece volumes was sufficiently loud. In fact, I'd recommend you stay away from the maximum setting, as it's loud enough to hurt your eardrum. As for ring tones, you have to be careful. Many of the included ringtones have soft or quiet openings. Some of the ringtones are loud right away. The volume can be set loud enough that you won't miss calls, but that really depends on the ringtone.
The Ally's battery held up surprisingly well. I have low expectations for Android phones, but the Ally managed to squeeze through two days pretty consistently. That's much better than most of the competition, which gives out after a single day. Heavy users may still find that they'll need to charge each night, as extended browsing, GPS and Bluetooth usage can deflate battery life by half a day. I'd still bring a charger even for a short weekend trip.
LG is prepared to debut its first Android handset for the U.S. with Verizon Wireless.
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