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Review: LG Optimus S

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The camera on the Optimus S was slow to open. When you hold the camera button on the side for about a second, the phone issues a vibration, and from there it takes about four seconds before you can start shooting. The camera shoots at 3.2 megapixels, and the camcorder can record VGA videos up to 30 minutes in length.

The camera app on the LG Optimus S is the fairly basic Android 2.2 camera, but it's not the worst camera app I've used. All of the controls are up front on the screen, no menu digging required. Just tap one of the tiny, translucent icons next to the border and a menu pops up. It's easy to change focus modes quickly, and just as quickly you can adjust the white balance. There are few other exposure settings, only color filters for black and white or sepia images, that sort of thing. No scene modes or panorama mode on board, let alone more fun or unusual options.

If you load a Sprint ID pack with PixelPipe on board, like the Socially Connected ID pack, the camera will open PixelPipe after every shot so you can upload your pics to any number of services. The list is mind boggling, including every photo sharing site I've heard of and more than a dozen that have escaped my attention. I set the camera to upload my pics to Flickr automatically, without prompting me each time. This added a couple seconds between each shot, but the uploading took place in the background. Unfortunately, this caused the camera to crash after every five or six shots, but recovering only required returning to the home screen and then opening the camera again. With PixelPipe turned off, the camera never crashed on me.

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Image Gallery

The LG Optimus S gets the slick new gallery app that comes with Android 2.2. I uses 3D effects and some very cool two-finger gestures to let you browse through stacks of photos quickly. Tap two fingers on a photo pile and spread them apart and the photos will start flying from one finger to the other, increasing in speed the farther you spread your fingertips. You can also view photos one at a time or start a photo slideshow.

There are almost no editing options on the Optimus S. You can crop pics or rotate them, and that's all. Of course, there are myriad photo editing options available from the Android App Market, even some good free apps like Adobe Photoshop Mobile, so this isn't much of a problem. The gallery does a fine job helping you share your images. I especially like that the sharing options increase as you add more and more apps to the phone. With six Sprint ID packs loaded, I was able to share pics from the gallery directly with Twitter or TweetCaster, Facebook, Yahoo! Mail or Bump, among the other usual suspects of messaging and email apps.

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