The Optimus One is a reasonably priced offering that will suit first-time smartphone buyers. While it does have Android 2.2, the poor messaging interface and internet experience lets it down. It would be difficult to recommend this over Orange's £99 San Francisco, or the HTC Wildfire which is just £10 more SIM-free.
Android 2.2; good battery life; reasonable price
No Flash 10.1; poor browsing experience; low-res screen
Android 2.2, 3.2in touch-screen with 320 x 480 resolution, 600MHz processor, 512MB RAM, 170MB internal memory, micro SD slot supporting up to 32GB, 2GB micro-SD card included, 3-megapixel camera
The LG Optimus One is another example of the new breed of low-cost Android smartphones, and at just over £200 SIM-free, is more likely to find favour with first-time buyers rather than those looking to upgrade.
With dimensions of 113.5mm x 59mm x 13.3mm, the device is almost exactly the same size as the ruggedised Motorola Defy. But while the Optimus One does feel solidly built, it looks rather bland in comparison to many other devices on the market.
LG has based its budget device on version 2.2 of the Android platform, the most up-to-date until this week's release of Android 2.3 "Gingerbread". However, there are no fancy overlays, and LG hasn't preloaded the home screens with many widgets and shortcuts.
With its smaller than average 3.2in screen size, space is at a premium anyway, and two smallish widgets and a handful of shortcuts is usually all a home screen can handle.
The Optimus One features four physical face buttons and, although they are easy to hit, their styling makes the device look dated in comparison with many other smartphones.
Users have the option of five or seven home screens, giving flexibility as to how many widgets and shortcuts can be set up.
A reasonable number of apps are included, the most useful from a business perspective being ThinkFree Office, Carhome navigation and News apps.
Synchronising Exchange, Gmail and other accounts is quick and easy, and Android 2.2 provides enhanced security over previous versions.
LG also includes an App Advisor which recommends ten of the top rated applications every two weeks. This is useful as it can highlight noteworthy applications in the Android Market which has over 100,000 apps and counting.
The ability to create Categories to separate applications is also a useful addition, and is similar to the folder feature on the iPhone and iPad. Business users can put all their productivity applications in one place for quick and easy access, for example.
The 3.2in display screen features a 320 x 480 resolution, which is a little disappointing compared to the 800 x 480 pixels available on many other models, even Orange's low-cost San Francisco phone, for example.
Unfortunately, the touch screen isn't the most responsive either. During our tests it frequently took a couple of swipes or pushes to persuade the phone to scroll and activate applications.
With a 600MHz processor, the Optimus One solidifies its position as a mid-range smartphone. The handset does include 512MB of RAM, however, and feels faster than the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro and Motorola Flipout which also have processors with the same clock speed.
LG includes just 170MB of internal memory, but this is offset by the inclusion of a 2GB micro-SD card. Users can swap this out for a higher capacity card up to 32GB, if they wish.
A 3-megapixel camera is also included, which takes decent quality images and has a number of one-click editing and sharing options.