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LG Optimus One (LG P500)
The LG Optimus One was announced briefly earlier this year and was released last month on several carriers worldwide, although not exactly in a huge blaze of publicity. LG's fairly low key but determined approach to marketing this handset seems to have paid dividends though, and they claim that they have shifted one million handsets in just 40 days.. not a patch on iPhone sales perhaps, but still a lot better than most competing handsets.
Clearly there is something going on with the Optimus One.. but what? It's a fairly low end Android device in a smart but fairly unremarkable slabby design, but reviews have been very positive, LG have shown some attention to detail in both hardware and their own software add-ons, the pricing is right and the "LG" badge on it certainly does not hurt sales.
This is an Android 2.2 smartphone with various LG-sourced software enhancements. Inside is a 600 MHz CPU, which doesn't seem like much when high-end devices are running at 1 GHz, but then the Optimus One's fairly modest hardware doesn't need much more than that. Modest? Well, the 3.2" 320 x 480 pixel display is about as basic as Android phones get, but it certainly does the job.. especially for first time smartphone users, and the Optimus One has a capacitive touchscreen much is much nicer to use than the resistive panels found on many rivals.
On the back is a 3.2 megapixel camera with VGA resolution video recording, and the Optimus One supports 3.5G data, WiFi and comes with GPS support. There's a multimedia player, FM radio, microSD expandable memory and a 3.5mm audio socket too. The large 1500 mAh battery promises plenty of talktime, and because this is an Android 2.2 device, then there is a massive range of software available to run on it.
Current retail prices are about €230 or £200 SIM-free including tax, although if you shop around you can possibly get a better deal than that.
Overall, the LG Optimus One can do a lot of things, it looks quite nice, it isn't too expensive and it comes from a brand that most consumers trust.. and most reviews say that it is a pretty decent handset as well. Combine this with LG's success in getting the Optimus One placed with 120 carriers worldwide, then you can see why it is a strong seller.
Perhaps the Optimus One goes some way to address LG's weakness in the smartphone market. Traditionally seen as a manufacturer of lower-spec "feature phones" and "fashion phones", LG have failed to keep up with rivals in this sector. And while the Optimus One might not wow the more technically advanced customers, it does seem to be doing rather well.
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