LG Optimus GT540 review

Does this low cost Android handset deliver good value for money?

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LG gt540 review

We've been rather hard on the LG Optimus GT540, and not without good reason. Its specifications are very much at the lower end of the pile as far as a modern smartphone is concerned, and it is not going to be the kind of handset you'll rush out and buy if you want the latest features.

But given that it's free on £15 a month contracts, you don't really have the right to expect top notch features.

And, taking that into consideration, we have to say that the LG Optimus GT540 is a nicely rounded phone. There's nothing outstanding about it, but the features fit together well enough, rivalling those of a higher end handset thanks to the same Android experience (albeit Android 1.6).

We liked

The price is certainly very attractive, and that may well be a significant factor for many people in deciding whether or not to opt for this, rather than another Android handset - especially when most of the times the Optimus GT540 performs admirably.

There are plenty of shooting options on the camera, and while it is not great, it is good enough for everyday point-and-shoot use. It has no flash though, so beware of poorly lit indoor shots.

The physical design punches above its weight, and makes the LG Optimus GT540 look like a more expensive phone than it actually is.

LG's skin for Android is not unattractive, and some people will find it preferable to the vanilla option. But whichever you prefer, it is pretty easy to switch between them.

Battery life is good, and we'd even go as far as to say it may stretch over two days for some users – which is a real plus point for an Android handset.

We disliked

The FM radio has to store each found station individually, which is a bit of a bore when you are initially scanning for finds.

The Web browser is lacking in features, so it can be slow and a little painful to use at times, which reflects throughout the UI with the processor seeming to lack any real grunt - although text reflow is a nice addition.

The resistive touch screen requires a fairly hard press, and is not always as responsive to finger touches as we would like.

Android 1.6 has to be a big downer if you are the kind of person who likes to have the latest kit in your pocket. Android 1.6 is serviceable, but you do miss out on the latest tricks and tweaks, like sat nav and Live Wallpapers.

Verdict

There is no doubting that the LG Optimus GT540 is attractive in pricing terms, and LG has done a good job of making it look attractive both physically and in terms of its own Android skin.

The resistive touchscreen lacks responsiveness at times though, making you feel like you're swiping through treacle, and the screen itself is a bit too small for media rich activity like Web browsing. We'd have liked to see a higher resolution for video capture too, although video playback is well thought-through.

But battery life is good and for the price it's a phone that might make inroads into the under-populated mid-range Android market.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory130 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time7.33 Hour
Product ModelGT540 Optimus
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Weight (Approximate)115.5 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
Height109 mm
Width54.5 mm
Depth12.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time500 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameOptimus GT540 Smartphone
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberGT540.AGBWBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

The LG Optimus (LG GT540) is a smart choice for the first-time smartphone users with access to the exciting world of Android apps without compromising on style as the handset boasts a distinctive design that is both sleek and soft and is available in black and silver. The LG Optimus also allows users to enjoy automatic account synchronization with all Google mobile services and enhanced social networking functions in a high-powered multimedia environment.

Limited Warranty1 Year