LG Optimus One review

Another 3.2" Android phone arrives, but just a little bit too late

The definitive LG Optimus One review
The definitive LG Optimus One review

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There's a very obvious and embarrassing error, here – opening LG's own App Advisor app results in a force close error every time. This is particularly crazy, since we're using a boxed, retail version of the phone. It just doesn't work.

LG optimus one review: app advisor

If it ever does start working on your phone, App Advisor is LG's attempt at curating the Android Market, serving users a hand-picked collection of recommended new apps every couple of weeks. Perhaps this will fire into life once the phone's been on sale for a while and someone at LG's flipped the relevant switch...

Still, thanks to the Optimus One coming with Android 2.2, access to the Android Market is straightforward as soon as you've signed in with a Gmail account. There's over 160,000 apps on it and not all of them are rubbish.

LG optimus one review: marketplace

LG has also stuck the popular, if slightly pointless, augmented reality app Layar on the Optimus One, plus you get the full range of Google apps: Latitude, Maps, Navigation, Places and YouTube.

LG optimus one review: thinkfree office

If you're pretending you need a new mobile phone for work purposes, there's a copy of stripped-down mobile word processor ThinkFree Office on here too, which lets you cobble together important business documents and save them in DOCX format for use on proper computers.

LG optimus one review: car home

Another useful Android 2.2 feature is the Car Home. Oddly enough, rival Android handset maker HTC chooses to remove this option from its version of Android 2.2. The Optimus One's Car Home replaces the phone's front end with two screens full of massive buttons, designed to make mucking about with your phone while cruising along at 77mph a little less dangerous.

From here, you can get straight into Google's amazing Maps Navgation sat nav tool, which comes complete with voice search for picking out your destination while keeping your hands in the ten-to-two position on the steering wheel.

LG optimus one review: sat nav

GPS performance is good once you've waited ages and ages for the initial satellite lock, and there's no better GPS tool around today than Google's free app once it's up and running.