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LG Optimus S (Sprint) video review

Video by Michael Oryl on Tuesday December 07, 2010.

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The LG Optimus S is an entry-level Android 2.2 smartphone offered by Sprint. It features a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen display, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and Sprint's ID pack system for customizing homescreens and applications. Michael shows us around the S in this review.

The LG Optimus S is the Sprint version of LG's low-cost and popular Optimus One. Like the One, the Optimus S runs on version 2.2 of Google's Android smartphone OS and features a 3.2-inch, HVGA (320 x 480 pixel) resolution touchscreen display. Camera duties are covered by a 3.2 megapixel shooter that can also record VGA resolution video.

I rather like the physical design of the Optimus S, especially the hardware controls that are located under the display, at the base of the phone. They offer good tactile feedback and won't be easily activated by accident like touch sensitive controls are. The phone has a soft-touch paint job that gives it a nice warm, grippy feel. The phone weighs 131g (4.6oz) and measures 114mm x 59mm x 13.5mm (4.5in x 2.3in x .5in) in size. The overall hardware design is very solid, and I'm particularly fond of the metal trim around the top half of the phone.

In terms of software, the Optimus S offers just about everything other Android 2.2 Froyo smartphones do, with the notable exception of Adobe Flash support in the web browser. What you do get, however, is Sprint's ID pack system, which lets users quickly customize their phones with pre-defined packages of wallpapers, ringtones, widgets, and applications that are tied to a common theme. Like travel, for instance. Additionally, the web browser and the other major apps like messaging, email, and music, all work very well. LG even included a few custom home screen widgets.

The Optimus S user can make use of 3G wireless data and local Wi-Fi networks for connectivity, and the built in GPS can be used with Google's pre-loaded, and free to use, turn by turn navigation system. The phone can also be used as a mobile 3G Wi-Fi hotspot (though at an additional monthly cost). An office document viewer is also included so that folks can take a look at email attachments when needed.

The LG Optimus S can't compete with higher end devices like Sprint's HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G, which offer larger, higher resolution display, faster 1GHz processor, and 4G WiMAX data. It doesn't have to, though, since the Optimus S can be had for much less money. At $49.99, it's not as cheap as T-Mobile's Optimus T, but it's still a pretty solid deal, which should ensure that the Optimus S sell pretty well.

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