Affordable smartphone, LG Optimus GT540

Not a proper review really. Information is scattered everywhere as I wrote it as it came into mind.
But hopefully it’s still better than nothing for those who are looking to purchase this. =)

I just got two of these for my mum and dad who wanted a cheap phone but also wanted multi-lingual IME for SMS etc and possibility of turn-by-turn GPS and Golf GPS. This phone is one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) brand-name Android phone out there as it costs less than AU$200 outright here in Australia.

It came with Android 1.6. Soon as I took it out of the box, I upgraded it to official Eclair 2.1 OS update. Process went butter smooth.

Resistive screen is actually not bad at all and quite responsive as long as you get used to it or use your nails. It’s no where near as bad as the LG KU990 Viewty phone’s resistive screen and quite close the excellent Nokia N900’s resistive. Resolution is decent for anyone who aren’t heavy web browsers that need the extra space. There is no pinch-to-zoom support due to the nature of resistive touch screen.

I got around 460 for the Quadrant benchmark score. (apparently you can get over 1000 if you use apps2sd and use extra swap partition) Tried Angry Birds and it plays it smoothly enough. So it can handle some gaming just fine.

Camera has a dedicated 2-step shutter button and although small, it’s still better than not having one that’s for sure. I tried out the new Google Navigation while driving and it works extremely well. My dad tried out the golf GPS apps (SkyDroid, GolfShot) and he LOVES it. So that works well also. Amazing to have such features and capability in such a budget phone really.

Overall, phone is as snappy as any other more expensive Android phone in general menu navigation etc. It comes with Korean read/write support out of the box that my parents need. (as well as tons of other international languages) Due to the resistive screen, it also has hand writing options and works very well once you get used to how it recognises your writing.

It just charges off a MicroUSB cable and also uses it for data transfer. No need for special chargers anymore.

I was actually quite surprised at its build quality or its “feel” of it. It looks and feels quite good. Definitely not cheap imo. Especially the pink colour one! It is actually a really nice pink and looks like a much more expensive phone. Very nice.

Anyways, other than having a resistive screen, it’s an excellent quite-capable little Android smartphone that is very affordable. I definitely recommend it for those who are looking for a cheap phone that can do many things more expensive ones can. =)

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