The LG Optimus M is the first ever Android powered handset to arrive on MetroPCS. With a price of $230 with a no contract $50 monthly plan, does the Optimus have what it takes to target and grab entry level smartphone customers?
The LG Optimus M is a recently released smartphone exclusive to MetroPCS in the United States. The LG Optimus M is actually one of the few 'higher end' smartphones available on MetroPCS, in fact it's the first ever Android powered handset released to MetroPCS. The LG Optimus M follows a similar path to its other siblings the LG Optimus T on T-Mobile and the LG Optimus S on Sprint. It's an entry level smartphone, targeting the lower end of the market with smartphone capabilities. Though not as powerful as other high end smartphones, it's not meant to be.
LG Optimus M Specifications:
Dimensions: 4.57 x 2.22 x 0.62 inches (116 x 56 x 15.7 mm)
Weight: 5.39 oz (153 g)
- Display: 3.2 inch LCD Color TFT capacitive touchscreen display, 320 x 480 pixels
- Memory: 150 MB + 2 GB microSD included, expandable up to 32 GB
- OS: Android OS 2.2
Processor: 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7627
- Camera: 3.2 megapixel camera with VGA video recording
- Connectivity: CDMA (850/1700/1900 Mhz)
- Data: 1xEV-DO rev.0
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1
- GPS: GPS with A-GPS
- Battery: Li-Ion 1500 mAh
Design and Display
The LG Optimus M comes in a very familiar design for smartphone users. It has a candy bar design with the front being dominated by the 3.2 inch LCD capacitive touchscreen display. Though it comes from the same line as the LG Optimus T and Optimus S, it doesn't quite have the curvaceous look of its siblings. The LG Optimus M is a bit heavier and bulkier, and has a cheap plastic feeling, unlike the more luxurious feel the others have. The display itself is very clear and easy to see, and clarity is not an issue.
Below the 3.2 inch display are the four familiar Android buttons; menu, home, back and search. The right side of the LG Optimus M is the volume rocker and dedicated camera button. Located on the button is the microUSB for charging the LG Optimus M and opposite, on top is the power/lock key and 3.5 mm headphone jack. All in all a very familiar design along with a fairly nice display for the money.
Hardware and Software
The LG Optimus M packs a 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7627 processor. Though not as powerful as other smartphones such as the Droid 2 Global or the myTouch 4G, it's to be expected since the LG Optimus M is not meant to compete with them. Preloaded onto the LG Optimus M is Android 2.2, which is a nice surprise. While other more powerful smartphones recently released, such as the Samsung Continuum, come preloaded with Android 2.1, LG has graciously put Android 2.2 on their Optimus series. News also has it that LG has promised to place Android 2.3 on their Optimus series of phones. Overall the hardware and software work well, especially at the entry level market LG is aiming for.
The LG Optimus M has an easy to use interface. For Android cell phone owners, the LG Optimus M is extremely easy to pick up and for newcomers to Android, the touchscreen interface is easy to learn and understand. Simply touch an application icon to start an application or hold the icon to move it around. The touchscreen interface truly is the easiest interface to pick up for both new and old users and it's very intuitive.
The addition of the 4 usual buttons across the front of the display helps keep the user interface consistent. The LG Optimus M utilizes the same four key buttons as other Android powered handsets, and does not add or remove anything. The simplicity helps the LG Optimus M in capitalizing on the entry level market as well as leaving a good impression for users who eventually move up, possibly to a higher end LG manufactured Android powered smartphone.
The LG Optimus M comes with the familiar suite of preloaded Android applications and widgets, including the Android Market. The Android Market allows you to download more applications and games onto the LG Optimus M. In addition, it comes preloaded with the MetroPCS specific suite, which includes mail@metro, Metro411, MetroBackup, MetroNavigator, MetroPCS Easy Wi-Fi, MetroWeb Browser, Mobile IM and MyExtras. They're all fairly useful applications though some can be replaced by third party applications that perform better.
The LG Optimus M also comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera that is fairly decent. Though the colors don't come off as vibrant and the picture quality could be better, it's still average for an entry level smartphone. There is no HD recording only VGA recording which is useful to a certain degree. The dedicated camera buttons makes it easy to use and makes it feel like a good low budget camera replacement.
The Final Verdict
Overall the LG Optimus M is an 'Average' phone for the entry level smartphone market. Though the LG Optimus M has a higher price point at $230, the key is that you don't need a contract on MetroPCS. It's a flat $50 monthly fee with no contract after you buy the LG Optimus M for $230. That is a bit of a steep price for some, which may push away the entry level smartphone market LG is aiming for, but for the customers that do purchase the LG Optimus M, they most likely won't regret it. It's a solid smartphone to pick up and use for a few years before upgrading to more powerful smartphones. If contract-less phone use is your choice, the LG Optimus M is a good average phone to pick up, however, if you don't mind contracts, the LG Optimus T or the LG Optimus S may actually be the cheaper choice to take.
LG Optimus Series Review
A series of reviews on the LG Optimus Series of smartphones from Korean manufacturer, LG. Though not quite as popular as Samsung, LG has been pumping out sleeker and newer smartphones with the Optimus brand.
- LG Optimus S Review
- LG Optimus T Reviewed
- LG Optimus U Reviewed
- LG Optimus M Reviewed
- LG Optimus V Review