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LG Optimus C Reviewed: Budget Android Smartphone

written by: Robert Faustus•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 6/1/2011

The LG Optimus C is the Cricket Wireless specific smartphone from LG. LG has done a great job expanding into both national and regional carriers with the Optimus line up. The LG Optimus C is the latest addition to the series. But with the timeline and the current feature set, does it fare well?

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    The LG Optimus C is another addition to along line of Optimus series smartphones released to the entry level market from various different carriers. Like the LG Optimus T, U, V, S, M and Vortex, the LG Optimus C is geared towards aiming at the entry level market with a cheaper price and plan, but with the features of a high end smartphone. The LG Optimus C is specifically available for Cricket Wireless in the U.S. market. Like the other currently released Optimus line up, this phone also runs on Android.


    • 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 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, Stereo Bluetooth
    • GPS: GPS with A-GPS
    • Battery: Li-Ion 1500 mAh
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    Design and Display

    Rating Average

    LG Optimus C Review The LG Optimus C, like its brethren, shares the same candy bar design. Dominating the front of the smartphone is the 3.2 inch LCD capacitive touchscreen display. This version is most similar to the LG Optimus M, available on MetroPCS. Like the Optimus M, the Optimus C doesn't have as much of a curvaceous look as the other Optimus series of smartphones. It is a bit on the heavier and bulkier side of the house, and does feel a bit cheap in hand. The 3.2 inch display itself is very clear and bright. While the display would not measure up against the likes of the Samsung Captivate or Motorola Atrix, for an entry level smartphone, the LG Optimus C is decent.

    The rest of the design on the phone is very much reminiscent, if not nearly identical, to the LG Optimus M. Below the display you'll find the four Android shortcuts for menu, home, back and search. To the right resides the volume rocker and dedicated camera button. Residing on the bottom is the microUSB and up top, resides the power/lock key along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Very much similar to its siblings in the Optimus line. Rounding out the back is the 3.2 megapixel camera.

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    Hardware and Software

    Rating Average

    The LG Optimus C is coming in at a reasonable price of $199.99 and Cricket Wireless offers some cheap plans when compared to the other, larger, national carriers. For the price, you get a smartphone powered by a 600 MHz processor and preloaded with Android 2.2. For an entry level smartphone, Android 2.2 is definitely a welcome addition and from what LG is stating, the Optimus series will receive Android 2.3. While there are times where the lag is noticeable, overall, for the market this phone is aiming at, it is a viable contender when it comes to hardware and software.

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    User Interface

    Rating Average

    The LG Optimus C has an amazingly easy to use interface and there should be no surprise to existing Android users. The touchscreen interface is extremely easy to learn for people of all ages, and the responsiveness helps to enhance that user experience. Like the LG Optimus M or T, the LG Optimus C really doesn't share any differences when it comes to user interfaces and that can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Being easy to understand and pick up is a great, however, when compared side by side with its siblings, it's nearly identical. The question becomes price, rather than user interface when it comes to picking from the LG Optimus line up.

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    Rating Average

    Like its siblings, the LG Optimus C comes with Android 2.2, which allows it to access the Android Market. This entry into a world of free and paid applications is a great feature for Android smartphones and the entry LG Optimus C Review - Features level Optimus C is no exception. One thing to note is that the hardware does have limitations when it comes to Flash, even with Android 2.2. Also, among some of the 100,000+ applications on the market, there will be those that will be laggy, as seen on the LG Optimus T, U, M, S, V and Vortex, as the Optimus C has the same specifications.

    The phone also has the 3.2 megapixel camera, which is a decent camera phone. While it won't replace your digital camera, the images are clear and sharp enough to be used if you were to forget your actual camera. The video recording is a bit on the lacking side, only offering VGA recording, but, once again, decent if you need it "on the go" or if your camera isn't handy at the time. Overall, for a budget, entry level smartphone, the LG Optimus C has average features that you'd find on other entry level phones and smartphones.

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    Final Verdict

    Rating Average

    Across the board, the LG Optimus C ranks in as an "Average" smartphone. Coming in, priced at $199, it seems like a fairly good deal for an entry level smartphone. One item to be wary of, is that the national carriers also offer some powerful smartphones at around that price point with contracts. The LG Optimus series on the smaller carriers are banking on the cheap price of the phone along with the cheaper plan to make its way through the entry level market. If half of that equation, the price of the smartphone itself, begins to have a smaller and smaller gap, then it will be a harder sell.

    The LG Optimus C also has a bit of a weakness, coming out as one of the last Optimus series smartphones. In the extremely fast and constantly changing smartphone landscape, the Optimus C can easily be overlooked and forgotten as newer smartphones such as the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G ($99) take over the market. For a smartphone with an average feature set, this could easily mean disappearance sooner, rather than later.

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    • Source: Author's experience
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