LG C660 Optimus Pro Review

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LG Optimus pro in hand

PS: This review has no pictures yet. We upgraded to WordPress 3.3 last night and have been unable to upload pictures since then. Pictures will be added as soon as we can. Thanks for bearing with us. – Editor.

I said it before and I will again – the LG C660 Optimus Pro is a good-looking budget device. It was the good looks that first got my attention. Okay, well, it really was the QWERTY keypad – and then I noticed how good the phone looked.

But think of it, along with that keypad, this baby offers all the standard features of Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) with a 2.8-inch capacitive display, and a 800 MHz processor. Sounds promising. And it is.

But for a device that costs around N30,000, there has to be compromises; right? Right.

But I will get to that later.

The Shining Stars

First, those keys do look small, but they work very well. I have large fingers and didn’t have big issues using the keypad. As a matter of fact, within hours, I fell more in love with the Optimus Pro on account of the keypad alone.

The display is responsive (more so than that on its distant cousin, the Galaxy Gio). Sunlight legibility is fairly good. With the brightness set to at least 50%, it is usable outdoors. Its not at the top of the ladder of sunlight legibility, but its quite usable.

I particularly like the LG desktop – with the large AccuWeather widget showing your city, time, date and weather condition. Did I mention that I really like it?

All other Android functionality is standard – and those are well known and they work fine: email, web browsing, music playback synchronisation, wifi, hotspot, etc. Its all there, so being a budget device doesn’t mean that you are denied any of those.

Video playback supports MP4, 3GP, WMV, and surprisingly AVI files.

The Compromises

While there’s a hefty 800 MHz processor running under the hood, the limited RAM of 256 MB means that using the phone with multiple apps running results in some lag, as well as a persistent low memory error when the little guy runs out of RAM.

Low memory errors on Optimus Pro

Yep; persistent. The error pop-up gives you the option to select “Okay” to launch the built-in app manager and choose what apps to close, or to tap “Cancel”, go on with what you are doing and let the OS decide what to kill off.

After checking out the app manager once, I always canceled and just went on with my current task. Many times, when I go back to an app that I had been using, I find that its been shut down. I’m looking at a maximum of three or four running apps here. Anything more and something gets shut down.

Well, what were you expecting from 256 MB RAM on Android? This isn’t Symbian or BlackBerry. Still, its not terrible. It can be lived with. I have so enjoyed the Optimus Pro so much that I haven’t griped about it as much as I thought I would.

Optimus Pro Camera

Another weak point of this guy is the camera. How do I put this? Let’s just say that this is about the worst 3.2 megapixel camera that I have used. I suspect that the erstwhile holder of that honour, the Huawei U8180, produces slightly better pictures. “suspect” is the operative word. The 3.2 megapixel camera on the Samsung Gio certainly does much better.

Like all other Android devices that I have used, power management is not impressive. While your usage may vary, but i find that charging the phone fully and leaving it idle overnight with Gmail, one company mail, Twitter and Facebook running, by daybreak, the battery is down to about 50%.

that’s idle. No human interaction with the phone. As another Android user said, it seems there’s an angel (maybe a devil too, who knows?) who uses his phone while he sleeps.

Your mileage may vary, but you certainly need to watch your battery and nurse this baby tediously to get through a full work day if you have the services listed above running on it.

Of course, you can always disable as many apps and services – or even everything besides calls and SMS – should you really need to.

A Few Other Niggles

I had issues with Glo’s APN settings on the Optimus Pro. The device has GloWAP and GloMMS configured by default. When I create a new APN for GloFlat and select it for use, the phone ignores that and uses GloWAP. I tried again and again, but never found a way around that.

I had no issues with Etisalat or Airtel APNs which I tested, so it looks like a Glo issue.

Conclusions

I like the Optimus Pro. It is a breath of fresh air, especially with its solid feel and good QWERTY keypad in a bar form. Of the several android devices that I have used this year, the Optimus Pro is the one that I developed a fondness this deep for.

I can live with the low RAM, but that poor camera is an issue. For you, things may be different. The power management is a deal breaker for me. I hate having to nurse a phone to get through a day of usage.

However, what is certain is that for its price, the LG Optimus Pro is serious value for money.

READER COMMENTS

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5 comments

  1. Thanks Yomi,
    I got a unit hours after your preview of this device last Friday.

    I like the keypad but I find the keypad light to be very poor at night.

    In terms of resolution,most of my favourite applications running on my Android flashed HD2 also ran on this lower resolution device.

    Battery is more of a headache to me than low RAM of this device. Must charge twice daily.

    Also had the APN issue and lost all my air time because I created APNs for Gloflat and Gloseure but could not delete Glowap as default.

    Top attraction for me is the portrait orientation and QWERTY keypad combination.

    I must commend Android for great multi display resolution support for applications in Android mart.

  2. Nope i can not give up ram for anything in the world……… I guess i’ll keep wait for the perfect below 40k android phone…… Feel free to call me a dreamer but just so you know i am joseph..

  3. maximum of 3 or 4 apps??it’s the same 256mb ram that the n8 and many other symbian^3 phones use. yet, theyre not this bad at handling background apps

  4. Would never ever touch a device with anything less than 512MB RAM on Android and 256MB (if hard pressed) on Symbian. I like to leave apps running in the background and when devices like Nokia E72 decide to play bawse and forcefully shut ’em down, i blow a fit.

    Low RAM and poor battery life (and just maybe the LG brand) is a dealbreaker for me on this handset. Fiddled with it a few days ago and didnt quite like the keypad.

    If i were to get an Android (LG) device, it would be an Opimus 3D, 2x or black(and maybe Nitro or Prada after i rob a bank).

    P.S. I understand this is a mid-range device hence the spec, still a 5MP at least would have been welcomed

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