LG Optimus One P500 review: One and a half

One and a half

GSMArena team, 06 December 2010.

A social phonebook

The phonebook displays all the contacts in a list ordered alphabetically and there is an alphabet scroll on the right. Its font size is quite tiny so you have to be very precise when using the alphabet scroll. But we guess that’s because of the small screen.

There’s also a search bar that cannot be hidden and eats up one line of the screen (the hardware search key makes it unnecessary for the search bar to be always visible).

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The Contacts tab

Each contact is displayed with a contact photo and name – a tap on the photo brings up the quick contacts keys. You can use those to call the contact, send them a message or email or view their profile.

You can hide contacts without phone numbers but the phonebook is even more flexible than that. You can choose which sources are used for the contact list – e.g. hide or show Facebook contacts, Twitter contacts, email contact along with the contacts from the phone.

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Viewing a contact

Viewing a single contact uses a tabbed interface. The first tab is Info – and it shows all available info for the contact with handy one-tap shortcuts for calling, messaging and so on. The other tab is History, which shows the communication history with the contact (only calls, messages and email, Facebook is not included).

You can link contacts (it’s called “join” in the Optimus One) so that if you have a contact added to multiple services, all the data from them is pooled in one place. When you tap Join, the phonebook will suggest a contact based on name and it’s right most of the time. You can manually pick another one if it’s wrong of course.

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Dee Dee is on Facebook and Twitter

One annoying thing we noticed is that when you link a phone contact with a Twitter or Facebook account, it would overwrite the name of the contact in the contact list and we couldn’t change it back.

Editing a contact is mostly unchanged. You have all the types listed (numbers, email addresses, etc) and there's a plus sign on the right - clicking it adds another item of that type. Pressing the minus sign under it deletes unneeded info.

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Editing a contact

The Call log and Favorite Contacts need no special introduction. You can add favorites by taping on the small star right next to the name.

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Call log

Telephony is good

Signal reception on the LG Optimus One P500 is strong even in areas of poor coverage. The in-call quality is good but rather quiet even at the loudest setting.

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The Dialer has Smart Dial

The Dialer shows a virtual phone keypad that lets you dial a number. Smart Dial is available and works like a charm – it searches both numbers and names. Only one matching contact is displayed, but if you tap the down arrow button the rest show up as well.

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Calling Dexter

We ran our traditional loudspeaker test and the LG Optimus One and it aced the test with an Excellent score. The vibration is also quite strong so you’re unlikely to miss a call even in noisy environments.

You can find more about the testing procedure here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Sony Ericsson Vivaz64.8 59.869.1Below average
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X866.6 66.669.1Average
Apple IPhone 3GS69.5 69.571.7Good
Samsung I5800 Galaxy 373.7 66.672.3Good
Nokia C6-0175.066.377.8Very good
LG Optimus One P50077.174.577.9Excellent
HTC Desire75.275.785.5Excellent

Rich messaging capabilities

The LG Optimus One P500 can handle all common types of messages with ease - SMS, MMS and email. Email support is excellent with support for Exchange out of the box and social media buffs will be pleased with the level of integration of that content as well.

A press-and-hold on the text box gives you access to functions such as cut, copy and paste. You are free to paste the copied text across applications like email, notes, chats, etc.

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Sending Dexter a message

Gmail is one thing that you can't expect to have changed much compared to other Android handsets.

The extended Gmail features include batch operations, which allow multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted, spam report and of course conversation-style email view mode.

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The Gmail app is simple to use but very functional

Multiple email accounts are also supported. If you do add multiple accounts, then the Combined Inbox feature will come in handy. Too bad there’s no conversation-style view like in Gmail.

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The generic email app

There are two types of on-screen keyboard you get with the LG Optimus One – the phone dialpad and the on-screen QWERTY keyboard. The QWERTY is available in both portrait and landscape, but the keys are rather tiny in portrait mode so you might prefer the dialpad + predictive input combo.

When you flip the phone on its side, the keyboard automatically switches to the landscape QWERTY, which is much bigger and better to use. It covers most of the screen however, leaving room for only two lines of text.

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The on-screen QWERTY keyboard

Reader comments

  • Moe ZA

I've got a P500 that's 6 years old now and still going strong. I loaded a custom ROM, and for a phone this old and with this specs it still performs well. I don't use it anymore except as a wifi hotspot sometimes but yeah, it still works.

  • Anonymous

I've had my Optimus One P500 (with the official car kit) for about four years now, and it's one purchase I've never regretted. Its obsolete processor may not be a powerhouse, and the well-known touchscreen bugs render all but the most basic multitouc...

  • bash

Does it have whatsapp?