Wednesday, December 7, 2011

LG Optimus Hub - How does it stand up to other entry level offerings?

LG's Optimus One held the title of the best budget Android for almost a whole year. A few weeks ago, the replacement of the LG Optimus One, the Optimus Net became available. Like the Optimus one it was a Android powered touchscreen phone with a 3.2-inch display. The Optimus Net has 200MHz more processor clock speed and faster HSDPA 7.2 Mbps connectivity. Now priced as low as Php8,700 it is a decent choice.

It main competition comes from the 3-inch Sony Ericsson's Xperia Mini which comes with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with flash in browser support, a better camera and 720p video recording and playback capability which can be had at a few hundred more, at Php9,500.
While we think 3-inch and 3.2-inch screens are too small for continues use, when looking at entry level offerings, compromises can be made. Still budget conscious buyers can opt for the Smart Netphone with its 3.5-inch high resolution 480 x 800 display, at Php9,900.

Basically, while the Optimus Net is a decent phone, it is not the ground breaking entry level Android phone that the Optimus One was.

LG has brought in another entry level offering, the LG Optimus Hub, with a 3.5-inch 320 x 480 display. Available for a low as Php11,500 it is priced higher than out current budget phone favorites, the Sony Ericsson's Xperia Mini and the Smart Netphone. 

The Optimus Hub compete with the 1GHz Snapdragon found on the Sony Ericsson's Xperia Mini. If a 3-inch screen is okay with you, the Mini is the way to go.

For those who want a larger screen, it fair a bit better against the Smart Netphone. Both have 3.5-inch screens, which are is as large as a screen on an iPhone. The Netphone has a higher 480 x 800 resolution as against the Optimus Hub's 480 x 800 display. The Optimus Hub display is protected by Gorilla Glass which might be enough for some to forgo the higher resolution display of the Netphone. Overall, the Netphone looks like a better choice from a display standpoint.

Looking at speed parts, the LG Optimus Hub has an 800 MHz Arm v6 processor and Adreno 200 graphics. The Smart Netphone has a 600 MHz Arm v11 processor and Adreno 200 graphics. Both have 512MB of RAM. Performance wise, the Optimus Hub should be faster, but not dramatically faster. Both have 150MB of user available storage expandable via MircoSD Card. In terms of connectivity, the Optimus Hub use a old radio, with HSDPA 3.6 Mbps and upload speeds of only 384kbps. The Netphone has HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps capability. It is a close fight, but I would give the edge to the Netphone.

Where the LG Optimus Hub shines as against the Smart Netphone is in the software camera department. In the software department, the LG Optimus Hub runs Android Gingerbread 2.3.4, while Netphone is upgradeable only Android 2.2 (Froyo). The Optimus Hub has a 5 MP auto focus camera with a LED flash as against the 3.2  MP auto focus camera with no flash on the Netphone. The Optimus Hub's 1500 mAh battery is also 20% larger. 

In terms of price, the lowest price we have seen is Php11,500 versus Php9,900 for the Netphone and Php9,500 for the Mini.

All-in-all it is a good choice among entry level Androids, but it is not the king of the hill. It will have to share the entry level limelight with Sony Ericsson's Xperia Mini and Smart Netphone. I think buyers would have a hard time picking among the three, but the Mini and the Netphone are probably better options.

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