Monday, September 5, 2011

SMART's Nethpone 701 vs. LG Optimus One P500

It will be some time before we can test the new SmartNet services which will accompany its new Netphone, but between its Netphone messenger, FX Messenger, Global Directory and Safe Browsing, it looks like SmartNet might become something like a local Social Network. We will just have to wait and see how that all pans out.

The Netphone 701 itself, is a known quantity. In selecting its first Netphone, SMART Communications went with a tried and tested phone, the ZTE Blade. It is the same phone selected by UK based Telecom Orange for their network. On the Orange network, the ZTE Blade is called the Orange San Francisco. If you want to find out more about SMART's Netphone 701 phone you can read reviews from UK based websites on the Orange San Francisco.

While the hardware will be the same, the operating system will be different. Instead of the Orange modified Android OS, you will find vanilla Android with Red Bends WAC based SmartNet software.
Price. The asking price of SMART Communications, at Php9,900 is hard to beat. From a hardware standpoint, the best reason to get the Netphone 701 is its 3.5-inch, high resolution 480 x 800 screen, is the same size as the screen on Apple's iPhone and Nokia N8.

Sony Ericsson does not offer anything comparable, all its phones at this price range now running a obsolescent version of the Android OS, version 2.1 Eclair. Samsung offerings at this price range have smaller screens (3.14-inch) with painfully lower 240 x 320 screen resolutions. Nokia closest competitor is the C6-01 is more than 2K more expensive and with Symbian OS which is gradually being phased out it is not very inviting. Similarly, HTC's nearest offering is also more than 2K more expensive. Only LG has something comparably priced.

The LG Optimus One can be had for as low as Php9,800, which put its price Php100 lower than the Optimus One. 

Update & Correction: The LG Optimus One now has a suggested retail price of just Php8,990 and is available at a discounted price of Php7,990 until October 2, 2011 from LG Concept Stores and kiosks.

The Netphone 701 and Optimus One run on similar hardware. Both phones have 600MHz ARM 11 processors, Adreno 200 graphics and 512MB of RAM. Both phones have 3.2MP auto-focus cameras.  The key areas of difference are:

Screen. The SMART Netphone 3.5-inch screen is larger than the LG Optimus One's 3.2-inch screen The Netphone also has a higher screen resolution at 480 x 800, while the Optimus One has a lower resolution 320 x 480 screen.

Size. The Netphone 710 is the slimmer of the two at 116 x 56.5 x 11.8 m, while the Optimus One is a chunkier looking 113.5 x 59 x 13.3 mm.

Internal Storage. The Optimus One has more user available internal storage, at 170MB versus 150MB for the Netphone 701. I suspect the 150MB of the Netphone will be reduced because of the pre-installed SmartNet apps.

Battery. The Optimus One has a larger 1500 mAh battery, while the Netphone 701 has a smaller 1250 mAh battery. The Netphone's has a decently sized battery being rated higher than some batteries on even more expensive phones. The HTC Desire HD only has a 1230 mAh battery.

Operating System. Both phones come out of the box with Android 2.2, but the Optimus One is upgradeable to Android 2.3. The Android 2.2 upgrade was a major update and any phone running a lower version of Android is something we could consider obsolete. Android 2.3 really focuses more on features not found on the Netphone 701 and Optimus One.  

While the Optimus One has several points in its favor, ultimately screen size and screen resolution are more important, and in those categories the Optimus One falls far behind the Netphone.

From a hardware standpoint, it look like SMART's Netphone is the best budget phone in the market and its its 3.5-inch, high resolution 480 x 800 screen really puts its competitors, and even higher priced models to shame.

Update: Every time something new comes in to threaten the spot of the LG Optimus One as the band for the buck smartphone in the Philippines, it simply lowers its price. At Php7,990 till September 25, 2011, it is 2K cheaper than the Netphone. I think that will be enough to call this comparison a draw?


  1. how about lg optimus net vs the smart's netphone ?
    the lg optimus net is said to be the optimus one's replacement and is also available less than 10k...

  2. The LG Optimus Net will be a slimmer Optimus One with a more powerful 800MHz processor. It will now be a question of whether the buyer will prioritize speed versus screen size and resolution.


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