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The LG Phoenix may not be one of the most highly anticipated phones to hit AT&T, but in a lot of ways, it should be. Similar to the Galaxy S phone, the Optimus One has been picked up by every major U.S. carrier and each model has subsequently become one of the best mid-range devices on that carrier. True, it's no iPhone or ThunderBolt, but if you don't have big bucks to shell out for a high-end phone but still want a phone that can perform well, the Optimus One is a good choice.

The Phoenix is AT&T's on-contract version of the LG Optimus One. (This phone can also be bought with a prepaid plan, that version being called the Thrive.) It's very similar to all of the other Optimus One phones out there. It features a 3.2-inch display, 3.2-megapixel camera, 600 MHz processor, and so on and so forth. This one also features LG's custom UI and a slightly different hardware design, though most consumers won't even notice that.

I got the Phoenix yesterday and, after toying around with it for about a day, here are a few of my first impressions.

  • Like I said in the opening, these devices have been solid mid-range devices that perform well with little to no lag. I suspected I would have the same experience with the Phoenix and so far, I have.
  • Not everyone likes custom skins, but the nice thing about LG's UI is that it's not very heavy. Really, the only thing you'll notice is the dock at the bottom and five toggle buttons in the notification bar. In my opinion, it's very clean and unobtrusive, but still adds some features that are very helpful. This UI also comes with a custom LG clock and weather widget that actually looks pretty good. These kinds of widgets are popular, so it's nice that it already comes with one.

  • This is the third Optimus One phone I've tested and it's the first one of those three to ship with LG's custom keyboard. The stock Android keyboard is also available, but LG's keyboard isn't bad. It features a lighter color scheme with narrow, island-style keys. I haven't used it much, but it seems to work well.
  • 3G data on the Phoenix has been a little wonky and inconsistent. Honestly, I don't expect that to be a huge problem, but I will keep and eye on it and see how it performs during my testing.

  • So far, I haven't been super-impressed by the camera on the other Optimus One phones, but it's still nice that it is at least a 3 MP camera with autofocus. After receiving the Galaxy Prevail on Boost Mobile which sports a measly 2 MP fixed-focus camera, I now appreciate the Phoenix's camera even more.

If you've read or seen our reviews for the other Optimus One phones, then you know what to expect. There's not a lot of new stuff here. Still, I expect this phone to perform well and be a good choice for people that have a low budget but still want a smartphone. We'll see what I think after I've tested it out fully. Check back in to PhoneDog.com for the full review, and have a look at the unboxing below!


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