The LG Optimus GT540 is a mid-range Android handset, with a feature list you'd expect to see on a more expensive device. LG have dispensed with a physical keyboard for the new Optimus, instead going with a large, sharp 3.2 inch resistive touchscreen. Design-wise, the GT540 looks anything but cheap, with a curved design and brushed-metal-effect resulting in a handset that looks far more high-end than its price tag would suggest.
The display of the LG Optimus GT450 has a 320 x 480 pixel resolution, so even small text is perfectly readable, and is ideal for viewing your media collection on the go. The Optimus features full smartphone connectivity with Wi-Fi, 3G HSDPA and Bluetooth connections, as well as a GPS chip that allows for turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps. The Optimus GT450 makes a great media player, with a regular 3.5mm headphone socket, so you can use your favourite 'phones, plus an FM radio and native support for the Divx movie codec.
While the LG Optimus GT450 runs the older 1.6 version of Android, it is still able to access to the Android Market where a wide selection of free and paid games and applications can be downloaded, plus a customized home screen with pre-installed widgets providing direct access to social networking sites and commonly used applications. The Optimus has a 3 Megapixel camera capable of decent images, although it lacks a flash, and comes with geo-tagging and face recognition modes.
There seems to be a sizable market for mid range smartphones like the LG Optimus, and with its stylish looks and decent feature list, LG have made a solid effort at producing a handset that can take on the competition from Samsung and HTC. At this price level the key question is always what features get cut, and for the Optimus the choice to go with a resistive touchscreen is likely to be the most noticeable missing element.
It's also puzzling that LG have chosen to go with such an old version of Android for the Optimus, although future upgrades are perhaps possible. It's a real shame as the GT540 comes with several features such as Wi-Fi and GPS that the latest Android builds put to such good use with features like sat nav and push email. Still, the Optimus GT540 is a solid handset overall from LG, increasing expectations for what can be expected at this price point.