"My test of an LG Optimus One smartphone began inauspiciously
with a combination of consternation and revulsion at its keyboard.
But after two months using it as my primary phone, I wound up with
a much more favorable impression of it and the prospects for
Android on lower-end phones.
"The Optimus One's dismal keyboard is a touch-screen version of
the numeric keypad so poorly adapted to typing letters. It reflects
LG's effort to cater to new arrivals in the world of smartphones.
As I see it, the sooner they fumble through the settings to switch
to a more useful Qwerty keyboard, the sooner they can start getting
a taste of a real smartphone.
"For the full smartphone meal, alas, a higher-end model is
really the way to go. But for the basics of Android--e-mail, Web
surfing, a few games, driving navigation, texting--it's fine."