Review: LG Optimus from PDC10

I recently had a friend ask what I thought of the LG Optimus that was handed out at PDC10.  I feel like I'm in a good position to have an opinion on it, as I've been using it as my personal phone for the last 2 weeks, rather than just leaving it in the box.

First of let me say that this is a "solid" phone.  It doesn't feel light-weight or cheap.  As far as look and feel, this phone holds it's own when compared against the iPhone 4 (I can say that because I currently carry and use both).  The LG Optimus has a much better feel than the other LG carried by AT&T (that one has a slideout keyboard).  When contrasted with the HTC Surround, the LG Optimus is thinner and feels better built.

I’ve put this phone in the hands of multiple managers in at least 3 different AT&T stores.  Each of them has said the LG Optimus is their favorite Windows Phone 7 device, even when compared against the Samsung Focus.  Why? because of the form factor and how solid it feels.  I should mention that each of these managers also use an iPhone 4 as their personal device.

When I first got my Windows Phone I took my SIM card from my iPhone 4 and slid it into the LG.  It took some time to get the position just right (see photo).  I still need to pick up a micro-SIM adapter from Amazon.  The voice and SMS messaging worked right out of the gate.  I needed to configure the APN settings in order to get data to work (blogged about here).  After using the phone for 10 days I realized that I couldn't send/receive MMS messages (think pix and video messaging).  That's when I started visiting all the different AT&T stores.

At the last store which I visited, they swapped in multiple SIM cards and ultimately verified that I could send/receive MMS on the store's Samsung Focus, but not on my LG Optimus.  I was told this isn’t that uncommon with international phones purchased overseas and brought over here.  I was further told that it's something to do with AT&T’s network and the phone not being built/tested for it.  Really?  Everything else was working fine: SMS, data, voice, just not MMS.  Because of this last fact I stopped using the LG as my personal device and switched back to the iPhone 4.  This was last Saturday.

Yesterday I took the liberty to tweet my frustrations.  I thought I was polite and cordial about the whole matter, but honestly I was fumming inside.

Twitter is amazing.  Earlier today I got a response to my tweet with a link which showed others experiencing my same problem.

The instructions were a little scary, but I went through the steps below and now MMS messaging works on the LG Optimus which I got from PDC10.  Note that you're using a built-in LG app to adjust these settings.

  1. Dial ##634# (this will cause a MFG app to appear in your app list)
  2. Launch the MFG app (password is 277634#*#)
  3. Select "7. Engineer Menu"
  4. Select "6. Other Setting"
  5. Select "Set network profiles"
  6. Select "_PROV_ATT_US_310_410.xml" from the list of available profiles

That's it, once I did this I could send/receive MMS messages.  My phone is now complete and works for everything (voice, data, SMS, MMS).  Should I need to reset my device to the factory settings then I'll need to go through these instructions again.

I'm so happy.  Don't get me wrong, there's things with the OS that need a ton of work.  For example the camera takes pictures of a quality similar to my Droid and not nearly as good as my iPhone 4, and the browser is not nearly as sharp as the browser on the iPhone 4. The team has a big list of stuff to be working on, and I'm good with that.  I'm happy with this initial release, and I'm confident the updates will flow at a pace that pleases me.

If you were at PDC10 and got one of these devices then I challenge you to not leave it in the box but instead use it.  Be fair though, and try it out for at least 2 weeks.  I don't believe you can adequately provide feedback on Windows Phone 7 without using it for at least that long.  The LG Optimus is a simple and yet beautiful device that complements the simplicity of the Metro and other concepts in Windows Phone 7.  Hopefully it will come to AT&T pretty soon so other people can enjoy it.

tags: WP7 | PDC10 | LG Optimus

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By License.


Andy O (Gravatar)

Andy O

Wow! This worked perfectly. I tried AT&T support and they didn't offer much help. I also got the Focus and I really like the LG more as well due to the solid metal construction. Thanks again, I hope other learn about this trick (and who knows what else we can do with that tool!)

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