LG Ally VS740 Review
Motorola DROID A855 and HTC DROID ERIS ADR6200 were introduced by Verizon Wireless last year, some people were cautious about calling it a success…at first, as those were the first two Android phones for the carrier. But over the weeks and months since their introduction, and the flock of people who have adopted the platform, we have seen more Android-based smartphones released, such as the Motorola DEVOUR A555 and the HTC Droid Incredible ADR6300, each targeted to a specific audience. Now comes a fifth contender, the LG Ally VS740, which is geared mostly to the budget-orientated crowd, but who still desire a smartphone with all the Android features, plus the addition of a physical QWERTY keyboard. Because of its features and price, the LG Ally is mostly in competition with the HTC DROID ERIS and Motorola DEVOUR, with the DEVOUR also including a sliding keyboard.
Included in the retail package is the LG Ally VS740 smartphone, 1500mAh battery, preinstalled 4GB microSDHC Class 4 memory card, wall charger with detachable microUSB cable, and user guides.
The overall design and appearance of the LG Ally VS740 isn’t that impressive, as it looks like “another messaging phone” with its all-black plastic construction. In all honestly, if we didn’t know that it was an Android smartphone, we might have guessed it was the next version of the LG enV Touch. Be that as it may, the LG Ally does feel comfortable in the hand, due to its rounded corners and the soft-touch coating on the back, but it does feel thicker than the Motorola DROID. Also, the plastic construction feels more durable than the one of the HTC DROID ERIS, but not tank-like, as with the metal constructed Motorola DEVOUR and DROID.
You can compare the LG Ally VS740 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The capacitive touchscreen on the LG Ally VS740 measures 3.2 inches diagonal with a WVGA resolution of 480x800 pixels and supports up to 262K colors. This is nice, as the HTC DROID ERIS ADR6200 and Motorola DEVOUR A555 have similar sized displays, but with smaller resolution (320x480). Because of this, both text and images are sharp and clear without pixelation on the Ally, but the screen does appear dark when viewed in direct sunlight. Under the display are two touch-sensitive buttons for back and search, and four physical buttons for send, home, menu, and end/lock/power. This is the first Android phone for Verizon to have physical buttons on the front for those functions. They work well and provide adequate tactile feedback when pressed. There is also an LED notification light next to the display that will show different colors for new messages, emails, incoming calls, low battery and charging. Located on the sides of the phone are the volume rocker, microUSB port, 3.5mm headset jack, 2-stop camera shutter button, and microSDHC memory card slot, while the 3.2MP camera and LED flash are on the back.
Both the LG Ally VS740 and Motorola DEVOUR A555 are easier to slide open than the Motorola DROID A855, as the mechanism is spring-loaded and doesn’t require you to move it all the way for it to open. The design of the 4-row QWERTY keyboard on the LG Ally is the best we’ve seen on an Android smartphone to-date for Verizon. Each key is separate from one another, with plenty of space between them, and is raised from the surround plastic. There is also plenty of room for people with big hands so that your thumbs don’t feel cramped when typing. The keys provide a nice “click” when pressed and have more feedback than the keyboard on the Motorola DEVOUR. We also like the more traditional square shape of the navigation d-pad on the Ally, opposed to the rectangle shaped d-pad on the Motorola DROID and the optical pad on the DEVOUR. Our only complaint with the keyboard on the Ally is that the space key is a bit too small. One other thing that we noticed is that the LED backlight for the keyboard and the front buttons only light-up for 5 seconds and then turn off. We’re not sure why this is, and there’s no way to adjust the keyboard backlight in the menus. Both of the keyboards on the Motorola DROID and DEVOUR would stay illuminated for the same time period as the display, but that isn’t the case with the LG Ally. Hopefully this will be fixed, as we don’t like the keyboard going dark if we take a short pause while typing.