LG Ally VS740 Review

User Interface:

The LG Ally VS740 runs on stock Android 2.1, which makes using it nearly identical to the Google Nexus One, plus there are only a few “extras” that LG includes. There are 5 homescreens on the Ally that you can move through, which is standard with Android 2.1, though the Motorola DROID A855 only has 3 homescreens (even after the 2.1 update) and the HTC DROID ERIS and Droid Incredible come with 7 homescreens thanks to the HTC Sense UI. Moving through the homescreens on the LG Ally VS740 is simple enough, though we did see a bit of a delay, as they moved slightly behind our finger across the screen. Also included are the Live Wallpapers, which give you a choice of 11 to choose from that will animate the desktop with various scenes and images that change depending on the time of day, music you are playing, or by touching the screen.


There are two themes included on the Ally. The first being Android Home, which has the same layout and 3D scrolling app menu that we saw on the Google Nexus One earlier this year. The second theme is called LG Home and has a standard white app menu, but also adds a quick-launch bar at the bottom of the screen for accessing the phone, contacts, messaging, and web browser. This is nice to have, as the quick-launch bar is always visible at the bottom, regardless of which of the 5 homescreens you are viewing. LG also includes some of its own widgets for the desktop, such the weather, calendar and socialite. The socialite widget shows your friend’s status updates for Facebook and Twitter that you can scroll through, as well as being able to update your own status, view your profile, photos, friends list and inbox. It is designed a bit nicer than the stock Facebook and Twitter apps, but overall it still doesn’t have all the features of the MOTOBLUR interface that is on the Motorola DEVOUR A555 or of the Sense UI interface that is on the HTC DROID ERIS ADR6200 and HTC Droid Incredible ADR6300. Because of this, using the LG Ally feels a bit “vanilla” to us, but it is still OK for those who don’t want or need those extra features.




Contacts and Organizer:

There aren’t any surprises when it comes to the contact integration on the LG Ally VS740, as it pulls contacts from your Google and Exchange accounts, as well as from the socialite app (Facebook and Twitter). It shows all the contacts together and in alphabetical order, but of course lacks the extra features of Sense UI or MOTOBLUR, such as viewing messages from each person separately within the contacts menu.


The calendar on the Ally will pull up all your appointments from your Google Calendar account and display it in the same way you see it online. Multiple calendar events will be displayed in different colors to allow easy distinction between everything. You can also view the calendar in either a daily, weekly, or monthly view. There is also a choice of using the standard desktop calendar widget that comes with Android, or the LG calendar widget, that has the option of being shown as monthly view or events view.


Missing are any tasks or notes apps, but the Android Market has several to choose from. The included clock app gives you access to an alarm clock, picture slideshow, and music player. The basic calculator has an advanced panel, but does not switch to scientific mode when the phone is turned on its side.


There is also a voice command app (separate from the Google voice search) which is accurate as well, however you have to confirm your selection by pressing a button on the screen, which means the device must be with you. We tried it with a few Bluetooth headsets, but unfortunately you cannot activate the voice command feature via the headset, as it must be initiated from the phone itself. This is a limitation of the Android operating system that’s inevitably found on the Motorola DROID, HTC DROID ERIS and HTC Droid Incredible; however the Motorola DEVOUR does come with its own voice command program that was added by Motorola to specifically work via a Bluetooth headset. It would be nice if other manufactures did this as well until it becomes standard with Android.



Messaging:

The LG Ally VS740 has many messaging options. SMS and MMS are encompassed within the included messaging app, and conversations are threaded. One of the new features of Android 2.1 is the speech to text feature that is now available in any text field. This means you can dictate emails, text messages, and web searches…you name it. Unfortunately, the Ally doesn’t come with an included IM client for AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo! Messenger, but several can be downloaded via Android Market; however Google Talk has its own standalone app that comes installed.

The GMail app is still the preferred email solution and we really appreciate being able to have multiple accounts integrated into it. The separate standard email client supports POP, IMAP and Exchange servers out of the box ensuring compatibility with just about any service out there.

There is of course the basic on-screen virtual keyboard that can be used in portrait and landscape mode with T9 text prediction, but who wants to use this when there is a real physical keyboard that slides out from behind the screen? The included QWERTY keyboard is one of the best features of the LG Ally because of its design and usefulness, which we talked about earlier. With it, there’s really no need to use the on-screen keyboards, which are quite small due to the screen size.



Connectivity:

The LG Ally VS740 is a dual-band CDMA (800/1900 MHz) handset with high speed data connectivity available through Verizon’s 3G EVDO Rev. A network or through local Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n. Bluetooth 2.1+EDR is supported with profiles for headset, hands free, object push, advanced audio distribution, audio/video remote control, file transfer, and phone book access.

The web browser is WebKit based and is almost identical to the one used by the Motorola DROID A855. It comes with support for pinch-to-zoom, as well as double-tap, so zooming in or out of a web page is pretty simple to do. Web sites appear properly rendered and are laid out just like they would be on a PC, but unfortunately the browser on the Ally doesn’t come with Flash Lite, which means you’ll have to wait until the official Flash 10.1 release for Android later this year to view Flash content. Even though the display on the Ally is limited to 3.2”, which is similar in size to the HTC DROID ERIS and Motorola DEVOUR, it has a greater resolution of 480x800 pixels, which means text on web sites are sharper and clearer to read, so you don’t have to zoom in just to make the text legible.



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7 Comments

1. eddie mcinerney

Posts: 1; Member since: May 19, 2010

it has a 3.2 inch display

2. doublej1970

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 16, 2010

Very solid phone!! It's signal and battery life is way better then the incredible! I'm a sales rep for verizon and this phone is a very solid choice! LG makes a excellent product!! But if u like big,fast phones with killer signal and good battery life then the Motorola X is the ticket!!

3. Lizzie unregistered

this is a very nice phone. it has great features. on screen virtual keyboard, slide out qwerty keyboard, free apps, great camera + videos, and much more! however mine tends to lag from home screen to home screen or when going to different things. i suggest this phone for all ages anyways. awesome phone - 4.5 stars and 9/10 in my opinion. ~ Lizzie

4. LG Ally User unregistered

I love this phone! I wanted a smartphone that had a great keyboard but had a roomy screen. 4.9

5. Duckiedoran unregistered

I got my LG ally right when they came out, i loved it for a while, the it started rejecting my sd card, replaced the sd card, and it did it again. I've now gone though 3 replacements, it doesn't hold battery power very well. My Env would make it from the start of my work day to the end easy sometimes more then one day with out needing to be charged, my ally has to be pluged in a few times a day. It sucks battery power, the camera's ok. I'm switching out to a diff phone now, I need to be able to be away from power sources more then what this phone allows. My spouse has the same issues with the phone. It was great, for a while, battery issues have always been... I wish it would last longer then it does. Even with nothing running (or alteast what I can kill) it just sucks though the battery. 100% charged at 8am, by 6pm at soccer practice it's dead.

6. Kelley unregistered

I've had this phone since April 2011. Already I'm wondering if I should save up money and buy a Motorola Droid phone. ( Either 2 or 3. ) Memory capacity on this phone is terrible, I'm uninstalling apps and stuff a lot. Thank goodness for the pre-installed 4 GB card! Browser is laggy sometimes, typing gets slowed down on some pages and apps. I've never had luck with LG phones. :/

7. vanessaelizebeth

Posts: 18; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

This is a great little Android phone - It is not a heavy duty use phone but for a light user, it is a very capable phone. Thanks to LG for making superior cell/smart phones.
Ally
  • Display 3.2" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 3.2 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 600 MHz
  • Storage 0.102 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(7.50h talk time)

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