The LG Ally is a slider-style phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard, a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi wireless networking. It runs version 2.1 of the Android operating system and is just $99 with a new two-year contract with Verizon Wireless.
I’ve been using this smartphone for a few days and want to share my first impressions. A full review will be published after I’ve had more time with this model.
BUILD & DESIGN
The basic design aesthetic for the Ally is modern and functional. It’s about the same size as the HTC Droid Incredible and other premium phones, but somewhat thicker due to the slider design with the QWERTY keyboard under the display.
The best word to describe it is solid. There is absolutely no “wiggle” whatsoever when you slide out the keyboard, and it locks firmly open when you slide up the display. Overall the Ally would be a good choice for an older teen or a fumble-fingered adult, because it seems much sturdier than some of the other current smartphone options.
Even though it’s a bit thick compared to other phones, it still feels good in the hand and is very pocketable. If you’re a lady who dresses professionally for work, you may prefer to keep the Ally in your purse or briefcase to avoid the bulge in your dress slacks, but folks in more casual attire won’t mind keeping the Ally in their pocket.
The display looks nice, though perhaps not quite as sharp and blow-you-away gorgeous of other recent devices like the Incredible. Photos look good, though YouTube video was slightly disappointing and grainy.
The Ally has one of the best QWERTY physical keyboards of any of the phones I’ve reviewed. It usually takes some practice for me to become proficient, because every mobile keyboard is different, and they all have their quirks. But the keys on the Ally are large, well-spaced, and have good feedback so you’re not constantly checking the screen to see if you’re hitting the right key.
My only small complaint about the keyboard is that the text for the alternative keys like punctuation isn’t quite as easy to read as it is on other keyboards I’ve tried. I’m sure that some more time with the device will give me the opportunity to learn where everything is so that I won’t have to look anymore. though I have to be honest — I’m not too worried about punctuation when I’m texting or emailing.
Other Buttons and Ports
The Ally has four physical buttons underneath the display: Call, Home, menu, and disconnect, plus pressure-sensitive back and search buttons.
I really like the four-way navigation panel on the lower right side of the keyboard; it makes navigation a breeze.
The headphone jack is on the top, the volume buttons and charging port are on the left, and the microSD slot and camera button are on the right side.
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