The LG Ally is quite responsive, which is nice — there’s nothing worse than having to wait for my calendar or email to load. I didn’t have any trouble with the touchscreen either — where I tapped was where I intended to tap, with no problems launching the wrong app, etc.
Although my initial call quality testing produced good results, more extensive testing has changed my opinion. Some of my test calls to landline phones sounded good, while others suffered from very poor sound quality with a great deal of background noise. At times there was some annoying clicking in the background.
I experienced the same mixed results when calling other mobile phones, and I was unable to piece together a pattern that explained the results. I typically get very good coverage and call quality from Verizon; my personal phone, the LG Dare, always gets good reception and the voice quality is good.
Wi-Fi works well, and I didn’t have any connectivity issue with any of the networks I tried.
A calculator and clock are also included, but the real star here is ThinkFree Office. The app allows you to view PDFs and Microsoft Office documents, whether they are located on your phone or in your Google Docs account. I was able to edit a spreadsheet from Google Docs, but was not able to edit a couple of my word processing documents, and I’m not sure why.
The Google Maps function works flawlessly, as expected. The app was able to pinpoint my location with a good degree of accuracy and speed, and the turn-by-turn spoken directions were accurate.
Other productivity apps are available for purchase in the Android Market.
The Android OS web browser performs well with quick page loads and smooth scrolling. Even very complicated web sites with lots of ads and sidebars look good; if you need to zoom in on a particular area you can double tap the display and the text is automatically resized to fit the screen.
The LG Ally’s voice search feature worked surprisingly well, with accurate voice recognition. Even though this model has a very nice keyboard, voice search can help save a lot of time.
The music players works great, and the sound quality and volume from the external speaker are good.
The Socialite feature aims to improve the social networking experience by integrating your Twitter and Facebook feeds into one unified stream of information. It works well, though it could stand to be faster loading updates.
A standalone MySpace app is also included, as is the Amazon MP3 app and the Android Market, where you can download free and paid games and apps to personalize your phone. Whether you want to add music or applications to your phone, the buying process is simple and downloads are fast.
The camera flash is quite strong and helps to fill in slightly shady areas to help even out exposure, but results were somewhat mixed. Some of the worst exposure problems came up during regular daylight photography while I was outside.
Certain areas of a photo would come out nicely, but if there was strong contrast between the subject and the background, the final results were often overexposed.
The zoom is a nice feature, but the results were less than satisfactory. Zoomed photos are very grainy and of relatively poor quality. Even worse, my LG Dare is a couple of years old now and also has a 3.2 megapixel camera, but takes much better photos.
For those reasons I wouldn’t suggest that you rely upon the Ally as a general purpose camera; it will work well enough for photos you might otherwise have missed, but you won’t be taking any prize-winning shots with this device.
Battery life is quite good; I am able to go for at least two days between charges, and sometimes a bit longer, if I don’t use the camera too much.
Even after relatively heavy usage with several phone calls and web browsing sessions, plus some photgraphy, I had no problem getting through the day and no real anxiety that I wouldn’t be able to finish the day before getting home to plug it in and recharge.