Ally delivers a keyboard but not battery life
The LG Ally has everything you need to get through the day. The integration with Google and social networking services allow you to keep in touch and the stay on task, while the Android operating system provide the tools for staying on schedule and in the know. However, the battery life on the phone barely made it until lunch time.
Let’s get physical
The LG Ally is more than just a phone, so it is a little bigger and a little heavier. With the full QWERTY keyboard that slides in and out from behind the screen, the phone is thick, which adds to the weight. The phone can be accessed by using the touch-screen front or utilizing the keyboard to navigate the phone and menus. The phone’s menu is designed to look as though it is rolling as your scroll, which is a nice design feature.
The screen is large and bright. The keyboard makes it easy to respond to e-mail, send Tweets or update your Facebook status. Like any phone with a QWERTY keyboard, it takes a little getting used to the placement of the buttons, but once I had it down, I was sort of wishing my fully touch-screen phone had a keyboard of it’s own.
As for the purse test (for those of you new to my reviews, I like to judge how well a phone can stand up to life in my purse), this one handled it well. Despite it’s size, the phone was often difficult to find because of it’s dark color. However, the bright light on the front indicating a new e-mail, text or other message shown brightly and it was easy to locate it from there.
The phone is mostly black and has little design to it’s rectangular frame, but to me, it’s less about what the phone looks like and more about what it can do.
And so much more
This phone is so much more than a device to check in with your husband or friends. This phone is an information/entertainment center with a cell phone built in. Like the other Android phones, there are a plethora of apps available though the Android Marketplace and many can make your life easier and help you manage your routine. One app I tried out with this phone was the music app. Upon getting a phone like this, I wondered if it was necessary to also carry my MP3 player around as well. Using a music downloader available from the Marketplace, I downloaded some music for free, then plugged the player into my car radio and enjoyed my tunes on my ride home. The sound quality was great and it was nice to only have one device to worry about.
The phone takes videos and has a camera with a flash. To me, the quality is getting better and better and certain is fantastic for sharing on Facebook and through e-mail, though we have a ways to go because we are printing these photos and hanging them on the wall. This phones camera was the same as the rest, it delivers decent quality for sharing those photos on the go.
I look at cell phones and what they can do for people like me–a busy mom on the go. While this one offers a lot of bells and whistles, it’s missing one key ingredient: Battery life. I charged the phone one night and unplugged it right before I left for work in the morning. I tweeted. I read a few e-mails. I checked in on Facebook. All things I would do with any phone, anytime. By the time lunch time rolled around, the phone was already alerting me that I needed to plug in. This isn’t a bad situation if you have an extra charge or can take the USB cord with you to work and plug in. But as a mom, the last thing I want is to pull a dead cell phone out of my purse when I’m trying to verify my grocery list or check in with the sitter.
For those who like the techy specs, here is what this tiny phone has to offer:
- Bluetooth Profiles supported: Headset, Hands–Free, Object Push (for receiving vCards, and sending/receiving pictures & video) , Advanced Audio Distribution (Stereo), Audio/Video Remote Control, File Transfer, and Phone Book Access
- 3.2 Megapixel camera with Autofocus and Flash
- Dedicated Camera /Video Key
- Download MP3s from Amazon Music Store
- Create and manage playlists
- 3.5mm Headset Jack
- Integrated Google and Facebook Contacts in LG Socialite
- Push Gmail and Exchange, Google Calendar
- 4GB microSD pre–installed
- Wi-Fi® Capable
- Bilingual Interface: English/Espanol
- S-GPS and aGPSCapable
- MP3 Ringtones
- Embedded Ringtones, Vibrating Alerts, and Silent
The Ally is priced at $149 with a two-year contract through Verizon Wireless. Right now there is a $100 online discount making the phone $49.99.
I was provided a Ally for review by Verizon Wireless but the views written here are my own.