Along the sides, the volume rocker and camera button are chromed for no reason in particular -- they really look out of place amongst the sea of black -- and the micro SD slot (which comes equipped with a 4GB preinstalled) and micro-USB port are both covered with plastic flaps that swing open on one side.
At a quick glance, you might think that the Ally was running stock Android 2.1 -- but you'd be wrong. ) has chosen to imbue the phone with a mildly reworked build that's sort of the worst of both worlds: there's no perceptible benefit to LG's skin, and because it skinned, Android updates stand a greater risk of being delayed significantly (if they come at all).
It's a bizarre and unfortunate move that the average Ally buyer isn't going to appreciate -- or even think about, for that matter -- walking into the store. You get a handful of custom widgets -- all of which can be replaced with nicer looking, less buggy equivalents in the Android Market -- along with a mediocre social aggregation tool called Socialite and a reworked home screen. You get an oddly-sized 2 x 1 alarm clock that isn't particularly pretty; you can toggle an alarm on and off from here, but tapping on the set time will just drop you into the standard Android Clock app.
Finally, there's Weather, which is an uglier, buggier, less useful version of the stock News and Weather widget -- it can't be set to track your location, it has no news, and at one point, we got it stuck so that it took more room than was physically available on the screen (see the picture above).
Even worse, it appears to be a 4 x 2 even though it's basically taking the space of a 4 x 1, so if you tap and hold anywhere in the space below it, it picks up the widget rather than bringing up the home screen context menu.
smartphone has to be putting down maxed-out hardware.
That's a lesson that Nokia is certainly taking to heart, concentrating many of its latest efforts on lower-end Symbian devices that it hopes will capture entire new swaths of users that'd otherwise be buying dumbphones with half the functionality (and far less than half of the revenue potential).Shutter lag held steady at just under a second in our testing -- after you've established focus using the two-stage dedicated camera key, that is, which was a reasonably quick process.You have access to 8 effects (compared with stock Android's 6), configurable white balance, ISO, and a dedicated macro mode, but none of it really makes much difference if you can't take a decent shot.That puts the phone into stratospherically high pixel density territory, and frankly, we felt like it was a bit unnecessary -- HVGA is totally fine below 3.5 or 3.7 inches, especially since most of Android's UI fails to take advantage of the higher resolution displays by, say, offering more space for icons on each home screen.The capacitive touchscreen has a distinctly plastic feel to it -- though it's no different (or worse) than virtually any of its pricier contemporaries like the Droid or Nexus One -- and it seemed responsive enough.Ultimately, LG should've canned Send / End and either moved the capacitive buttons down to the physical row or nix the physical buttons altogether and just stick with capacitive.