If you want a bit of fun with your phone, the Ally won't disappoint you there either. It comes with a music player that's similar to the one on other Android phones. You can create and edit playlists, plus there are the usual repeat and shuffle modes. You can easily purchase and download new songs via the Amazon MP3 Store. The Ally has 512MB of internal memory, but it accepts up to 16GB of removable storage via a microSD card.
Even though the LG Ally is a Verizon device, we didn't see any apps for V Cast streaming video or V Cast Music with Rhapsody. To be honest, we didn't really miss them since we can use the browser for simple Flash Lite videos and we can get music from the Amazon MP3 Store anyway. Still, it would've been nice to have.
We were quite pleased with the LG Ally's 3.2-megapixel camera. It can take pictures in five resolutions and three quality settings. Other options include five scene modes, five white-balance presets, eight color effects, a self-timer, four shutter sounds plus a silent option, and five special shot modes that include Panorama Shot and Smile Shot, which automatically detects smiles. There's also zoom, flash, and a macro focus mode.
With all this customization, we wished the photo quality would be better. Image quality was decent, but not great. Colors looked good but images just didn't look as crisp as we would like. After taking photos, you can geotag them and upload them to a variety of photo-sharing sites like Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, and more.
There's also a built-in video recorder that can record in three resolutions (640x480 pixels, 320x240 pixels, and 176x144 pixels) with similar settings to the still camera. MMS storage is capped at a minute long, whereas the normal mode lets you shoot for as much as available memory holds.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900 Mhz) LG Ally in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless. Call quality was good for the most part, though we did have a few minor issues. On our end, we heard our callers loud and clear without any static or distortion. We enjoyed good signal strength, too. However, their voice quality was rather hollow, as if they were calling from inside a tunnel.
Callers reported the same thing from their end. They said we sounded perfectly fine with good volume, but it was as if we were talking from inside a tin can. When we turned on the speakerphone, callers reported a bit more echo and the voice quality was more muffled as well. On our end, the speakerphone quality was fine, but the tinny quality persisted.
Music quality was average. The external speaker provided tinny yet loud audio quality. We would definitely recommend a headset for better quality, especially since the Ally has a 3.5mm headset jack so you can use your own headset.
The LG Ally has a 600Mhz processor, and we found it to be good enough for our needs. There was very little lag time even when we were running multiple applications.
The EV-DO Rev A. speed was impressive as well. The CNET home page loaded in around 20 seconds; we downloaded a song from Amazon in just 40 seconds. Though some of the Flash video we watched looked rather choppy, there was little to no buffering time.
The Ally has a rated battery life of 7.5 hours talk time and 20.8 days standby time. Our tests revealed a talk time of 7 hours and 3 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 1.36 watts per kilogram.