Basic features on the Optimus S include a speakerphone, vibrate mode, conference calling, voice dialing, visual voice mail, a calendar, and text and multimedia messaging. The phone book is limited only by the available memory, and there's room in each phone book entry for multiple numbers, e-mail addresses, IM handles, and more. You can merge contact information from multiple e-mail and social networking accounts too. For e-mail, you can use Gmail, your own POP3/IMAP server accounts, and it also supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
The Optimus S comes with a few preloaded apps like Sprint's own Sprint TV, Sprint Zone, NASCAR, and Sprint Football Live. Of course it also supports all of Google's own apps like the aforementioned Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Google Talk, and Voice search. It doesn't come with a lot of extra apps and games, but you can get those via the Android Marketplace.
The music and video players are standard Android fare, so there's no surprise there. The phone has 170MB of built-in memory, but it does come with a 2GB microSD card. You can use up to a 32GB card if you want more storage.
The 3.2-megapixel camera is pretty decent. It can take pictures in five resolutions, and settings include an adjustable ISO, different white balance presets, color effects, a timer, brightness, six scene modes (Automatic, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night, and Sunset), four focus modes (Auto, Macro, Face tracking, and Manual), and 2x digital zoom. Picture quality was pretty good, even without an LED flash. Images looked sharp, though colors did seem a bit more washed out than we would like. There's also a video recorder that can record VGA, QVGA, and QCIF clips.
We tested the LG Optimus S in San Francisco using Sprint. Call quality was mixed. We heard our callers loud and clear, but did think there was a bit of static in the background. When we called automated phone systems, they recognized our voices without problems.
Callers, however, said that we sounded a little digitized. They also reported that our voice clarity was inconsistent--it was clear one second, and oddly muffled another. They could still hear what we were saying, but it was definitely not as clean as they would have preferred. Speakerphone quality was not much better--our voices sounded even more muffled, and the echo increased as well.
We were mostly pleased with the EV-DO Rev. A speeds. We loaded the CNET mobile page in 12 seconds, and YouTube videos had only a few seconds' buffering time. Video quality did seem blurry and pixelated, though.
Despite the Optimus S's dinky 600MHz processor, we experienced zippy performance overall. We experienced few hiccups when launching and switching apps, or when scrolling through the browser. Our main hurdle was when we were switching Sprint ID packs, which sometimes took a few more seconds than we would like.
The LG Optimus S has a rated talk time of 11 hours and a standby time of 18.75 days. It has a tested talk time of 10 hours and 42 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 1.04 watts per kilogram.
Correction, Friday at 10:30 a.m. PT: The LG Optimus S' features include EV-DO Rev. A.