Aside from Gmail, you can enter your own POP3/IMAP account information into a separate e-mail app. If you want to get corporate e-mail, the phone supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for syncing e-mail, contacts, and calendar information. Other basic features include a speakerphone, a vibrate mode, a calculator, conference calling, voice dialing, visual voice mail, a calendar, and text and multimedia messaging.
Delving into multimedia, the Optimus U has the usual Android music and video players. The phone doesn't come with the Amazon MP3 store app, but you can easily download that from the Android Marketplace. You also can load your own music to the device; it has a built-in memory of 170MB, but it's extendable with up to 32GB microSD cards.
We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the 3.2-megapixel camera. Even though there was no LED flash, the picture quality was fairly decent. Images looked sharp and in focus. Colors were not as bright as we would have liked, but that was more of a problem in low-light situations. Camera settings included five resolutions, adjustable ISO, white balance, color effects, a timer, brightness, six scene modes, four focus modes, and 2x digital zoom. The camera on the Optimus U also can record video in VGA, QVGA, and QCIF format.
We tested the LG Optimus U in San Francisco roaming on U.S. Cellular. We were pleased with the call quality on the whole. On our end, we had no problems hearing our callers. They sounded loud and clear, without a hint of static or background sound.
Callers reported great call quality, too. Our voice sounded natural, and they didn't hear any interference or voice distortion. Speakerphone quality was not so good, though. They said there was more of an echo effect, and that our voice sounded a little overly processed. That's pretty standard for most speakerphones, however.
We enjoyed decent EV-DO speeds in San Francisco, as well. We loaded the CNET mobile page in 18 seconds and the full HTML page in under a minute. YouTube videos looked rather choppy and pixelated, but they didn't take long to buffer.
While the 600Mhz processor on the Optimus U may seem fairly dinky compared with higher-end smartphones, we didn't notice any lag while navigating or scrolling through the phone. Scrolling around the browser did seem a bit choppier, however.
The LG Optimus U 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 35 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 1.04 watts per kilogram.