LG Thrive (AT&T) review: LG Thrive (AT&T)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 1 user review

The Good The LG Thrive is a slim and attractive Android 2.2 smartphone with Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, quad-band support, and a 3.2-megapixel camera.

The Bad The LG Thrive can't play Flash video in the browser, preloaded AT&T apps are not removable, and it does not have mobile hot-spot or data tethering capabilities. AT&T coverage can be a little spotty, and the GoPhone data plan is a little limiting.

The Bottom Line The LG Thrive is a decent entry-level Android smartphone for the prepaid crowd, but its limited data plan encourages us to look elsewhere.

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If you're experiencing a bit of deja vu right now, don't fret. The LG Thrive does look exactly like the LG Phoenix --they're actually the same phone, except that the LG Phoenix is available paid from AT&T , while the Thrive is strictly a prepaid handset. This means the Thrive is yet another addition to the LG Optimus line of entry-level Android phones, and looks and feels a lot like the rest of its affordable cousins.

The LG Thrive is also the first smartphone available for AT&T's GoPhone prepaid service. Other prepaid Optimus phones include the LG Optimus M and the LG Optimus V , but the Thrive is the first GSM model to be offered prepaid. It does require a GoPhone smartphone data package--$25 for 500MB, $15 for 100MB, or $5 for 10MB--which doesn't seem like a lot of data. You might want different prepaid phone like the LG Optimus V if you want to save money on data. Still, for an entry-level product, we think the Thrive is a good start for those who want to try out an Android phone without spending a lot of money. The LG Thrive is available for $179.99 without a contract.

As the LG Thrive is the same exact phone as the LG Phoenix, we'll point you to the LG Phoenix review for most of the design and feature details; for this review, we'll focus mostly on performance. The only exception is that the LG Thrive does not have mobile hot-spot capabilities or data tethering support, while the Phoenix does.

We tested the LG Thrive in San Francisco with AT&T Wireless. Call quality was decent, though it wasn't perfect. We heard our callers clearly; their voices were loud without being blown out. We couldn't escape the occasional static, however.

LG Thrive call quality sample Listen now:

Callers reported similar call quality, but complained that our vocal quality was a little muddy and fuzzy. Volume levels were decent enough, though they did ask us to speak up when on the speakerphone. We could carry on a conversation just fine if both callers were in relatively quiet environments. In a noisier situation, callers had more trouble hearing us. Static was an issue for our callers as well.

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Where to Buy

LG Thrive (AT&T)

Part Number: THRIVEATT

MSRP: $179.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Technology GSM / 3G
  • Combined with With digital camera
  • Service Provider AT&T
  • Weight 3.2 oz
  • Diagonal Size 3.2 in
  • Sensor Resolution 3.2 pixels