The Optimus T works well as a phone, with quad-band world roaming, a speakerphone, conference calling, voice dialing, text and multimedia messaging, and visual voice mail. The phone book is limited only by the available memory (the SIM card holds an additional 250 contacts), and there's room in each entry for multiple numbers, e-mail addresses, IM handles, and so on. You can merge contact information from multiple e-mail and social networking accounts, such as Exchange, your own POP3/IMAP servers, Facebook, and Twitter.
The multimedia features on the Optimus T are nothing unusual. The music and video players are the standard Android fare, with basic support for most music and video file formats. It comes bundled with the DoubleTwist syncing software, which is nice. The phone only has 170MB of built-in memory, but it does come with a 2GB microSD card for extra storage. The maximum card size is 32GB.
Last but not least is the 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera. Settings include five different resolutions, an adjustable ISO, white balance, 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. There's also a video camera here that can record VGA, QVGA, and QCIF quality video, but no HD. Picture quality was actually quite decent for a 3.2-megapixel camera. Images looked sharp, though colors seemed muted and dark, especially in indoor shots.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) LG Optimus T in San Francisco using T-Mobile. Call quality was good, but we did encounter quite a bit of background hiss. Callers sounded loud and clear aside from that, though.
On their end, callers said that they, too, heard quite a lot of hiss in the background during our call. They said our voice sounded a little harsh and processed, but they could still hear what we were saying. As for the speakerphone, callers said our voice was noticeably softer. Overall there were no major complaints, but it's not the best call quality we've heard.
We were pleased with the 3G speeds on the Optimus T. We encountered good 3G coverage most of the time, and managed to load the CNET mobile page in around 11 seconds. YouTube videos had only a few seconds' buffering time as well.
The Optimus T reminds us of its entry-level status with its 600 MHz processor, which is far slower than the speedy 1GHz of many of today's smartphones. Despite this, however, we rarely had a sluggish experience. We had no hiccups when launching and switching apps, or when scrolling through menus and lists. Zooming in and out of Web pages did seem a little choppy, though.
The LG Optimus T has a rated talk time of 11 hours and a standby time of 18.75 days. In our battery drain tests, we found it had a talk time of 10 hours and 36 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 1.3 watts per kilogram.