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