Budget Android smartphones are increasing day by day as manufacturers are cashing in on the increasing number of people wanting to go in for Google’s mobile OS without creating a big dent in their wallet. When the LG Optimus One was launched, there was stiff competition with HTC’s Wildfire. These were the only two budget Android phones worth considering at that time. Thereafter, HTC launched their Wildfire S, which was barely an improvement from the previous version and couldn’t really be termed as a successor to the model. With the launch of the latest Explorer, it feels like they’ve finally done what they didn't achieve with the S. LG's latest launch, their new Optimus Net, is the heir to their massively successful Optimus One. So, it’s time for these two to battle it out against each other – the HTC Explorer vs. the LG Optimus Net. Which phone wins? Let’s have a look.
The HTC Explorer has a nice cutesy design and comes with HTC Sense 3.5 UI running atop Gingerbread 2.3. The new UI is intuitive and quite fun to use. A 3.2-inch screen and a 600 MHz processor won’t necessarily catch your attention at first, but it plays flash content on its browser and multitasks pretty well. The phone comes with a range of pre-loaded applications, but has a relatively low internal memory of just 90 MB.
The media player features SRS WOW enhancements, so customisations based on user preferences are available. Connectivity options are covered with the presence of 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The phone comes with a 1230 mAh battery but it’s a relatively smaller screen, which relates to a good battery life.
The build quality of the Optimus Net isn’t anything to write home about and the presence of the physical buttons make you long for the touch sensitive type in this particular case. The phone comes with the Optimus UI running on Gingerbread 2.3. There aren’t any music enhancements or presets so you’ll have to be satisfied with what the phone dishes out.
The camera is decent, but the presence of autofocus doesn’t really help. The Optimus Net also comes with 150 MB of internal memory and navigation through the menus is pretty quick. The major plus, however, is the 1500 mAh battery underneath the hood. Connectivity options are the usual, plus DLNA for your wireless streaming needs.
So, that was a brief summary of both the phones. Let’s head to the scoreboard to see which phone wins the battle.
The Explorer or the Optimus Net?
The main strengths of the Optimus Net include a better battery life, a slightly faster CPU and a better camera. On the other hand, the Explorer is almost 10 percent lighter, has flash support in the browser and media player enhancements. The synthetic benchmarks also gave the Explorer a much better score than the Optimus Net.
The Bottom Line
As can be seen from the comparison chart, the Optimus Net and the Explorer have their own strengths and weaknesses, but the HTC Explorer manages to slide ahead in the end. When you’re going to buy a phone, it’s not just the specs that have to impress you – the phone needs to feel slick, fluid and lag free. Yes, it might sound repetitive, but it’s not just the specs, the Explorer feels much more sophisticated, polished and provides a much better user experience. The Optimus Net still lags behind in that area. As a personal preference, the Explorer is a much better buy. Which one would you pick?
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