One of the mid-budget phones in the Optimus series, the Optimus Hub fits in comfortably between the Optimus Net and the Optimus Sol, in terms of pricing. And guess what, it’s grabbing a lot of attention, too. You ask why? For starters, it’s got the perfect price tag, suiting most of us looking for a phone, which is neither too cheap, nor too expensive; and next, its other siblings haven’t really made too much of an impact. Does the Optimus Hub (E510) do enough to modify our top smartphones under 15K list? Read on to find out. 

Design and Build Quality

The Optimus Hub comes in a glossy black outfit with a grey strip running along the sides. This candybar phone has a nice look and feel to it, despite all the plastics that have been used for its construction. The Optimus Hub has a nice 3.5-inch scratch resistant screen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels and three capacitive buttons at the bottom. Above the screen, we’ve got a proximity sensor, but an ambient light sensor has been omitted. There’s quite a bit of bezel under the screen, but thankfully, it wasn’t as much as we saw on the Sol. 

Front and back

Front and back

The lock button and the 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the top, while the charging port is located at the bottom. Moving on, the volume rocker is located at the sides, while the 5 megapixel shooter is located at the back along with an LED flash. Sadly, LG found it best to leave out the flash. The memory card is located under the back cover, so it’s hot swappable.

The Hub doesn’t disappoint in the looks department, but a slightly better build would have been more than welcome. 

Features and Performance

Interface

The Optimus Hub runs on an 800 MHz ARM v6 processor with LG’s Optimus 2.0 user interface running atop Gingerbread 2.3.4. There’s 150 MB of internal memory and 512 MB of RAM on board as well. We’re not too sure about its plans for ICS, but considering LG's recent history about upgrades, we’re not pinning too much hopes on the Hub. Not much has changed in Optimus 2.0, in terms of looks, but it definitely looks quicker and more fluid. However, we had a problem with the Optimus Net UI – it didn’t look too polished, with poor colour schemes and we’ll have to sadly say that for the Optimus Hub as well. Multitasking has been handled pretty well, but there’s always this erratic time when your phone just slows down and you’ll have to be patient with it to be up and running. We’ve seen that on a lot of Androids now, so there’s nothing new, out there. 

The interface

The interface

The phone gets an AnTuTu score of 1,435 points, which is a full 400 points, lower than the score the Mi-350n got. In our Linpack test, the E510 got a single thread score of 9.343 points and a multi thread score of 8.074 points, which again is in the same range as the Spice Mi-350n. The benchmarks clearly expose the processor’s frailties. 

Media

The interface is pretty plain with no major shift from what a stock Android looks like. There are no added equalizer presets, either, so what-you-hear-is-what-you-get. The E510 comes with in-ear headphones and the music quality is fairly nice. It’s not as good as the Walkman experience, though. Audio format support is limited to MP3, WAV, AAC and WMA, but you’ve got a ton of third party apps to sort that out. 

Media options

Media options

The screen, though not as bright as the ultra AMOLED on the Sol, is pretty comfortable and bright enough for watching videos. You’ll have to look to other apps in the Android market, if you want playback support for files besides MP4 and H.264, though. HD videos didn’t playback via the stock player and stuttered greatly via third party apps, so it’s best you stick to standard definition. A so-so performance in the media section for the Hub. 

Connectivity

The Optimus Hub is a quad-band GSM phone with 3.6 HSDPA 3G support, Wi-Fi with DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth 3.0. There’s GPS as well, with A-GPS and Google Maps; and the standard Android web-kit browser, completing your connectivity options. The in-call quality on the E510 is loud and clear. The speaker is pretty ‘loud’ as well. As far as browsing is concerned, the stock browser doesn’t have support for flash videos. 

Connectivity apps

Connectivity apps

The Wi-Fi signal receptor was somehow stronger than a lot of other phones, which we’ve seen in the recent past. The phone would lock onto our signal pretty well at places, other phones and tablets would find it extremely difficult to secure a connection. Plus, it’s a welcome relief from the Wi-Fi problems that we have been having with the Sony Tablet P, which we’re in the process of reviewing. One problem we noticed quite a number of times was with data connectivity. The phone wouldn’t switch from Wi-Fi to mobile data and would require a restart before mobile data would start working. 

A few bundled apps

A few bundled apps

Misc. Features

LG have bundled a couple of apps on the phone, including eBuddy XMS (with an LG rebranding), Polaris Viewer and Remote Call. The last app helps you troubleshoot your phone remotely, in case something goes wrong. Besides that, you’ve got the ever-present Android market to download your other stuff. 

Stock Android interface

Stock Android interface

Camera

The phone is strapped with a 5 megapixel autofocus shooter but as mentioned earlier there’s no LED flash. In outdoor shots, the snaps appear quite nice, but there’s no touch focus, so it’s difficult to get the camera to focus on something in particular. Also, low light flash are an absolute no go. It’s an average camera and offers nothing different from the Spice Mi-350n, we saw in the sub-10k category.

Average performer.

Average performer.

Video shooting is limited to 480p, and we’ll have to mention that with the similar priced Live with Walkman does 720p, so that’s another important consideration. 

Battery Life

The E510 comes with a 1500 mAh battery and under normal usage, the phone will survive for about a day. In our video loop test, the Hub played back videos for seven hours and ten minutes non-stop, whereas it lasted for a full nine hours and twenty minutes in our standard loop test. For a 3.5 incher and with this processor, you're getting a pretty decent battery life.

Worth a buy?

Worth a buy?

Verdict

The LG Optimus Hub is priced at Rs.13,775 (MOP). It’s an average performer, but with these specs, the price is a bit much. For a few hundreds more, you get the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman. For a few thousands less, you’ll get the Spice Mi-350n, which has similar specs. The Optimus Hub would have made for a great phone, if it were priced closed to 10K. For 13K, we’d suggest you’d look at other options. 

Publish date: February 27, 2012 4:48 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 9:42 pm

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