LG Star hands-onSee all photos
Before we get to the raw power encased within the LG Star, it's requisite to discuss the phone's external hardware. This isn't a blade server, after all, and people are going to expect their smartphone to look the part too. Some perfectionists will be put off by the generous heaping of bezel at the bottom of the Star and the quirky spine-like column that spans its rear, but on the whole it's mostly an unadventurous and safe design, exuding the same uncomplicated slate aesthetic as most of its contemporaries. There's one device we're immediately reminded of when handling the Star and that's HTC's Droid Incredible -- albeit with the slight (major?) difference that LG's new handset offers a larger 4-inch display.
A pair of grilles at the bottom of the handset provides the sound output and, presumably, input -- there's only one loudspeaker sat behind one of the meshes, we're guessing the other's occupied by a mic (if that seems familiar, it's because Apple's been doing it for a good while now). We were pleasantly surprised by the loud and punchy sound the Star's solo speaker puts out, which, allied to the strong display, provides the basic competency required of a compelling multimedia phone.
An additional note worth making here is that the initial Star leak came with the juicy implication that Gingerbread could be the Android version shipping with final units, so we'll have to just wait to find that out. The unknown maturity of the software should also be kept in mind when looking at our benchmark scores -- for all we know, LG could already be testing much better code than the stuff that's on our proto unit. Still, check out the video below for our performance test results, we doubt you'll be disappointed.
Those numbers were also borne out by our hands-on experience with the LG Star, which tracked our homescreen swipes without hesitation or perceivable lag. The unfinished software does chug down quite often, seemingly entranced in an existential contemplation as to where it's going and what it's doing with its life, but the hardware performance is unquestionably top-notch. Hell, it's punching out a new notch all for itself when it comes to raw CPU prowess. Sadly, the Star refused to play back any video clips we loaded onto it, irrespective of format, so we weren't able to verify our suspicion that it's capable of handling 1080p content. YouTube video in HQ mode and Flash clips embedded on webpages played without a hitch.