AT&T announced this week that the LG Thrive will be the first Android smartphone available on its GoPhone pre-paid service. The Thrive will also be available on AT&T’s normal pricing plans (post-paid service).
The Thrive will come with a 3.2-inch touch display, run Android 2.2 (Froyo), and carry a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus. Other features include HSDPA 3G capabilities, a 600MHz processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and support for microSD cards up to 32GB.
A major flaw in the device lies in its specifications standards, which are rising even in the LG Thrive’s target market. For example, a casual first-time smartphone buyer will clearly find the Thrive’s 320×480 pixel screen to be unimpressive compared to its AT&T counterparts that run Android. However, the device does run Froyo, a rather new and relevant version of Android.
A big question for the Thrive is how it will run Android, which is inherently a bit choppy and ‘fragmented’, and can have serious lag issues even in the best Android smartphones. With its weak 600 MHz processor, we’re hesitant it can compete in its price range, which is a hefty $179.99 (because it’s prepaid) and requires a GoPhone smartphone data package. Basically, you’ll need to really want a prepaid plan to shell out $179 for a low-end Android device.
AT&T is introducing a new prepaid data package with the LG Thrive, offering 500 MB of data for $25. Also announced this week was the LG Phoenix, a dark blue clone of the Thrive but costs $49.99 with a 2 year deal.
While this device is certainly not intended to be a major launch under the Google Android banner, it’s designed to provide dedicated pay-as-you-go consumers with a solid Android pre-paid option. Is the LG Thrive a good option? You decide.