Aside from a few cosmetic differences, experts say that AT&T's LG Thrive and LG Phoenix are essentially one and the same. The Thrive is the carrier's first prepaid Android smartphone, while the Phoenix requires a contract. Equipped with a 2.2 Android operating system, powered by a 600 MHz processor and featuring a 3.2-inch, 320-by-480-pixel capacitive touch screen, the LG Thrive is praised by reviewers for its reliability and simplicity. All agree that it's an excellent entry-level smartphone.
The handset sports a 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera that produces weak videos and images that a PhoneArena.com editor calls "muddy in appearance." PhoneDog.com's Sydney Myers is especially disappointed in the lack of a dedicated camera button. Reception is "average" according to PCMag.com's Jamie Lendino; CNET's Nicole Lee cautions consumers to check for AT&T's "spotty 3G" network coverage in their area. She wishes the included AT&T apps were removable and regrets the browser's inability to play Flash videos. Experts describe voice quality as adequate to very good and are especially pleased with battery life that easily meets the needs of a full day's use. Although Lendino says that the LG Thrive is "the best entry-level Android phone," he points out that a "better deal" can be had with the prepaid LG Optimus V (*Est. $150) from Virgin Mobile, which is more full featured.
While making it clear that both phones are equally capable , both Lendino and Lee review the Phoenix and the Thrive individually. Lendino focuses on the Thrive's value as a prepaid Android phone. Myers and Lee both include video versions of their reviews, but Myers's covers the Phoenix while Lee's is specific to the Thrive, making Lee's detailed review especially useful.
Explaining that the only real difference between the LG Thrive and the LG Phoenix is AT&T's pricing plan for each, Jamie Lendino refers readers to his review of the Phoenix for a more detailed description of the Thrive's design and features. He thoroughly outlines the LG Thrive's pricing, warning that data fees can add up on prepaid plans.
Review: LG Thrive (AT&T), Jamie Lendino, May 24, 2011
Nicole Lee ranks the LG Thrive as "very good." Like PCMag.com's Jamie Lendino, she describes the Thrive as a "decent entry-level Android smartphone," and also warns about high data charges.
Review: LG Thrive (AT&T), Nicole Lee, May 16, 2011
According to PhoneArena.com anonymous reviewer "John V.," the LG's Phoenix and Thrive are the same: Thus, either one is a "perfect gateway device in moving people up from feature phones."
Review: LG Phoenix Review, "John V.", May 19, 2011
Making clear that it serves as a review of the Thrive as well, Sydney Myers provides consumers with both a written and a video review of the LG Phoenix. Her emphasis is on the phone's place among the LG Optimus One lineage of phones, calling the Phoenix "the best mid-range phone on the market today."
Review: LG Phoenix Review by Sydney, Sydney Myers, April 28, 2011