It's getting increasingly difficult to differentiate Android smartphones; we've been playing with the Samsung Galaxy S recently and, frankly, we're finding it hard to find many areas where it differs noticeably from previous Android phones we've had.
Perhaps that's why LG put the emphasis on showbiz at the launch party for the Optimus One - a new smartphone running the latest version of Android but positioned to be more affordable than the likes of the Galaxy S.
The star of the show was the beautiful Kelly Brook, but there were apparently some other famous people at the event, none of which we had heard of. One celeb we did recognise, however, but who is strangely absent from other reports we've read, was football legend Chris Kamara.
Fortunately for all concerned, we didn't get any quality time with Ms. Brook, but we did chat to the glamorous Zoe Griffin - former Mirror showbiz writer and self-proclaimed party princess. You can read her perspective on the launch here.
There was also the reflected glamour of the event occurring above a Leicester Square cinema that was hosting the premiere of Due Date, with Robert Downey junior in attendance.
Anyway, back to the phone, it's an Android 2.2 handset with a bit of LG customisation. The people demo-ing the phone at the event pretty much stuck to showing off features and services common to all Froyo phones, so that too says all you need to know about the ability for Android handset makers to differentiate.
Incidentally, Microsoft announced today that it's teaming up with LG to subsidize a special app giveaway. Owners of the LG Optimus 7 will get ten selected apps to download for free every sixty days thanks to this scheme, which is not a bad attempt at offering something unique.
The only differentiator most people are going to pay attention to is the price, and LG seems to be reasonably competitive here. Carphone Warehouse is offering it ‘free' for £20 per month through Orange and Vodafone, while T-Mobile is listing the LG Optimus One for the same amount on its own site. Three - who we also bumped into at the event - seems to want £30 per month for it. Hmmm.
The saving comes from a reduced spec - a mere 600MHz chip, a 3.2 inch 320x480 HVGA display and 3MP camera. The Android ecosystem is starting to look at lot like the Windows PC one - very similar user experience across devices differentiated primarily by spec and chassis design.
"Running on the impressive new Android 2.2 platform with a host of intelligent features, we are confident this new handset will really make LG stand out in the smartphone space by offering consumers the latest technology at an affordable price," said LG mobile marketing head Alex Windle. "LG has proven successful in bringing affordable technology to the masses, as we did with Cookie, and we want to do the same with our Optimus smartphones."