The $699 LG GW620, recently introduced here on Telecom’s XT network, is a smartphone option worth considering for those who do not want to pay top of the range prices.
The device is a bit on the heavy side at 139 grams and its design lacks wow factor, but it is a solidly built slider finished in black plastic and metal accents, with a light blue keyboard.
Below the three inch, 320 x 480 resolution touchscreen are home, back and select keys, with the on/off/lock button on top of the device. While most phones have a camera shortcut button on the side, LG has also incorporated a button to invoke the music player. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack to the right of the on/off/lock button.
The phone features 7.2MP HSDPA 900 and 2100 for 3G connectivity, GPRS and Edge, and is a quad band GSM model in 2G mode.
It has 150MB of internal memory and supports MicroSD cards of up to 32GB.
Users can switch between an Android interface and the maker’s own interface, which changes the way the icons are displayed. When using LG’s version, there is a dice icon to access the main menu, which the browser, email, contacts, SNS manager and the Moxier suite of applications – Mail, Contacts, Tasks, Calendar and Sync.
The SNS manager is used to update and receive from various social networking accounts. Thanks to Moxier, users can synchronise their mail, contacts, tasks and calendar with Exchange 2003 and 2007. Through the Android Platform, there is synchronisation with Google’s Gmail.
Other than the XT network, the potentially offputting factor with the GW620 is the resistive, rather than capacitive, touchscreen. It can result in slight delays in opening applications after tapping an icon. These delays were worst when trying to take photos using the phone, and when navigating the camera menu.
Despite the lags, the camera is a strong point on this device. It has 5.0MP resolution with autofocus and LED flash, video recording and built-in video editing tools.
Sliding the camera icon switches between still photo and video mode. LG also offers face tracking and automatic detection of faces when taking shots, but this feature wasn’t always precise.
The keyboard is a highlight on the GW620 – buttons are well spaced and contoured, and comfortable to type on. As such, users are well supported when using the array of messaging options.
As well as updating Twitter, Facebook and Bebo, for which applications are preloaded, there is push email, standard SMS, multimedia and video multimedia messaging.
The device’s battery is rated for an impressive eight hours’ talktime.
Overall, the GW620 is a contender for mid-range smartphone buyers. With social networking and messaging becoming ubiquitous on these devices, it lacks any killer apps and features, but is a solid performer in most areas.