LG has finally jumped on to the Google Android bandwagon with the LG GW620 smartphone with a hardware keyboard. Let's see how the LG holds up in our tests.

LG GW620: features

The LG GW620 comes packed with features including Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G support. It has a reasonably sized 3 inch screen and a 5 megapixel camera with flash. It has all standard ports, using a 3.5mm jack for headphones and a microUSB port. The LG has 150MB of internal memory and comes with a 2GB microSD card.

The phone uses Android v1.5 and LG has added a bunch of extra applications. One of these is the Social Networking Service Manager (SNS) that lets you manage your Facebook, Twitter and Bebo accounts from a single application. If your company has a Microsoft Exchange Account setup then the GW620 offers an entire suite of Moxier applications that let you sync your tasks, schedules, contacts and mails with your company's server.

The LG GW620 phone also has a Quickoffice suite that lets you open Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

Of course, the great advantage of any Android phone is its excellent integration with Google Mobile Services and availability of apps through Android Market. Using the LG GW620, you can sync your phone and Google contacts, check your Gmail account, chat on GTalk or get navigation using Google Maps. If you cannot find an app for something you need, chances are you will find it on the excellent Android marketplace, which is simpler to use than even the iPhone's app store.

LG GW620: Design & Usability

Like the Samsung CorbyPRO, the LG GW620's design is portly thanks to the slide-out keyboard. The model we received used glossy black plastic, a metallic frame and a matte silver back. Its looks will not win it any awards and it is quite heavy. However, we couldn't ascertain any problems with its build quality and there are no unwanted creaks or shakes and even the keyboard slides out smoothly. Also, the LG's 3.0-inch screen could have been much better especially under sunlight where it becomes almost entirely illegible.

The LG GW620's five row keyboard is certainly one of the best I've come across on a phone. The keys are large and separated to make typing very efficient.

With respect to the UI, the LG GW620 gives you two options- the default Android interface or the LG interface that makes the Android UI look like LG's own S-class interface. However, unlike what HTC has done with its Sense UI in the Tattoo, LG's modifications don't add up to much. The interface is slightly sluggish and we could feel that sluggishness when scrolling through the menu or lists. This gets aggravated when accessing applications as there is an overlong pause. However, none of these issues warrant too much criticism. What needs to be criticized is the phone's call quality which made voices sound over sharp but tiny.

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The LG GW620 was tested in the PC World India labs