The GW620 is LG’s first Android device to hit the Indian market. It’s being called the Friendly Smartphone and I’m here to tell you if that’s true. So here’s a closer look.

Form Factor
LG has gone with a touchscreen coupled with the versatility of a slide out QWERTY keypad. There’s just one issue with the overall design concept – the touch-sensitive keys on either side of the center menu key are too sensitive and you’ll quite often find yourself back on the home page or the previous page because of a finger slip. The 3-inch resistive touchscreen works out just fine. A microSD card slot is on the same side as the camera and a dedicated music key. On the other side is a micro USB port and the volume/zoom keys. A 3.5m handsfree socket is well placed at the top of the handset next to the screen lock/power key.

The QWERTY keypad smoothly slides out and I’ll admit at first sight, the keys tend to look a bit too close together. However, after using it for a couple of minutes, my perspective changed. The keys are soft and supple enough to use for long periods without them hurting your fingers. The layout is well thought out and includes Page Up and Page Down direction keys for web pages or long documents.

The GW620 may seem a tad bulky but it's light weight and easy to manage. There’s a certain edginess about the handset that gives it a slightly funky youthful look to it.

Features and Performance

Running on the Android Cupcake OS, which in technical terms is version 1.5, LG has incorporated a version of their own UI that you’d find in handsets like the LG Cookie or the GT505. It’s simple and uncomplicated making use of one of the three rotating desktops. The accelerometer has a bit of a delay switching orientation. The quickest way to switch viewing to landscape is to slide out the keypad. All standard options for Android are available like dropping widgets, folders and shortcuts on to the desktop. For one handed quick access, a virtual keypad is also included. On the whole the entire UI is very finger friendly. Another issue was with incoming calls. The ringtone and vibration would occur at least 5 seconds before the screen would come on showing the caller's ID.

What was very strange is that till date the native music player on any Android handset has been a non-issue. However, the GW620 didn’t seem to work out as well. While there was nothing wrong with the quality, for some reason the audio level just wasn’t high enough, what’s even stranger is that the volume got a boost when I switched on the FM radio but of course there was a serious clash of audio. The radio usually switches off the media player in any other handset but this one actually had them both on simultaneously. The FM radio worked out well, providing decent reception in most places.

The GW620 comes with DivX codecs for its video player. Although the player read most of my standard AVI files with a DivX codec, they didn’t play too smoothly. There was quite a bit of framing during playback which made them uncomfortable to watch. LG’s Video Editor app is a lot of fun to play around with and create slide shows or add a little pizzazz to captured video files.

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