LG GW620 joins the Android party

LG has launched its first Android smart phone, the GW620, which sports a slide-out Qwerty keyboard that may tempt hard-core texters and social networkers

LG has launched its first phone with the Google Android operating system, the GW620. Switch it with Motorola's recently launched Android effort, the Dext , and you'd never know the difference.

LG tells us that the GW620 will have a 76mm (3-inch) touchscreen and a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, but details are thin on the ground otherwise. It's unclear whether LG will use the bog-standard Android user interface, as seen on the T-Mobile G1, or bust out a customised Android version of its S-Class spinning-cube UI.

A GW620 shown by Vodafone at IFA , where it was called the Etna, sported a 5-megapixel camera, but LG won't confirm if that's what we'll be seeing when the phone hits the shops towards the end of the year. LG is aiming the GW620 at social-network butterflies who crave a full keyboard, so we don't expect to see a big price tag on this slider.

LG said it's going to launch an eye-watering 13 smart phones that use the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system in the next 16 months, starting with the GM750 , which launched last week. We hope the company will show the same enthusiasm towards Android.

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