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LG GW620 review: LG GW620

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Typical Price: $299.00
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The Good Full smartphone experience on a prepaid handset. Great QWERTY keyboard. Decent camera. DivX playback.

The Bad Clunky resistive touchscreen. Some performance lag. Older version of Android.

The Bottom Line LG has again nailed the prepaid segment, this time with a full-featured Android smartphone at a budget price.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall

Design

The landscape slider has to be one of the most popular and practical handset form factors around at the moment, especially with texting teenagers. LG has already kicked a few goals with this sort of design over the last 12 months, with the LG WebSlider and LG Xenon both scoring well with our review team for bringing great value to the prepaid segment, but the GW620 takes this value proposition even further.

Landscape sliders often offer well-spaced QWERTY keyboards, and the GW620 is no exception. Though the keyboard is quite flat and the individual keys lack any significant definition, the size and spacing of the keys make this keyboard very easy to use. Unlike most mobile phone keyboards, the GW620 features five rows of keys, giving you a row of numeric keys rather than doubling up the numbers on top-row alphabet buttons. If you think about it this makes good sense, given that this is a phone after all and you're likely to dial a few numbers over the course of owning this handset.

Like the LG Xenon, the GW620 also features a touchscreen display, with this handset sporting a 3-inch HVGA resistive touch panel with capacitive touch buttons below the screen for navigating the menus. In our opinion, this screen is one of the weaker elements of this smartphone, as the resistive touchscreen lacks the sensitivity you may expect from a phone that relies on touchscreen input as much as the GW620 does. There are numerous elements of the user interface that require dragging or swiping screen gestures and these can be trickier to accomplish accurately on this display. The capacitive buttons on the other hand are almost too responsive. On numerous occasions we found ourselves exiting the menus or back-tracking through our web history because of accidental touches of these keys.

The GW620 charges via a micro USB port on the top left-hand side of the phone, and features a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top and a hot-swappable microSD card slot on the right-hand side. The screen lock key is also on the top of the handset, similar to other Android phones and the Apple iPhone.

Features

For many people the GW620 will be their introduction, not only to Google's Android operating system, but to owning a smartphone in general. A smartphone is becoming the device of choice for many upgrading their phone contracts, and Google's system will offer you a range of services that were difficult to use or absent on other phone systems. Out of the box, the GW620 is preloaded with a suite of Google services including GMail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, GTalk and YouTube, plus the Android Market for downloading your choice of the 50,000 apps now available in the store.

To give you the best access to these services, the GW620 is fit out with top-shelf smartphone connectivity features; HSDPA and Wi-Fi for web access, GPS for mapping software and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP for connection to car kits and hands-free headphones.

Like all new phones, the GW620 is fitted out with a digital camera on the back of the handset, but unlike most phones in this price range, the GW620's 5-megapixel camera is actually quite good. With an LED flash and auto-focus, the camera here should cover most standard photo opportunities, and while the focus is slow and imperfect, the majority of pics we took turned out quite well, with rich black reproduction and nice, strong colours.

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