LG GW620 review: Start-up package

GSMArena team, 1 April 2010.

Good retail package

The LG GW620 retail package will please most of the phone’s intended users. Along with the phone you get a microUSB cable and a universal USB charger, which can be used for charging any other compatible device over USB.

Of course, the box also accommodates the usual paper work (a short but sufficient start-up manual). The phone features a standard 3.5mm audio jack and so do the supplied earphones.

Upon a closer look, we found the complimentary 1GB microSD card in the phone’s memory card slot.

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The LG GW620 unboxed

LG GW620 360-degree spin

For a full QWERTY side-slider, the LG GW620 manages to keep size as friendly as possible. It measures 109 x 54.5 x 15.9 mm which makes it almost as compact as the GW520. The weight, on the other hand, reaches 139 g which might sound a bit too much for some.

The same goes for the thickness, at 15.9 millimeters. As we found out though, the size and weight are perfectly fine for the form factor. The handset feels pretty solid and handles comfortably: we enjoyed using it.

Design and construction

Like most of the other devices in the GW lineup, the GW620 was made with the younger customers in mind. It is colorful – though definitely in a more subdued way than the KS360. The all-plastic handset is surprisingly solid and quite compact considering the spacious and comfortable 5-row QWERTY keyboard.

There's nothing fancy about the rubbery finish at the back but it adds to the solid feel and friendly charm of the phone. It's also quite practical and fingerprint-resistant.

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Simple and friendly, the GW620 is an easy going smartphone

The front, on the other hand, is finished in glossy black, which looks way more stylish but gets covered in fingerprints the moment you grab the phone.

The GW620 front is taken by the 3" display which we’ll discuss in a second. Underneath we find three controls: two capacitive keys (back and home) and a centrally placed Menu button. The latter is the typical Android contextual menu key – not a Main Menu launcher in feature phone terms.

The touch-sensitive buttons are haptic-enabled, brisk vibration marking every tap. The center Menu key is a bit too small, with rather low stroke, but still decently usable.

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The keys below the display

Above the screen there is the centrally placed earpiece, ambient light and proximity sensors on its right.

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Earpiece and sensors above the screen

The LG GW620 has a very friendly five-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard with well spaced keys and excellent touch orientation. The soft and even backlighting guarantees comfortable use in the dark.

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The QWERTY keyboard is a pleasure to use

Once you slide out the hardware QWERTY keyboard, the screen changes its orientation to landscape automatically.

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Sliding out the QWERTY deck auto-rotates the interface • All keys are evenly illuminated

The only control on the left-hand side of the GW620 is the volume rocker. Right next to it is the microUSB port covered by a protective lid. The microUSB port is used for both data connections and charging.

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Volume rocker and microUSB port on the left

The opposite side hosts the dedicated music and camera keys, as well as the microSD card slot. Just like the microUSB port, the card slot has a plastic cover to keep off dust, and keep the line of the handset intact. We used a 16GB card with the phone and had no issues with it.

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Hot-swappable microSD card slot, music and shutter key

The standard 3.5mm audio jack and the Power/Lock button are placed at the top.

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Standard 3.5mm audio jack and Power/Lock button on top

The bottom is bare. It only features the mouthpiece.

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Mouthpiece only at the bottom

The loudspeaker as well as the camera lens and the LED flash are easily visible on the back of the device. The GW620 features a 5 megapixel autofocus snapper.

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Camera lens and LED flash at the rear

Removing the battery cover is a breeze – you simply slide down to release. Underneath is the 1500 mAh Li-Po battery. The LG GW620 is quoted at up to 8 h of talk time and 600 h of standby time.

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A 1500 mAh battery should give this communicator a pretty good run

We should point out the very good build: it's an all plastic piece of gear but solid and quite durable. The handset handles nicely, the slider action is smooth and solid, and surfaces (except the front) are fingerprint-proof.

The LG GW620 is not thin at all, but remains compact, and offers a secure hand hold. Thanks to added weight (when compared to the GW520) it feels very robust.

Operating it is exceptionally comfortable in both single hand (quick tapping on the touchscreen) and two-hand scenarios. Typing on the QWERTY keyboard is quite fast as well and the handset has commendable balance with the slider up.

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LG GW620 has excellent ergonomics

A resistive touchscreen

The LG GW620 has a 3” touchscreen of HVGA resolution (320 x 480 pixels). There is nothing wrong here – it’s the typical first-gen Android specs. The GW620 is among the few Android handsets to feature a resistive screen. It’s comparable to the HTC Tattoo actually – another entry-level droid, which took cost-cutting even further with its 2.8” QVGA screen.

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The 3” resistive touchscreen of LG GW620

Anyway, the GW620 display is quite responsive (for a resistive touchscreen) and manages to deliver great image quality indoors. However, traditionally for LG, the sunlight legibility is quite poor. There are much cheaper phones on the market that deal way better with the sun.

Despite the resistive technology used for the GW620 screen, there is no support for handwriting recognition. However, the fantastic hardware QWERTY keyboard will make you forget about that.

We found a strange bug affecting the GW620 display: every time we started the camera, the screen brightness was automatically lowered. To fix it we had to get back to the settings and set the brightness at the maximum again. Go figure! After we researched it, it turned out it’s a quite frequent bug among GW620 owners.

Update, 20 May 2010: A recent firmware update seems to have finally solved this problem so it doesn’t occur anymore. However, the update doesn’t bring a newer version of the Android OS so a Cupcake (v1.5) still is the best you can get from the GW620.