By May 5, 2010

LG GW620 Review

GW620-open-angled We have here the first effort from LG at making their handsets as ‘Smartphone like’ as possible as they have incorporated the android 1.5 OS into this handset to try and spice the market up a little. Has this attempt worked?

So should you buy a handset like this which, in terms of hardware, has a pretty decent specification that seems at first to be somewhat let down by an older version of Android being utilised?

Read on for my full review and let’s see what I think of it!



What’s in the box?

  • LG GW620 handset
  • User Guide
  • Standard USB Charger
  • USB Sync/Charge cable
  • Stereo Headset
  • 1500mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
  • 1GB SanDisk MicroSD


The LG GW620 specification:

  • 3G Network: HSDPA 900 / 2100
  • Dimensions: 109 x 54.5 x 15.9 mm
  • Weight:139 g
  • Display: TFT resistive touch screen, 256K colours
  • Size: 320 x 480 pixels, 3.0 inches
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
  • Internal Memory: 150 MB
  • MicroSD, up to 32GB
  • EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
  • 3G HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, HSUPA
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth: with A2DP
  • Camera: 5 MP, 2560 x 1920 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • Android OS, v1.5 (Cupcake)
  • Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email
  • GPS,  A-GPS
  • Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-Po 1500 mAh


On the top of the handset (when the slider is closed) there is a power/lock button. There is also a standard 3.5mm headphone jack where users can use the provided headphones or their own if preferred. Finally on the top of the handset is a place for charms/lanyards to be put.

LG GW620 Top View

LG GW620 Top View


The right hand side of the device when the slider is closed there is a USB 2.0 connector and an up/down volume rocker.

LG GW620 right side

LG GW620 right side


The left hand side of the device has a dedicated camera button and media button, there is also a MicroSD slot which can hold up to 32GB.

LG GW620 left side

LG GW620 left side


On the front of the handset there is a 3″ 256K colour TFT resistive touch screen display, below the display are a number of buttons; these are the home button, return button and menu the latter 2 are touch sensitive buttons instead of standard click buttons as seen on something like the HTC smart phones.



When the handset is open it reveals a full QWERTY keyboard consisting of 5 rows with well spaced keys.



And finally on the back there is a 5.0 mega pixel auto focus camera with flash and obviously there is also the removable battery cover.





  • Sleek Design
  • Camera
  • QWERTY Keypad
  • Threaded Messaging
  • Choice of E-mail applications


  • Resistive Touch Screen
  • Internet browsing
  • Only has android 1.5 (Cupcake)



Well when I received an e-mail from Matt asking if I wanted to review one of the latest android handsets on the market, I jumped at the chance to review the LG GW620. So when I first received the handset through the post I was so anxious to open it, when I did open the packaging the first thing I noticed was that the handset is so good looking, although it is black and quite plain it is sleek and quite shiny which is appealing to the eye. Once I got to using the GW620 though I found that it had both very good points but bad points also but I did expect this as it is LG’s first real attempt at a smart phone with an android OS. All of the points that I found with the handset I will explain as well as I can below.

I found the handset to be quite heavy but at the same time it was nice to hold as it’s not too bulky so it fits nicely into the hand, so overall the handset is really nice to look at but also it is nice to hold. Now I will get down to the serious stuff, I am obviously referring to the user interface of android 1.5 (cupcake) that is installed on the GW620. Now first off I thought to myself “isn’t this one of the early versions of android? And will the handset look and feel right with a dated OS?” now I am pretty sure I am not the only one who thought these things when they first saw what the operating system was going to be on this device; but I am also quite sure that I am one of very few who quite like the retro feel to the operating system, I will however admit that I am not a pro user of android handsets so my view of this could be much different to many others but I will say that I absolutely love the feel of android 1.5 on this handset as it basically fits perfectly and I think this is because of the fact that the handset has a certain in between feel to it, by this I mean that it’s not a full on smart phone but it’s also not a full on everyday type handset, so for this reason I really like the OS. One of the best things about android is that it is very customizable and this handset is no different from many other android handsets as it has 3 customizable home screens which you are able to add widgets, shortcuts and folders to so things that are already installed on the handset would be the analogue clock or the call widget, there are all sorts of neat things that you can add to all 3 of the screens that I’m sure people would enjoy with this handset, also there are customizable background wallpapers of which there are some default android ones such as a flower wallpaper all of them are simple 1 photo backgrounds but the user can also use their own photos for the wallpapers. Along with the customization features is of course the android market which is growing probably even as we speak with 1000s of apps and games to download for free and some you have to pay for, but with the downloads they more than likely can be added to the home screens in exactly the same way as with the default applications, this I found to be a really cool thing as the market has lots of very cool applications and games to download that helped me test the phone to its maximum capacity.

Moving on from android specifically I am a very heavy user of my mobile phone, I text more than I call so when using the LG I was literally in texting heaven because of the 5 row QWERTY keypad, the ease of use is nothing short of sensational and is honestly one of the best and most responsive keypads I’ve used on any phone with this type of pad, the way that the keys are spaced out is brilliant as they are all individual buttons (as shown in the pictures above) and having a full row for the numbers makes texting a breeze. Along with the keypad is the touch pad which has a numeric keypad for if you fancy a change from the QWERTY, but I will be honest and say that the resistive touch screen makes this feature very annoying so I just didn’t use it, it doesn’t respond as I want it to which meant me having to slow down the speed at which I texted which when you are a relatively quick texter can be quite frustrating. The messaging itself is a very good feature also because the handset uses a threaded messaging view which displays your text messaging with each recipient in conversation format which means that you are able to see both yours and the other persons previous text messages; this feature really is good because I like to see my previous messages as it tells me if I’ve made mistakes or the other person says that they didn’t receive it which then allows me to repeat the text again without hassle; there is however one not so good feature with most android handsets and that is that you can’t forward a message to anyone even if you wanted to, I mean I don’t regularly do this but I like to have the feature available to me if needed. This I found to be quite a surprise but as good as the messaging is, the voice calling is even better! The clarity of sound going both ways is fantastic as there is almost no interference and when I was using it to call someone I couldn’t hear anything but that person on the other end of the phone, this I found to be brilliant as with pervious handsets that I’ve used the voice calls were awful so this was a very refreshing change. It is also very simple to call someone as there is a phone widget that takes you straight to your contacts, plus as there is no call button on this handset all you have to do is press the person you want to ring and hey presto it’s ringing them. There is a negative along with a positive with the 2 features I’ve just spoken about and that is the fact that the user is only able to use their own music for the call ringtone and not for the message tone, this annoyed me when I was looking into using a song for my message tone as I’ve always liked the idea of someone texting me and the tone being awesome, but for some reason with most if not all of the android handsets this feature is just not available. Now for me personally I would prefer this type of feature rather than the amount of e-mail applications on this particular handset as really a user isn’t going to use them all are they?

There are so many cool features to this handset but none are as sensible as the variety of e-mail application available, there are a total of 4 to choose from and they are all so very simple to set up, the googlemail application is so that the user is able to browse the android market and access the handset’s browser this is because the operating system is Google based therefore it needs a googlemail account to use its full features. There is a Microsoft exchange e-mail client called Moxier mail which allows the user to sync directly with the Microsoft Exchange server on the PC and the other 2 e-mail applications allow a variety of accounts to be synced with it such as Windows Live etc; overall all of the email apps work pretty much the same with a few different features here and there. There is also an application called SNS (Social Network Services), this is a good feature as it includes Facebook, Twitter and Bebo, it reminds me of the iPod apps as it is set out in a similar way. The user interface of the application makes life very simple as to sync accounts the steps can be done in less than a minute providing the strength of the signal is high enough, the application also allows users to tweet in twitter, private message on facebook and is also very simple to browse the pages. Another good feature about the app is you don’t have to manually sign out, you just need to turn the app off and it automatically signs out for you; it doesn’t however allow you to have multiple accounts which is annoying If you aren’t the only user of the phone and it’s applications and also it doesn’t always update with the posts/tweets but if this feature does get a little frustrating there is always the ‘Go to facebook website shortcut’ within the app.

Moving onto the fun stuff now, and first of all I’d like to commend LG for creating such a good music and media player, it’s very good indeed and for the week and a bit I’ve been using the handset I’ve used it as my personal mp3 player it’s that good! The sound that outputs is quite good but I’d say it’s about average compared to let’s say the Nokia Xpress music range which are made for music playback whereas this handset isn’t; the interface for the player is brilliant as it displays the album artwork, album artist, on the same page along with a shuffle button, repeat button and the obvious play/pause, skip track buttons also. The media player which is predominantly for playback of video files in 3gp format and it isn’t the greatest media player I’ve seen in my life but it is one of the most impressive on a phone of this type before as the picture quality when the file size if perfect is very good indeed and top that off with the sound on the handset and you’ve got yourself a pretty well made media player which I used quite heavily in my time with the phone.

Along with the music player and the media player is the FM radio application, this I found to be intermittent at finding the radio stations that I have locally, other radios that I have in the house find the stations with ultimate ease even though my area is pretty bad for signal with most things; but for some reason this application didn’t like finding any station but when it did find the stations the playback quality was quite good and also quite clear. One cool feature with the FM radio is that you can store the stations to a number and when you want to change to a different station all you have to do is press the required number; the stations that the player finds aren’t displayed as names but instead are displayed as their frequencies so if you are a person who doesn’t take much notice of what frequency your local radio station is (I’m one of those people) then you literally have to guess what station it is unless of course you listen long enough for the dj to tell you what it is.

I also tested the voice recording, I did this by recording part of a TV programme and noticed how unclear the recording was, there wasn’t any clarity when the recording was played back. What I also found with the recorded clip playback was that even when the volume was turned up to full it is almost impossible to hear; so to get a clear and precise recording of something I would suggest recording when you are standing next to where the sound is coming from e.g. TV, Radio so that you can gain the potential from the handset’s voice recording feature.

Finally when I finished taking photos with the built in camera and recording videos I was able to view them in the gallery, I found the way the gallery was set out a really good idea, your photos are shown in tiles and you can move the screen to scroll through your photos and then click on the photo you want to be able to view it in full screen mode.

Out of all of the features that the GW620 has the worst of them I have to say is the web browser, compared to other android handsets with a full capacitive screen it is awful as the resistive and none multi-touch screen makes it very difficult to browse as when I was trying to browse I was unable to scroll with ease and also there is no double tap zoom on the browser so instead there is a + and – which is zoom in and zoom out; the buttons are quite responsive but they are no match for being able to use 2 fingers to easily slide across the screen or a double tap to zoom in and out. As well as the touch screen being a negative as regards the web browser there is also the matter of how slow browsing the internet is, it is quite deceiving at first as the home page pops up with almost immediate effect but after that it is sluggish to go to another page; so for this feature of the handset I am less than impressed.

One other quite remarkable feature on this phone is the integrated 5 megapixel autofocus camera with flash; now I know that’s quite a mouthful when said but it’s worth writing because of how brilliant it actually is. It is at least on par with the Nokia carl zeiss cameras on their phones because of the sheer amount of additional features that are within the camera application, there are features such as face detection, macro, choice of megapixels to take the picture in, different scene modes to choose from depending on the environment; so when you think that this is only a mobile phone camera it is really incredible when you take the first picture and discover how good the quality is! Along with the quality of the photos that the camera takes it also takes above average videos in 3gp format, I chose to record quite a number of things in different environments, but the main 2 that I concentrated the testing on however was a recording of a television programme and a recording of my garden and both brought quite good results, the 5 megapixels within the camera really help with the lighting but also the clarity of the picture and sound is quite good for a mobile phone.

When I had finished with the video recording feature of the camera I had a look at the video editing application, of which includes several options you can choose such as having music playback for your videos or you can choose to auto cut the video; this meant that the video that I chose to auto cut was cut in half so that I then had 2 videos, I found this quite useful for when I had a long recording as it allowed me to split the video up into sections of my choice.

Now it comes to the main selling point of the handset in my opinion this is the battery life, I did a double test regarding the battery life of this device 1 with very heavy use and another with moderate use and both impressed me to the point of a gasp both times. With the heavy use testing of the battery life I literally used the phone all day for texting, voice calls, browsing the internet etc and I managed to get around a day and a half out of the battery which I was really impressed by; but I was even more impressed by the moderate use test result as I managed to get almost 4 days of battery life out of the handset! Now for any mobile phone that is pretty good going never mind a smart phone.




We have now arrived at the end of my review of the LG GW620 so hope I’ve covered everything to as greater detail as I can for you. My full overall opinion of this handset is that it is a nearly phone meaning that if it had a capacitive touch screen interface and maybe a more smart phone feel then it would be the perfect handset for anyone wanting to enter the world of smart phones; but as the device is currently I would say that it sits on the market in between being a fantastic smart phone with social networking features and a normal everyday handset that have been around for years feel. So if I was going to recommend the LG GW620 to anyone I would have to recommend it to the younger generation as it is relatively cheap on a contract with unlimited texts and it is quite a cool handset, and the reason that I wouldn’t recommend it to other generations is because it isn’t quite there as regards the technology that we have come to expect from mobile phones as the years have gone by.


Review by: Chris

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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