Korean manufacturer LG has launched its first ever Android smartphone, the GW620 also known as Etna - like the active volcano in Italy - and at first glance appears to be a rather solid candidate.
It will join the ranks of the ever growing number of Android-based devices launched by tier-1 manufacturers. As it stands, all but one of the top smartphone manufacturers (Nokia being the only odd one out), have unveiled mobile phones that use Google's open source mobile platform.
As expected, the phone comes with a QWERTY slide out keyboard with a 3-inch 480x320 pixels touchscreen (that makes it a bit shubby), a five megapixel camera (probably with autofocus and flash), Bluetooth. There's only one lonely "real" button on the front of the phone with two other touch buttons.
The phone will come with the usual array of Google services including Youtube, Google Talk, Google search and more. There's a 3.5mm headphone socket, WiFi, Quadband GSM connectivity as well as A-GPS and a stereo FM radio.
Dr. Skott Ahn, president and CEO of LG Mobile, said in a statement that "The LG-GW620 will appeal to first-time smartphone customers by offering a new and different kind of user experience".
The phone is expected to debut in "selected European markets" in the fourth quarter of 2009 on Vodafone (we're not sure whether this will be an exclusive deal).
Although LG has committed itself to Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform, it is interesting to see how the Chaebol managed to sneakily release an Android model so quickly. We expect the phone to sell for around £300 or free on £30 monthly contracts.