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As is ever more common, this phone integrates social networking sites like Facebook, Bebo, and Twitter, allowing you to merge contacts on the phone with those on these other services. Coming under the Social Networking Services app, this makes it really easy to keep track of all your communications with a contact no matter what method they choose to chat. The phone can also auto tag photos of your friends after it has learned what they look like from existing photos and you can call a friend simply by tapping on a tagged picture of them. SMSs are also threaded so its easy to keep track of conversations.
LG has also added a theme that makes this phone look like the rest of LGs range. In particular, a row of shortcuts to dialler, contacts, message folder, and apps page runs along the bottom while the icons in apps page are sorted into groups by type; communication, multimedia, and utilities, Google, and downloads. You can revert back to the standard Android look and feel if you like, though.
Thanks to the Android Marketplace, it's easy to cram this phone with all sorts of apps and games. However, we did find the 500MHz processor a little sluggish even in day to day use so fancy games or sat nav apps, for instance, might struggle.
Call quality testing highlighted no particular shortcomings while the speaker was surprisingly powerful though not up there with the best like that on the Blackberry Bold 9700. Being a large touch-screened phone we weren't expecting miracles when it came to battery life and the GW620 didn't disappoint, so to speak. We generally got about a day and a half to two days out of a single charge, which is about typical for such a device.
The GW620 is available for free on contract through T-Mobile and Virgin Media for as little as £20 a month and can be bought SIM free for £299.99. So, while relatively low cost, this certainly isn't a rival to the T-Mobile Pulse for instance. Indeed it seems to us that LG might have shot itself in the foot trying to save money on this device when it could've just added a faster processor and better touch-screen and had a device that rivalled the best smartphones.
All told, the LG GW620 IntouchMax is close to being the perfect Android smartphone – assuming you want a physical keyboard. Its keyboard is superb, it has all the features we'd hope for, all laid out as well as we've seen. Sadly, the package is let down by the use of a soft resistive touch-screen and slightly sluggish operation.
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