Better late than never...
Today LG has finally launched its first Android handset and yes, I was rather astonished it has taken so long as well. The 'InTouch Max GW620' may sound like some form of gym equipment, but it marks an important precedent for the company with it last week confirming it will release roughly 20 Android phones during 2010.
All of which makes it something of a shame that the GW620 looks so, well, meh. The sliding Qwerty keyboard design with resistive 3in touchscreen display could've been rolled out at any point in the last few years, though it does come with a more consumer orientated five megapixel camera and 3.5mm headphone jack.
LG has also bundled its own Android app: 'Linkbook' which integrates social networking profiles into your contacts list. Another neat feature is 'Auto Face-tagging' which can be taught to recognise faces on tagged photos allowing SMS, MMS or social networking messages to be sent to them just by tapping their face in a picture.
Elsewhere specs are fairly predictable with 7.2Mbit HSDPA, Bluetooth, GPS and a microSD expansion slot. The InTouch Max GW620 isn't going to blow many people away, though it is an important first step from a major mobile phone manufacturer. If you're interested, T-Mobile and Virgin have picked up the handset in the UK - the former giving it away for free on a £20pm, two year contract, the latter making it free on a £22pm, 18 month contract.
In related news Firmware 2.1 is at last going to bring direct access to the Amazon MP3 music store for UK Android handsets. This has already happened with the Nexus One, and Google has confirmed the update will bring it to all other smartphones based on its OS. Amazon MP3 access has been on US models ever since the original T-Mobile G1.