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The looking-good brigade

The looking-good brigade
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First Published: Tue, May 04 2010. 08 38 PM IST

Updated: Tue, May 04 2010. 08 38 PM IST
LG GW620
At first glance, LG’s GW620 looks impressive—it’s got a solid feel and despite the slightly flimsy battery cover, the phone looks sturdy. The body of the phone is largely black, the battery cover is silver, while the front bezel is chrome. The top is brushed aluminium and the bottom, which has a couple of backlit, touch buttons, is glossy. Based on Android and having a resistive touch screen proved not to be the horror we expected, but still, after testing, this is the phone’s biggest usability flaw.
You’ll frequently end up inadvertently selecting something. There is a slide-out Qwerty keypad that redeems usability on the messaging front—but this isn’t perfect, as the keys feel hard and have far too little key travel, meaning you will need to use the edges and tips of your fingers rather than the softer pads. The volume buttons on the side are pretty usable and the music short-cut key is a nice addition, though the camera button is too small and too hard. In-call clarity is good, as is the music quality. The camera is nice and gives decent detail.
It’s a pity that the issues which plague Android still persist. It’s one of the cheapest Android devices available and it isn’t a bad phone, but it’s plagued by loads of tiny inconveniences and quirks.
Acer Liquid
Acer’s Liquid created quite a stir upon arrival. Unfortunately, it’s living proof of the adage that first opinions are not necessarily the last.
The handset itself is well sculpted, with a curving top and base breathing life into a basic design.
There’s a mini-USB port on the bottom, concealed beneath a pretty good flap, and a 3.5mm jack is conveniently located on the top. Juice is provided via a 1,350 milliampere-hour battery that can do a day of sporadic surfing and 3 hours of call time—good enough for most people. Interface-wise, the phone is snappy, although the camera lags. The 768 MHz, Snapdragon processor is nigh impossible to slow down, though this is not always evident from the interface. Being Android-based means you’re subject to its set of quirks as well—no silencing an incoming call, for example—something that will annoy people migrating from the Jurassic yet call-friendly Symbian interface.
The loudspeaker clarity is hopeless, the device vibrates with the loudspeaker turned on and the voice is jarring. In-call volume on the earpiece is also low and at times the other person will need to speak up, or you’ll miss what is being said. The display is a highlight—crisp, great text visibility and good colours. Although the technical spec lists it as a 262,000-colour screen, we could notice no deficiencies of any sort; videos and any sort of Web browsing is a fun experience—although we would wish for slightly more precision to the touch-based interaction.
On the hardware front, we’d like a better camera with a flash, we’d also like better earphones, a better loudspeaker and a better antenna for improved in-call clarity.
The Liquid, like many other devices of its time, faces an identity crisis—good hardware/could-be-better platform and the resulting mediocrity. It’s a bit pricey to merit approval anyway.
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First Published: Tue, May 04 2010. 08 38 PM IST