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LG GW550: A 3G-enabled business phone at Rs 12.5K

Last updated on: July 23, 2010 14:15 IST

LG GW550: A 3G-enabled business phone at Rs 12.5K

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Abhinav Pal, ThinkDigit.com

Whatever the drawbacks of the LG GW550, it is certainly a great buy if an inexpensive full QWERTY device with 3G support is what you want.

Pros

  • Good QWERTY keypad
  • Good call clarity

Cons

  • Dated interface design
  • Low camera quality

A full QWERTY candy-bar phone priced at Rs 17,500 (while the MRP is Rs 17,500, the on-street price is Rs 12,500), the GW550 looks similar to the Nokia E72, with near identical keypad layouts. Like the Nokia E72, it is meant to be a business/messaging phone, and is a 3G enabled device, loaded with Windows Mobile 6.5 Standard.

It has a 2.4-inch QVGA, 65K colour screen, which happens to be the same size as the E71 and E72, though it lacks Nokia's 16M colour screens.

The device also features a 3.2MP camera (without flash) and a secondary video camera, along with GPS, A-GPS and an ambient light sensor. As expected from a business smartphone it offers WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities, as well as Push E-mail, Office Mobile, Document and RSS Viewer, and access to the Windows Marketplace.

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Image: LG GW550
Photographs: ThinkDigit.com
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LG GW550: A 3G-enabled business phone at Rs 12.5K

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The LG GW550 ships with a 2GB microSD card, which can be expanded to 8GB. The phone does not have a 3.5mm audio jack, and you will have to use the proprietary USB headset.

Though it has A2DP support for Bluetooth headsets. It uses Internet Explorer 6 for browsing, which has copy-paste functionality and is nearly sufficient, but importantly lacks tab support.

On the whole, with the smallish and low colour screen, the phone is not very beautiful to look at, a fact made worse by the boring WinMo interface.

The main menu is also badly designed, with only six pixelated icons fitting per screen, making you scroll interminably to locate what you are looking for at the bottom of the menu.

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Photographs: LGIndia.com
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LG GW550: A 3G-enabled business phone at Rs 12.5K

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While the 3.2MP camera is decent enough for point-and-shoot purposes, its limited 1.6x digital zoom and lack of flash is apparent. On the whole the full e-mail and Push E-mail support is adequate, though Exchange support would have been welcome.

The battery life is great, with the phone staying pretty charged up for more than 2 days with light use. The 1300 mAh battery is manufacturer rated at up to 6.5 hours talk-time, and 450 hours standby time.

The phone on the whole has decent build quality, but the keys require some hard pressing, and the 62 millimetre breadth puts it at the limit of easy fitting on a palm.

With regards to call clarity, the LG GW550 doesn't score too well on the earpiece or loudspeaker's volume, but it has pretty exceptional handsfree volume and clarity. The loudspeaker and back panel is supposedly enhanced to deal with ambient noise, but it's not too effective.

The dual speakers are pretty good for listening to music though.

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Verdict

If you are looking for good quality full QWERTY phone with 3G and WiFi support, and good productivity tools like Office Mobile and Push E-mail, as well as instant messaging support, all at a price point lower than a Nokia E72 or E71, then the LG GW550 is for you.

However, the dated OS and interface, small screen, and flash-less camera are trade-offs you'll have to take into account.

Whatever its drawbacks though, the device is certainly a great buy if an inexpensive full QWERTY device with 3G support is your desire.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 though, while it doesn't offer 3G connectivity, is certainly a better full QWERTY business phone alternative, and is priced lower as well.



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