LG GT540 mobile phone (preview)

The new LG GT540, with an anticipated $300 price tag, could be one of the first mass-market Android phones released in Australia.

Though there is plenty of hype in the tech world surrounding Google’s Android operating system, the fact remains that it is still in its infancy and initially it was really only found in high-end smartphones, such as Google's Nexus One and HTC's Hero. That is set to change in mid-2010 when LG launches its first smartphone in Australia, the GT540.

Aimed at a “youth oriented market” and featuring a unique design, the LG GT540 could be one of the first mass-market Android phones released in Australia. LG is aiming for its new mobile phone to be cool and quirky, rather than be packed with features. It is set to be positioned as a mid-level device and it may be offered on pre-paid when it launches in Australia in June or July this year.

The LG GT540 has a feature set to match its market position. It has a resistive rather than capacitive touchscreen, and will run the 1.9 version of the Android OS — though it will be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 version. The GT540 looks rather distinctive, with rounded, curved edges and chrome highlights. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a standard micro-USB port for charging and synchronisation.

We had a brief play with an early, pre-release version of the GT540 mobile phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The interface combines the standard Android layout, with a small LG layer on top. The LG interface particularly excels on the home screen, where is offers a number of shortcuts over and above the standard Android UI.

We did note the interface was a little sluggish, so we’d be interested to know what processor the GT540 will run when the final specifications are released. As this wasn’t a final version, we’re willing to give LG the benefit of the doubt — we expect the final release to be much more zippy.

Ross Catanzariti travelled to Mobile World Congress 2010 as a guest of Samsung.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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