We can’t be sure but it does look like LG are still feeling the Android water before taking the plunge. Or they might just be too careful not to cast doubt on long standing commitments. You know, the soon-to-be Windows Phone 7. In any case though, their first Android attempts have enough in them to get us excited. The LG GT540 is not the kind of phone to make big headlines but fresh smartphone converts wouldn’t want a big-fuss, high-maintenance gadget anyway.

LG GT540 Optimus
LG GT540 Optimus

LG GT540 Optimus
LG GT540 Optimus
LG GT540 Optimus
LG GT540 Optimus
LG GT540 Optimus

LG GT540 Optimus official photos

The LG GT540 will not aim at the top-end where Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and HTC are battling it out, but will target more sensible users instead. Well-rounded connectivity and good design, with just the right touch of extravagance, will certainly open doors for the GT540. It can count of course on our warm reception but the exit will be entirely up to its performance.

Update 30 Sept: The rollout of the Android 2.1 update for the LG GT540 Optimus has started in Europe. Check out our scoop and first impressions in our blog.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G (with HSDPA) support
  • 3″ resistive touchscreen of HVGA resolution
  • Android OS v1.6 (now upgradeable to 2.1, Sept 2010)
  • Accelerometer for auto screen rotate
  • 3 megapixel autofocus camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and GPS receiver, digital compass
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • 139 MB internal memory
  • Hot-swappable microSD card slot (supporting card with capacity of up to 16GB)
  • Standard microUSB port and Mass Storage mode
  • Social networking service integration
  • DivX/XviD video support
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS

Main disadvantages

  • Poor sunlight legibility
  • No video-call camera
  • No Flash support for the web browser
  • No voice dialing
  • Video recording maxes out at [email protected]

Pet-named Optimus, the LG GT540 aims to give first time smartphone users the right balance of features in a friendly package. That’s really easier said than done. The GT540 is an entry-level smartphone and LG have no problem saying it out loud. It doesn’t look though like they’re lowering people’s expectations to give the phone an easier ride.

LG GT540
LG GT540
LG GT540

The LG GT540 at ours

The LG GT540 forms a nice duet with the other LG Android-running handset, the GW620. Giving users a choice between QWERTY keyboard and compact size (and perhaps lower price) is great, while the extra development costs just shouldn’t have been too high.

We’re about to see if the form factor change has had any consequences to the LG GT540 overall performance. One thing that’s sure to have changed are the ergonomics and we are to check those out right after the jump.

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