The first Android handset from the Korean firm, the LG Intouch Max GW620, has taken a different direction to its competitors - there are very few Android phones that have aimed at the lower end of the handset spectrum, and it's interesting that the Korean firm has chosen this tack.

However, while the costs have been kept down to make it a competitor to the HTC Tattoo, LG has still added a decent amount of innovation into the mix, by offering the choice of the vanilla Android experience or its own S-Class interface, offering a new level of functionality.

The phone itself is small - a 3.2-inch HVGA resistive pales in comparison with the Google Nexus One phone, with its massive 3.7-inch OLED capacitive screen - but the Intouch Max GW620 also brings a full keyboard and a decent array of buttons as well.

LG intouch max gw620

The outside of the phone is well designed in pretty premium plastic - it's light, but still feels solid in the hand. The 3.5mm headphone socket sits at the top next to he power/lock button, and is also raised so the headphone jack sits flush with the chassis - something we haven't seen much of in newer handsets, which leave the metal of the headphone jack exposed.

LG has also had a good think about its media offering on the Intouch Max GW620 as well, with a dedicated music key next to the camera shutter button on the left-hand side of the device. It's a feature we saw in the LG New Chocolate BL40 from the firm, and something we're big fans of.

There's also a dedicated gate for the microSD card on the side of the phone meaning hot swapping of memory cards is much easier - for some reason there's been a trend towards putting this feature under the battery in recent Android handsets, and it's very annoying when you want to watch a video from another device and can't be bothered to connect it to a PC, so kudos to LG for this.

LG intouch max gw620

The left-hand side of the phone is more basic - the volume up and down rocker and the microUSB slot are housed here, with the latter housed by a pleasant-to-release gate.

And the main Android functions are taken care of by the front three keys - touch sensitive home and back buttons, and the physical menu key. We kept getting the home and menu button mixed up on the Intouch Max GW620 because of other Android phones choosing a different layout - so if you're upgrading from another Google device watch out.

In the hand the phone fits very nicely. Both in landscape and portrait mode, the dinky chassis sits well, yet in the pocket there's still some width to it thanks to the QWERTY keyboard. That's not too say it's too hefty - just that there are a few thinner devices out there on the market at the moment.

LG intouch max gw620

The keyboard is pretty easy to slide out, with minimal effort needed and a pleasing click registered when fully extended.

The great thing LG has done here is to bring a decent number of keys to the party with the Intouch Max GW620 - there's a full set of QWERTY buttons, four directional keys and a full range of numbers too, making tapping out a message a very swift task indeed.

The travel on the keys is similarly good, making it very easy to simply shuffle across the keyboard and write messages without having to go back and correct yourself. There seems to be a slew of full QWERTY devices coming to market at the moment with the likes of Nokia N97, the Motorola Milestone or the BlackBerry Bold 9700, but we'd have to say the keyboard on this little device is probably the best around at the moment.