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Telstra announced that it will launch the new LG Optimus Android smartphone on 1 July. This handset will be exclusive to the company for its first weeks on sale in Australia.

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The LG Optimus has a 3-inch full touch screen (320×480 pixels) and runs on Android 1.6 (but is upgradeable to version 2.1). It plays videos saved in DivX. H.264, XviD, MPEG4, and WMW (VGA 30fps) and audio files saved in MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, WAV and AMP formats.

Telstra’s Executive Director, Mobility Products, Ross Fielding said, “With Google Android-powered smartphones growing in popularity, the LG Optimus provides customers with an ultra-affordable way to get in on the action.”

“Customers will also be able to personalise their LG Optimus by selecting from thousands of apps from the Android Market – including games, transport apps, podcast and music apps, fitness apps and news services. There are now more than 60,000 Android apps to choose from.”

“LG Optimus is great for social networking too. LG’s dedicated social networking app allows owners to easily keep track of their Facebook, Twitter and Bebo accounts and to set up real-time status updates directly on their home screen. Customers can also access social networking favourites via Tribe, Telstra’s new free-to-browse mobile portal that brings together Facebook, Twitter and MySpace in a single location,” added Fielding.

LG Optimus is available for $0 upfront on Telstra’s $49 Cap Plan, which includes 200MB of data each month and up to $400 worth of standard national calls, SMS and MMS for 24 months (minimum total price $1176). It can also be purchased outright for $504. 

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