Here in Barcelona it is obvious that there is a world economic crisis – last year the city was covered with advertisements from all major phone manufacturers while this year, there are almost none. However, if you are in the capital of Catalonia, you have definitely seen the ad of the LG ARENA, either at the airport, on a bus, or at a billboard. LG is platinum sponsor of the show and is probably the only manufacturer with a massive advertising campaign. Curiously, it advertises only the ARENA, but it seems that it is the really flagship model, so let’s check it out.
Its design is not a masterpiece, but it definitely looks nice – brushed aluminum, rounded shapes, large screen combine well into one piece. However, neither the design, nor the high-res 480x800 pixels display are the key features of the ARENA – it is the software. ARENA uses LG’s new S-Class user interface which definitely catches the eye. The software in previous touch phones of the Korean manufacturer was not bad, but it was rather mediocre. This one looks top notch. Even though the demo units are prototypes, transitions and other effects are silky smooth and remind us of the iPhone a few years ago.
The ARENA has a few different home screen pages: one is stressing on multimedia with shortcuts to the audio, video and imaging content, the second one has shortcuts (favorite apps), third one houses widgets and the last one shows pictures of your favorite contacts. Moving from one to the other can be done by swiping a finger horizontally, but an alternative is the “cube mode” which is activated by pressing the central hardware button. It visualizes the pages as the sides of a cube and is designed to make moving to a particular page faster.
Multimedia is what the ARENA is designed for and as the Renoir, it comes with support for various video formats. We’ll wait to review it, but hope that it will play well high-res moves, taking advantage of this nice display. ARENA is said to come out next month and we are eager to see the final product. What about you?
It seems that LG tried to make it a stylish slider and have given it a glossy front side that is a true fingerprint magnet. In addition, its back is exactly as the one of the Secret and has carbon fiber battery cover. However, the bulky size and mediocre overall design are obstacles for calling the KT770 a fashion phone.
LG decided to use untraditional navigation keys – as in the Secret, they are touch sensitive. We don’t like them as they appear to be unresponsive. This may change with the final units, but as Secret had the same problem, we guess it will not. In addition, the small send and end keys (which are physical and not touch sensitive) are not easy to press. A unique solution is the 9-way joystick – it is designed to make browsing the internet easier but the diagonal movement can also be used in the main menu. We did a few mistakes while testing the phone, but in the long term usage it may appear to be a small positive side, alternative to the optical joysticks other phones have. We only wish it was slightly more raised from the front surface, so it will be easier to control it.
The KT770 is yet another Symbian phone, only that LG has changed the look of the home screen and the main menu. Features include 2.8” WQVGA display, 5-megapixel camera, 3G support (there are a couple of version, but not one suitable for the US), WI-Fi and a-GPS. Overall it packs lots of features into a so-so design, so we are positive about it.
Thought you have seen everything? Then, what about a transparent phone? We thought so… LG has shown the latest fashion sensation, or in other words, the world’s first transparent phone, the LG GD900, bearing the name of Crystal. The device will utilize the slider form-factor and according to the manufacturer, it will not be just a fashion accessory, but will also incorporate high-tech features and will come with a Bluetooth headset. The key feature here seems to be the transparent keyboard, which gets illuminated by a soft light once the phone is opened.
Sadly, we didn’t have a chance to take a closer look at the handset, since LG has only shown a prototype unit here, which could only be examined behind the glass. Still, we managed to take some pictures of this enigmatic device for you.
LG GC900 Preliminary Specifications
LG GD910 Specifications
LG GB102 Preliminary Specifications
LG GB130 Preliminary Specifications
LG GB250 Preliminary Specifications