MWC 2009: Live Report

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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.

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MWC 2009: Live Report
Main menu

Main menu

The main menu structure is rather interesting as well – it separates the large icons in four categories (communication, multimedia, utilities, settings). As all category items cannot be shown in a single row, you can scroll it horizontally by swiping a finger. It’s rather strange, but seems easy to use. Still, rotating the phone horizontally will show you more (but smaller) icons.

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?

LG GM730

LG proudly announced that the LG GM730 will be the first Windows Mobile 6.5 smart phone. It will be customized with the S-Class user interface and thus will share lots of features with the ARENA. However, as we know from our experience, it is very important how the custom interface is combined with the Windows Mobile OS – the final product must deliver complete experience, not the felling that there are a few patches on top of some OS. Here at the MWC, LG didn’t have an actual GM730 phone but a “smart dummy” – a test unit which displays a few of the S-Class screens. They definitely look nice, so LG, send us one of these when they are ready!

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LG KT770

MWC 2009: Live Report
MWC 2009: Live Report
Although LG announced its plans to release lots of Windows Mobile phones in the following years, the Korean manufacturer will also continue to develop Symbian smart phones. The KT770 is one of them, running on the S60 3rd edition interface for non-touch devices.

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.

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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.

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LG Crystal

MWC 2009: Live Report
MWC 2009: Live Report

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

MWC 2009: Live Report
MWC 2009: Live Report

LG GC900 Preliminary Specifications

LG GD910

MWC 2009: Live Report
MWC 2009: Live Report

LG GD910 Specifications

LG GB102

MWC 2009: Live Report

LG GB102 Preliminary Specifications

LG GB130

MWC 2009: Live Report
MWC 2009: Live Report

LG GB130 Preliminary Specifications

LG GB250

MWC 2009: Live Report
MWC 2009: Live Report

LG GB250 Preliminary Specifications



1. aza909

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 16, 2009

wow the omnia hd looks the best in the show (se idou- 3.5 inch; doesnt have 3.5 mm. why??) (hd video!!!_

2. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

The home screen looks like windows mobile took some key components from the HTC TouchFLO 2D/3D concept expanded on it in a very intuitive way. I am excited that Windows 7 and WM6.5 look like they will be successful. THANK YOU MICROSOFT FOR GETTING OFF YOUR A** AND DOING SOMETHING FOR A CHANGE!

3. Agent

Posts: 30; Member since: Dec 16, 2008

Wow, now Winmo is only a couple years behind other platforms.

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