LG Renoir Review26
new Widgets and thought that we were looking at a next generation interface. It actually came out to be a “warmed up” version of the one we’d seen in the PRADA, Viewty, KF700 and Glimmer. The idea of having Widgets was introduced in the KF700, however, we weren’t very impressed because we could use only one with limited functionality. It could be that LG has seen what we wrote and has made some changes present here, which now allow the use of multiple widgets like in the Samsung phones. Their placement on the screen can only be modified when you are in the mode to chose which ones to appear and are static otherwise. This lets you add more than those that can fit on the screen and scroll up and down. We think that having 2idgets is not very appropriate because of the small size of the screens. Nevertheless, despite the limited number of applications that can be added, the execution is much better than in past LG units.
The look of the rest of the interface remains almost as in the previous models. We have four categories of options: phone, multimedia, organizer and settings. We like that and it’s easy to get where you want. On the other hand, the sluggish transition creates the impression that the phone is slow. There are two themes; a color one with a white background and monochrome icons on a black screen. It’s not much of a choice but it’s better than the Pixon’s lack of options.
The multitasking idea has been covered in our KF700 review, but in the Renoir it has been taken to the next level. Pressing the middle hardware button will take the application you are working on to the background and will show you all active ones. They could be preloaded or additionally installed JAVA programs. On a different tab in this menu you have 9 shortcuts to your favorite applications. Just like in the KF700, when you tap on the service line (housing the signal strength, the battery remaining and the time) more detailed information will appear, accompanied by shortcuts for the profiles, music player, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Everything looks good when you open the phonebook – the names appear alphabetically, and there’s a search field in the upper part, which we prefer instead of the Pixon’s filtering by the first letter. The fiasco begins when trying to add a new contact: the monochrome interface is not only ugly but is not user-friendly either. Since all elements are large, only a few fields appear on the screen and this leads to heavy scrolling. We realized how much easier this could have been after using the Pixon.
Similar to other platforms, such as Windows Mobile and BlackBerry, when you begin to dial it matches from your contact list. It is not as smart on the Renoir, however, as it will only match numbers and not names. . We are disappointed of the small size of the pictures even on an incoming call.
As we’ve mentioned, the third tab of the main menu houses the organizing functions. Here you’ll get access to the alarms, notes and the Dictaphone, and since the display is too small to show everything the rest can be found in two additional folders: Organizer and Tools. Each of the five alarms is easy to set up, with a repetition option for specific days of the week. The calendar has a pleasant interface and the typical fields when adding an event. In addition you have the To Do and Search date options. The last one is an LG functionality, which tells you what date is it going to be in a given number of days. The options to send all calendar events or all items from the To Do list to another phone is here as well.
The Tools folder houses the calculator, the unit converter, the world clock and a jogging assistant. We liked the color interface of the first one. It also has scientific functions but if you frequently use a regular calculator you’ll notice that the numbers on the keyboard are arranged as on a phone. The jogging assistant employs the GPS to calculate the distance you have passed. We’ve seen such applications before, but they used a sensor instead, making it possible to keep track of the distance indoors (impossible with the GPS).