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Messaging:

Text messaging is arguably the most popular cell phone function and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. The Renoir takes advantage of the touchscreen by offering a virtual QWERTY. It is well made but the small size is an obstacle, and ven users with tiny hands will find themselves pressing the wrong button. The Pixon’s on-screen QWERTY is definitely better.


Naturally, there’s an email client supporting POP3 and IMAP and we were glad to see that there are automatic settings for the most popular web servers. Even if you have to setup an account manually you’ll find it relatively easy. However, we were in for a surprise: the email client repeatedly downloaded only the oldest messages as opposed to the new ones. We got the same results from our Gmail POP3 account and a private IMAP4 mail server. We did ask LG to explain and will let you know once we get a response.



Connectivity:

Like many high-end devices we’ve seen theRenoir is a quad-band GSM without global 3G. Our review unit is the European version sporting UMTS at 2100 MHz. The manufacturer’s site mentions a UMTS (850/1900 MHz) version, which could work with AT&T, but there’s no release information. The good news is that the phone has Wi-Fi for wireless Internet access.

The browser here was disappointing as well. The manufacturer has to understand that proper rendering of web sites is not enough for a good experience; if the navigation is not user-friendly then everything is lost. In Safari for example, this is done by the multi-touch display recognition and in Opera Mobile 9.5 by double tapping. In both cases, navigation is simple and intuitive. In contrast to them, the Renoir did manage to load PhoneArena.com correctly, but a slider is used for zooming in/out. Once you choose the level, it will take a few seconds for the changes to take effect. Surprisingly, the view-finder will take you to another part of the page and you’ll have to manually find the area of interest. The zoom level is also influenced if you hold a finger on the screen. We say “influenced”, because we couldn’t figure out how exactly does it work.




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