LG Renoir Review26
We found the Pixon’s camera interface to be ugly though extremely easy and we said it should be an example for the rest. The Renoir thankfully sticks to that philosophy. The “artist” also offers many options but they are much harder to activate. This is mainly because of the monochrome display and the multiple fields, which result in heavy scrolling. The camera will not impress you with great speeds; it took over 4 seconds to store an image as opposed to 1 second in the Pixon.
As it can be seen in our 8-megapixel cameraphone comparison, the Renoir is behind in terms of picture quality. Both the colors and the detail level are worse than what the competition offers. Even the Xenon flash didn’t meet our expectations and follows the steps of the predecessor Viewty, being worse than the LEDs of its rivals.
For more pictures, please take a look at our 8-megapixel cameraphone comparison.
DivX videos in VGA resolution, and if you choose to shoot in the smaller QVGA, you’ll have the slow/fast motion option. An innovation here is the noise-free microphone, which supposedly will enhance the video sound. The image quality is definitely good (better than hi-res YouTube), but the sound is disappointing. Despite the enhanced mic you will not be able to record a conversation. The gallery is quite nice, visualizing all multimedia files as miniatures. You can easily zoom in the pictures you’re viewing or jump to the next/previous. The time it required to load (several seconds) was a bit of a setback, and then there’s the choppy page transition.
LG Renoir sample video at 640x480 pixels resolution
*Due to codecs support, you may not be able to play the files.
all-in-one device, claiming to be a powerful multimedia player. It’s obvious that we have the hardware needed, but as we’ve mentioned in our guide for buying a music phone there are other important factors. One of the key elements is the software and the options it offers. Here, it lets you sort your music by different criteria but there are no sound effects (equalizers), besides Dolby Mobile. The interface is simple and it visualizes small album art covers and is not impressive in any way. Moreover, it strangely did not recognize the ID3 tags of some of the songs we had uploaded and instead of displaying the track info it was saying “Unknown”. This doesn’t help organize the media library in any way. We’ve never had such a problem with another phone and guess that’ll be fixed by a future software update.
FM radio with RDS and the ability to store up to 50 stations. The thing we didn’t like was that the user is not able to enter names for the stations.
Unfortunately, the test unit didn’t come with a set of earpieces, but it has a 3.5mm adapter. When you plug in quality headphones the sound is generally good but somewhat weak. Dolby really changes the sound and although some will like it we prefer not to use it because the music sounds unreal. Unlike the Pixon, the Renoir’s speaker is quite weak.
The DivX support was one of the key elements in the Viewty. The Renoir adds XviD support, which lets the user play a wider selection of quality videos and they look very good. A cool extra is the option to remove the black frame in case the clip is not proportionate to the screen. The video will be unbalanced but at least you have an alternative.
Quality videos look good on the screen and it’s great not having to convert them. Most of the videos played without any troubles, but strangely, an error notice appeared for some XviD clips stating that they were not supported.
Though a jack of many trades, the Renoir is not a smartphone and the choice of programs is limited to JAVA applications. There are a few preloaded demo versions and LG’s M-Toy menu, which includes two games controlled through the accelerometer. They have nice graphics but are nothing special and choppy. The Renoir is equipped with Picsel File Viewer and can open Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents. However, it doesn’t handle large documents very well.