One of my coworkers recently let me take a euro-spec LG KM900 (Arena) for a spin…
It’s a feature phone that was introduced about a year ago to compete with the iPhone 3G, and while the software is nothing to write home about, the hardware is actually quite decent!
What’s also interesting is that AT&T recently introduced a US-spec Arena (with 3G on the 1900/850 MHz bands).
So how does it stack up? Find out after the break :)
The Arena was the first device showcasing LG’s S-Class UI. It’s not a smartphone, but Java is supported. Google maps comes pre-installed, but requires some JAR hacking for the latest version.
There’s multitouch (with pinch to zoom), copy and paste, widgets, and limited multitasking (like the music player). Unfortunately, it looks & feels neither pretty nor intuitive, except for the camera interface, which is better than most.
On the feature front, the Arena trumps the iPhone 3GS, with a gorgeous 800×480 pixel 3″ TFT capacitive touchscreen (incredible pixel density), 5 mepapixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach optics, auto-focus, LED flash and DVD (720×480 at 30 fps) video recording!
Build quality and materials (glass, stainless steel, aluminum) are top notch. There’s a standard 3.5 mm audio connector and micro-SD card slot, but the USB/power connector is proprietary.
Like other LG’s, the camera is very good given proper light, but the Arena’s sensor is rather noisy, the autofocus struggles in the dark, and the dedicated 2-stage camera button is hard to press, often resulting in shaky shots…
– Premium look and feel
– Gorgeous touchscreen (3″, 800×480 pixels, capacitive)
– Nice 5 megapixel camera (with auto-focus, LED flash, dedicated shutter button, and DVD video recording)
– WiFi, GPS, and 3D acceleration
– Accelerometer and haptic feedback
– Decent battery life
– Full Bluetooth support (including ObEx, DUN, and A2DP)
– Standard 3.5 mm audio connector
– USB 2.0 mass storage and micro-SD support
– 8 GB built-in flash memory
– Google maps pre-installed
– Excellent audio features (FM radio, Dolby mobile)
– No US-compatible 3G (2100 MHz only)
– Poor low-light camera performance
– Proprietary USB/power connector
– Poor user interface
– No multitasking other than music
– No gapless music playback
– Difficult to upgrade Google maps
– No iSync support (but vCard support)
Photo samples (slide show):
Video samples (download original):