Quickie: LG KM900 (Arena)

February 27, 2010

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 :)

Read the rest of this entry »


HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 camera

November 29, 2008

I really like my HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 – I do :)

But to be honest, based on my brief experience with other HTC devices and the small-looking 3 megapixel sensor, I was not expecting much from the T-Mobile G1 camera. In fact, I was fearing the same dismal performance as the Nokia E66/E71 camera…

So I was pleasantly surprised with the pictures produced by the T-Mobile G1 camera. While being no match for the current state-of-the-art, I’m satisfied with the results.

– Auto-focus
– Excellent macro (requiring no user intervention)
– Decent low-light performance
– Dedicated 2-stage shutter button
– Geo-tagging

– Inconsistent color balance
– No flash, zoom, or video recording
– No manual settings (exposure, white balance, ISO, etc…)
– Volume keys get in the way when taking pictures

In summary, this is a camera I can live with, much like the LG CU920 (Vu) camera. Still, I’m hoping for future firmware improvements!

Nokia E66 camera

August 23, 2008

I recently unboxed the Nokia E66. It’s a nice phone overall, but the camera is disappointing. Take a look at my pictures.

I don’t expect all Nokia devices to feature a good camera, and certainly don’t expect a business phone to have a decent camera. But based of the specs alone, I was hoping for more with the E66. Picture quality is low for a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, macro and flash…

Colors are over-saturated, and low light performance is very poor. The tiny sensor is quite noisy, and there appears to be excessive image processing. The LG CU920 (Vu) takes better pictures with its 2 megapixel camera!

Furthermore, the firmware is buggy, and the image is displayed upside down unless the phone is started and kept in offline mode! No fix is available for this yet (in fact the E66 is not even recognized by NSU).

Hopefully some of these problems will be resolved with future firmware, but ultimately I can’t recommend the E66 camera.

Pictures taken with the Apple iPhone 3G

August 10, 2008

I decided to take some pictures with my iPhone 3G, and compare them to the ones from my original iPhone.

As expected, the results are very similar, i.e. adequate but quite limited by the lack of auto-focus, macro and flash…

I really hope that Apple improves the camera in future models to match (at a minimum) or even surpass the LG CU920 (Vu) camera!

LG Vu camera

June 14, 2008

A few weeks ago, I looked at the LG CU920 (Vu).

I was rather disappointed overall, but I was impressed with the 2 megapixel camera, which features auto-focus and macro, but no flash.

The resulting pictures speak for themselves. Nice eh?

It’s amazing how much of a difference auto-focus, macro, a decent glass lens, a 2-stage shutter button and decent image processing can make…

Low-light performance is pretty good, but colors fade a bit in bright light. I can live without the flash :)

The only major problem I experienced was with the EXIF date being wrong for each picture, while the file creation date was right.

In the end, this is definitely the best 2 megapixel camera I’ve used since Sony Ericsson’s W800i, and I’ve played with quite a few!

LG Vu: the good, the bad, and the ugly

May 10, 2008

So I’ve been using the LG CU920 (Vu) for almost a week now and – sorry for the cliché – it’s no iPhone killer!

Despite 3G support and a much nicer camera, the user experience is far from polished…

The good:
– It’s small, thin, and light
– 3G support with DUN
Nice 2 megapixel camera with auto-focus and macro (see pictures)
– Impressive sound quality over Bluetooth (A2DP stereo support)
– Streams 3GPP (for Internet radio)
– Video recording
– Haptic feedback
– Removable battery
– Good battery life

The bad:
– Resistive touch screen (not sensitive enough, no multitouch)
– No flash or lens cover on camera
– No gapless music playback
– No iSync support (not even via hacked plugins)
– No accelerometer, WiFi, or GPS
– No USB data cable or Micro-SD card supplied with device
– Micro-SD slot behind battery
– Proprietary audio/USB/power connector
– User interface problems (scrolling is difficult and counter intuitive, landscape setting is not saved for browser or virtual keyboard)

The ugly:
– Screen is unreadable in direct sunlight
– Crashes randomly (and hangs temporarily)
– Bad Java support (not full-screen, no virtual keypad for menu shortcuts makes it impossible to zoom in Google maps)
– No file browsing over Bluetooth (incomplete ObEx support, transfer works)
– No multitasking other than music (and this disables the camera)
– No configurable POP3/IMAP/IM client
– Inoperable without SIM inserted

BTW, I’m not evaluating the TV service (mediaFlo) since I’m not signed up for it.

That’s it for now :)

Unboxing the LG CU920 (Vu)

May 4, 2008

I can has LG CU920 (Vu). Enjoy the pictures – more soon :)

I’m heading to the Maker Faire (again) with it now.