In an attempt to strangle some of the control from Apple’s iPhone, LG have today announced the new LG KM900 Arena, a phone that borrows a few design elements here and there while giving users a unique control scheme that should set the stage for future LG handsets.
Running off of an AMD chip and using Flash as the operating system, the Arena is an evolution as far as LG should be concerned. While other manufacturers continue to play with Windows Mobile and a few make the transition from Symbian to Android, LG are sticking with the versatile Flash-based operating system.
In the new “S-Series 3D Interface,” users are treated to a host of unique features that show off the phone nicely including multiple menus, a horizontal complete icon menu system, and the ability to sort through contacts & music in a very 3D touch sort of way.
Smaller than the iPhone, the Arena features a 3-inch QVGA screen that looks good when watching videos and checking out images. LG are labelling this a multimedia phone, meaning you’ve got audio, video, and the web to look forward to in this device.
Being a touchscreen device, it has a lot to compete with including both the Apple iPhone & Samsung Omnia, each having an update fairly soon.
From our play with the Arena, LG have obviously gotten a few things right from the get go and you can see their research might just pay off.
The first things we noticed were the easy 3.5mm headphone jack flush with the unit and a tempered glass multi-touch screen that was hard for us to give scratches to. LG told us it was “scratch-resistant” and they were right: no more keys scratching the glass here, you’re gonna have to work hard to do this phone some damage.
Overall, the feel of the Arena is solid and we expect it could take a little bit of a beating. We’re feeling plastic outside of this heavy glass screen, but it feels good structurally.
LG have included some interesting features including the claim to fame that it’s the first mobile with Dolby Mobile giving you some of the best audio you can get. We’re used to Samsung providing excellent sound so we’re looking forward to seeing just how much LG improves upon one of their biggest rivals in this department.
The accelerometer was very quick and other niceties we liked included the full menu in landscape mode, a 3D cube multi-menu system which feels like something HTC never got quite right, and some of the best haptic feedback we’ve ever felt.
A few things are niggling at us when we were playing with it and we’re unsure if some of the features designed to make it seem more innovating will come off well in the process.
It’s smaller than pretty much every other competitor’s device though and has 8GB of memory with the potential to take a 32GB microSDHC afterwards.
To be honest, we’re looking quite forward to giving this mobile multimedia powerhouse a thorough run through and can’t wait soon enough.
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