The 3GSM Congress in Barcelona was a great opportunity for LG to show their latest achievements in mobile phones. They showcased European versions of mobile phones already in the Korean market as well as 3G devices and TV phones.
The highlight this year was the KG920 model. Its 5 megapixel camera, using CCD matrix, is integrated in the rotary keypad block. The camera has a strobe flash, like a regular digital camera and can record video clips in VGA resolution with 30 frames per second. The internal memory of 128 MB is complemented by a miniSD card slot. We were told that the LG KG920 expected release date for Europe is April 2006 and we are willing to believe this, because a similar phone is already released in the Korean market - the LG KV5500.
The LG KG920 model was locked in a glass-case, but we had the chance to play for a while with the KV5500 Korean version. The only difference between this phones is the networks supported. The 5 megapixel phone leaves very good impression. The construction is solid and functional. The phone has a lot more keys than most of the bar phones. The off-center control button is not very convenient, but not a big problem. The three softkeys speed up the navigation. The display is impressive and the user interface looks really good, it can successfully compete with the latest Samsung designs.
Of course, our main interest was the 5 MP camera. LG were pretty sure in the quality of the camera and have set up a small well lit football corner for test shots. In this conditions, the autofocus worked reliably, but not very fast. Saving a 5 megapixel photo freezes the phone for 3 seconds. The phone however is very fast when browsing the taken photos, the zoom-in process is almost seamless and it is not delayed even for a bit. We hope we can offer you full size pictures from the LG KV5500 camera soon.
Mobile TV support in T-DBM format was presented in the V9000 model with swivel screen. The strange thing about this phone is the external antenna, which is totally inappropriate since this is a 2006 3G phone. LG also had DVB-H TV phone on the stand with a similar construction.
The boldly colored LG U8850 was also at display. The phone looks a little strange, the design and colors are quite feminine, while the size can be considered big even for a man's hand. Although it says "Wide display", the display is actually square - 220x220 pixels.
The U880 model, with its Roberto Cavalli Edition was also shown. The special designer variations differs from the plain one only in the front cover, which is decorated in various zebra patterns. The U880 has a classic clamshell design with a rotating camera and is considered as a music phone. LG also advertise it as a "slim" phone but actually it's quite thick (18.2 mm), there are 3G phones that are slimmer. The device is supplied with common functions, like 1.3 megapixel camera, 262K internal and 65K internal displays.
U890 was also shown and it's very much alike U880, only with A2DP Bluetooth profile (for wireless headset) and RAZR-like design of the keypad.
KU400/KU405 with UMTS was presented for the European market. It's a middle-end slider. The joystick is replaced by a navigation wheel in this model. QVGA display, 2 megapixel camera, 70 MB memory and microSD slot are built-in in this LG phone. The tri-band UMTS phone has Flight Mode profile and Flash animation support.
KU730 3G clamshell was presented. It is a middle-end phone with music functions.
The not so new M6100 slider with music functions was also presented. The phone has no memory slot and relies on the 128 Mb internal memory for a storage.