LG KM900 Arena preview: First look

GSMArena team, 27 March 2009.
Pages: 123456

Tags: LG, Touch UI, Preview

LG KM900 Arena 360-degree spin

The LG KM900 Arena has a pleasant design with metallic frame on the front and a whitish cover on the back. Since we are hardly fond of white phones, we cannot help but sigh over the Titan Black version of the handset that was just announced as one of the T-Mobile UK exclusives.

Design and construction

At 105.9 x 55.3 x 12 mm the LG KM900 Arena is like a slightly downsized version of the Samsung i900 Omnia. Its lighter weight of 105 g makes it even more pocketable than the popular WinMo handset.

While the S-Class UI functionality of LG KM900 Arena is superior to all previous LG touch phones, but physically it's quite like the LG KC910 Renoir, which is only a tad larger. Both phones have 3-inch displays and almost the same hardware elements on the respective sides.

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Comparing it to the LG KC910 Renoir

The LG KM900 Arena is not direct competitor to Apple iPhone 3G, but comparisons between both are inevitable. The Arena has a higher-res screen than the iPhone 3G, but it's smaller and its legibility under direct sunlight is quite lower. The advantage of the KM900 Arena over the iPhone 3G is its compact dimensions, the sensor keys on the front panel and of course the higher-spec'd camera.

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Comparing it to the iPhone 3G

Lining up the the usual suspects for an eye exam is just inevitable. These are among the most popular full touch handsets on the market and chances are you've probably already seen one, held one in your hands or even had one of them.

Passing any verdict on the design seems rather pointless since the engineers don't really have much room for improvisation designing a full touch handset.

The front panel is all about the 3" 16M color capacitive touchscreen display. Even though it uses the TFT technology as opposed to the OLED one on latest Samsung handsets it still provides excellent picture quality. The brightness and contrast levels are top-notch, comparable to the best examples in the class.

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The front panel is dominated by the large 3" capacitive touchscreen display

Probably part of the explanation for this is the fact that the LG KM900 Arena has the most pixel-dense screen on the market (a title it shares with the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 and, as an observant reader reminded us, the Toshiba G900). The resolution of 800 x 480 pixels cramped in the 3" screen results in more pixels per inch than any competitor can offer.

The capacitive touchscreen technology makes sure that the KM900 Arena only needs a slight touch to register a click. On the negative part it cannot work with a stylus making features like handwriting almost impossible to implement.

The increased sensitivity of the screen however combines brilliantly with the powerful hardware under the hood, resulting in excellent responsiveness of both the screen and interface. More on the actual operation of the phone will be discussed later in the interface part as we now get back to the hardware.

Unfortunately, the LG Arena screen legibility is much like the one of the LG Secret, which practically means it's almost unusable under direct sunlight.

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The LG Arena display in the dark compared to the Apple iPhone

The other functional elements on the front panel of the LG Arena are the earpiece and the video call camera at the top as well as the three touch sensitive buttons at the bottom.

Those buttons include a shortcut to the cube interface and the two standard call operating keys - Call and End. Having the same feedback as the screen they make it easy to make the transition from one to the other.

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The elegant earpiece grid and the video call camera on top

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