LG KM900 Arena review: A touch of class

GSMArena team, 24 April 2009.
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Games & Apps

The preinstalled Picsel viewer handles Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. Zooming in and out is done by - you guessed it - pinching.

There is a useful option to fit the contents in a single column but it only seems to work for doc files. The viewer makes full use of the accelerometer and auto rotates to take advantage of the wide screen.

LG KM900 Arena LG KM900 Arena LG KM900 Arena LG KM900 Arena
Office documents and PDF are supported

The preinstalled games on the LG Arena are all motion-based - Flying Dices, Wheel Mania and Tepong.

Flying dices lets you pick a board template and play with another player. You take turns to roll two dice (by shaking the phone of course) and then release them on the table. You move round the board and can either land on a good or a bad square. Landing on a bad square means you get beaten on the head.

Wheel Mania also allows you to choose a template - cards, foods, drinks, activities, cars and more. Then you spin the wheel and wait to see where it stops. This simple game is designed to help you make decisions in various challenging life situations.

The third game is a ping-pong one and we spent most of the time on it. It's also simple - you must hit with increasing power a ping-pong ball with a virtual racket and score more and more…until you hit an airplane.

LG KF900 Prada LG KF900 Prada LG KM900 Arena
Wheel Mania • Flying Dices • Tepong

If those aren't enough (and they really aren't if you are the type to play games on a mobile phone), you can install Java MIDP 2.0 games and applications.

An application you might like but won't find preinstalled on the LG Arena is Opera Mini. This nifty little browser is quite good at what it does and as it has full touch support you might find it more pleasant to work with at times than the standard built-in web browser. Unfortunately, there is still no WVGA resolution support.

Final words

It's not every day that we come across a handset which consistently meets our expectations for a high-end phone. The LG Arena is a wonderful multimedia device that has taken great strides in many areas - interface, touch technology, music and entertainment. If you take into account all this great stuff, add the novelty factor, the price tag of 350 euro (around 450 US dollars) seems reasonable.

We're sure the Apple iPhone is lingering in the back of many people's minds. Both sport the full range of connectivity options, huge internal memory and big screens with multi-touch support. The Arena has greater screen resolution, a microSD slot and a far superior camera with excellent video recording options and even a removable battery.

The LG S-class interface is sometimes better than the iPhone Mac OS, sometimes not, sometimes slower, sometimes not. The iPhone advantage is the smartphone capabilities. However, the already available features on the Arena leave little to be desired (even copy/paste functionality). Its competitive price is going to get even sweeter in near future once the dust of the grand market release settles.

Apple iPhone 3G
Apple iPhone 3G

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is close in price to the LG Arena and has smartphone capabilities as the iPhone. Of course, the Symbian interface lacks the considerable visual appeal of the Arena's S-Class UI or the iPhone's Mac OS. The camera and build quality of the 5800 are not up to the Arena capabilities as well, and the same goes for the touch-screen sensitivity. However, the lower price, the extended GPS functionality and the ability to add new applications, which will be available by the hundreds really soon, may make the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic a more attractive option for some users.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH is also an excellent touch handset that has a superior 8 megapixel camera - plus it makes typing easy with the hardware keypad. A GPS receiver is also on board but the lack of Wi-Fi and the somewhat slow touch interface are things that may turn down many potential customers. Currently, it's priced a bit less than the Arena, so it might find its way to the users hearts as well.

Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH
Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH

To sum it up, we were impressed by almost all aspects of the LG Arena. If you are on the hunt for a touch-based multimedia device at a reasonable price, the Arena is definitely a handset to consider and the S-class UI by LG without a doubt will be a trend setter throughout the year.

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