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LG have done a great job updating the user interface that many of you know from LG Viewty and LG KF700. There are a lot more animations now, scrolling is much smoother and resembles a lot the one of Apple iPhone. For example, when you get to the bottom of a scrolling list, the items don't just stop scrolling, but they react to your swipes with elasticity as if they are almost physical. As expected every touch is accompanied by a short vibration.
The only drawback we noticed is that the interface tends to be a bit slowish, every operation has a certain delay. It's not really a big deal, and some of you probably won't even notice it. But when compared to the LG Renoir, the competing Samsung Pixon feels much snappier.
One of the updates of the interface is that the main menu items are no longer fixed - upon a longer press you can move the icons around and reorganize them - much like on the Apple iPhone, but without the wiggling.
LG have also updated the Home screen widgets - now you have a wider choice of those and they are easier to control.
Among those there is a Weather widget, which periodically retrieves information about your local weather conditions. There is also a Contacts widgets, which offers image-based quick dial pad.
An interesting fact is that when the activated widgets on your screen become too many, you can scroll them fluidly right on your home screen.
The drawback of the new widgets system is that the activated widgets need some time to appear on the Home screen each time you wake up the device.
The LG KF700 was the first touch handset by LG to make use of a task manager and the concept has been transferred to the LG Renoir as well. You can run several Java and native applications simultaneously and switch between them with ease.
Another thing borrowed from KF700 is the Status screen - touching on any of the icons on the top status row opens up a screen that displays your signal and battery stats and allows you to quickly toggle the ringing profiles, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Thanks to the built-in accelerometer, the LG Renoir interface selectively auto rotates when you turn the handset in landscape mode - for example when typing a message, browsing images or watching a video. The rotation is swift and reacts promptly to your movement.
Flicking through images is so natural, that this is the first time we finally see a manufacturer that has got it fluid enough to compete with the Apple iPhone.
Video support is excellent and surpasses the iPhone capabilities by far - the LG Renoir played smoothly every DivX and XviD movie we threw at it. In comparison, the Samsung Pixon, which also has DivX and XviD support, didn't manage to play all of the videos.
Unfortunately, the much promoted Dolby for Mobile sound enhancement is not available to videos - you can make use of that only in the music player.
The web browser of the LG Renoir retains the fluid feel that we are used to from the LG Viewty and LG KF700, but it's still far from the Safari browser. However now zooming in on certain elements of a web page is extra easy and is only a matter of press-and-hold on the portion of the screen in question.
Unfortunately, the zoom feature is not accurate all the time and sometimes it fails to enlarge a text paragraph to a readable level. Other than that pages get rendered fast and very well and they even get cached, so the next time you visit a page it loads almost instantaneously.
Now you are welcome to join us on the next page where we'll be discussing the LG Renoir camera - we have a bunch of camera samples for you along with an impromptu shootout with the Samsung M8800 Pixon.