The LG Renoir also offers office document viewing courtesy of the Picsel viewer. As we managed to confirm, the viewer supports DOC, XLS, PPT and PDF files.
Much like on the LG Viewty, scrolling and zooming in documents is relatively fast and fluid, except on closer zoom levels. Searching is also available.
You can even view your documents in landscape mode. The viewer switches to it automatically when you tilt the handset. Unfortunately, the zoom control and the mini-map are not available in landscape mode.
The preinstalled Google package is another boost to the web experience for the LG Renoir user. Much like the LG Viewty, it offers shortcuts to Google Search, Gmail, Blogger and the mobile version of YouTube. From there you can also open the Google Maps app that comes pre-installed on the handset.
You can also easily download the Java-based Gmail application, which gives you a better, more optimized experience.
Google Maps is the most popular electronic map software that you can use on your LG Renoir to make use of its embedded GPS receiver. Unfortunately, the competing Yahoo! Go application is not compatible with LG Renoir yet.
Still, you can go for the free Mobile Gmaps application that will provide the Yahoo Maps for you, plus it allows you to even preload them on a memory card so that you don't get charged for downloading them over the cellular network. And best of all, it recognizes the internal GPS of the Renoir hassle-free.
Overall, despite the Renoir GPS capabilities, there is no popular Java software that will provide you with voice-guided GPS navigation.
LG have equipped the Renoir with another GPS-based application - the Jogging buddy. As the name suggests it's a sports application, which should come handy for joggers.
It uses the GPS receiver to detect your speed and reports other stuff such as the distance covered and the calories burnt. The application is rather basic and it's nowhere near competing products such as Nokia Sports Tracker for example.
Now don't get us wrong. While the Jogging buddy seems a bit of an underdog when it comes to sports, it may still serve some purpose. Getting you the distance travelled (or jogged if you prefer) sounds like a useful thing for sure.
The LG Renoir comes with two simple accelerometer based games (or sort of) plus three Java titles in trial versions.
The two accelerometer-based thingies rest in the M-Toy corner, which up so far has served us with some simple, yet enjoyable games in previous models. This time we are not exactly looking at games but more of helper applications.
The first one (Flying dices) allows you to roll a pair of dices by shaking the handset. The second one is a rotating Wheel of fortune (called Wheel Mania). The sectors on the wheel represent different card types (cards, as in playing cards), so essentially both applications are not really games on their own, but more of applications that allows you to play other gambling games with friends.
The preinstalled Java game titles include Asphalt 3, Bubble Bash and Diamond Twister. As we said, those are just taster versions, so you better find yourself another pastime.
Of course, you are free to install other games of your choice without worrying about the unconventional resolution - titles for QVGA screens run just as fine on the Renoir, taking only the upper two thirds of the screen. The unused space is occupied by virtual controls that make up for the lack of a D-pad and context keys in applications that are not touch optimized.
There are programs such as Opera Mini that don't need the virtual controls as they support touch operation, while there are others such as the unofficial Google Talk for Mobile that will accept commands only from the virtual controls at the bottom of the screen.
The QWERTY keyboard is available for Java apps, however you can only switch to it manually from the Options menu once you start inputting a text field. The competing Samsung Pixon has a better implementation of the feature as the QWERTY keyboard is automatic (just tilt the screen) and there's also handwriting recognition as an option for text input in Java apps.
The LG KC910 Renoir is without a doubt an impressive package. It's got a nice user interface with rich feature set such as the capable task manager and well developed multi-tasking, excellent touch optimized gallery, DivX/XviD video support plus direct YouTube uploads, as well as auto screen rotation and a landscape QWERTY keyboard.
Surely, the Renoir rich features such as Wi-Fi and GPS are a bit limited by the feature phone interface, but if you are after a more expandable platform such as Symbian S60, the Samsung INNOV8 is your only cameraphone option right now and although similarly priced, it would mean you'd have to ditch the touchscreen functionality.
We are pleased with the LG Renoir camera features and performance too with the small exception of the image oversharpening it applies and the feeble xenon flash that's not only underpowered but also throws the camera automatic exposure and white balance over board.
The LG handset has its other quirks too - lack of video streaming over Wi-Fi (you can enjoy YouTube only over the cellular network), silly 300KB limitation of incoming emails, no QWERTY keyboard in the Java apps and no free games.
Choosing between the LG Renoir and its direct competitor - Samsung Pixon - is a tough call since both are similarly priced. While the Pixon lacks Wi-Fi, it adds to the equation 0.2 inches of screen estate, more advanced widgets system, a snappier interface, WVGA video recording and a true quad-band support.
So in the end, it's the consumer that makes the final decision - choosing between such close competitors is always a matter of personal evaluation and there's no one-size-fits-all answer.
Happy holidays to you all!