Ladies, gentlemen, it’s time to get hot. A promo video of for the next gen LG Chocolate – apparently known as the BL40 – has found its way onto the internet. It looks good. It looks really good. See for yourself.
There’s no arguing with a 4-inch touchscreen and one in a 21:9 aspect and 800 x 345 resolution, at that. It’s multi-touch and scratch resistant but it’s all for nothing if it’s as dead as a doornail. I’ve seen some awesome looking handsets ruined the minute you actually try them in the flesh but if LG has really got its act together here, if they’ve done their touchscreen homework, then there’s little doubt their fourth Black Label handset is going to be a winner.
Perhaps the only other shadow for me is over the OS and UI. Never been a huge fan of what they made the Arena and Viewty Smart but perhaps they’ve upped the anti this time around. Could this be LG’s first really serious smartphone?
The Samsung Jet is going to seem like a silly name at the other end of your 18-month contract but, as of today, it’s the fastest handset available in the world right. The impressive 800MHz processor is at the heart of its creed, backed up by the Samsung Dolphin browser, an improved TouchWiz 2.0 interface and support for just about every kind of file and feature you could shake a stick at.
There’s a 5-megapixel camera with double LED flash, autofocus, smile shot, face detection, blink detection and armpit detection. (One of these is not true). But best of all is the undoubtedly stunning 3.1″ AMOLED display with the kind of resolution that makes my CRT weep. It’s WVGA, so that’ll be somewhere slightly beyond 800 x 480. Oh, and it’s touchscreen too, but you knew that, right?
It does support 3G and Wi-Fi, it does have a 3.5mm jack, in fact there’s very little it doesn’t do. It’s perfectly happy working with all your DRMed music files and the other usual audio standards – MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ and WMA. On the video side, it’ll play DivX, Xvid, WMV, MPEG4, H.263 and H.264 formats. You’ll be able to record your own at a healthy 30fps too.
You’ll be able to beam all the sounds straight to your ears with Bluetooth 2.1, you can link it up and charge via microUSB (praise the lord) and you’ve got both mircoSD and 2GB of onboard storage to play with – or what we call in the business “enough”.
The most intriguing part of the package for me, though, is the Dolphin browser. Samsung has got some serious competition in the shape of Opera Mini and, well, Opera Mini really but they’re talking the talk with this software addition.
It’s got a built-in ad blocker, offers multiple downloads and you can have five pages open at any one time. They’ve also got around the multitouch barrier with one finger zooming, Interesting to see how well that works.
The whole package measures a really quite neat 108.8 X 53.5 X 11.9 mm with perhaps the only question mark for me the 1,100 mAh battery. It’s often hard to say how well it preforms because of the nature of the processor and how effiicient a piece of engineering the whole handset is, but all I know is that that’s less than all the super smart phones I compared the other day and even less than the G1 which’ll barely get you through a single day of proper use.
That said, I’m pleased to say that I’m liking what Samsung’s come up with; the fastest handset in the East and West, at least until Toshiba gets its act together.
This week is Lucy’s last week at Shiny. She’s moving on to pastures new and video production values high but that still doesn’t quite explain whoever it was that indulged her this nine minute review of the LG Arena.
In Lucy’s favour, it’s a darn good review of this premium touchscreen handset from Korea’s favourite brand and if you’re thinking of buying one then look no further than this most thorough piece of bloggo-jounalism. Take it a away Luce…
I’ve been lucky enough to be walking round with an Arena in my pocket (rather than just being pleased to see you) for the past few days and I’d have to agree with Ms Hedges that there’s plenty for LG to be pleased about.
The trouble is that they’re on the market for £35 per month on an 18 month contract which puts it in a very similar class to the recently reduced iPhone 3G that sits at the same cost but for six months longer. So, the question is, is the Arena as good?
For me, parts of the OS are a little over complicated with too many ways of performing the same operation and the touchscreen isn’t quite as good as the iPhone, although better than the Renoir.
What you do get that Apple doesn’t offer is 5-megapixel camera, video capture, Bluetooth and Dolby surround sound. The FM transmitter is also a nice touch and good dig at all iDevices at the same time, which has to use a variety of poor auxiliary gizmos to play wirelessly through your radio.
What you don’t get with the Arena, though, is the App Store which is probably the most important pull of the iPhone 3G. They’ve laid down a lot of useful bits and pieces but it’s not enough and, sadly, despite it being a very well manufactured handset, I can’t see the Arena really competing.
Having said that, there’s a Phones4U deal over here for £25 per month with 600 minutes and 3,000 texts. Now, for that kind of money, they could be in business.
LG Renoir review: