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LG Arena KM900 Review




LG’s newest flagship smartphone, the LG Arena, packs in a ton of features you seldom see in its category and price point. We took the new phone for a spin in the last two weeks to see what’s the catch. Check out the review after the jump.

Design and Construction

The LG Arena’s design looks really simple in the outset, not too slim and not too thick either at 12mm (although it’s actually thinner than the iPhone 3G). The faceplate is surrounded in metal with a brushed finish while the backplate is covered in aluminum and plastic. It feels light and fits very well in the hands too. (See full specs and unboxing photos here.)

lg arena

There are very few physical buttons here — a power button, a camera switch and volume controls — and it gives you an impression that everything else is controlled via the touchscreen.

Navigation and Touch UI

The touch UI of the LG Arena allows for multi-touch, a feature very few touchscreen phones support; and since it has a capacitive screen, the Arena no longer needs a stylus and it’s all finger-flicking from hereon. LG also added a haptic feedback mechanism which you can completely control — vibration volume, touch sound and vibration type.

lg arena

The S-Class Touch UI gives the screen a 3D effect with an eye-catching Cube navigation that rotates around in 4 panels (Contacts, Widgets, Music and Shortcuts). The Home Screen is packed with all icons for all sorts of controls for Communication, Multimedia, Utilities and Settings (reminded me of the iPhone home screen) — it even re-orients horizontally in landscape mode.

Text input is done via a virtual alphanumeric keypad at the vertical position and switches to full qwerty in horizontal position (landscape mode). While the full qwerty is large enough and easy to get used to, there seems to be some response lag once you start typing real fast. Typing is pretty accurate with a miss-rate of about 2 characters for every 5 words.

Connectivity

LG didn’t hold back to complete the connectivity features in the KM900 — WiFi 802.11 b/g, 3G (HSDPA up to 7.2Mbps), Bluetooth 2.0, GPS with AGPS support — you won’t look for anything more than that on a mobile phone.

lg km900


What I found bit lacking though is WAP 2.0/xHTML browser which is a little slow even on WiFi although it has some nice features like tabbed browsing and multi-touch navigation (pinch, stretch, swipe etc). Since the Arena can multi-task, you can run several applications and load multiple websites all at the same time. Of course, there are some noticeable slowing down of apps and functions when running them all at the same time.

Multimedia and Entertainment

The LG Arena has a large 3-inch screen with a resolution of 480×800 pixels in bright and crisp 16M colors. This is evident when playing videos where even at an angle, the display still projects the same video quality (no bluish haze like in the iPhone).

The music player is fast and easy to use with some pretty nice visualization. Although I found the volume not too loud, applying the Dolby Mobile in the equalizer made some nice improvements on music playback (at full volume, songs are less pitchy and has a little bit more bass).

Another rare feature of the LG Arena is the FM Tuner with Transmitter so you can broadcast music from the phone to any FM receiver at home or in your car’s stereo (last time I used this feature was with the Nokia N78).

The 5-megapixel camera takes nice quality photos (Schneider-Kreuznach optics) with a fairly fast and stable autofocus. See sample photo below:

lg-arena-photo-sample

Video capture isn’t as impressive though (since there’s no autofocus) despite the large resolution of 720×480 @ 30fps. See sample video below:

Video quality degrades on close-up shots (see another sample here) and ability to do slow-mo video recording is a really nice addition. Video files are saved as 3GP instead of the more familiar MP4.

There’s an internal storage of 8GB but it can be extended to 40GB by adding a 32GB microSD card (haven’t seen one available in the local market though). The battery is rated at 1000mAh and last about 2 to 2.5 days on regular use.

Conclusion

At its price point, the LG KM900 Arena could be a hit to those looking for a full-featured touchscreen phone. It’s got everything you’ll need from a smartphone in a good form factor and pretty nice UI.

The LG Arena has a suggested retail price of Php24,990 and comes in Silver, Titan Black, Dusty Pink colors.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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65 Responses

  1. bertsan531 says:

    nice phone for students and teen agers but the price is to high though…it would be better if less than 20k hehehe..

  2. emenyueru says:

    Other sites says that LG Arena is not a smartphone. Anu po ba difference ng smartphone sa hindi?

  3. mike says:

    What OS is it running? and can it run 3rd party applications?

  4. yuga says:

    @emenyueru – there’s no official definition for a smartphone but my take on it is that as long as the phone is high-end and capable of some advanced tasks normal phones can’t do.

  5. Niel says:

    It’s a featured phone not smartphone. Smartphones are those phones powered by OS like symbian, winmo, android and iphone OS.

  6. Wow my LG Viewty just got b*tch-slapped by this phone! I’m wanting it right now!

  7. mark says:

    just waiting for this review to make-up my mind on buying one!=) but i heard that the cube is static, i hope they will upgrade this feature. did the touch response ok enough to battle the iphone? iphone 3G s or this phone? what do you think?

  8. yuga says:

    @mark – the touch response is not as responsive or smooth as the iPhone. There’s no acceleration of sorts when flicking or scrolling.

  9. mark says:

    i see. but the response is not that laggy right? omnia hd, iphone 3G S or this? what do you thnk yuga?

  10. Live Dito says:

    it seems good but its not affordable

  11. emenyueru says:

    @Abe and @Neil, thank you for the reply. If only Nokia 5800 looks like this, even just a bit, i won’t be having a hard time deciding what phone to bye

  12. maybe LG should look at their price points in the Philippines and see about adjusting their prices downward to increase sales and profits. The price of the LG Arena seems a bit high to generate substantial sales in the Philippines

  13. lucky says:

    LG Arena it is great phone, is bettre than all of products LG

  14. vince says:

    lg arena feels and looks better in person.. you must touch it to really appreciate it.. and yes, it’s not a smart phone.. it’s a stand-alone feature phone that runs lg’s proprietary s-class UI which is not bad at all since it has some of the best visualizations i’ve seen so far on a touch screen ui.. another great contender is the upcoming lg gd9000 (transparent keypad pphone)..

  15. Mark Jason says:

    My tito from the US got this phone there as a free unit sa Plan subscription nya. This phone is cool! I seriously love this more kesa iPhone 3G ko (although LG’s touch screen isn’t as superb as my iPhone’s, but close). Supports and plays DivX videos (no need for conversion), cam images are super clear, SECONDARY CAMERA FOR VIDEO CALLS (iPhone 3G and even 3G S lack this) and faceplate is made up of metal rather than plastic. One thing I hate is the phone’s YouTube app. You can’t watch YouTube videos via Wi-Fi, only by connecting through 3G/HSDPA (I can’t connect because the unit’s sim-locked). Sana in the near future may ma-develop na app for this.

  16. gethra says:

    Yuga, would you recommend this as an iPhone 3G alternative? Looks much better kasi sa OS ng iPhone 3G based on the videos I’ve watched on youtube

  17. kena says:

    is this good for texting??

  18. Justin says:

    i bought this phone last month and i was satisfied with it.

    anyways, has anyone know how to reformat or restore the original phone setting of LG arena?

  19. badbadtzmaru says:

    *Justin:
    About the texting features, do the LG Arena carry the alphanumeric typing other than the Full Qwerty?
    thanks

  20. Gracie says:

    hello guys, Ive been using this LG KM900 for almost 3 mos. I bought here in UAE. Well, its very easy to use, even sa texting, calling, music, video & camera.. very handy pa sya.. so far.. no negative feedbacks on this phone.

  21. Janey says:

    wala ba tong windows mobile? or ung type na i can create, edit and view word documents and excel? yun kasi ang gustong kong feature sa isang phone. i need it for work and school. any feedbacks? thank u.

  22. Josh says:

    QWERTY texting? :/

  23. linalyn says:

    @Josh: I think there is.

    Look what I found:
    http://arena.lgmobile.com/ph/

    Nice!

  24. Josh says:

    @linalyn tried the lg arena emulator. tried messaging and its not in qwerty.

  25. izsha says:

    @Josh. it is capable of qwerty texting… but the phone has to be positioned horizontally.

  26. styme says:

    do any of you know where can i download free applications and games for lg arena?
    thanks

  27. iam a cellphone addict and just last month the news about lg arena km900 was declared in the internet and i think ineed to buy some lg arena in august 16 i just bought my lg arena and it was fantastic bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. nikki says:

    how much for this phone??

  29. surge says:

    too bad this is not a smart phone, it’s a dumbphone. it runs a propreitary operating system…no software = yuck.

  30. showstopper says:

    sir hindi po ako masyadong mahilig magbasa eh..
    tanong ko lang kung anong magagandang touch screen phone from LG and Samsung?
    salamat!!!

  31. LG arena is an excellent phone. Screen is wonderful, very responsive to touch. The only problem is with the divx, since often it doesn’t work.

  32. reem says:

    how can i edit a contact information

  33. showstopper says:

    where can I get this phone?
    saang mall ba mura?

  34. Keith says:

    question is, how long will it take you to get over a 24k php phone if you lost this in a public transport or stolen from your pocket/purse didto sa pinas? (rampant ang nakaw) See, if i had a LG Cookie instead (11k+ php) that wouldn’t hurt so bad. any thoughts?

  35. jazzme says:

    its the bist phone i ever had, way better than iphone except the size, mahirap lang ngang hawakan, yong sa akin lumangoy na sa pail at nahulog narin ng ilang beses pero buhay parin. its sturdy. bale 32 gig ang memory nya all together itong sa akin.
    the screen is scratch proof.
    mahirap lang nga hanapan ng games.
    mahirap configure ang agps nya.
    maganda lang sa camera nya, its capable of geo tagging.
    and also capable of video editing mapa divx man sya.
    sounds…dolby mobile…its good if you’re using
    a regular earphone, mas lalong maganda kung bluetooth stereo headphone.
    to wrap it up….maganda sya.

    and one more thing, the casing is 80 percent metal, aluminum and stainless steel to be exact.

    sa samsung ang magandang phone is samsung omnia (os…windows mobile 6.0)
    sa lg is lg arena or chocolate

  36. jazzme says:

    try vuclip, vuclip is as good as youtube….its a java application for mobile phones.

  37. zheddrick00 says:

    mag hang up occasionally, cannot use the phone until you have to off manually, then e retart mo.
    Any help?

  38. niknok says:

    i am craving for this phone and wished this as my christmas gift from mom, but i dunno if she’ll give this “expensive” phone since i always lose things. hahaha! but i think this one’s really great.prng iphone ndin :)

  39. snarf20 says:

    kakatapos ko lan magupgrade ng firmware ng cp ko and happy ko sa results.. may additional fonts na nadagdag.. not to mention i was able to watch youtube in it.. i love this phone…kaya lan naiinis lan ko sa globe kasi dko makapagsend ng mms.. grrr.. buti pa smart..

  40. carlo0810 says:

    @snarf20: ano po ng firmware ginamit nyo? and la ba bugs? gusto ko na rin kasi iupdate firmware ko e, kaso bka may masira ako hehe, tnx

  41. rachel says:

    @snarf20: san kaw nakakuha ng firmware? pls………
    tnx!

  42. rachel says:

    i am really confuse on what phone to buy. i really want the gd900 crystal but its so expensive. ac2ally my 1st choice really is this km900. so confuse.. help pls! any advice?

  43. Ronald says:

    does this phone support multi-tasking?

  44. jazzme says:

    yap it does,as many as 9 tasks.

  45. Androx says:

    where can i download themes and games for this phone coz their free games is sucky… pls send me a link..

  46. minette says:

    Anu po mas maganda? LG Chocolate or LG Arena?

  47. thyrrise says:

    where can i buy brand new LG KM900 DUSTY PINK or the white one?? please reply to this. ill be waiting. thanks . Manila Area only.

  48. 09392732680 says:

    im selling my LGkm900 arena

    7months old
    complete box except USB cable (misplaced)
    99%smooth and 100% working good
    no hidden defects
    contact me for info at 09392732680

  49. Swapnil Natu says:

    Hi,

    Can someone mail me totally how many models are available of LG Arena KM900, as in ebay.in they have specified it has got 3G as well as inbuilt 8GB storage, in Sunday times they have also stated the same thing but in their website, same phone is available but it dont have 3g & in built 8gb memory, specified in can be expanded upto 8gb, is it worth to buy this phone online? plz mail me to [email protected]

  50. 09392732680 says:

    just buy my 2nd hand pone see above details

  51. elmer b. mabbayad says:

    m selling my lg km900 (arena) pls contact 09159700123

  52. elmer b. mabbayad says:

    99.99 percent condition good as brand new black color w/ capdase original leather casing 2 mos. used w/ complete accessory..

  53. lgarena fan says:

    i love this phone,lalo n nung update q more faster than the original firmware..woooowww

  54. Prometheus Kane says:

    Just got one last night and it was on sale. Got this one at 9,999 at Megamall. Too bad we missed the BL40 which was also on sale until stocks ran out. (They were all gone in a couple of hours.) We saved around 15K because of the promo. Using it right now. Its quick and plays music pretty well but I’m still trying to get used to the new interface.

  55. sig says:

    Sa phone profile palang, impressive na, so I took the chance to buy on sale of this unit that was selling for $250 last May, and it didn’t disappointed me, all those essential features like Wi-fi and 8giga internal memory impressed me, pero sayang wala syang standard USB connection atsaka lock button na normally meron ang mga touchscreen phones, di ko rin type yung earphones na kasama nung unit pero ok lang not much of a big deal,
    Bottom line, really good phone.

  56. ruth says:

    hi, bought this phone 2 weeks ago. 2nd hand nga lang. im looking for a brand new battery kasi sobrang bilis nya malobat, any suggestion kung san meron yun original. may nahanap ako kaso medyo malayo sa area ko, from parañaque ako.thanks!

  57. You experienced some great points here. I accomplished an investigation on the topic and obtained most peoples will agree together with your blog.

  58. zomba says:

    what do you think swapping my nokia 5800 to this lg arena? can any anyone testify the positive and negative ones please… salamat po.. kasi im planning to change my n5800 kasi dko gusto wala man lang animation gusto ko kasi me animation like 3d e merun ang lg arena hehe. saka 5MP ang camera.

  59. singapura says:

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  60. jen says:

    hello, whats the new firmware version of this?

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