LG Renoir KC910 £299.99

30th Mar 2009 | 09:00

LG Renoir KC910

LG's touchscreen phone boasts an 8 megapixel camera and DivX support

TechRadar rating:

4.5 stars

We liked using the phone. Its touchscreen interface is comfortable and well constructed, even if it's not as slick as the iPhone's. For a mobile packed with such an array of features, though, the lack of a smartphone OS for customisation could be something of a drawback for some users attracted by its high-end functionality. Nonetheless, its high-class camera capability is still a key factor that will grab the attention of image-conscious phone buyers looking for a bit of touchscreen action.

Like:

8-megapixel camera; Touchscreen control; 3G HSDPA; Wi-Fi; A-GPS location finding technology; Extensive digital camera-style controls; Music player with Dolby Mobile audio processing; 8GB memory card supplied; Good quality video recording; Minimalist design; Intuitive user interface; Virtual Qwerty keyboard

Dislike:

No smartphone capability; Could have more A-GPS Sat Nav software; Earphone socket arrangement; Motion-controlled games limited; Widgets are limited; Lots of potentially battery-sapping features; Google apps not available on all networks versions

LG's Renoir KC910 is a touchscreen handset, similar to the Samsung Omnia, and aims to tempt Apple iPhone fans with its impressive specification.

One of the headline features is an 8-megapixel camera. Features include auto-focus and face detection. Image quality is good in direct sunlight but, as with most smartphones, it features too much digital noise in poor lighting conditions, despite the integrated flash.

The screen covers most of the front of this phone, but is not as striking as we hoped. It's bright and vivid, but the 240 x 400-pixel resolution lacks the sharpness of many rival touchscreen devices.

That said, image quality is excellent when watching films – a process made easy by the inclusion of DivX/XviD codecs – so you can watch most of your movies without having to convert their format.

The onscreen keyboard is fine in portrait mode, if a little small, where it works as a regular alphanumeric pad. Flip the phone into landscape mode, and it switches to a full QWERTY layout. Lacking intelligent software to recognise when mistakes are made, it's difficult to use at speed.

At first, the menu appears illogical and poorly laid out, but it's fine once you get the hang of it. The fact you can add your favourite applications and settings to a shortcut screen makes things easier.

Connectivity is excellent. You'll find both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in place, along with GPS for satellite navigation. 3G/HSDPA is also included, offering quick download times and smooth web browsing.

Measuring 14mm in depth, the Renoir lacks the svelte feel of the Apple iPhone, and the plastic casing also lacks substance. It is light, however, and a cover on the back protects the camera lens from damage when not in use.

The LG Renoir KC910 is a reasonable phone with useful features. Usability lets it down, however, and it's not quite as good as it could have been.

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