Rivals: LG Arena (KM900) versus iPhone 3G
The LG Arena is the latest handset to stand up to the iPhone 3G. Has LG pulled off a decent alternative to Apple's wonder phone? Read on for the full specification low down and scroll to the end for Lucy's video review, then make up your own mind.
Look & Feel
The LG Arena phone measures 105.9 x 55.3 x 11.95mm, compared to the iPhone 3G's 115.5 x 62.1mm x 9.9mm, so it's a little thicker (not much) and slightly smaller.
Weight of the LG Arena isn't known yet.
The LG Arena features a three-inch (diagonal) colour WVGA touchscreen sporting 480 x 800 resolution (like the Toshiba TG01). That's a rather interesting 3:5 (or 5:3) aspect ratio compared to the iPhone's 320 x 480 (2:3 / 3:2) aspect ratio. Neither offers "true" widescreen TV format.
The LG Arena's screen appears to be much glossier than that of the iPhone (not sure if this is the glass or the underlying display itself) which means on bright, sunny days it can be more difficult to use.
The LG Arena has a 5-megapixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach optics, auto focus, LED flash and image stabilisation.
The Arena will also shoot video at 720x480/30fps and QVGA at 120fps, plus it has a secondary camera for video calls.
The iPhone 3G, by contrast, still has its paltry 2-megapixel bog-standard camera. No video capture.
Lucy wasn't too impressed with the Arena's photo quality, even though on the surface it trumps the iPhone's specs and should be good. Then again, the iPhone is no great contender for camera of the year either.
Information about what multimedia the LG handset supports is fairly scarce, though we do know that it features Dolby Mobile audio for those times when you need to annoy everyone by playing music through the phone's built-in speakers.
There's no reason to doubt that it'll handle any less music and video formats than other LG multimedia phones.
It has a built-in FM radio.
The iPhone 3G handles MP3, AAC, MPEG4. No radio.
Both phones have a built-in GPS unit with A-GPS and make use of this via Google Maps. The iPhone 3G also allows third-party applications access to GPS data.
Both phones operate on 3G networks and have built in Wi-Fi. The LG Arena has full Bluetooth 2.1 and A2DP support - the iPhone 3G will get this with the 3.0 software upgrade this summer.
The Arena has integrated instant messaging, SMS and MMS, while the iPhone lacks MMS and requires third party applications for IM. (MMS coming this summer).
The iPhone uses the Safari browser while the Arena uses the Teleco Q7/Full Browser.
The LG Arena has an 8GB of internal memory plus the ability to add up to 16GB on microSD storage. The iPhone 3G has a fixed 8GB or 16GB internal memory.
Both phones have an accelerometer built in, for such tasks a being able to turn the phone to reorient video/photos/menus etc.
The iPhone has a proximity sensor.
The iPhone allows a range of Apple-approved third-party applications to run. It's not clear whether applications can be added to the LG Arena, though this doesn't seem to be mentioned as a feature.
Pricing & Networks
In the UK, it's available on Orange, in Phones4u's o2 shop and T-Mobile for free based on a minimum £35 per month 18-contract.
The 8G iPhone 3G is currently free on £35pm contracts with the 16GB model also reduced.
The LG Arena has a great display and some interesting, if a little gimmicky, user interface ideas. It has a great screen and looks to be a pretty capable multimedia phone.
Its seeming inability to add new applications marks it down compared to the iPhone, or to Android / Windows Mobile phones, but if that kind of functionality isn't important, it's a worthy phone.
It's certainly a decent opponent for the iPhone. It will be interesting to see how Apple responds this summer.
For the moment, take a look at Lucy's review:
If you want to check out other phones visit phones4u.co.uk for reviews on the HTC HD2 mobile phone.
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