LG Renoir Review
Review Date: 26/3/09
Mobile Phone: LG Renoir KC910
- Great quality 8 megapixel camera
- Great multimedia capability
- Intuitive user interface
- Feature packed
- Touch-screen scrolling can be frustrating
- Relatively low amount of included storage
With an 8 megapixel camera that will take great photos in a variety of situations, you can guess why the LG Renoir KC910 is artistically inspired. The multimedia and touch screen capabilities will see this mobile phone inspire plenty of playtime too.
Occasionally, the scrolling mechanism will see you making deposits into the swear jar, and by way of virtue, we think you will be wanting to fill an 8GB microSD card with all the good gear this mobile can handle. Looking for WiFi internet and GPS capability too? This phone has it. The LG Renoir is destined to impress even the toughest of critics.
LG Renoir KC910 Video
LG Renoir KC910 Mobile Review In Depth
Borrowing its name from the famous French Impressionist painter, the LG Renoir mobile phone is said to be artistically inspired while providing every need to your fingertips. Without getting too intoxicated from LG’s extensive ad campaign, the KC910 does excel on creative fronts and provide a feature-rich overall package.
Clean and business-like, the handset itself may have art critics struggling to find a notable distinction, but once the 3in 262K wide QVGA touch screen illuminates, the artistic link becomes much easier to pinpoint. The large screen does not equate to a heavy handset either, and although the build quality is solid, you will find it weighs a paltry 114g.
The touch screen and Active Flash user interface is refreshingly trouble free to use and has been compared to the iPhone for ease of use. However, we found the scrolling mechanism to be a bit temperamental, and occasionally you find yourself clicking into menus by accident.
The Renoir KC910 comes with an included stylus dongle, but ideally this would slot into the handset somewhere. It’s a small issue because overall it is easy enough to hit the large buttons on the mobile phone’s menu, and even with the protective LCD film in place (included in the package), perusing the LG Renoir is a pleasant experience.
Speaking of the menu, it is largely customisable and intuitive to use. There’s a dedicated favourites button in between the typical call and end buttons, and anyone familiar with mobile phones will quickly adapt to this unit despite a multitude of features.
You can even customise the home screen with widgets, which are like mini programs that give you access to things like time, date and an organiser among others. The mobile phone does have a slight tendency to lag under orders keyed in too quickly, but that is a very small gripe.
The fingerprint factor is always going to be an issue with touch screen phones, but this mobile is one of the better ones we have seen and greasy smudges don’t become noticeable too often. The etched plastic at the back contributes positively to this effect.
We experienced no problems with in-call sound quality this side of a sound testing facility. Calls were crisp and clear, which is no less than expected from a modern mobile phone, and though we have heard reports of the handset heating up over long calls, we did not find any problems that would bother you in real-world situations.
With the decent battery life, there is a good chance you will be able to make some long calls too. While using the GPS or camera is obviously going to drain the battery a lot quicker, with general moderate use you can usually get at least a couple of days from the battery, which is not bad at all.
The only minor bummer we can fault the LG Renoir KC910 with is a lack of included memory. The phone comes with 100MB internal memory (fine for standard phone call/messaging use), but when you discover this mobile’s fantastic camera and multimedia capabilities, we think many people will be requiring more.
Of course, you can purchase a microSD card of up to 8GB to accompany the phone, and let’s have a closer look at what you could potentially store on the Renoir.
8 Megapixel Camera
With an 8MP camera on board, we think users will be happy snapping as if their lives depended on it. Arguably the Renoir’s flagship feature, not only does this phone do high definition, the camera quality rivals almost any other mobile phone currently on the market. The golden question to ask is if you would replace your ordinary point-and-shoot camera with this mobile phone, and the short answer is – yes.
The camera is that good, and it comes with easy-access shooting modes for normal light, night mode, smile capture, beauty shot (removes blemishes), panorama, continuous and a range of art shots to add everything from basic black and white to various tones.
It also features a quality Schneider-Kreuznach lens, ISO speeds up to 1600 and a Xenon flash. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to use this camera either – we found just pointing and shooting produced impressive results.
It should be said that a small amount of patience is required to get the best results at night, as the Xenon flash often produced a sickly blue skin colour. Switching between modes (often using smile capture or beauty) seemed to cure this quickly producing photos you would be happy to take home to mum.
Finally, the dedicated camera key means you don’t have to muck around to take a quick shot, and there is even a dedicated image stabilisation button (that goes along with all the auto focus features). For those who want to get fancy, you can also focus by touching a spot on the screen, and a picture will automatically be captured when you lift your finger off again.
A protective lens cover on the back will ensure you will be using this camera phone for a long time to come.
Following from the still camera, you also have a video camera with enough features to please everyday Speilbergs everywhere. The LG Renoir easily records video at 30fps, and you can even capture videos at 120fps or 5fps.
This means you can take shots in slow or fast motion, and while not everyone will use this capability more than once, it does challenge users to get creative. Don’t say you weren’t warned – this phone has an artistic nature after all.
Music and Video
You don’t have to do all the work to enjoy modern art on this phone. The Renoir KC910 also boasts awesome multimedia capabilities to keep you entertained on the move.
The phone will play back almost all common audio formats you throw at it, and it will do it using Dolby for Mobile sound. While there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, LG includes the appropriate hardware in the sales package. This device allows you to use your own headphones anyway, and you still get the microphone/volume control too.
The 3in 256K is a bit wasted on mobile wallpaper, so why not take advantage of the DivX, XviD, WMV and MP4 support to watch your chosen video files. The quality is extremely impressive.
The fun continues in the games department with full java support, and a couple of applications are included to keep you busy. If you really want to play games on this mobile, you will be downloading a game of choice quick smart, and a touch D pad and numerical keys are in place to enable playability. This is one area you will often need the stylus.
Downloading games, or any other information, should not be a problem utilising 3G HSDPA or WiFi access where possible. The phone browser worked fine and will please most users for standard requirements, and a range of Google applications are already installed (such as YouTube and Gmail) to make surfing the net easy.
There are a few negatives to the web capability of the phone, and the main is a lack of Flash video support. This means you won’t be able to view some things online, and the YouTube mobile application is not as clear as it would be with Flash. Overall, the internet usage is not as polished as some of the phones we have seen, but you still have high-speed access that will suit many typical web-based scenarios.
A2D2 Bluetooth is also included for occasions when you need to connect to another device through this function.
Email and Messaging
The LG Renoir KC910 has all the messaging forms the modern artist could require. Primarily, email is easy to set up, and in many instances, all you need to do is put in your name and password and let the phone do the rest. SMS and MMS are naturally included, and you type messages via a pop-up touch screen.
Tilting the phone on its side reveals a QWERTY keyboard, but the keys are a bit small to use with fingers alone. The T9 predictive text for the normal keypad works fine though, and the only real grievance is that the space bar is very close to the send key. You will probably send a few messages before they are cooked with this mobile phone.
You have all document viewing capabilities you will need, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PDFs among others. You will have to try to find a Java upgrade if you want to modify these documents, though.
Maps and GPS
Continuing with the feature-rich theme of this phone, the LG Renoir also has an in-built GPS device that comes pre-packaged with Google Maps. There is word that Vodafone-brand Renoirs don’t come with this function, but we assume you can still download a third-party program to access this feature.
While the GPS and Google Maps application both work to an exceptional standard, we would recommend you have an appropriate data plan if you foresee yourself using this feature often. You must connect to the internet to utilise the GPS functions, and constantly downloading maps can be data intensive.
This is a contrast to mobile phones with the Nokia Maps function, for example, which allow you to look up addresses and even plot routes without having to go online. However, multimedia is clearly the phone’s focus, and the GPS will get you out of trouble on the odd occasion you find yourself getting lost or needing directions.
Calendar and Organising
Multimedia focus aside, you will have no excuses for being unorganised with the LG Renoir. The calendar and organising functions are superb and fit right at the top of the class for mobile phone capabilities.
Apart from the usual date, time and calculator facilities, you can set up to 500 events on your calendar and even customise the way days are displayed. You can also utilise the separate to-do list functions, or record voice memos and send them by MMS. A handy world clock function is also available as a widget on the home screen.
As you can see, this mobile phone almost does it all. While there are some other phones that will present better internet and business use, the LG Renoir is still more than efficient in these areas. Besides, camera capability and multimedia are the KC910′s main features, and there is not much on the current market that will trump this phone.
Perhaps the biggest problem you will have with the Renoir is the constant temptation to play with it and enjoy all its entertainment capabilities in the palm of your hand. You don’t need a knowledge of fine art to recognise the LG Renoir is a modern mobile phone masterpiece.
LG Renoir KC910 Mobile Phone Specifications
- 2G Network: 900/1800/1900 EDGE
- 3G Network: 900/2100/HSDPA Speed 7.2 Mbps
- Audio MIDI, MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, Real
- Video H.263, H.264, MPEG4, WMW, DivX
- Dolby for Mobile (music)
- Document viewer Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF
- Size: 55.9 x 107.8 x 14mm
- Weight: 114g
- Colour: Etched black plastic with steel trim
- Standby: Up to 350 hours
- Talk Time: Up to 220 mins
- 3in 262K WQVGA TFT Touch Screen
- Internal memory: 100MB
- Memory card: up to 8GB
- WiFi 802.11b/g
- 2.0 A2D2 Bluetooth
- 2.0 MicroUSB
- TV out support
- Active Flash UI
- WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
- SMS, MMS, EMAIL, VIDEO MMS, Predictive Text (T9)
- Poly, MIDI, MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, Real, vibrate
- 8MP, Xenon flash, Schneider-Kreuznach lens, shooting modes normal light, night mode, smile capture, beauty shot, panorama, continuous and a range of art shots, ISO 1600, image stabilisation, auto focus, 8x digital zoom, Geo-tagging
- VGA at 30fps, QVGA at 120fps and 5fps, video editing software
Features and Entertainment
- Jogging Buddy
- Google Maps
- Geo-tagging (photos)
- FM Radio
- Voice memos
- Video call
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- 1000 phone book entry capability
Sales Package Contents
- Renoir KC910 handset
- 1000 mAh LI-Ion battery
- Headphones/hands-free input
- USB data cable
- Stylus dongle
- Protection Film (LCD Cover)