Review: LG Arena

LG’s Arena brings a phone that is not only very functional, but rugged to boot…

By Charlie Brown

Make: LG
Model: Arena

Out of the box, the LG Arena is a smart-looking phone, which looks light on functionality, but its thin, grey casing hides a lot of oompf for such a little handset.

A few seconds to upload my SIM card and we are up and running. First of all I was impressed with its messaging capabilities. It has a full touchscreen qwerty keyboard, which when you swivel the phone to landscape, makes my Samsung Omnia seem clunky. It has the option of a 3D menu that allows quicker searching of contacts and multimedia content.

The Dolby Surround sound is interesting, but if you expect it to have the same sound quality as your other MP3 players, you would be disappointed. The speaker sounds a bit tinny, but what would you expect from something that is supposed to be first and foremost, a phone.

It is light, compact and its width does seem thinner that similar handsets. Unlike the LG Secret, it is not a slider, which doesn’t bother me, as I don’t have a preference.

One of its biggest draw cards is that its screen is scratch-proof; very handy if you are a tradie, or tend to throw your handset around. However, it would be great if one of these vendors could create smudge-proof glass one of these days. Having a touchscreen handset that smudges almost seems pointless to a degree. That being said, the touchscreen works well, although there were a couple of menus that didn’t scroll up as I liked, but I don’t know if it was the unit or me that was causing the problem. After a while, it all seemed to come together.

The five megapixel camera takes either landscape or portrait shots, which look pretty good on screen, while you can also watch DivX or Xvid movies that come with a high-quality resolution.

It has an FM tuner, which again, is easy to use, and allows you to save your six favourite stations by pre-setting them.

I charged the unit on Wednesday last week and trialled bits and pieces over the next fews days. I then left it at the office over the weekend and when I got back two of the three power bars were still active. This suggest s that LG’s claim that it has 30 hours MP3 playing time, and 300 hours of standby time, are correct.

Overall, there is a lot to like about his unit, and certainly it up there with its peers the iPhone and Blackberry Storm.

Charging is via USB, and there is also a set of earphones and a USB data cable.

RRP
$799

Pros: Great functionality; easy to navigate; light; small

Cons: Have to hold the button down for a few seconds before it fires up; screen smudges

3.5 Shacks out of 5

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