The LG Renoir KC910 is LG’s first 8-MP camera phone with Schneider Kreuznach-certified lens and Xenon flash, comparable to and maybe even enough to knock out any digital camera. The LG Renoir, vying directly with the Samsung M8800 Pixon (that also sports an 8-MP camera and touchscreen interface), very much follows in the footsteps of the LG Viewty, which was also touted as one of the best LG camera phones.
The LG Renoir and the LG Viewty, though, have lots of similarities between them, the former underwent a lot of improvements on the Flash UI, specific to new LG mobile phones with touch-screens.
Essentially, the LG KC910 Renoir comes with all the goodies of camera capabilities and performance, but its redesigned interface meets the needs of the user. The LG KC910 is easier to operate and more user-friendly than its Viewty predecessor. Whether that is true or false, the following review will let you know all.
Named after the famous painter Renoir, LG KC910 Renoir, debuted in August 2008 and was brought to the market after 2 months in November. LG Renoir is available to purchase at USD 500$ without contract, depending on the location. Unfortunately, the phone only comes in black.
Design (3 out of 5)
While developing a new handset, LG has always been concerned about its design. With the development of its Shine and Chocolate series, the Korean company has proved that its products have the ability to be eye catching. The LG Renoir carries on with the same form factor, which has become standard for the touch devices from LG ranging from the Viewty to the Prada. The Renoir, in fact, is sized equal to the latter (107.8 x 55.9 x 14mm), but it’s just a bit longer. It has a 114g weight that seems quite light for an eight-MP camera phone. Due to these ‘universal’ sizes, this phone perfectly fits in the pocket and hand of its owners.
The KC910 Renoir has, on its front, 3 very stylish and transparent buttons. These buttons are always backlit while using the handset. The two End and Accept calls buttons frame the middle button that allows for multiple functions. Besides, the 3-inch touchscreen has a tiny in-call speaker, an optional camera for snapping images of low quality or for video-calls and a light ambient sensor that tinkers with display brightness. In addition, there are two volume keys at the right side of the phone. These keys can be used to zoom out and in while the lens of the camera is opened. The phone is also incorporated with an unlock and lock key on the right side and a dedicated camera key. Plus, on the left side of the phone, there is an LG universal port and a microSD card slot. The in-built port helps attach the charger, a headset or a USB cable.
The bottom and top of the handset is fully empty that means there is no attachment of the stylus here. The 8MP monster camera lies at the back of the handset along with a Xenon flash and an added light whereby the camera can focus on the object even in darker areas. Additionally, there is a 3.5mm adapter for headphones and a secondary display protection film inside the box.
The element utilized for building the KC910 Renoir helps it look rich, exquisite and chic. Though its front is approximately fully seized by the huge display, its well-polished back cover keeps shining despite being engulfed with the thin protective plastic.
The LG KC910 Renoir comes in an impressive slim form for its enhanced multimedia capabilities, along with superb finishes which help it shine as and when it is used. So, its build quality and high standard ergonomics recommend it as one the most attractive camera handsets on the market today.
Design wise, the LG Renoir deserves 3 out of 5.
Features (4 out of 5)
Coming to the best part i.e. the 8MP camera, the LG Renoir offers a number of fun ways for using your creativity and interacting with the subjects. If you’re into snapping events like sports, Renoir comes as the best phone here as it can snap nine shots in quick succession to bring out the perfect image. Face detection mode, smile detection mode and blink detection are some other modes that discard all the anomalies in the subject’s posture to capture the best shot. The Beauty mode helps the subject look better on images but that is quite a subjective matter to guarantee on. The Panorama mode is quite handy in capturing beautiful scenic shots.
The ISO is adjustable up to 1600 in the LG Renoir. The phone is capable of recording videos at 120FPS in variable speeds, which support slow motion or fast motion playback.
The Renoir also offers support for DivX files, exceptionally useful for those who can’t do without movies. Non-DivX files can be easily converted into DivX through software. Support for microSDHC cards helps extend the memory up to 8GB and enables you to carry your favorite movies and videos along.
The integrated GPS is yet another upgrade to really look forward to. Using Google Maps, users can’t just find their exact locations but also geo-tag the captured images. Somewhat similar to the Sports Tracker function by Nokia is the jogging application on this handset that keeps a record of distance covered and time taken.
In terms of connectivity, apart from Wi-Fi, the LG Renoir offers HSDPA that allows for high speed downloading of data at 7.2Mbps.
The LG Renoir deserves 4 out of 5 in terms of features.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The touchscreen is quite user-friendly. Users can access important and frequently-used apps through the shortcut key at the bottom of the screen. However, the widgets bar located on the home screen does the same thing. Apps like digital clock and memo pad can just be dragged out of the widgets bar and dropped on the menu for instant use. Camera usability is as simple as holding the phone sideways and pressing the shutter button. Besides that, the Renoir allows much liberty for texting. Users can carry on with the conventional numeric keypad (supporting predictive text) or opt for the QWERTY keypad for entering longer texts and sending e-mails by just flipping the phone sideways.
Manual focus of the camera comes into play when you want a particular area to focus on. Just touch that area on the touchscreen and you can have clear close-up images. In that case, only the release of your finger would let the camera capture the shot.
For its user interface, the Renoir is rated 4 out of 5.
Performance (3 out of 5)
The LG Renoir is the first ever of its kind to support Dolby Mobile technology – an advanced audio processing technology that brings out cleaner and louder bass and renders richness and depth to the audio. The videos look clear and complete on the LG Renoir’s wide screen, so much so that one can watch a complete movie on it. The basic attribute i.e. the call quality, is also clear as well as loud.
Also, the advanced Wi-Fi connectivity and 3G upgrade allow for seamless web browsing – an essential need for being connected.
The 1000mAh battery proffers a well-to-do 350-hour standby time and 220-minute talk time. Although GPS functions and video playback account for a lesser battery life, it can work continuously for 3 days without the need for recharging it.
However, the lack of 3.5mm audio jack remains one big disappointment. Although users can enjoy the music with the help of an adapter, there’s nothing comparable to a built-in audio jack.
Performance-wise, LG Renoir deserves 3 out of 5.
The Verdict (4 out of 5)
In all, the LG Renoir can be considered a good upgrade over the LG Viewty with some of the most unexpected features going by the standards of current smartphones, such as the 8MP camera. But calling it the best ever phone by LG, or for that matter best among the contemporary smartphones, would be quite deceptive. We have in line the iPhone which beats the touchscreen interface of LG Renoir one on one.
It can be said that an integrated audio jack and better Xenon Flash would have given it a more competitive stand in the market.
Overall, LG Renoir gets 4 out of 5.