From last year's LG Viewty, to the upcoming LG KC910 Renoir, we have seen an evolution in the Korean chaebol's camera phone lineup. With the introduction of a new 8-megapixel device that pits itself against rival offerings such as the Samsung INNOV8 and the Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot C905, things will definitely get interesting, as you'll see in this review.
Much like the earlier Viewty, the KC910 focuses heavily on touch navigation, made all the more easy with its flushed 3.0-inch screen. Minimal buttons are presented on the device's chassis, with only the necessary ones such as Call and End besides a button that brings you to a customizable menu and task manager. Were it not for the 114g weight and its 14mm thicker profile, some may mistake the KC910 for the iPhone due to its glossy black and metallic silver design. Similarly, you'll see a gratuitous amount of fingerprints on the screen and edges.
Connection ports, unfortunately, are LG's proprietary connection for data and audio connectivity, located at the left profile just above the microSD slot that supports SDHC of up to 8GB. On the opposite end, the camera button is located just below the Hold key, which also doubles as the image stabilizer button for the 8-megapixel camera that's protected by a swiveled lens cover.
The LG KC910 gave us quite a few surprises (both the good and the bad). For one, the touch screen's responsiveness is less than desirable for the thumb, but with the use of your fingertips or the stylus, the experience won't be that jarring. Exploring further, we find a similar user interface as the Viewty, which required an extensive amount of touching that worsened this issue.
The multimedia experience, however, is miles apart from what we've experienced earlier with the touch screen. Just before we unboxed the KC910, we noticed a little icon called Dolby Mobile. This definitely got us intrigued, so we went into its music player, and we found our ears treated to a better audio delivery with the Dolby Mobile mode. Bass and treble was aptly amplified and unlike other stereo widening effects, the one we heard with the Dolby Mobile managed to produce an even and pleasant effect without appearing hollow.
Through all this audio testing, which included active connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth data transfer bundled with cellular usage, the KC910 lasted for almost a day and a half on its 1000 mAh battery.
With all your appetites whetted, it's time to reveal the real star of the KC910: the 8-megapixel camera. But it wasn't as shining as we had thought. Taking the standard resolution and color chart tests, we noticed that the KC910 returned readings of LPPH 1000 on the vertical axis, scoring better on the horizontal axis with a reading of 1100. Colors were adequately saturated, though it seems as though the colors were slightly towards the cooler spectrum. We'll let the images do the talking with a few sample shots below, taken on Auto settings.
The LG KC910 Renoir was definitely a bag full of surprises for us. Introduced as LG's first 8-megapixel camera phone, we found it's strength not to be on the imaging capability, but its impeccable audio delivery. However, there are a few issues that could break the deal for the consumers, namely its interface lag and lack of responsiveness with its touch screen, especially so when the user depends solely on its touch screen capability for navigation.
What's our take on this 8-megapixel device? It's a worthy successor to the earlier LG Viewty with its S$888 price tag (though reasonable or not, it'll solely depend on contract prices), but with other options for an 8-megapixel camera phone available, it's not necessarily our first choice.