LG had a rather action-packed Mobile World Congress, making several product announcements including the high-end LG Arena multimedia phone and as the primary operating system for its smartphones. As a result, the company's booth was buzzing with a steady stream of visitors, and we stopped by ourselves to take a look at some of the company's offerings.
The one thing I came away with is that LG loves its touch screens. Everywhere I turned, there was a touch screen staring back at me. Not that I'm complaining, but it got to the point where the phones were almost indiscernible to me. It would have been nice to see a little variation in LG's design.
The biggest crowd pleaser was, not surprisingly, the LG Arena. It was a battle to get some hands-on time with the phone, and I can understand why. The Arena's S-Class 3D user interface makes quite impression. The cube layout and Elastic Lists and Reel Scrolling make it quite fun to use the phone, and certainly takes full advantage of the touch-screen capabilities. To be honest, though, I'm still on fence about whether the user interface is really helpful or all style and no substance. I mean I can see some advantages of the UI (the Reel Scrolling feature really comes in handy for going through photos and other files), but does it make phone navigation that much easier? I have yet to see it.
To be fair, I only had a few minutes with the device so I reserve the right to change my mind when we actually get to review the phone. Featurewise, the LG Arena is impressive with a 5-megapixel camera, 8GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, 3G support, and more. Let's just hope it makes it way to the States.
Thesmartphone was also at the booth, but unfortunately, it seemed as if all of the display models were frozen or not fully functioning, so I didn't really get a good feel for it. Still, I'm happy to see that the company is committed to developing more smartphones, though I know there are certainly some strong feelings about the choice of Windows Mobile as the chief operating system.
To get a closer look at these handsets and LG's other products, check out our hands-on photo gallery.