it was coming, and sure enough the LG Arena made its glorious debut on the opening day of Mobile World Congress 2009 here in Barcelona. The Arena is LG's flagship model of 2009 and includes a number of high-end multimedia features and more noteworthy, a cool 3D user interface called S-Class.
The S-Class UI was designed to further the advantages of touch-screen phones and also make them easier to use by providing four customizable home screens. The system uses a cube layout so you can program all four sides of the cube to include shortcuts for your favorite applications. To rotate between the screens, you simply flick your finger on the screen similar to HTC's TouchFlo interface.
In addition, there are a couple of other UI tricks. First, LG offers something called Elastic Lists, where you can touch any cataloged or listed item, like a contact, and the Arena will blow up that item so you can view and edit more information right on the spot, rather than having to open up another screen. The other feature is called Reel Scrolling. It places menu items on a film-like reel and you can then just drag your finger across it until you get your desired point.
Turning our attention back to the LG Arena specifically, the cell phone is all about multimedia. It's the first handset to use Dolby Mobile technology to enhance the sound quality of music and video, no matter what format. The Arena also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, equalizer settings, and a built-in FM transmitter so you can wirelessly stream your music from your device to your car or home stereo.
With a 3-inch, WVGA touch screen, photos and videos also take center stage. The LG Arena can play DivX or Xvid movies and is equipped with a 5-megapixel camera with video recording. The Arena has 8GB of internal memory, which can be expanded up to 40GB with the microSD expansion slot. Other highlights include Wi-Fi, 3G support, and a rated battery life of up to 30 hours of MP3 playback and up to 12.5 days of standby time.
The LG Arena will initially be available in Europe starting in March and then make its way to other parts of the world. North America was not specifically mentioned--blast! I did stop by LG's booth on Monday to check out the Arena as well as the company's other phones. When I was finally able to make my through the throng of people, I was quite impressed with the S-Class UI. Check back soon for my hands-on photo gallery and have a look for yourself.