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I recently upgraded my phone as I was nearing the end of my contract with Orange, and my old phone was falling to pieces. In the end I chose the LG KC910 Renoir.
Who are LG?
LG is a South Korean electronics company, specialising in mobile phones and petrochemical products - i.e. products made from plastics.
LG is an abbreviation for LuckyGoldstar, and their logo comprises the letters L and G arranged into a face.
The LG Renoir Itself
The Renoir was released in the fourth quarter of 2008, and therefore is still a relatively new piece of kit.
It boasts an 8 Mega Pixel camera with autofocus and xenon flash, a secondary inner camera to be used in video calls, and is a smartphone in a candybar form. It is a touch screen, with an accelorometer - as made famous by the iPhone and iPod Touch models.
Comprehensive List of Features
If you are not a techie, look away now!
Form factor - Candybar
2G/GSM frequencies - 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G/HSDPA frequencies - HSDPA 900 / 2100 (850 / 1900 - American version), connections up to 7.2 Mbit/s
Camera features - 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, xenon flash, ISO sensitivity up to 1600, stabilization, auto-focus, manual focus, Face Tracking, Smile Shot, blink detection, geotagging, creative shot modes
Camera Lens Cover - Yes
Video recording - VGA 30fps, QVGA 5fps up to 120fps
Video call - Yes, secondary VGA videocall camera
Messaging - SMS, EMS, MMS, Email
Java support - MIDP 2.0
Memory card slot - microSD (TransFlash), up to 8GB
Call Records - 40 dialed, 40 received, 40 missed calls
GPS - Embedded GPS receiver
Bluetooth - Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
WLAN - Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Infrared port - No
USB - Yes, v2.0
Browser - WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
Email - Yes
Push e-mail - No
Vibration - Yes
Ringtones - Polyphonic, MP3
Music player - MP3/MPEG4/AAC/DivX/Xvid
Radio - FM Radio
TV out - Yes
Battery - Li-Ion 1000 mAh
Weight - 114 g / 0.25 lbs
Dimensions - 107.8 x 55.9 x 14 mm / 4.24" x 2.2" x 0.55"
(Information courtesy of Wikipedia)
A Breakdown For Those Baffled By The Above List
When you first turn on your LG Renoir, you will be greeted by your "home screen" where you can place widgets just like the iPhone. Along the bottom of the screen, there is a menu bar featuring "dialling", "contacts", "messaging" and "communicate". I'd imagine the first three options are fairly self-explanatory, but all communicate means is a wider menu of phone features.
Within the Communicate menu, there is a menu bar along the right-hand side of the screen featuring "communicate", "entertainment", "utities" and "settings".
The communicate menu holds access to dialling, speed dials, address book, call history, new message, new email, messaging and Orange messenger (on my particular handset obviously).
The entertainment menu holds access to mobile TV, media album, camera, Orange music (on my particular handset), FM radio and games and apps.
The utilities menu holds access to Orange world, Orange maps, Orange Plus (on my particular handset), organiser, alarms, voice recorder, and a more button, which takes you to calculator, converter, world clock, stopwatch and jogging buddy.
The settings menu holds access to profiles, screen, phone settings, call settings, touch settings, connectivity, bluetooth and wifi.
There are two modes, camera and video. In camera mode there is a zoom function along the bottom of the screen, and a preview settings menu where you can address size, scene mode, colour effect, blink detection, white balance, macro, self-timer, ISO, quality, back-light compensation and inner camera. The others menu addresses memory, geo-tagging, zoom, image stabilization, focus, shutter sound, grid screen and reset settings.
Back on the main screen you can go to the gallery, adjust flash, shot mode and exposure.
In the video menu, the preview menu is pretty much the same, as is the others menu. On the main menu you can adjust recording speed for slow motion and fast motion recording.
What Comes In The Box
The LG Renoir's box comes with the handset (obviously), earphones, a charger, a data cable, a PC Suite CD-rom, a screen protector, a stylus and wallet that can be attached the phone the same way you would attach a phone charm, and a manual.
Having only had the phone for a few days, I'm not really qualified to speak about any well-known issues or problems with the handset.
But what I can say is that I am overall pretty happy with my handset. The only niggles I do have is that the qwerty keyboard for texting is a little awkward to use if you are not using the stylus, and also the scrolling can be a little bit of a pain again if you are using your finger as a control, but other than that it is a great little phone.
The LG KC910 Renoir handset costs for Pay As You Go customers range from £250 - £410. I'm sure you'll agree the top end of this range is pretty extortionate, but remember it has only just been released. it is also new technology in terms of the smartphone/touch screen and the 8 Mega-Pixel camera.
My Price Through Orange Retention
As I mentioned earlier, I got the phone as part of a retention deal with Orange Pay Monthly. My previous contract for my Nokia N73 was £30 on Dolphin 30, with various loyalty discounts and magic numbers here and there.
When I looked on the internet, Orange were offering me the phone on the same contract, under the same conditions for the same price, only they wanted me to pay £195 for the handset (apparently this was with a £50 discount). As you might imagine, I had no intentions of paying such a ludicrous amount, so I went in-store to see what they had to say.
When I went to my local Orange branch, the sales assistant was very helpful, even getting out the phone for me to have a play around with, even though he knew I intended to go through Orange retentions to get a good deal. He said that I was unlikely to get a deal any better than the one I had been given online, but I still didn't want to give up.
When it got a little closer to the end of my contract, my boyfriend called up the retention line, telling the advisor that I intended to leave Orange if a better deal was not a viable option. They then asked him what phone I wanted, and what sort of deal I was looking at. He told them I wanted the LG Renoir, and they offered me the handset for free on the £30 contract.
We decided to push them further, and eventually got them down to £22 with 400 minutes, unlimited texts and all my magic numbers intact.