Sometimes a mobile phone comes along that hits you straight between the eyes, knocking you off your feet and out of your socks (not literally, or course).
And sometimes a phone makes you so angry that you want to find a few windows arranged in a line so you can throw it through all of them.
The LG KM900 Arena falls somewhere in between both categories, sometimes hitting the heights of mobile perfection and other times making you wonder if human beings really can spew steam out of their ears.
Right out of the box the Arena looks special, with the dark grey polished metal exterior giving the phone a luxurious air, despite the presence of a simple black battery cover.
However the handset is barely 10mm thin, and feels a little lightweight in the hand... like it doesn't quite balance in the 'weighty feel = more expensive phone' equation.
Turning it on and you instantly see what WVGA means... lots of pixels packed into a tiny screen for super high resolution, and widescreen to boot - 480 x 800 pixels stuffed in a three inch touchscreen is beautiful.
The S-Class interface is also something to get excited about, on paper at least. Two chipsets in the handset (one running the UI, the other dealing with the internal workings) promise a slick touchscreen experience, and the chance to have four homescreens and a spinning cube to let you quickly choose the one you want is a real plus.
However, in practice, it felt a little bit like overkill. The chance to have four homescreens (for contacts, multimedia, widgets and bookmarked icons), as well as a drop down menu from the top with access to turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on, was a neat touch but ultimately made us feel like the spinning cube, which was accessible by pressing the middle touch sensitive button, was a bit useless.
You can set different views on each of the homescreens, for instance on the media and contacts options you can have your favourites listed in a grid or in a 'wheel', allowing you to scroll through thumbnails of your tracks or friends, which worked well although it was a it laborious when you had a lot of files to scroll through.
The 5MP camera onboard was solid if unspectacular; with pictures shown in high detail although it struggled somewhat in lower light, with graining becoming quickly apparent.
The macro mode performed well when we took a close up of a vase (all there was to hand at the time in our defence) but indoor shots were given a very 'artificial' feel with the single LED flash.
For a flagship model, especially one with LG's photography calibre, you'd have at least expected a dual LED flash, if not xenon, but for general photo taking, it was more than adequate with the Schneider-Kreuznach lens.
Disappointment of text
However, one of the real problems with this device came when trying to compose a text message. The landscape QWERTY keyboard was simply too cramped to text accurately... typing at full speed led to around one letter in five being hit correctly, making it necessary to type painfully slow in order to get any sort of accuracy.
Switching to portrait mode barely helped either, with the on screen number pad far too cramped as it was surrounded by other texting 'tools', like turning on the T9 predictive text and switching between number and letter modes.
(Review Page 1 of 1)