LG KC910 Renoir review: Portrait of a high-flyer

GSMArena team, 30 December 2008.

LG KC910 Renoir 360-degree spin

The LG Renoir is slim enough for the power offered and by no means does it feel heavy at 114 g. In terms of girth, it loses the slimmest 8 megapixel cameraphone mark by a mere notch to Samsung Pixon. However, the difference is so small it hardly gets noticed, especially with that bulging camera grip of the Pixon.

Just to give you a size perspective, LG Renoir is about the same size as the LG KU990 Viewty, but about 5mm taller. They even weigh pretty much the same.

The retail package of the LG Renoir includes a charger, USB cable, stylus dongle, stereo headset with a 3.5mm audio jack adapter and an 8 GB memory card (market dependent as usual).

The stylus dongle may come in handy for those of you that are into handwriting. Thanks to the touch-friendly interface, it's otherwise pretty much redundant.

Design and construction

LG KC910 Renoir has a subdued and conservative styling, which however looks and talks shop. The high-quality materials used and the sharp shiny finish add to a really nice first impression.

Almost the whole front panel of the LG Renoir is taken by the 3" touchscreen with a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. It has a subtle mirror finish and is generally the same as the one in the LG Viewty. That means it offers nice picture quality but visibility suffers under direct sunlight.

Above the display there is a video-call camera and an ambient light sensor that allows the Renoir to dynamically adapt screen brightness to the ambient lighting.

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The LG Renoir screen Video-call camera and ambient light sensor above the display

Below the display there are three hardware keys. Those are the red and green call keys, which are on either side of the special shortcut key that opens an application launcher and the task manager.

A few months back, when we saw the first images of the device, the buttons below the display did come out rather cheap looking. Now that we have it in our hands, we're glad to be proven wrong.

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Knobs below the display: Call and End key, application launcher in the middle

There are two camera controls on the LG Renoir, placed on the right hand side of the device. The shutter key also starts the camera, while the image stabilization key does its gimmick in low light situations. The "daily" purpose of the latter is to lock/unlock the screen and keypad.

Generally, digital image stabilization is way behind the efficiency of its optical counterpart, so we find that a rarely used feature that hardly deserves its own dedicated shortcut key. We would have preferred it if it started the Macro mode or toggled the Scene presets instead.

The shutter key is a pleasure to use, with soft but distinct half press. The irregular bulge makes it very tactile. The volume rocker, which is all the way up on that right-hand side, is equally user-friendly.

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Right-hand side: camera shutter and digital image stabilization volume rocker

On the left side of the Renoir there is the universal connectivity port and the microSD slot. Both are covered by plastic caps to keep dust off. The connectivity port is used for all your cabling needs, while the location of the hot-swappable microSD card slot grants hassle-free access.

We tested the LG Renoir with a 8GB microSD card and it worked flawlessly. User reports suggest it's capable of handling 16GB cards too.

The only thing lacking in terms of connectivity is a 3.5mm standard audio jack, but the provided headset adapter takes care of that. You can use your favorite headphones with the Renoir, while still getting to keep the mic and the Send/End key.

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Left-hand side: universal connectivity port and microSD card slot

The back of the Renoir is where it gets more interesting. The camera lens is right in the middle of an impressive bulging ring that really looks the part. Unlike the LG Viewty, there is no multi-functional slider here. Instead, you rotate the outer part of the ring to open or close the camera lens cover.

Safeguarding the high-quality lens is a really practical decision, but it's implementation might have been better. For example, the ribbed ring provides way too little grip and you can easily find yourself struggling with it to open the lens cover.

The Renoir sports manual focus too, but it's operated via a software slider on-screen instead of the lens ring. That may as well be irrelevant, as we find both solutions equally uncomfortable to use on a regular basis.

Next to the camera lens there is the xenon flash and a focus assist light. There is no LED flash to use as video light or a torch. It's no biggie, point-n-shoot cameras lack that too.

Unfortunately, as it turned out in our 8 megapixel cameraphone shootout, the Renoir xenon flash is a bit underpowered and there are issues with automatic exposure when you use it.

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Camera lens, xenon flash and focus assist light

The bottom and top part of the LG Renoir lack any controls at all. On the top however you can spot the back cover release key dead center and the lanyard eyelet right on the edge.

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Bottom and top sides back cover release button lanyard eyelet

Removing the back cover reveals the 1000 mAh battery and the SIM card bed. As to battery performance, LG commit to 264 h of standby time and up to 3 h of talk time.

Despite complaints with poor battery life by some users, our Renoir managed 6 days in standby mode on a single charge - used quite sparingly, of course. In serious use - intensive but still no extremes - you're looking at 3 to 4 days of power.

Generally, the battery life of the Renoir seems pretty much identical to LG Viewty.

Interestingly enough, we also noticed that heavy use of the camera tends to drain the battery more quickly than anything else.

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Removing the back cover

As you can see, the LG KC910 Renoir easily fits in hand and, as far as we are concerned, it's a pleasure to work with. It's remarkably compact for the rich multimedia capabilities it offers, it's got an excellent build quality and finish, with commendable ergonomics.

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LG Renoir in hand

Reader comments

  • AnonD-212727

eBay and Amazon sell the batteries for this phone. Very cheap and brand new so I would order them from there

  • nikky

Pls how can I get original battery and camera for this phone ? My sis sent it to me sinve 2010 but I've not been able to use it. Thanks

  • AnonD-212727

I had this phone and I loved it! Email just like the Viewty sucked, the interface was nice though just a bit sluggish The MP3 player was a huge step up loved the build of the Renoir! And dude! The camera on it was so deliciously great!!! Video reco...