While AT&T’s new LG Arena has bestowed the moniker of the “smartest phone that doesn’t require a smartphone data plan” thanks to some colorful language straight from a few of Wirefly’s best marketing minds, this description of AT&T’s sleek new feature phone actually rings true in more ways than one.
With a sleek and slim metallic body, the Arena is an attractive and compact device that offers a superior feel in the palm of the hand when compared to many of its feature phone competitors. While the phone’s 3-inch capacitive touchscreen isn’t quite as large as some higher-end smartphones, the display is crisp and vibrant as well as nicely responsive to the touch.
The Arena is also one of the few AT&T devices in recent memory to boast support for AT&T’s Mobile TV service that allows subscribers to view live TV in broadcast quality. The Arena got good reception to the service both outside and indoors, and TV looked great on the crisp display.
Running LG’s S-Class user interface, the Arena offers 4 home screens – three of them customizable. The first home screen offers a set of helpful widgets that can be arranged however you want (though unfortunately there is no capacity to download additional widgets). There’s also a home screen for application shortcuts, notifications, and favorite contacts.
For the most part, the Arena’s browser impressed, even offering advanced features like the ability to have more than one browser window open simultaneously. Pages loaded quickly over AT&T’s 3G network, and the phone automatically switched orientations quickly from portrait mode to landscape using the on-board accelerometer.
Other advanced features on the Arena include mobile email access, instant messaging, and a powerful 5-megapixel camera with a flash and autofocus. We were impressed by the camera’s image quality, and video quality also rivaled that of significantly more pricey devices.
For a closer look, hit that play button on our video review [at right].