By Harry McCracken | Monday, February 16, 2009 at 6:12 am
After LG did its phone watch demo, it focused most of its Mobile World Congress press conference on its new Arena phone–especially its interface, which LG calls S-Class. It looks reasonably slick, and features innovative 3D navigation, with a rotating cube you can touch to…oh, let’s not pretend. The most striking thing about S-Class is the degree to which it mimics the iPhone, down to the rows of icons (some almost identical to iPhone icons) on a black backdrop. There are some places where LG may have introduced certain improvements to Apple’s idea–S-Class goes into landscape mode when you rotate the phone, and you can swipe one row of icons at a time to bring more into view–but it deals very heavily in the sincerest form of flattery.
S-Class is an interface rather than an OS: LG also announced the GM730, which runs Windows Mobile 6.1 but has the S-Class look and feel.
Hardwarewise, the Arena has a generous 800-by-480 pixels of real estate, both 8GB of fixed memory and the ability to take up to 32GB of MicroSD memory, and an FM radio, among other features. It ships in March in Europe (for US$600, presumably unsubsidized), and will show up in the U.S. eventually. Fuzzy photos I took at the press event after the jump.