LG Intros 8-Megapixel Multimedia Phone

The Renoir sports a high-resolution camera, Wi-Fi, assisted GPS, Bluetooth, and 3G capabilities.

LG Renoir Smartphone

LG Renoir Smartphone
(click for larger image)

LG Electronics is trying to create a true convergence device with the release of its feature-packed handset, the Renoir.

The Renoir, or KC910, is the successor to the company's Viewty camera phone. Those tired of carrying a standalone digital camera will be happy to know the Renoir packs an 8-megapixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach-certified optics. There's also on-board software to edit photos and videos, a Xenon flash, and a feature that enables users to focus on any object by touching it on the screen.

But LG's latest handset is not just for shutterbugs, as it has many features for the mobile professional. For connectivity, there's integrated Wi-Fi, EDGE, and 3G capabilities with up to 7.2-Mbps downlink speed. These can be used to quickly upload photos, browse the Web with the HTML browser, use the included online widgets, and send and receive e-mail.

The touch-screen phone has a 3-inch display with an accelerometer that automatically rotates depending on how the user is holding the phone. Similar to the iPhone 3G, the Renoir has an on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboard, and it also has a document viewer to see Word, Excel, and PDF files.

There's also GPS that can be used to geotag photos, as well as provide navigation and other location-based services. Bluetooth version 2.0 is on board, and there's also an organizer, voice recorder, and built-in hands-free speaker.

For multimedia, the Renoir can play a variety of audio and video codecs, and the on-board Dolby mobile for music should provide excellent sound quality. There's also an FM radio, TV-out capabilities, and expandable memory via a MicroSD slot.

The handset measures in at 4.2 by 2.2 by 0.5 inches, and it weighs about 4 ounces. LG said the Renoir will make its debut in Europe in October, and it will roll out to Asia, Latin America, and more in November. The company did not say what the initial price point would be.

It appears that the megapixel race is on in the mobile industry, as the Renoir will be the fourth 8-megapixel camera introduced in the last few months, joining Samsung's Innov8 and Pixon, and the Sony Ericsson C905 Cyber-shot. Previously, top-of-the-line devices like the Nokia N95 topped out at 5 megapixels.