LG KU990 Viewty
Photos

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LG KU990 Viewty
Specification
Type
Candybar
User Interface

LG OS Vers. 2.3

Size

103.5x54.4x14.8mm

Weight
112 grams
Display
3" TFT Colour Touchscreen
Resolution
240x400 pixels
Camera
5 megapixels
Max Res. 2592x1944 pixels
Auto focus / Xenon Flash
Second Front camera
Video recording/playback
Yes/ Yes
Video calling : Yes
Audio Playback

AAC, eAAC, MP3, WMA

Ringtones
72-chord/voice polyphonic ringtones / MP3, AAC, WMA
FM Radio
Yes
Connectivity

Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
USB 2.0

Internal memory
90 MB User memory
Memory card slot
Micro SD
Messaging
SMS/ MMS
Internet browser
WWAP2.0( Full-Web Browsing )
Email
SMTP, POP3, IMAP4, and APOP
Java
Yes MIDP2.0
GPRS
GPRS Class10
Frequency

Quad Band 900/1800/1900/2100MHz GPRS, GSM, HSDPA (3G)

Talktime
Up to 355min for GSM and 233min for 3G
Standby
Up to 434hrs for GSM and 454hrs for 3G
Colours
Black
3G's best deal on the LG KU990 Viewty - click here

LG KU990 Viewty 3G Phone Review

See 3G's best deal on the LG KU990 Viewty - click here

3G's 30 Second Decision

Having had the LG Viewty in our mitts for 30 seconds we say ... 3G HSDPA and a 5 Megapixel camera are the ingredients for a sledgehammer of a mobile phone surely ?

3G HSDPA Viewty Beauty

With a 5.1-megapixel camera, 3G HSDPA mobile broadband and a smart glossy finish, the LG Viewty is one of the biggest launches of the year. But can it live up to its promise?

Features

- 3G HSDPA
- 5.1-megapixel camera with auto-focus and Xenon flash
- Large LCD touch-screen operation
- Handwriting recognition
- High-speed video capture (120fps)
- Jog-wheel for zooming camera and web browser and adjusting volume during call

Like the more design-focused LG KE850 Prada, which launched earlier this year, the LG KU990 Viewty is a touch-screen handset with no keypad. However, while there are many design similarities between the two devices, the Viewty offers some significant breakthroughs in technology and usability. Let’s look at usability first, as this usually determines the ultimate appeal of a phone to the mass market.

Although they look the business, 3G.co.uk has long voiced the opinion that touch-screen phones can be difficult to use. The lack of a physical keypad means that you’re relying purely on the visuals to tell you if your intended contact with the handset has been registered. As a result, you can mis-type keys, tap a key twice, or neglect to tap anything altogether and it can prove to be an infuriating experience – especially if you are in a hurry. And who isn’t these days when they’re using their mobile?

Thankfully, the Viewty goes some way towards remedying that problem by providing a vibration response every time you touch a virtual key or command on the touch-screen. The phone vibrates very slightly to register that you’ve pressed a button.

It’s still no substitute for a standard keypad, but it has enabled LG to design yet another beautiful phone with a huge screen. The Viewty comes with a 240x400 (W-QVGA), 262,000-colour TFT-LCD display, which measures an impressive 40x65mm – taking up most of the handset’s front fascia.

On the side of the phone, you’ll find the Viewty’s only keys: a dedicated camera key; a lock key (essential when the entire front of the phone is a virtual keypad and menu) and a small switch, which lets you slide between camera, video camera and video playback modes.

5 Megapixel Camera

Putting aside for one minute the inclusion of 3G HSDPA and the phone’s fine internet browsing abilities, the LG Viewty’s obvious draw is almost certainly its 5.1 megapixel camera.

As we’ve already mentioned, the lens is made by Schneider Kreuznach, a renowned manufacturer of photographic optics and ample proof that LG understands that the lens is paramount to a camera’s quality and ability; even more so than the number of megapixels on offer.

In camera mode, the Viewty is designed to be held like a conventional camera, with the viewfinder showing a landscape view and the shutter key easily accessible by your right index finger.

When in camera mode, you can bring up all the required camera settings and controls simply by tapping once on the screen with your fingertip or thumb. This gives you access to such staples as photo settings, zoom and flash.

You have two means of controlling the 16x digital zoom on the Viewty; unfortunately, both are a little fiddly. Option one is to use the virtual slide-control on the left of the touch-screen, which requires real thumb dexterity and caused us to drop the camera twice. Option two requires you to rotate the click-wheel positioned around the camera lens on the back of the Viewty. There are two problems with this second means of zooming: it feels clumsy and you’re highly likely to smear the lens with greasy fingerprints. Neither of which will enhance the quality of your photos.

However, for simply pointing and shooting photos on auto-focus, the Viewty feels great. It’s a well-balanced handset with a great viewfinder and the shutter button is in exactly the right place.

Having a dedicated switch for accessing the video camera and video playback is also a nice touch and really sets the phone apart from other run-of-the-mill camera phones.

On the back of the phone, you’ll find the camera’s flash and Schneider Kreuznach lens, which is surrounded by a jog-wheel which operates both the camera’s zoom and the ability to zoom in and out of webpages.

Handwriting Recognition

Handwriting recognition has been a staple on many PDAs for years and, while it’s novel to have, it’s a real ‘love it or hate it’ technology, depending on the handset’s recognition abilities.

The Viewty encourages users to use the boxed stylus to personalise your photos by writing on them. We tried it and it works really well. Of course, the technology is better suited to scribbling a few words, not scrawling War and Peace. However, it’s a quirky extra we rather like.

Accessing the Internet

With mobile broadband (3G HSDPA) and a large display on offer, accessing the internet should be a real pleasure with the Viewty. While it looks the bee’s knees, there are some usability issues which are largely down to the touch-screen. When you access your internet homepage, you’ll notice a series of virtual internet control options that appear at the bottom of the touch-screen.

These are simple shortcuts, which enable you to add to favourites, zoom in and out of the page and alter the view between portrait and landscape. Whichever way you choose to view the pages, they look great. It’s when you come to browsing that you hit trouble. The Viewty is designed to be navigated with your fingertips or using the stylus. You can stroke the webpage up or down as if you are moving a piece of paper – just as you can with the HTC Touch. The functionality is erratic; sometimes the screen scrolls up and down, sometimes it doesn’t. The same applies to the scroller bars on the side and bottom of the phone.

The problem is, although the Viewty’s display is large by mobile standards, you can only ever see part of a page, which makes scrolling essential. And if the scrolling mechanism is erratic, you’ll simply stop browsing. This is a real problem. A side-mounted jog-dial might help, or simple navigation keys beneath the phone’s display.

Similarly, the jog-wheel which controls the camera’s zoom can also be employed to zoom in and out of the internet pages and to control the volume of voice calls. A great idea in theory, but it doesn’t work that well in practice. It’s fiddly as both a camera and browser zoom, as well as a volume control.

Navigating the Phone

The usability issues that afflict the Viewty’s web browsing and camera zooming don’t overly sully a phone which has a lot of tricks hidden beneath its glossy exterior.

The touch-screen operation is the best we’ve enjoyed to date for making calls, sending texts and email and navigating through the Viewty’s icon-based menu. The vibration response really does improve the touch-screen experience and the overall simplicity of the Viewty’s operating system is also a major plus.

There are 24 icon-based menu options, which are divided into four key menu categories – each represented by a symbol. It would help if the four key categories were named, however. The first menu category is represented by a phone symbol and here you’ll find the relevant call, contacts and messaging options.

Beneath the movie clipboard icon (at least, that’s what we think it is) you’ll find the fun multimedia stuff like camera, movie studio, games, FM radio, music and video playlist. Under the filofax/clock icon, you’ll find the phone’s organisational tools like calendar, memo and alarm, plus the internet browser. And by clicking on the menu graphic that could represent either a flower or a cog, you’ll be taken to the phone’s profiles and settings, plus the Bluetooth connectivity.

It won’t take you long to find out where everything is and you’ll be zipping around the phone’s menu in no time, although some simple labelling would help.

All of the Viewty’s multimedia capabilities, from game playing to watching movie clips and home videos, are enhanced by the phone’s high-resolution screen.

Extras

The Viewty’s pre-loaded game, Space Commando, is well chosen because its graphics and gameplay make full use of the handset’s large interface. It’s essentially a 3D action shoot-em-up set in AD 3765 on Space Commando Platoon – a space station devised and created to withstand various threats to humanity.

Aside from some basic spelling errors in the scene setting, the graphics and attention to detail are great. The touch-responsive screen allows you to blast the bad guys, simply by tapping them with your finger or stylus as they appear. It sounds simple in theory, but as the baddies appear from nowhere, firing at you thick and fast, it can get a little hairy, and you have to ensure that you don’t lose points by getting trigger-happy and blasting good guys.

Conclusion

Like many of this year’s most anticipated handsets, the LG Viewty KU990 has got loads going for it. It looks fabulous, the spec sheet is incredible and its 5.1-megapixel camera and 3G HSDPA capabilities ensure it has a place among the top echelon of phones.

Unfortunately, there are too many little niggles to make this a stone-cold classic and most relate to the touch-screen and the click-wheel zoom. Although this is much better and more responsive than any others we’ve used to date, we’re yet to be totally won over by touch-screen phones. In the Viewty’s case, though, it’s the touch-screen operation of the camera and web browser that lets it down.

Upside

A wonderful feature set in a sleek package, including a large, dynamic display give the Viewty real star appeal.

The click-wheel zoom is fiddly and the battery struggles to cope with powering all that functionality.

Downside

Verdict

Not the most practical handset in the world, but its looks and feature set make the Viewty one of the year’s iconic phones

3G's best deal on the LG KU990 Viewty - click here

This review covers the above mobile phone only and does not address the performance of any 3G Network. The score is based on a 3G mobile phone checklist.

Copyright : You are advised that this material is the copyright of www.3G.co.uk and is our own personal view only. (C) All rights reserved 2007. Whist every care has been taken in the preparation of this review, the author nor 3G.co.uk cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or authenticity of the information it contains, or consequence arising from it.