Friday, February 15, 2008

LG Viewty KU990

LG Viewty KU990

If you liked the LG Prada or are considering an iPhone, then the LG Viewty should definitely be top of your list of phones to check out first. Touchscreen phones are the hot product of 2007/2008 and LG have a proven track record in this area with the LG Prada. The Viewty is basically a souped-up Prada without the designer logo, and it's a very accomplished product. We loved the Prada's touchscreen user interface, and the Viewty retains the best features of the Prada, but with the addition of 3G, a 5 megapixel camera, an uprated video camera, more memory and longer battery life.

For the benefit of those who haven't seen a Prada or iPhone, let's recap the touchscreen concept. Not to be confused with touch-sensitive buttons (e.g. the LG Chocolate or Samsung U600), the Viewty has a touch-sensitive screen. This means that icons and menus appear on the screen itself, and you touch the screen to activate the "buttons". The Viewty uses subtle vibration feedback to confirm when you've pressed a button, and you'll very quickly get used to the concept. There are real buttons below the screen for making and ending calls, a jog wheel, and also side buttons for controlling volume, the camera and the music player. We liked the touchscreen interface very much, and the technology now seems to be mature enough for touchscreens to enter the mainstream. If you're a fast texter you might find that the touchscreen slows you down a little, but the sheer pleasure of using the on-screen menus more than compensates for this. T9 predictive text is supported too. A stylus pen is provided if you find the interface too slow using your finger. The Viewty also supports handwriting recognition, so you should be able to find an input method that you're comfortable with.

Apart from the user interface, the Viewty has several pleasures waiting to be discovered. The camera is LG's best yet, rated at 5 megapixels with a high quality Schneider-Kreuznach lens, autofocus and a SmartLight feature that makes after-dark photographs considerably clearer. You can also vary the ISO setting to ISO 800 for improved brightness in low light. In common with many digital cameras, the Viewty's camera incorporates an Image Stabiliser function for minimising camera shake. The Viewty can't match the best camera phones from Nokia or Sony Ericsson, but it definitely ranks in the top 10 of current camera phones. As well as a top notch still camera, the Viewty's video camera is also something special. It films at high resolution (320 x 240 pixels QVGA) and at very high frame rates - up to 120 frames per second, which enables special effects such as slow motion filming. There are built-in picture-editing and video-editing tools to make the most of these cameras. In addition, a second front-facing camera enables 3G video calls.

The Viewty's music player is nice and easy to use and can handle virtually every music format: MP3/AAC/AAC+/AAC++/WMA. There's also an FM radio built in. Stereo headphones are supplied in the box, and you can use optional mono or stereo Bluetooth headphones if you prefer. The Viewty's memory is very generous, with 90 Mbytes of internal memory and up to 2 Gbytes of additional memory (microSD memory card).

We've already mentioned that the Viewty is a 3G phone. In fact it's 3.5G, i.e. it supports extra fast 3G connections using HSDPA which enables download speeds of up to 3.6 Mbps. Bluetooth and USB connectivity are available, and a USB cable is supplied in the box. The Viewty supports web browsing and email, and there's a useful document viewer that can handle all common file formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF).

If we have to find a fault with the Viewty it would be the battery life. The huge touchscreen eats battery juice and we frankly can't believe the official battery life figures from the manufacturer. Still, the Viewty is better than the Prada and no worse than the iPhone when it comes to battery life, and it shouldn't be a problem for most people.

We love the Viewty. It's received a tiny fraction of the hype of the iPhone, yet in so many ways this is the phone that the iPhone wants to be. The touchscreen user interface is much more than just a novelty, and unlike the iPhone the Viewty brings the very latest technology too. We love it

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emiri said...

oh wow this is really cool (:

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