Friday, July 29, 2011

LG Viewty KU990 Review

In a nutshell: We still love the Viewty! Combining a touchscreen user interface with plenty of technology, the Viewty ticks nearly all the boxes: 5 megapixel camera, 3G video calling, MP3 player, FM radio and HSDPA for broadband internet speeds and bags of memory. Available in black, silver, purple & pink.
LG Viewty KU990
The LG Viewty was one of the first touchscreen phones to be released. At the time of launch it stood head and shoulders above most other phones, and has remained a favourite ever since. Originally a very expensive handset, the Viewty is now priced as an entry-level phone and is excellent value for money. We originally awarded the Viewty 5 stars, but three years is a long time in the mobile world. Having said that, the Viewty still offers a lot, which is why it's remained in the shops such a long time.

Apart from its touchscreen user interface, the Viewty has several pleasures waiting to be discovered. The camera is 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 very best camera phones from Nokia or Sony Ericsson, but it definitely ranks as a good camera phone. As well as a top notch still camera, the Viewty's video camera is also something special. It films 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 quite 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).

We still love the Viewty. The fact that it's still in the shops today shows what a high-end product it was at launch. Still, it's looking dated now with a relatively primitive user interface, and missing features like GPS and Wi-Fi. You might consider the HTC Wildfire or Samsung Galaxy Mini as more modern alternatives.


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