First Looks: LG Viewty KU990

A Viewty Pleasure

The wait is over as the LG Viewty mobile phone is here. This is LG's second mobile phone to offer a high-end camera, with the Viewty packing in a 5.0-megapixel camera like the LG KG920 before.

Stunning Looks

In our opinion, one of the reasons why the LG KG920 failed to live up to its expectations was because of its design. Fortunately, the LG Viewty, also known as the LG KU990, looks stunning and extremely desirable.

Physically, the Viewty is similar in design and form factor to the well-received Prada phone. With a full touch screen, fingerprints and smudges are a given. These smudges can be greatly reduced if you stick only to the included stylus.

While we have no complaints about the external buttons of the mobile - it was not flushed with the rest of the handset and easy to press - more can be done to improve the onscreen keys. It sometimes takes more than one tap for the mobile to recognize the input, which can get rather frustrating during messaging. Having T9 predictive text functionality enabled may help slightly.

The user interface of the Viewty is based on Flash technology and with each singular press of the menu, consumers can feel a gentle vibration from the phone as acknowledgment. The existence of a jog wheel at the back of the camera also makes functions such as scrolling through messages, manual focusing and volume control much easier.

Commanding Camera Capabilities

The back chassis of the Viewty resembles a digital camera, especially with its dedicated camera mode buttons reminiscent of the Sony Ericsson K850i. They leave no doubt that the main focus of the Viewty is the 5.0-megapixel camera. To that effect, the Viewty does come with a few pleasant surprises. In addition to the autofocus and Xenon flash, consumers are also allowed to adjust ISO levels and it even comes packed with an image stabilizer.

The Viewty's 3-inch display doubles as a viewfinder for your next picture perfect shot. When tested outdoors, the images we took had excellent color reproduction and clarity. Editing is also possible with the application named Smart Light. The downside is that there is no lens cover, which results in the attraction of dust and dirt. For video recording, the Viewty is able to record at 120 frames per second, a first in the industry.

Completing the package are connectivity options such as Bluetooth, HSDPA and USB. Consumers are also able to load DivX videos onto the Viewty, making it a handy media player. Under normal usage conditions, we managed approximately 3 days of battery life.

Final Thoughts

Retailing at S$838, the LG Viewty is priced competitively for a touch screen mobile phone with a high-end camera. While the user interface takes a little getting used to, we believe that the LG Viewty has the edge over the competition in terms of performance in imaging, video and even in terms of its exterior looks and design.