Blog Post

The LG Viewty

LG Viewty

This so called “iPhone killer” is probably going to kill itself.

The Good

Based on the LG Viewty’s microsite alone, the most touted feature is clearly the 5 megapixel camera on its back. It has flash, a manual focus, and an image stabilizer as well. On the front, it features a smaller camera for video conferencing. It’s a 3g ready phone so its network should be able to handle decent quality conversations. There’s an included speakerphone on the back, the MicroSD supports up to 2 gigs, and its screen is a 3 inch touch display. It also supports DivX playback in both portrait or landscape modes with resolutions up to 640×480. Another solid feature for this phone is its ability for TV out. It’s currently on schedule for a Europe release. But don’t fret too much, here’s why.

The Bad

On immediate touch the phone feels light, plasticky and a bit thick (I’m assuming having a 5 megapixel camera stuck to your back adds on a few centimeters). Not having any internal flash probably makes the phone a bit cheaper, but without any expanded memory it will only get you to about 90mb. And only supporting up to 2 gigs, that’s not very many DivX if you think about it. I live in the US, so the phone wasn’t activated leaving me without the opportunity to test out the voice quality, video conferencing, or the web. No the phone doesn’t have WiFi either.

Booting it up was simple and quick. It has three buttons on the front, call send, clear, call end. On the left side it has a single port for charging (and I’m going to come back to this port), the right side had the lock/unlock button, camera button, and photo view, camera, or video camera selection. Top nothing, Bottom, nothing. Headphone jack? That’s where the bad comes into play. The charging port on the left side is a stock LG port featured on other phones such as the LG VX8600 (chocolate flip phone). The phone requires a unique LG adapter which plugs into the charging port to provide a headphone/earphone jack. What’s that mean? It means one more thing to carry around AND you can never charge your phone while having headphones plugged in at the same time. Those long road trips will just have to do with alternating between listening, watching and charging.

The Ugly

The touch aspect of the phone isn’t very sensitive. It requires a bit more force then I expected and it’s not always so accurate, but I imagine most touch devices aren’t. Scrolling is frustrating because more often then not it will end up selecting an item instead of scrolling. The phone does feature stylus recognition, much easier to navigate with, but slower to type with. By default, messages are set to a numeric keypad similar to most phones and features T9 writing. You can switch to a landscape full QWERTY however. The most frustrating aspect of the device was its UI. I had to click things just to figure out where I was, where I could go, and what I could do. It took me entirely too long to figure out how to landscape my videos. There is no button for it, and it doesn’t do it automatically when you turn it sideways. You tap the playing video and it’ll switch for you. Similarly when typing with the QWERTY I couldn’t find a backspace. Every time I messed up (frequently) I couldn’t find a way to go back, or delete. I ended up resorting to highlighting my word with my finger and retyping it slower. I can’t express to you how frustrating that is. Fortunately, after two more people gave it a try I learned that hitting the clear button in between the Call Send and Call End works as a backspace. The physical key is off the right as you type in landscape so you can reach it, I just didn’t know how I was supposed to figure that out. You’d assume on a digital screen, you’d have a backspace button. There is a button on the screen that looks like one, so don’t get confused. That instead is to return you to the previous screen. So accidentally hitting it while typing will ask you if you want to save your message, or delete it.

This review may be a bit biased but I find it to be reasonably so. If a company is entering a market with a new device, they should have the foresight to innovate. And if the company is entering a market where there’s competition, they should heed the practices of others and implement what works.

75 Responses to “The LG Viewty”

  1. ive got two questions. ive been using this phone for several months now but i still cant solve these issues:
    a) is it possible to ‘bring up’ the virtual numercial keyboard during a call
    b) using the ‘cube’ attachment (that joins the earphones to the box that joins it to the phone); you can change volume (i know), but once or twice ive been able to change the music using it too. i was wondering how excatly is that possible? or if i could redo that again
    thanks

  2. The review was decent and fair! and i would have appreciated all of what was said before i got my lg viewty 6 months ago.
    The camera and 120fps and screen size = good

    inbox 300 = no good
    slow texting = no good
    (it did take me a while to figure out what backspace was too and its because its not very explanatory)
    backspacing can be used with ‘C’ but cursor position = no good
    worse reception than my previous crap phone = no good
    Low battery life = no good
    size = no good

    and the single plug for charging/headphones although common is definately worthy of a mention. What if you didnt know about it and were thinking of buying it?
    htaiwe, steven, nick etc cant hack it that these are the truths, I say you couldnt see good advice if it hits you in the face. Why dont you do a better review yourself.

  3. You IDOIT!!! Just because you can’t figure out the phone doesn’t mean its a bad phone. In fact its a GREAT phone. All new things in life takes learning.

  4. Kenny Phan

    Like many of you, i’m the proud owner of an LG Ku990 Viewty. I believe there are many flaws such as the battery life, its jog wheels, touch screen and the lack of an in-built GPS system. Although, there are many flaws, there are many ways to modify your phone, i have found a way to install custom themes, following the steps on this site:http://khazampc.com/2008/05/07/how-to-install-new-themes-onto-the-lg-ku990-viewty/

    Also i have found a way to preserve battery life go to the four dots icon>Settings (widget icon)> phone setiings>power save>On

    Cheers for such a great site

  5. well..i read basically all 70 comments and most people are either against or for the fones (not many people in between) so i wanted to get a LG Viewty cuz a touch screen just seems so cool and exciting to me. I think the iphone has revolutionary technology but obviously the price is just ridiculous and i really dont think that amount of money should be. personally i’d rather have a fone and an ipod than an iphone(most fones hav mp3 anyway) the LG viewty sounds a bit dodgy and i think LG are sort of stupid for not manufacturing the fone better (they could have made a lot more money by making the usability and design more advanced…i think i mite get the viewty (but i hav doubts) but i definitely think there is nothing wrong with the ipod (besides the cost) and itz pretty amazing

    with the viewty..
    someone said a higher memory card can be used and works fine but the fone will alwayz tell you it only has 2gb memory left (or something like that)

    does anybody know for sure it works cuz i dont wnna buy an 8gb memory card and then it doesnt work

    im sure the scroll thing would work after a while (a guess though)

    i have problems with the design though, cuz the back looks like a real camera in other words UGLY!! itz suppposed to look lykk a fone not a camera! also itz a bit fat but i wouldnt really like it if it was really thin

    the battery life scares me cuz on mi previous fone i could listen to a lot of music without the battery running out

    i found this site REALLY helpful so yehh thankz =]

  6. The Viewty is a very good phone. I like the fact that you are paying out the layout of the qwerty interface keyboard and the fact you couldn’t find the delete button. It really wasn’t that hard to figure out, considering it is the same button used to delete in every other interface on the phone and it tells you on the intro page to the manual! Get a clue and learn to review stuff you actually are knowledgeable about.

  7. While the look and feel of the LG Viewty Phone is impressive it has to be said that under the surface there is maybe not as much power as many would have hoped for. The phone will appeal to the more fashion conscious end of the market where the consumer is possibly a little more susceptible to the look rather than the services on offer.

    http://www.LG-Viewty is dedicated to the LG Viewty.

  8. Graham Hancock

    As an LG Viewty owner with a friend who has the iPhone I can tell you that I continually hear about how the iPhone has to go. In fact it is up for sale tomorrow. But the two phones are aimed at different users – if you hadn’t realised. I like the camera and the good phone reception; much; less concerned about the iSync with my Mac. iPhone screen is superb but then it breaks easily if dropped (OK don’t drop it). The iPhone is bigger in volume but is not much thicker. Scrolling can be done on screen and by toggle wheel. Using the power plug for headphones and power? Why? Bluetooth works perfectly well – actually links more reliably than my Mac. In the end – go suck and see is all.

  9. OH MY GOD!!! why on gods earth does everyone think the iphone is the best phone out at the moment????

    Look, im one of the lucky few who have both the LG and the iphone (one for work and one for me).

    Now i guess you are wondering what one i chose for my self and i went for the LG viewty as i personaly think that the LG is better than the iphone.

    At the end of the day they are diffrent phones, they do diffrent things and offer diffrent programs and specs. so it depends on what you want your phone for?

    The best advise i can give is go down to a store and play around with both phones and make up your own mind but be warned both phones have problem but there is no such thing a a perfect phone.

    But if you want the best of both phones you will have to buy both!

    Good luck choosing i know i wasnt much help

  10. While the look and feel of the LG Viewty Phone is impressive it has to be said that under the surface there is maybe not as much power as many would have hoped for. The phone will appeal to the more fashion conscious end of the market where the consumer is possibly a little more susceptible to the look rather than the services on offer.

    http://www.Viewty-LG.com

  11. Haven’t tried browsing online with the ViewTY (way too expensive for my budget although if anyone really wants me to try it :P) I’ve gotten some applications from KU990 and they work well with the ViewTY. I still stand by my original opinion about the camera being not great though.