The original LG Viewty was seen as one of the first big rivals to the iPhone as a multimedia-centric, finger-friendly, fully touchscreen driven 'smartphone' and as such it sold in the millions. However, despite its impressive camera and perfectly serviceable interface, it just didn't feel like the complete package to us. Nearly two years later and we finally have the sequel to this surprisingly popular handset, the Viewty Smart, or GC900. With an eight megapixel camera and high resolution screen, this has the potential to be another big hit so let's see how it holds up.
What's immediately obvious about this second generation Viewty is how much smaller it feels than the original. In particular, it's the GC900's slimness that strikes you. At 12mm thick it only knocks 2.8mm off the original but in the hand it feels markedly slimmer, something that's probably down to its tapered edges. In terms of its other dimensions it very closely takes after its forbear with a height of 107mm, width of 55mm, and weight of 107g. This still makes it smaller and lighter than many rivals, though.
Sadly all this weight saving and slimness does come at the expense of ruggedness as the phone lacks a hard screen and is made entirely of plastic so will scratch easily. At least the brushed metal-effect will mask lighter scratches on the back.
The other area where this phone suffers is its relatively small screen. At 3in from corner to corner, it's by no means tiny but, possibly due its thick bezel, it looks and feels markedly smaller than many rivals. Thankfully the WVGA (480 x 800) resolution means it still packs in plenty of detail and colours are bright and vivid.
The touch aspect of the screen is capacitive but unlike all other capacitive screens we've seen in the past the screen is soft. We found this made it just a little bit more difficult to use than the hard screens of devices like the HTC Magic, iPhone, and Samsung i910 HD, which really do feel effortless to operate. This is despite the GC900 using haptic feedback (the phone vibrates slightly each time you touch the screen) to help you feel your way around.