LG Viewty (KU990)



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Viewty? I can’t work out why this phone has that name, or indeed why the name might be applied to any mobile. But then LG doesn’t bat an eyelid at using odd names for its handsets. Shine, anyone?

If you remember my review of the predecessor to this mobile, the Prada, (this time the odd name was the result of co-development of the handset), you’ll recall that I had some problems with it, but that these related more to the build than the touchscreen, which I tended to feel LG had done pretty well with.

There has been progress with the Viewty on all fronts. It is a tri-band GSM phone with EDGE and GPRS as well as 3G with HSDPA up to 3.6Mbps where the Prada lacked the 3G element. A front facing camera caters for video calling and can be used to shoot stills containing yourself. Also the build quality feels better and the main camera shoots five megapixels.

This is a fairly large phone at 103.5mm tall, 54mm wide and 14.8mm thick. At 112g it is approaching the weight and girth of a proper smartphone.

The 3.0 inch touchscreen occupies pretty much all of the front of the Viewty. It displays 262 thousand colours and 240 x 400 pixels. It can be configured with one of three themes: ‘Black’ is a simple black background theme. ‘Silver’ offers a lighter grey background with some graphics that whizz onto the home screen for no apparent reason. But ‘Fish’, aaah ‘Fish’ is delightful. On the home screen a goldfish swims against a blue background. Put a fingertip on the screen and the fish swims towards it. Yes it is silly, yes it is trite, but I like it.

Whatever theme you choose, the home screen has a set of animated arrows running along its bottom edge. Sweep a fingertip along them and a 3×3 bank of icons pops up offering tap-access to Web browser, messaging, profiles, games and apps, memo, alarms, my stuff, calendar and Bluetooth settings. Sweep again and this menu disappears. The sensitive area is wide enough that you hit it right every time, and so, crucially, this part of the touch screen element works well enough to use intuitively and regularly.

Sweeping also comes into play if you are viewing images and have zoomed in. You can pull a photo around on the screen to get to the bit you want to see.