Overall, the camera is better than many phone cameras but given this phone’s camera is supposed to be one of its big selling points, it’s definitely a tad disappointing and even a very cheap dedicated compact camera will give you much better results.
Getting those photos off, and getting music and other media onto the Viewty Smart is made easy by the inclusion of a MicroSD card that sits on the phone’s left edge above the 3D interface button. You can set the phone to use this as default storage for the camera and with 32GB cards now available there’s plenty of room for all your favourite MP3s as well.
To facilitate MP3 (or WMA) playback LG uses a proprietary headset connection which can be found on the right edge above the volume/zoom controls and camera shutter button. While the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a little annoying, the bundled headset includes a 3.5mm adapter on its end, along with a call answer button and microphone. You can therefore, use your own headphones, while still answering and making calls. The included headphones are adequate if you’re in a quiet environment but their lack of noise isolation makes them essentially useless for noisy places. They’re also not overly comfortable.
In terms of connectivity, this phone is very well catered for with LG not being tempted to drop Wi-Fi, as some rivals have. In particular you get 3G HSDPA 7.2, GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth with support for A2DP audio streaming.
Battery life is also impressive with a reported standby time of 330 hours and talk time of 5.5hrs (2G) and 4.7hrs (3G). During out testing we charged the phone fully then used it extensively for two days, taking quite a few pictures and videos, listening to several hours of music, browsing the web over both 3G and Wi-Fi and generally tinkering with the interface and still had two of the three battery level indicator bars remaining.
All told, then, the LG Viewty Smart GC900 is a difficult beast to pin down. Its camera isn’t quite good enough to make it a true camera phone, it lacks a sophisticated enough web browser and email client to even come close to rivalling the iPhone or other smartphones. Its missing headphone jack and lack of hardware controls mean it’s not a dedicated music phone, and it’s not so cheap (like the Nokia 5800 Express Music) that it makes for a truly low cost alternative to all the other touchscreen phones. Nonetheless, it’s an elegant, easy to use all rounder available at a decent price.