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Touch and go

Although it offers great features, sluggish user-interface makes the Viewty Smart an average phone.

tech reviews Updated: Oct 05, 2009 16:44 IST
Shayne Rana

There must be just a handful of mobile users left in the world who select a phone purely on the basis of its basic purposes — the making and receiving of calls and messages. LG has always managed to offer a lot in aspect. The Viewty Smart, too, is a great looking, feature-rich handset, but its functionality is what you should assess before considering a purchase.

Form
The Sleek GC900 is the follow up to LG’s previous touchscreen camera phone, the KU990 Viewty. It’s slimmer and looks cooler. The 3-inch capacitive touchscreen display has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Although it is extremely clear for viewing, a 3-inch screen in today’s world doesn’t seem enough, especially when the phone costs as much as this one. It is a great looking handset, except for the function keys that could have served better.

Features
LG’s new S-Class user interface is on board with its multi-touch capabilities and funky 3D-like animations. However, the UI (user interface) was quite sluggish. While it does have impressive features, the multi-touch for pinch control is not too responsive. The Accelerometer is super sensitive; it’s smooth but even a slight tilt and it switches between modes. Some camera images showed up in the wrong mode — like a picture in landscape would only show up correctly when held in portrait.

Media
The music player is simple and doesn’t open a new screen. It plays directly from the song list section and has a Dolby Mobile engine to steep the quality of the audio. The visuals are funky and give the player a really suave feel. However, one can’t play songs in the background, which makes multitasking difficult. The test videos looked good on the display. MPEG4 and 3GP files played without a hitch, but the AVI and XviD videos didn’t. The Viewty Smart allows you to fit videos to the screen by adjusting size, in case the resolution is small. The FM radio also gave decent reception, except during commutes.

Connectivity
The Viewty Smart 3G enabled and supports HSDPA up to 7.2 mbps. It also supports Wi-Fi, EDGE and GPRS. The browser is simple to use. But connectivity via GPRS is slow and sites don’t load too well. Applications like Google Maps, a link to Gmail, Google Search, YouTube and Blogger are preloaded.

Camera and battery
Pictures taken on the 8-megapixel camera look good on the phone’s display but not on a screen. The GC900 also records video in a 720 x 480 resolution at 30 fps. The microphone picks up voices well. The phone gave an average of just about three hours of talktime. The biggest issue was the battery compartment getting hot. This also happened while on a call.