Following the relative success of the original LG Viewty (which was really one of the the first actually decent camera-phone at 5MP) and to continue our LG-touchscreen-phone season (see the LG Arena) we thought it would be good to have a detailed look at the new and inventively named LG Viewty Smart.
But before we get into the review proper it would be worth pointing out that the LG Viewty Smart isn’t, despite what it’s name might suggest, in any way a smartphone. Don’t expect this to be an iPhone or Blackberry beater, rather something that aims to stretch the cameraphone market in the same way that the original Viewty did.
The LG Viewty Smart’s Hardware
So, first things first, the handset case itself. It’ s slightly bigger than a lot (maybe even the majority of phones out there – a fact made obvious by the fact that the WVGA 800v480 screen looks relatively small, despite the fact that it’s 3”, due to the 56x109mm size which creates a reasonable border around it. That is not to say that it is in any way ugly (in fact with its reasonable 12mm odd thickness it is very stylish and ‘pocket sized’) but if you are looking for a really small touchscreen this is probably not for you – that said, given the size of the LG Viewty Smart is one of the lightest handsets I’ve ever held.
The screen itself is quite impressive and has been improved from the original Viewty to be that bit more responsive which is oh so valuable when typing long emails or documents on them. It also combines very well with the S-Class UI (which we saw also on the LG Arena) which again is slightly faster – a good thing in any situation!
As far as the storage space goes it comes with 1.5GB to play with (which isn’t too bad) but if you fill that up there’s always up to 32Gb available via microSD; so far so good until I noticed one of my pet hates on the side of the case: no 3.5mm jack! Why oh why do manufacturers insist on continuing to use their own little adapters when there is an industry standard sitting there easy to use? And to add insult to injury the LG Arena (yes that’s right, the same company) does have a 3.5mm jack – why couldn’t they have put it on this?
Moving on from my little rant and onto the camera and we find out why this is one of the leaders in the camera-phone world. The camera itself it’s undoubtedly impressive and with 8 megapixels, along with the usual now basic features such as stabilisation at its disposable it is perfectly capable of coming up with some good quality shots.
The LG Viewty Smart’s Software
But that’s only half the story, the software behind the actual hardware is equally, and if not more, impressive. The intelligent shot mode is quick and efficient and manages to balance out the white balance, shutter speed, focus and all the other necessities to near perfection every time. Another neat touch is being able to re-select the point of focus by touching on the screen – something that is more useful than you’d expect, and then there’s a host of useful (less useful and completely useless) editing options for you to touch up your snaps with. In fact the only thing it’s missing is optical zoom, but with a form factor this thin you can’t really complain!
The video capabilities are also up there with the best in the class with the option for 30fps or 120fps for super slow motion, and it records at DVD quality which is good enough for everyone but the budding film maker.
Unfortunately that’s really where the Viewty Smart ends – yes the UI is nice to play around on but it seems rather empty, and with no ability to run third party apps you can’t help but feel that this phone is just missing that little something.
The LG Viewty Smart is undoubtedly one of the best (and lightest) phones out there if you are serious about taking good photos with it, that part of it is very well done by LG. But unfortunately there’s not a lot to back that up, yes the media player is good, and yes you can’t argue with any of the basic features (including the good quality screen) but if you are looking for a something more iPhone-like packed with features, and not just a brilliant cameraphone, you may want to look elsewhere.
Source – GadgetLite