The LG KU990 Viewty is a 5Mp cameraphone that apes the iPhone on the front and a real digital camera from behind. And it has 3G connectivity.

One of the big criticisms about mobile phones that claim to be cameraphones is that they look and behave nothing like cameras. Another is the poor images that often result. Mobile phone makers can cram in more megapixels – as with the 5Mp LG KU990 Viewty – but cameraphone sensors just aren’t up to the job.

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That doesn’t stop us buying cameraphones such as the LG KU990 Viewty at an impressive rate, though, and of course the best way to encourage innovation is if there’s money to be made from doing so.

For our money, the best cameraphones so far are the Sony Ericsson Cyber-shots. These taking photos at a quality or detail we find acceptable and are designed such that the whole of their rear is given over to the camera.

So it is with the LG KU990 Viewty - a 5Mp cameraphone that looks like an iPhone-lite on the front and a real camera from behind. The shutter release needs a firm press but the resulting photos aren't at all bad, even taken in unflattering artificial light.

At 2x and 4x magnification, detail is still acceptable, although beyond this you shouldn't have high expectations of the LG KU990 Viewty. For real close-ups, you want a real camera.

The LG KU990 Viewty's video facility is hard to argue with: super slow-mo playback of footage taken at 120fps (frames per second) is a real talking point.

Navigation-wise, you leave a fingerprint trail on the LG KU990 Viewty's 3in 240x400-pixel screen, but getting around it is a doddle as its onscreen icons approach iPhone levels of obviousness and are large enough to accurately select using a fingerpad. You can flit between portrait and landscape modes when viewing your photos and other media and use onscreen buttons to move through thumbnails of anything.

The other important feature of the LG KU990 Viewty is that it's a 3G HSDPA phone - something Apple has decided to hold off on for now with the iPhone.

Verdict

The LG KU990 Viewty is just about the right side of small enough to be more phone than phone-cum-other gadgetry, but it doesn't have the visual wow that the iPhone has in abundance. That's a shame as, aside from the unintuitive text-correction for messaging, this is a pretty good phone.

Detailed specifications

Form factor Candy-bar
Dimensions (WxHxD): 55x104x17mm
Weight: 112g
Battery type: Li-ion
Talk time (manufacturer's figures): 355 min
Standby time (manufacturer's figures): 434 hours
GSM frequencies: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
3G: Yes
HDSPA:Yes
Available colours: Black

Phone

Ringtones: polyphonic, real music
Vibrating alert: yes
Calendar: yes
Alarm clock: yes
Speakerphone: yes
Voice recording: yes

Display

Main screen: 40x66mm
Resolution: 240x320 pixels

Camera

Resolution: 5Mp
Flash: yes
Video recording: yes

Music/radio

Music playback: yes
Supported formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WMV, AMR
FM radio: yes
Headphone socket: proprietary

Messaging and data

SMS: yes
MMS: yes
Internet browser: yes
WAP protocol supported: 2.0
Email client: yes

Memory:

Memory card type: microSD
Memory expansion: yes

Connectivity

Infrared: no
Bluetooth: yes
Wi-Fi: no
USB: yes
GPS receiver: no

LG KU990 Viewty: Specs

  • 5-megapixel camera
  • HSDPA (3G)
  • 3in touchscreen
  • 120fps video recording
  • 30fps video playback
  • 5-megapixel camera
  • HSDPA (3G)
  • 3in touchscreen
  • 120fps video recording
  • 30fps video playback

OUR VERDICT

The LG KU990 Viewty is just about the right side of small enough to be more phone than phone-cum-other gadgetry, but it doesn't have the visual wow that the iPhone has in abundance. That's a shame as, aside from the unintuitive text-correction for messaging, this is a pretty good phone.

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