The LG Viewty GT405, better known as the LG Viewty GT, is a mid-range touchscreen camera phone exclusively available on 3. With a 5-megapixel camera at the forefront of its features, we took it to town to see what else it had to offer.
What we like
We normally have a problem with resistive touchscreens, but the LG Viewty GT is pretty responsive when using your fingers to select, navigate and type. Thankfully, it also comes with a stylus which makes life a bit easier.
The LG Viewty GT features two homescreens. The first is customisable, playing host to your three favourite contacts for speed dialling. The phone keeps a memory of dialled numbers so that when you start dialling, it offers a list of suggestions to save you time. Not a unique feature, but still handy to have at your fingertips.
The second homescreen is free to be customised with various widgets such as Facebook, Twitter, calendar, music player, etc.
We like that the central menu key brings up a list of apps that are currently running and allows you to either skip to or shut them down. For a smaller touchscreen with only two homescreens, this menu key is a godsend as it allows you to easily navigate between functions and keep on top of things. This keeps everything nice and organised allowing you to move easily between the media player and the camera or whatever apps you’ve got running at any time.
The size means that you can easily hold the LG Viewty GT in one hand and tap away with the stylus in the other. We were surprised to discover that the resistive screen plus stylus and menu key actually work really well together.
The LG Viewty GT’s 5-megapixel camera is easy to use and comes with a large number of settings and modes. You get a range of colour effects (sepia, negative, black & white, and red green and blue) and can adjust the white balance for different lighting conditions.
Macro mode allows you to take some pretty detailed close-ups and you can take bursts of three, six and nine shots using continuous mode – note that burst shots are set at QVGA resolution and can’t be raised any higher.
Editing pictures in the gallery allows you to add some cool visual effects such as retro ‘Lomo’ as well as sharpen images and adjust contrast, saturation, brightness – the basic kind of image effects you’d expect to find in desktop picture editing programs. Having a powerful camera with a range of effects allows you to take detailed pictures with artistic flourishes for your blog or Facebook profile.
As well as being able to edit pictures themselves, the Viewty GT comes with LG’s Muvee Studio. This is a fun slideshow editor which gives you the option to add a range of visual effects like sepia and allows you to import MP3s from the library to use as background music.
Call quality on the LG Viewty GT is a bit muffled. Volume is generally fine but sometimes we found that conversations became unclear in noisy areas, as voices might not be able to cut through traffic.
The music player is pretty good, sound quality-wise. All the sound levels are clear and nicely balanced, and you can choose from a range of equalizer presets if you want the bass to kick out a bit more.
What we don’t like
The camera, for all of its features and settings, doesn’t have a simple LED flash. We can overlook this because generally the camera is very good, but frustratingly you’re going to be limited to taking snaps in good light.
Similarly Muvee Studio is good fun but we wish there was more you could do with it. You can’t seem to be able to speed up the rate at which the slideshow cycles through pictures. We took a load of burst shots of friends dancing with a sepia filter, hoping to be able to create a jerky ye olde zoetrope-style animation. Because we couldn’t speed it up the effect was kind of lost.
Social networking, a prime consideration for many phone users these days, was a let-down on the LG Viewty GT. Facebook’s main news feed took ages to load even on HSDPA and Wi-Fi connections, and Twitter wasn’t much better either. In both cases the interfaces were pretty cramped, text was very clear and profile pictures were heavily pixellated.
The LG Viewty GT also feels a bit too light for our liking. Although it’s easy to get a grip on it thanks to its size, and fits easily into the palm of your hand, it doesn’t fill us with confidence – we get the feeling that it might be easily damaged.
The supplied headphones are uncomfortable and really leaky. Worst of all, you’re stuck with them as there’s no 3.5mm audio jack; a cardinal sin in this day and age. The equaliser settings on the music player are great but we found it annoying that you couldn’t edit any of the presets or make up our own.
Games wise you just get two Java games built-in and that’s it. We checked out 3 Games on the phone and it told us that there were no other games supported for this device, which was disappointing.
The LG Viewty GT is a great camera phone that’s only really let down by the lack of flash. It’s a real shame that other features such as the music player and browsing capabilities haven’t been given as much attention. The Viewty GT is by no means a do-it-all multimedia smartphone, but as a cameraphone it’ll do the job.