The latest addition to LG’s long line of Viewty camera phones is the LG Viewty Snap. As you’d expect a powerful camera – 5-megapixels, LED flash and optical zoom – takes pride of place here. Read on to find out what other features the Viewty Snap is hiding beneath its touchscreen.
What we like
As part of the Viewty range of LG camera phones the first thing we checked out on the Viewty Snap was, surprise, the camera. It has a meaty resolution of 5-megapixels, an LED flash for night shots and autofocus to help steady your aim and avoid blurry shots.
There’s an impressive range of effects and settings for you to play with and tweak. As well as fun colour settings like black & white, negative and sepia, you can adjust the white balance of shots and the exposure. There’s also a number of fun tools you can use to add text and draw a la MS Paint onto pictures.
The music player, while not the best thing we’ve seen on a phone, does the basics. You can easily move tracks over by connecting the phone to your PC via USB or by loading songs onto a microSD card and putting them into the Viewty Snap that way. A healthy range of file formats including MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA are supported, so whatever music player you use on your computer you should have no problem moving songs onto the Viewty Snap.
Playlist creation and editing is relatively straightforwards, sound quality is good and there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack too. The supplied headphones aren’t brilliant but this is no big deal as you can use your own. An FM radio is built in as well, so if you want to tune in to catch The Wonder Years or Woman’s Hour on the move you can.
There’s also a microSD card slot which allows you to add up to 16GB of extra memory. This gives you extra storage space for your pictures and playlists.
The LG Viewty Snap features three homescreens. The first can be customised with shortcuts to Facebook, an analogue clock and a music player widget which allows you to pause and skip tracks from the homescreen. The second plays home to LG’s Livesquare, where your favourite contacts are represented by little avatars strolling in a leafy park, field or zoo. The third homescreen can be customised with speed dial shortcuts to numbers of your choosing.
Underneath the homescreens is a taskbar which holds four shortucts to the dialler, contacts, messaging and the main menu. Finding your way around the LG Viewty Snap isn’t a problem either thanks to the colourful iPhone-esque icons.
Voice calls on the LG Viewy Snap come through loud and clear. With the volume turned up to full there’s a little bit of distortion but not so much that it impairs call quality drastically.
What we don’t like
The LG Viewty Snap is a real slow coach when it comes to just about everything. Things like the music player and the picture gallery take ages to load and when they do, skipping between tracks and scrolling through pictures feels sluggish and awkward. Perhaps most unforgivably, the camera is slow to load and there’s a seriously big delay between pressing the shutter button and the camera taking the picture.
The touchscreen is really unresponsive. We know that resistive touchscreens on phones are generally nowhere near as good as capacitive ones, but the one on the LG Viewty Snap is particularly bad.
Swiping through menus and pressing on OK buttons and the like takes real concentration and hard, definite pushes. Sometimes you’ll end up pressing the same key twice accidentally because you’re not sure if the Viewty Snap registered your first press or not. This leads to many typos when writing texts and emails, making for a very frustrating user experience.
Though the design of the phone is okay we found that the LG Viewty Snap felt rather light and flimsy in our hands and didn’t inspire much confidence. We doubt it’d survive more than a few accidental drops.
Both the touchscreen and the plastic battery cover are terrible fingerprint magnets. We smeared our Viewty Snap up in big greasy prints after just a couple of minutes of using it. And that was with clean hands too; we dread to think what it’d look like after a night out, after being handled with beer and kebab-stained paws.
The Viewty Snap also lacks 3G and Wi-Fi making for a seriously slow browsing experience. The Facebook app particularly suffered from this; it took well over five minutes for our news feed to load up. Web browsing as you’d expect is nothing great and again, navigating pages is made difficult by the touchscreen.
Despite its impressive camera the unresponsive touchscreen and sluggish performance of the LG Viewty Snap makes it hard for us to recommend. We suggest that you check out the LG Viewty GT instead which, despite the lack of a flash on its camera, is a better budget touchscreen than the Viewty Snap.