By June 18, 2009

LG Viewty Smart Review

With another fairly major phone release happening on Friday, the all-new LG Viewty Smart (LG Viewty II) needs to be pretty special just to lift it above the waves created by the 3GS and the Pre.

The LG Viewty Smart

The LG Viewty Smart

The ten second review:

Device – LG Viewty Smark (aka LG Viewty II)

Cost – £369.99 (Inc V.A.T) SIM Free

Summary – A slim powerful handset with good screen and excellent 8MP Camera.

Best of – Sensitive touch-screen, 8MP digital camera with flash, DivX and Dolby support.

Worst of – User interface has some quirks.

What’s in the box?

You can view Matt’s LG Viewty Smart unboxing video, but to recap:

  • LG Viewty Smart phone
  • Userguide
  • AC Charger
  • Handsfree wired kit, with inline remote
  • USB datacable
  • GC900 Software Kit with quickstart guide

LG VIEWTY Smart specification:

  • Dimensions: 108.9 x 56.1 x 12.4mm
  • Weight: 102g
  • Battery:
    – Talk Time: 4 hrs
    – Standby Time: 350 hrs
    – Capacity: 1000 mAh
  • Display:
    – 800 x 400 pixels/3 inch
    – Touch Sensitive
    – Haptic Feedback
  • Network:
    – GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band)
    – WCDMA: 900/1900/2100 (Tri-Band)
    – HSDPA (7.2Mbps)
  • Camera:
    – 8 mega-pixels (auto-focus)
    – Digital Zoom
    – LED Flash
    – Schneider-Kreuznach Lens
    – Image Stabilization
    – Geo Tagging
    – Smile Shutter
    – Multiple Face Detection
    – Panorama Shot
    – Continuous Shot
  • Video:
    – Hi-Resolution VGA Video Recording (DVD Quality)
    – 120fps Slow Motion Video
    – Supported formats: MP4, 3GP, H.264, H.263, DivX, XviD & WMV
    – Video Streaming
  • Music:
    – Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
    – Windows Media Player Sync
  • Messaging:
    – SMS
    – MMS (with video)
    – E-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4)
  • Memory:
    – Phone Book (1000)
    – Dialled Calls (40)
    – Missed Calls (40)
    – Received Calls (40)
    – 1.5GB (internal)
    – microSDHC (external)
  • Call Features:
    – Hands Free
    – Caller ID
  • Connectivity:
    – Bluetooth (2.0)
    – Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11g)
  • Navigation:
    – AGPS
    – Google Maps
  • Features:
    – Accelerometer
    – Office Document Viewer (Word, Excel & PowerPoint)
    – PDF Document Viewer
    – TV Out



The Viewty smart is very similar in style to its older brother, but LG have really gone to town in updating the look and feel both of the software, and the styling of the hardware. The front of the device borrows the iPhone’s almost blank panel – though the screen is slightly recessed. A LG logo sits above the screen, and the main speaker above that. A chrome silver bar completes the top edge, but does not function as a button. A similar silver bar at the bottom of the front panel DOES act as a button – and seems to function similar to the iPhone home button. Put simply – it generally takes you back to the main menu.

At 12.4mm, it’s pretty slim, and a 3-inch 800×480 screen looks pretty tasty. However since the phoen is 56mm wide and 109mm long, a large frame/bezel makes the screen look pretty small.

LG Viewty Smart front view

LG Viewty Smart front view


There isn’t really a definate bottom edge to the phone, but you will find the microphone vent. The bottom edge curves immediately into the main silver back which, like the original Viewty, looks like a standard LG digital compact camera. I quite like the effect, and helps to view the Viewty (sorry) as a serious imaging device, as well as a phone. Looking face on, in a landscape fashion, the LG logo sits to the top-left, and lens system to the top-right. A very small LED flash is located to the bottom-right of the lens, and the camera-style is finished off with logos to the bottom left, including Div-x and dolby (err..).

LG Viewty Smart bottom view 
LG Viewty Smart bottom view


LG Viewty Smart back view

LG Viewty Smart back view


Moving to the right hand side, back in ‘portrait’, you’ll find from top to bottom, the data/headset port, protected by a plastic cover, an up/down rocker switch and finally the camera focus/capture button.

LG Viewty Smart right side

LG Viewty Smart right side


On the left hand side, there is a micro-sd slot for external storage – protected by a plastic cover – but ‘hotswappable’, and a strange button which took a while to figure out. It appears its a quick access to the ‘multitasking’ menu – which lets you quickly switch between different open applications, or close them all down with one press.

LG Viewty Smart left side

LG Viewty Smart left side


Finally the top of the device, hardly defined like the bottom panel, is home to the Power switch, which doubles as the keylock as well.

LG Viewty Smart top view

LG Viewty Smart top view


The software itself is a nice effort from LG, brightly coloured screens and a ‘cube’ system that probably owes a lot to HTC’s efforts elsewhere!


  • Sharp Screen
  • Lightweight
  • 8mp Camera


  • Small screen in a large bezel
  • Minor UI niggles



Clearly when you glance at the the Viewty Smart specsheet, you are immediately drawn to the massive 8mp camera. Obviously megapixels do not make a great camera, but from the few samples I’ve taken, it does seem a high quality lens, and the picture quality does seem pretty impressive. We don’t normally include sample photos in our reviews – but I’ll have a word with Matt and see if we can get some uploaded later in the week.

Moving to the phone itself, and surprisingly in the middle of nowhere in which I live, the Viewty managed to get, and hold, a far better signal than any of my recent review devices, or my trusty N95.

Tapping out a text was extremely hard work in portrait mode, but a breeze in landscape. The keyboard appears to work on “key-up” rather like the iPhone, and also shows you the button pressed while the ‘key’ is depressed. While the portrait version is too cramped, turning to landscape feels just about spot on. Tactile feedback in the form of a short buzz also helps to aid touch typing, although that’s never gonna be easy on a touchscreen.

The S-Class interface serves its purpose well enough, and is helped by one of the best touchscreen’s I’ve seen on an LG device. Its extremely sensitive, and the software seems able to cope well. Although it certainly isn’t as slick as Apple’s mobile O/S, and possibly that found on the Palm Pre, its better than most of the other ‘iPhone beaters’. The most annoying aspect of these devices have been the slow sluggish menus and features. The viewty doesn’t completely fix this, but its got closer than anything else.

Rather annoying LG have stuck to their guns and unhelpfully provided a completely non-standard headphone port. Considering this phone, rightly or wrongly, will be compared to many other ‘fashion’ phones, as well as music-orientated devices, it seems a massive faux pas to set such a limitation. You can plug your earphones into the remote control section of the handsfree kit – which doubles as an 3.5” adaptor, but in my experience, and a quick straw poll, people don’t tend to carry these with the phone in most cases. I thought device manufacturers had finally got the message with standards, but clearly not. Despite this, the music player software is decent enough, and sound quality is pretty good. It’s important to note that this is an all round phone, not a specialist music device like those from Nokia or Sony Erikkson, but none the less, it manages to cram in most of the features you’d find on these devices.

With so many upmarket features on a slightly cheaper handset, you might be waiting for the performance issues, but in reality these isn’t much to state. It’s a lot faster than the original Viewty, but then that been out a long long time now – and used (another) LG o/s. Maybe a better benchmark would be more recent S-Class devices such as the Arena. To sum up? It’s faster than the lot, both in the menus and the apps. The camera functionality is much better with the extra power.

Memory or lack of it will be an issue for some, and others will love the micro-SD slot which gives you the freedom to pick and choose your specs. 1.5gb is a little paltry though, just a few albums and yours snaps should be enough to see you searching for a micro-SD card!

As stated earlier the handset has built in Div-X support, and numerous other formats which cover most bases. Playback is smooth and the screen is high quality, if possibly a little bit small for movie watching or longer vids.




LG are getting pretty good at phones. It’s hard to forget they are still a relative newcomer. The original Viewty and its off-spring have been close to being decent devices, but always had a few issues. The Viewty Smart is a massive upgrade on the original, and LGs other S-class devices, with a fantastic camera and an all-round feature list which will keep most users happy.

I’d like to see more memory built in, but I’m also aware many people much prefer the freedom of a micro-SD slot, so I can’t knock it too much for that reason alone. I enjoyed using the device and the landscape keyboard is a marked improvement over previous LG attempts – although appears to have borrowed heavily from apple. There are a few UI issues in places, and it will be well worth keeping the device firmware up-to-date should LG see fit to correct them.

It’s unfair to compare mid-range devices such as this with the high-end, high-spec lot, but its testament to the quality of the Viewty Smart that we try to. A nice improvement, and a great mid-range price for a decent handset.


Review by: Mark

[ Post Tags: LG Viewty Smart, LG, unboxing video, ]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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