By July 30, 2010

LG Viewty GT405 Review

GT-main LG’s Viewty line started with the original KU990 which proved extremely popular as an accessible touchscreen alternative to the iPhone. The combination of a high-quality camera and an easy to use interface pulled in huge sales numbers for LG, and now, after the second iteration by the name of the Viewty Smart, they’re back with the third evolution of the well-known Viewty series.

This time it is equipped with a 3 inch display to compliment a 5MP camera on the back, as well as their tried and tested UI borrowed from other phones such as the also popular Cookie. In this reviewty, we’ll see if the GT retains the all rounded experience and excellent camera of its predecessors, as well as LG’s ability to sell mass market phones in droves. So can the GT405 continue the success story?

Click through to find out.


What’s in the box?

  • LG Viewty GT
  • AC Adapter
  • Earphone set with inline mic
  • User Manual

Be sure to take a look at Matt’s Viewty GT unboxing video to catch these in motion!


LG Viewty GT specification:

  • Operating System: Proprietary
  • Quad Band
  • Dimensions: 55 x 107 x 12 mm
  • Mass: 98g
  • Internal Memory: 60 MB
  • Talk time: Up to 3 hours 30m
  • Standby time: Up to 260 hours
  • GPS
  • Email support
  • Camera: 5.0MP
  • Bluetooth: v2.0 with A2DP
  • Memory Card: microSD
  • FM Radio
  • Web Browser


  • Responsive display
  • Decent camera quality
  • Friendly user interface
  • Battery life



  • Slow virtual keyboard
  • Slow and clunky browser
  • Stylus difficult to remove



The top of the phone has nothing but a small indent for prying out the stylus.

Viewty GT top view


The left hand side has a little lanyard hole for a strap or charm. Below it is a plastic door which guards the microSD card slot.

Viewty GT left view


Moving over the right (the busy side) there’s the micro USB slot for sync and charge and also audio – no 3.5mm jack to be seen. Below is the volume rocker which doubles as a zoom toggle, and the lock button just below this. Then at the bottom, there’s a two stage camera key which unsurprisingly activates the camera app.

Viewty GT right view


In contrast, there bottom of the phone has no controls, just smooth silver plastic.

On the back, the lone 5MP camera (no flash) sits on the top left, and the sliding battery door beneath.

Viewty GT back view


The front houses a spongy 3″ LCD screen, with the earpiece sitting above, and three buttons below; the multitasking key sandwiched by the call and end keys. There is also a small hole here for the mic.

Viewty GT front view



From opening the little box, my first thought was that it actually looked quite nice. Holding it tells a slightly different story as it’s made of pretty cheap feeling plastic that creaks slightly when squeezed. Still, it’s barely over £100 on pay as you go so we can’t expect too much. The body is finished in a nice metallic silver which does a grand job at hiding fingerprints which is a quite a refreshing thing to see. The body itself is definitely more understated than the original Viewty, and yet still retains its class. The Viewty GT is not ultra thin but it is much more compact as a whole compared with the daddy Viewty. Its round edges make it comfortable to hold in the hand and the feel is just what you’d expect – it could survive a few drops but I wouldn’t bet on it lasting much more.

On the front, there’s the part which you’ll look at most – the touch screen. At 3 inches, it’s adequately sized, and it never felt cramped thanks in part to the UI. The screen is resistive which means it relies on pressure which is usually considered the ‘inferior’ technology because it’s less responsive more often than not. Fortunately, the Viewty GT is one of the exceptions with a surprisingly responsive screen. It only requires a very light tap for it to register an input, and if it wasn’t for the sponginess of the screen, I would have guessed it was a capacitive screen like those found on recent Android handsets. A small haptic vibration is also there to let you know that you’ve pressed something but I found it better to turn it off – the battery drain is not worth it since it’s so responsive. Even so, the screen is coated in a glossy layer, which makes it extremely difficult to use when in daylight. The screen brightness is also too dim which again doesn’t help its sunlight legibility. Colours seem pretty good (indoors) and I could see no evidence of colour banding in pictures. Video playback is less of a success story because of a relatively low resolution but it’s what you can expect from a phone in this price bracket. Playing back HD content returned an error as expected but the video it could play suffered from blocking and slight stuttering. All things considered, the glossy screen and a low resolution are actually very minor negatives to what is actually a really good display.

Viewty GT angled left

So picture quality is fine thanks to the display, but can it take pictures as well as it can display them? Well, the Viewty GT is equipped with a 5MP shooter but with no flash of any kind, nor any self portrait mirror. The self portrait mirror is not as important as (I’m not one to take pictures of myself anyway, it is not difficult to estimate the direction you need to point the camera at. The lack of flash is one that I could very much do with, and it feels even more sorely missed when the original Viewty from three years ago had a not just a flash, but a xenon one. So because of this, the Viewty GT is next to useless in anything other than perfect lighting conditions as you can see in the sample image – the Wiimote is not even in a very dark room. However, pictures in daylight turned out to be quite good.

The camera all loads up in around 3 seconds and once there, you get a plethora of options and here’s the extensive list: image size, shot mode, scene mode, colour effect, white balance, image quality, auto focus, shake reduction and grid view, as well as a timer function and the ability to adjust preview length. This has got to be one of the most tweakable cameras in terms of settings. In regards to the pictures themselves, there is adequate detail although the colours seem a bit washed out in the lava lamp picture. Apart from this, the camera seems to be quite good, and although it won’t replace your point-and-shoot, the GT has one of the better cameras in its price range.

A long press on the camera button brings up the video mode, which again is quick to load. The video camera records only in QVGA and it’s nothing special really. The heavy compression is quite visible but it is to be expected. At least the options are relatively extensive as well: video size, scene mode, colour effect, white balance, quality and duration.

Connectivity wise, the Viewty GT has almost every base covered. It features a fast HSPA 3G connection for downloads of up to 3.6Mbps, as well as edge and quadband GSM which means that it will work in nearly every country. The call quality over both 2G and 3G was indistinguishably similar and was pretty average. Both parties could hear loud and more or less clearly, though there was a background hiss during calls in lower reception areas. Bluetooth is also here allowing for file transfers and Bluetooth headsets to connect. About the only thing missing here is wifi which is forgivable as 3G nearly makes up for it, and it has a low price tag too.

So that’s the hardware side of the Viewty GT, how does the software perform?

Switching on is characteristically fast like most other non-smartphones, and we’re met with a press and hold to unlock screen which works well – when the phone is locked, a single press on the lock button on the right will bring you to this screen.

The desktop has four non-customisable shortcuts along the bottom – dialer, contacts, messaging, and menu. Above is the wallpaper which supports preinstalled widgets ranging from a simple clock to a music player. As this is a social centric phone, there are also social websites such as twitter and facebook that you can add, but these are only shortcuts to their respective mobile sites – there is no actual application which is slightly disappointing. A quick swipe left from the homescreen takes you to the contacts shortcut homepage which is very functional but quite plain.

Hitting the menu button will take you to the menu’s icons that are categorised by communication, entertainment, utilities, and settings. Even though you cannot move the icons around, I found this system to be much better and easier to use than the typical grid of icons we see on many smartphones. I never had any lag while using the phone and nearly every touch was registered immediately making the GT frustration free to navigate.

One of the most important things in my eyes on a full touch phone is the keyboard. The Viewty GT has a standard 14 key keypad in portrait and when rotated landscape, the accelerometer kicks in to activate the qwerty keyboard. The standard T9 keypad I found pretty slow to use, as going to fast means that not every letter you enter is registered, a common thing among resistive touch phones. The landscape qwerty was faster but the keys are still pretty small and hard to hit. The GT does have correction but it is not automatic – if you type a word incorrectly you have to select the one you want before a space. This means that you have to check you typed it correctly after every single word and so it slows down your WPM quite considerably – this is not a phone that excels at email and messaging.

LG have installed a number of interesting applications on the phone out-of-the-box such as the Muvee Studio. This little application allows you to make a short slideshow video of your pictures. You can add a title and credits to a chain of your photos, and apply a smattering of effects from ‘classic sepia’ to ‘neo modern’. Pan and zoom are added automatically and I think it’s a rough but cool way to quickly add some oomph to your photos.

Three currently offer free Windows Live Messenger and Skype forever and the Viewty GT has compatible applications for both. The WLM app works exactly as you’d expect and can be minimised so you can receive notifications whilst doing something else. However, the keyboards slowness does impede its usefulness as I soon grew tired of typing my chats. The Skype app also works just fine – you can ring and chat to your online contacts, but you can’t make use of Skype’s more extensive features such as a conference call.

The GT’s calendar is pretty basic with support for the addition of appointments, anniversaries and birthdays. There is no sync with online services such as Google Calendar but then again the Viewty is not a smartphone. Email support is there but also quite limited. They show up in individual messages (no threaded email) but for most users with casual web based email, checking your email should be no problem from the GT.

To make full use of the 3G connectivity, there is a web browser that does the job. Although certainly not smartphone fast, nor smartphone featured, you can add bookmarks, access saved pages, and there’s a built in RSS Reader. Most sites load up in their mobile version and full websites that are image heavy do take time to render so don’t expect it to set any speed records despite its sporty name.

Despite the GT being a lowly non-smartphone, it can actually multitask. I had Skype and the browser running in the background all the time while the music player was open. Running many applications didn’t seem to slow the phone down either. Pressing the middle button on the front brought up the running apps menu from which you can switch or close running applications.

Viewty GT angled right


The Viewty GT is an entry level touchscreen handset that performs well for its price. It has a pretty good spec sheet and bests most of its direct competition. The software also matches up for this with a responsive OS that is intuitive to use. But is it a worthy successor to the previous Viewtys? In a nutshell, yes – it is affordable, looks pretty sleek and isn’t a pain to use. It isn’t all good news though – there is no camera flash and there’s no wifi (maybe forgivable because it’s quite cheap). There are also the things like a disappointing keyboard and lacklustre social support may deter the hardcore connected folk, but for all the people who are after a nice affordable feature phone with a touchscreen, you can’t go wrong with the Viewty GT.


Review by: Vince

Post Tags: [LG Viewty GT, LG GT405,, s-class]

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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