LG Viewty Review
As we've stated in many of our reviews, the most important about the camera is its image quality. Megapixels show just the resolution, or how big the image would be. Options like color modes and frames are rarely used, without any useful effect. But image quality is important. Unfortunately, although LG touts the lens as “5 Mega Pixel camera certified by Schneider-Kreuznach for clear shots”, the Viewty disappointed us. Even during the day, the details are covered by noise, the colors are artificial and unsaturated, and problems such as purple fringing occur often. While the images are not bad for a phone, when put next to five other 5-megapixel phones, the Viewty ranks last. When shooting night scenes (of illuminated objects), things were better and Viewty took the second place, but unfortunately those pictures are rarely taken. Most important is the performance when using the flash - here the Viewty disappointed us significantly once again. We expected much from it, coming with Xenon flash, but this didn't help at all. At both close and larger indoor distance, its flash was times weaker than those of the N82 and K850, which respectively scored the first two places. The sad thing is that it was weaker than even G600 and N95 8GB, which use LED (strong when compared to the average) for illumination. Fans of macro shots won't be amazed either- the results without flash are mediocre, but if one has to be used, the close-up object is so strongly illuminated, that the image appears completely white.
The results are much better when it comes to video capturing. To turn the camcorder on, the mode switch must be moved to the middle position. There are a few options for resolution, with the largest being (VGA) 640x480 pixels and its wide variant 640x384, optimized for fullscreen previewing on the phone. Unfortunately here also as in the camera mode, if you switch to the front-facing camera or turn the 120fps mode on, the resolution will decrease, and once you go back to the main camera (or turn the 120fps mode off) you will have to manually set to a higher one.
The image quality is excellent, outperforming Nokia's phones (N82, N95 (8GB), N93(i)) with much better compression and detail, thanks to the DivX encoding. The sound is also a step better, but still not as good as we would like to. The main drawback of the camcorder is that it cannot focus to objects nearby, but otherwise it could replace the one of a pocket camera. LG Viewty sample video.
The 120 fps mode sounds as nonsense, as 24 frames per seconds are enough for smooth video playback. Still, it doesn't really play 120 frames, but records them and after that plays at slow motion, increasing the video length. This is suitable for capturing of fast-moving objects, and could be used for a fun effect, but that's all. LG Viewty sample video at 120fps.
playback mode, sorting the images and videos in two rows with 4 on each. If you prefer more “modern” look with one covering part of the other, choose the Random ordering on the bottom but it doesn’t offer anything more than look. When you click on any of the objects, it allows you to view information about it: date added, name, size and resolution. From here the objects can be previewed in fullscreen mode, with an option to switch to the previous or next without going back.
DivX support, which is also used for the camcorder clips. DivX is known for its ability to compress the video files, decreasing the size (MB) but keeping relatively high quality. This means that thanks to it, higher quality video clips can be viewed on the phone. It is true, it is not just a an advertising trick. Even low-resolution clip such as one with 320 pixels width, stretched in fullscreen (440 pixels), looks better than what you would get with 320-pixels wide MPEG4/H.263 video on phone with QVGA (320x240 pixels) display. The compression level is so much better that only once the artifacts disappear, you understand how well the DivX video looks compared to the one most people are used to see on phones.
Strangely, our Viewty didn't play all files. It didn't have problem with some (640x480, 30fps, high bitrate, DivX 5) but others (even with lower quality) returned error, saying the file was not supported. We are still waiting for an answer from LG, to see what the real limitations are.
Unfortunately, XviD (the free alternative of the DivX) is not supported. We see no reason for this software limitation, as the hardware is capable of playing it back. In the My Files menu, even a frame of such videos would appear as a thumbnail, just as with the supported ones.
Album Cover image is smaller than we would have liked. The player can be minimized to continue working in the background, while other applications are used.
You will be disappointed if you want to use the phone as a portable jukebox: it has only one speaker (on the back) and it is not among the strong ones. If it noisy, you may even not hear the ringtone. While it is pointless to use it for music playback, it is not great for videos either.
The wired headphones must be plugged-in in order to turn the FM radio on. They act as the antenna but unlike most other phones, the Viewty doesn’t allow to transmit the sound to the loudspeaker. Total of 12 stations can be saved but without an option for names.
The Viewty comes with preloaded with an application called “Muvee studio”, which is used for creating of video slideshows. You must choose the movie style (transitions type) which determines the maximum number of pictures you can include, then load the images and create a movie (with music) out of them. While not being of an upmost importance, this program allows to easily combine (directly on the phone) a few images into a short video clip (320x240 pixels) that is suitable for uploading in sites such as YouTube. Muvee studio sample video.
Coming preloaded with Picsel file Viewer, the phone can open Word, Excel, PowerPoint (variants of Office 2007 are not supported) and PDF documents, but has a basic functionality for previewing only, instead of for advanced usage. Large Excel file opened and visualized very well (once zoomed) but the options for choosing Sheets (in multi-sheet files) or for searching are lacking, which makes the phone unsuitable for work. Our large (1.2MB) PDF file didn’t load at all, without any error.
Our Viewty (Vodafone variant) is preloaded with three games, but all of them are demos. However, others can be added with no problem, as the phone uses 240x320 pixels for the game itself and in the rest 240x120 pixels visualizes buttons that are otherwise hardware on the standard phones: 4-way navigation, two soft keys and an OK button.
1. Zak (unregistered)
You made a spelling error... For Christian Dior you wrote: White it is pretty, LG also offers the sexier PRADA. White it? I think you meant: While it is pretty. LG also offers the sexier Prada ;)
You just made the grammar worse. Please only post if your going to make any sense.
Shouldn't that be you're, as in you're going to make any sense?
2. sandeep (unregistered)
You failed to mention the signal strength of the phone. Please do provide a line about it in as many reviews as possible.
3. Chris (unregistered)
The Viewty will accept larger SD cards than 2GB as long as you format them on your PC and not in the phone. You must then make sure that you have less than 2GB free space on the phone. So, fill the card up with all your music/films etc but leave 2GB for daily use.
4. james villan (unregistered)
why? are u comparing the media player with and ipod? ok we get it u guys love Mac products! but not everyone does!!!! the media player is excellent on all lg phones! durability and reliabilty Lg makes Excellent products!!!!
5. Steve (unregistered)
I've had this phone for a few weeks now. It's a very buggy phone. Example - When you receive a call a message appears on screen which says "Press the End button to silence". Well, pressing the End button just hangs up on the call. The predictive texting system is terrible. For example, when you want to type "is" it recommends 47. Or when you want to type "That's" it recommends That17. Also words you store (new spellings) are not position aware. For example if you save "Hello" it will always be Hello, even if it's in the middle of a sentence. The scrolling is just stupid. Why couldn't they just have added scroll bars? Instead you either have to use the camera's zoom lense to scroll up and down, or very awkwardly move your finger up and down the screen (this doesn't really work properly.) The battery has to be recharged every day. There are loads of other little annoying bugs. Like if you choose a contact, change your mind and choose someone else, you get an error. I work in Quality Assurance and the quality of this phone is terrible. It was obviously rushed to market with minimal testing. They need to issue a firmware upgrade.
6. Satyajit (unregistered)
Can some tell me how do we increase the phone book memory from 500 entries only..... i need to store around 1500 entries...any clues ???
7. lamoLG (unregistered)
Zak get a life! No mention could I find regarding voice dialing. How do you dial the phone if you are driving? It is illegal in some countries to do it manually. And thanks Steve for your input. I won't be getting the phone now, and knowing LG I think you will be waiting a long time for them to be bothered with any firmware updates. (speaking from past experience) So all in all, LG disappoints again. They never seem to get it right with the logical human process. They do come close but its frustrating that they don't fix the little things.
can someone tell me that to increase the earphone volume in call?
10. MIKEbee (unregistered)
Signal Strength????? Yes its a big problem if your house is situated in a poor reception area, There are no problems when I switch my sim to my old Nokia N80 it hold onto signal without problems. The Viewty however displays Emergency Calls Only for long periods. Its a great video and touch screen is also great, but its a phone and it needs a better antenna. I have had phone for nearly a year now, is there anyone who has had a recent replacement and found its signal Better??
i have crazy problems with the reception, the phone keeps displaying emergency calls only for hrs now, can some one help me?
14. ilove lg (unregistered)
The whole purpose of the viewty's camera is to take GREAT pictures in the dark.
15. tryecrot (unregistered)
Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.