LG Viewty Smart GC900 Preview

Introduction and Design
Introduction and Design:

The LG Viewty KU990 was the first touch screen phone equipped with powerful and capable camera and managed to gain extreme popularity. Other similar devices followed suit (the Samsung Pixon and LG Renoir being the latest) and now an heir apparent has come out, despite the Renoir was once thought to be the one. The LG Viewty Smart GC900 is equipped with an 8-megapixel camera and offers functions we have never seen on a cell phone before plus the new S-CLASS 3D interface and Wi-Fi support.

Aside from all this, it comes in stylish and elegant body, in spite of being just 2.8 mm. thinner than the original. Despite its length, it feels comfy to hold and will definitely fit into pockets of any size.

You can compare the LG Viewty Smart GC900 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Like the LG ARENA KM900, the LG Viewty Smart GC900 sports a 3-inch screen with WVGA resolution and 16 mln. colors. Unlike the first handset to feature the new S-CLASS 3D interface, there are no send and end buttons below the screen and their functions are available through the touch screen. The only hardware button on its front side lets you navigate your way out of menus or reject incoming calls. Both camera shutter and sound rocker are on its right hand side as well as a wall charger port covered with a small flap. Here is another difference from the LG ARENA with its easy sliding cover flap.

The microSDHC slot on the left hand side of the phone is protected the same way. The button that calls up the S-CLASS 3D interface on screen is right above and the power on/off one is just below. The lack of 3.5 mm jack managed to spring a mine on us though.

The overall design of the LG Viewty Smart GC900 provoked a full scale civil unrest in our office. Half of the team is of the opinion that it looks worse alongside of the LG ARENA KM900 due to the lack of metal parts despite the fact that its back side looks like brushed. The other half really likes it and keeps claiming plastic is the new metal these days. Discussion heated up and was not until the intensified conflict took its collateral damage toll (our editor) before warmongers settled down, shook hands and agreed the phone looked nice, but it wouldn´t manage to hold the undivided attention of our office fashionist for the lack of luxurious feel to it when in your hands.

LG Viewty Smart GC900 360 Degrees View:


As we mentioned already, the LG Viewty Smart GC900 is the second cell phone to run the S-CLASS 3D interface. We´ve been in love with it ever since we saw its impressive performance on the LG ARENA KM900. If you want to know more, please read our exhaustive review, since we are simply going over its more prominent features here.

The interface goes over big with us, because it´s been made with overwhelming attention to every single detail, looks awesome and is really comfy. It´s based on a 3D cube with the four home screens on each side.  This is most easily seen when you press the dedicated button on the left hand side of the device.

As a whole, the screens offer different shortcut options. You can place up to 9 overused apps on one of them, while another gives access to the 30 contacts you have dialed most often. The trendy widgets are also present, but you only have 10 with no option to download any other. Fortunately, most of them have more than one function, like, say the clock lets you set up an alarm, calendar allows different views by month, week or a day etc.

The last home screen is dedicated to multimedia. You can load up to 15 of your favorite songs, pictures or videos and start the music player from here that has pleasing interface and is handled similarly to the Cover Flow of the iPhone.

What all start-up apps have in common is changes can be made through keeping your finger pressed against the screen. You also have a bunch of icons at the bottom that allow access to the phone dialing, contacts, messages and main menu. The latter shows all functions sorted by categories and icons can freely swap places in the row they belong to.

The good news is things are beautifully crafted and quite comfy to use, no matter if it´s the home screen or the main menu. Special attention has been lent to contacts and messages. Contact entries are filtered by given or family name and as you keep punching digits on the dialing screen. Incoming messages can be read in threaded messaging style, which really comes in pretty handy and there is a small icon button to attach files and turn simple text to an MMS. Unfortunately, all keyboard’s keys appear rather small in horizontal mode, which makes them somewhat tricky to press using both your hands.

Just like the LG ARENA KM900, the Viewty Smart features a high-speed 3G and Wi-Fi support. You also have a pretty good browser to surf the Web and zoom in/out on things through multi-touch. This doesn´t happen in real time though, since there seems to be a short, but constant lagging with the function that feels really unpleasant. As a whole, we think LG need to work this out a bit better if the device is to catch up onto the iPhone.

Camera and Multimedia:

Being a direct successor of the KU990, the emphasis with the LG Viewty Smart GC900 invariably falls onto its camera. It sports contemporary 8-megapixel resolution, but unfortunately lacks Xenon flash. The original Viewty had one, but results were mediocre no matter. We’ll wait until we get our hands on a final retail unit before we pass judgment on the snapshot quality.

We really like the camera interface for sure. It is similar to the LG ARENA KM900, but features a variety of additional functions. The one we find most interesting is called “Intelligent Shot” mode that is supposed to deliver the best snapshot quality attainable under the current environmental conditions, be it at night or on a rainy day, outdoors or indoors. Our test shots reveal it is really useful when taking pictures while facing the Sun, although it adds a lot of noise to the image. Again, we believe we better wait until we have received a final unit before commenting on its performance.

Aside from this, you also have exposure control, flash mode (automatic or with red eye removal) and a setting to turn between automatic and macro shooting. Extra options are available through the wheel-shaped digital camera menu. You can switch between main and video call cameras, change the resolution (between 120x180 and 3263x2448), add effects (sepia, negative, monochrome) and set both white balance and shooting timer. There are extra modes as well – sequential snapshots, smile detection, flaw removal called “beauty shot”, art mode and panoramic picture mode. The odd thing is most of these come at limited resolution (say “beauty shot” and art mode are pegged down at 1280x960 pixels and that´s that). Maximum ISO sensitivity is adjustable up to 1600, you also have automatic shake control and can choose single, face or manual focusing. The latter is something quite rare on cell phones and could be of use to anyone who´s up to taking snapshots with artistic value. As you see, the images we made with the prototype are not perfect, but we hope we will be able to achieve better results with the final unit.

The video capture capability of the phone is similar to what the LG ARENA KM900 offers with maximum resolution of 720x480 at 30 frames per second and fast/slow motion modes at QVGA resolution. The gallery that unifies images and video content remain just as impressive even if it´s not the first time we´ve seen it on an S-CLASS 3D interface device. The slightly oddish musical player and the video player that allows you to watch DivX, Xvid and MPEG4 video content (H.263 and H.264) is still the same as well.


We do hope the LG Viewty GC900 surpasses the Renoirin terms of snapshot and video capture quality. As for the interfaceand web surfing, they are both up to contemporary standards rather thanbeing trendsetters as was the case with the first Viewty.We believe that camera quality will ultimately prove to be the decisivefactor for its success and we do hope it manages to deliver goodmultimedia capabilities.

LG Viewty Smart GC900 Video Preview:

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