LG Viewty Smart GC900 Review
The LG ViewtySmart GC900 delivers pleasing organizer functions that are enough tomeet the needs of ordinary customers. Let´s get started with the alarm clock.In its “standard” mode you can set up several different alarms, each ofthem with its own melody and recurrence pattern. The way you do thesetting itself looks impressive – through a digital or analog clockwith background indicating whether the time you´ve just entered is AMor PM. Two rollers appear in digital clock mode that you turnseparately. You will have to wait for about 3 seconds until they getsettled and this is far from the fastest way to set up specific time,but still, it´s looks quite spectacular. Something suchlike is usedwhen setting the correct date (say, in the main menu), but you need touse three different rollers, instead of two. The quick alarm optionallows you to set up an alarm reminder about something that´ll happenwithin the next hour. Our only gripe is that you turn off ringingalarms by tapping a single key and it´s quite possible you get yourselfan unplanned late morning, especially when half-awake. We cannot waitto see alarms that switch off by themselves when the phone registersyou have been through your morning exercises.
Calendar(named organizer) offers a variety of modes – whole month, week,timetable (showing filled-in timeslots for a specific date and yourtime allocation) or a list of all entered events. You can add detailedschedule events that are classified in three major categories (meeting,anniversary and birthday), each one with its own subject, location,start and end dates, additional note and recurrence pattern.Unfortunately, they are not assigned alarms to remind you, meaning theycan easily go unnoticed unless you keep an eye on the calendar all thetime. The last event type (our favorite) is marking a period of time asbank holidays. The mode allows you to color one or more days in redwhich means you won´t have to work on these dates. Is there any way ofmarking the remainder of this year in red? Just like your contacts, youcan save archive copies of your schedule and task list onto the memorycard or send it via Bluetooth to another device.
The list of organizer optionsof the LG Viewty Smart GC900 is supplemented with simplified notes(limited to 1000 symbols per entry), chronometer that records lap timesand incredibly beautiful calculator with scientific mode that managedto get our hairs stand on end (all of us are gifted mathematicians). Wedid have tons of fun with the unit converter, because the preset valueof the dollar against the euro is 2, while at the time of this reviewthe exchange rate was 0.7 EUR. Correct values can be entered manually,although not synchronized over the internet, which is far fromconvenient. You also have a world clock (appears as a showy Globe) andthe option to track local time in six cities around the world (of yourchoice). Voice notes can be recorded in two formats – one is suited forgeneral use and the other for being sent in an MMS, but either way,voice quality is below par. Unlike the LG ARENA KM900, the LG Viewty GC900 doesn’t have FM transmitter.
Like we said in our review of the LG ARENA KM900, the messages menu has gone through major changes alongside of versions found on previous models and is really comfy to use. Getting in takes you right into incoming messages, grouped by date. A button at the top sends you to your outbox, where you can browse sent messages or follow up conversations in a threaded style. You can directly reply to an incoming message from your inbox and there´s a separate button to get down to typing your response. A nice, well conceived icon located in the bottom right corner allows you attach files in a snap. The largest size of a file we managed to attach was about 1 MB (video with length of 1 min 34 sec and resolution of 176x144 pixels) and pictures get automatically resized to acceptable level (up to 300 KB).
Setting up email accounts is easy, especially if you happen to use a mainstream, web-based email providers like Gmail, Yahoo etc., because all relevant settings are preloaded onto the phone. Unfortunately this doesn´t hold true for personal email servers like ours that is only handled by strictly business oriented BlackBerry devices. In contrast to MMS messages, the photos, taken with the camera, do not resize automatically and since each one is about a 1MB in size, they cannot be sent with a message. The good news is the Viewty Smart supports Microsoft Exchange server to sync emails, contacts and calendar.
The vertical keyboard of the LG Viewty Smart GC900 is OK, especially if you use it along with T9. We do recommend that people who tend to get the needle easily stick with it rather than use the landscape mode, because the latter makes keys way too small and slow to press and even then, a number of mistakes is made.
The LG Viewty Smart GC900 is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) and dual-band 3G (900/2100) device and the latter limits its usability in the US. The maximum download speed is 7.2Mbit/s, but it´s only attainable if your carrier supports it. Just like other decent, top of the range devices, the phone has Wi-Fi and you can enter your own IP settings.
The built-in browser of the LG Viewty Smart GC900 renders pages well and is controlled through multitouch. Yes, just like the iPhone. The difference is that there is no double tapping to zoom in on the image and you need to do that by stretching away your fingers against the display, or image spanning. Unfortunately, this is always followed by severe delays and you just don’t know if you have zoomed in enough, because you can´t see the picture getting nearer in real time. In a nutshell, this is how using the browser typically goes – stretch your fingers against the screen, wait for 4-5 seconds until the picture gets set to find out you are not where you want to be, slide you finger to where you need on the picture, wait for another 1-2 seconds and you are a go. It gets even worse. You need to almost literally get your nose into the phone to click on links, because text is not formatted so as to fit onto the screen and hyperlinks often overlap with underlying text and page elements. As a whole, the browser feels disagreeable to use, unless you get down to it to see simple web pages only, meaning you won´t have to use the zoom function. What a shame, we expected much more.
Bluetooth 2.1 provides local connectivity and supports the following profiles - HSP, HFP, DUN, FTP, OPP, GAP, SPP, SDAP, SDP, BPP, GAVDP, A2DP, AVRCP, SAP, AVDTP, AVCTP and PBAP. Aside from it, you can simply connect the device to your computer with the USB 2.0 cable. When you do so, you will have several options – set the phone as a Mass storage device, for audio synchronization, connect through PC Suite or iSync (used with non-Apple devices on Mac computers). The former two don’t require additional software, while you would need to install LG PC Suite to use the third. It allows you to synchronize phone contacts, calendar and notes, upload music, pictures, videos, programs or download messages, emails etc.