Review: LG Viewty KU990R

October 3, 2008 / Opinion, Reviews, Technology / 83 Comments

Update (November 2008)

It looks like I have an older firmware. LG has yet to allow people to upgrade their firmware via their website. I will update this post whenever I make my way down to the LG Service Centre at Vivo City.

So, I got another cellphone for work purposes. And this was one of the phone I was considering to buy, if not for the lack of quadband capabilities: LG Viewty KU990R.

LG Viewty KU990R

In Singapore, it comes in three shades: white, pretty pink and sleek black. I had a hard time choosing between to two, but ultimately chose the black. I don’t think anyone will take me seriously with a bright pink cellphone.

LG Viewty KU990R Review

Pros

  • Responsive Touch Screen – The first that pops up when you switch on the phone is a touch screen calibrating system, which allows the phone to customize its responses to your fingers. And the touch screen response is simply amazing! So far, I’ve not mistyped an SMS or misfired while playing Space Commando (a futuristic phone version of Counter Strike).
  • Big Bright Screen – Even under the amazingly hot sun of Singapore, the screen is still very clearly visible.
  • Full-Featured Camera – Well, it’s not as a good as a digital camera, but it still performs better than most camera phones in the market. With the flash, it can even take decent night shots. Along with basic camera features, LG has also added different modes, image stabilization and special effects! It’s like the Mac photobooth – only portable!
  • Vibrate Touch Response – One of the common complaints about touchscreen gadgets is the lack of response when you press on something. LG has changed all that. Now the phone vibrates whenever you click on something. Good job!

Cons

  • Strange Scrolling Method – With any computer program, you would always scroll down by moving the scrollbar downwards or rolling the scrollwheel downwards. Even my Cowon D2 MP3 player does the same. But LG had to be special and have the user scroll upwards to move the page down, and scroll downwards to move the page up. It’s really confusing my senses even after using it for 2 weeks.
  • Fingerprint Magnet – This is quite standard for most touchscreen gadgets, right? Someone please invent a matte touchscreen!
  • No Full Keyboard – Well, it’s a touchscreen phone, why have a phone keyboard when you can add a full-sized QWERTY keyboard?! Even my tiny Cowon D2 has a full keyboard for the dictionary feature! So size is not a constraint at all!

Pictures from my LG Viewty KU990R

LG Picture
The BMW Garage at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix

F1 Singapore GP - Pit Grandstands
The Pit Grandstands at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Ivy’s Final Verdict

[rating:4]

On the whole, this is a pretty good phone. Great camera, great touchscreen ergonomics and great looks. The designers clearly put a lot of thought into making this a fashion-forward and functional phone. However, the designers shouldn’t get too carried away by designing a scrolling system that is counter-intuitive. That’s as big of a blunder as replacing the QWERTY keyboard.

But is it an iPhone killer? Definitely not. It’s missing basic internet features like wi-fi, and full-fledged browsers like Firefox, Safari or even Internet Explorer. Although the LG Viewty does have good basic features like Google Maps, GMail and Google. Besides, I don’t really consider the iPhone a real phone with the lack of basic features like changing batteries; it’s more like an iPod that you can make calls with.

All in all, LG Viewty KU990R is the perfect gadget for camwhores and fashionistas (or fashionistos). It’s a great looking phone, packed with solid basic features, and full-fledged digital camera to capture your narcissistic moments.

And if you’re looking for an iPhone killer, look elsewhere – somewhere like the HTC Dream running on Google Android.