LG Viewty GT review -

3
6out of 10
Performance
8 out of 5
Look and feel
4 out of 5
Ease of use
6 out of 5
Features
8 out of 5
Battery life
Pros:

Neat styling and pocketable size plus a good camera.

Cons:

No wi-fi and touch-screen that can be hard work.

This touch-screen cutie is competitively priced. In other words, corners have been cut. Let's get those out of the way first: the screen is the cheaper, resistive kind, rather than the capacitive sort used on the HTC Desire and others. Of course this does have the benefit, as winter approaches, of being usable through gloves, but it can lead, and does here, to a less enjoyable experience, requiring you to press that bit harder all the time. As well as through gloves, you can operate a resistive screen with a stylus, too, and there's a thin telescopic one snuck away in the top of the handset.

Touch-screen

Thankfully, you can manage without it, though do try not to lose it as the phone looks incomplete without it. For a resistive screen, this is relatively quick and responsive and it's really just the considerable springiness of the display which clues you in to the nature of the touch. There's a haptic feedback response which makes the screen seem even bouncier. Finally, screen-wise, the other problem with resistive displays is the lack of multi-touch. To zoom here you have to repeatedly tap a magnifying glass icon.


There's no wi-fi on board which seems silly on a handset which features many functions which need the internet. This phone has plenty of those, like the dedicated Twitter and Facebook widgets. There's no GPS, either, though this is a less surprising omission.

 

And if you want to listen to music, forget about using your favourite headphones. The connector is a micro USB slot where you also plug in the charger and there's no adaptor, so you're restricted to the supplied earphones which are unlikely to satisfy audiophiles.

Look and feel

Right, back to the pluses. The GT405 is light and neat, and highly pocketable. Sure, it's made of metallic-looking plastic rather than a full metal jacket but it gives this phone a stylishness which belies its price. If the HTC Desire or iPhone are too big for you, the smaller GT405 may suit. This is partly because the screen is littler (3ins) than some rivals, but it's still big enough to be usable.

Camera

And LG has taken photography seriously, including a 5-megapixel camera though, disappointingly, no flash. And uploading photographs at this resolution will take longer over 3G than it would on wi-fi, obviously. The browser isn't fast: even on an HSDPA connection it took ages to load the Facebook home page, for instance (the widget is just a shortcut to the internet). Still, shots taken in decent light - outside for instance - looked more than acceptable and there are even quite a few editing options to improve shots on board the handset.

 

LG's S-Class interface is here, too, which chiefly involves one screen you can customise to your taste by peppering it with widgets chosen from a tray which appears at the bottom of the page when you're editing. Normally the tray has a handy row of icons for making calls, opening the address book, writing a message or launching the menus. Then there's a separate collection of three screens to feature chosen contacts. It's adequate but nothing special and the operating system is lit by a colour scheme that's starting to look a little dated.

Conclusion

Altogether, it's as though the GT405 doesn't know what it wants to be: an above average feature phone with high-resolution camera at a low price, or a petite smartphone which cuts corners to meet a price point.

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