LG Viewty KU990

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LG Viewty KU990

Following the huge success of the LG Mobile Black Label Series Chocolate and Shine, LG has progressed into the high-technology camera phone category w...

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Review of "LG Viewty KU990"

published 24/11/2007 | andersonfamily
Member since : 31/10/2004
Reviews : 60
Members who trust : 33
About me :
Pro QWERTY; touchscreen; powerful camera; 3G
Cons QWERTY can't be used at all points in phone; poor stylus storage
very helpful
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery standby time
Battery talktime
Value for money

"LG Viewty reviewed. iPhone killer? Nope."

Viewty with stylus

Viewty with stylus

I have recently got an LG Viewty (aka LG KU990), courtesy of Outside Line, to review and keep.

The main features of this HSDPA (3G) mobile is the touchscreen and on-screen QWERTY keyboard. In addition to this, it boasts a 5MP camera with a proper flash and a low light setting up to ISO 800.

The phone comes with a USB lead, headphones and charger.

Dimensions and stylus: small and lipstick-like stylus

The Viewty is fairly small, much smaller than my current XDA Exec, measuring roughly 105mm x 55mm x 15mm yet it still manages to boast a 3" screen!

I'm guessing it's aimed at a female target audience due to it's lipstick-like expanding stylus (to control its touchscreen). There's no obvious place to insert the stylus in the phone so I attached via a hook on the phone. This is far from perfect... I'd rather have storage for the stylus built into the phone's shell.

Input: an ineffective keyboard but effective touchscreen

Input can be made through the stylus, mentioned above, or through fingers on the touchscreen. There are also buttons to aid in taking photos, unlocking, quickly answering calls and quickly hanging up.

Navigating through menus, textual and numerical input is completed through the touchscreen. A variety of methods of textual input methods are provided such as standard mobile phone way (three 2 in sequence make a C), handwriting (which isn't good for me as I form my letters irregularly) and in some circumstances a QWERTY keyboard (hence its name)

Much to my annoyance, you can only use the QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode making it impossible to do things such as enter a URL into its browser. This is a major flaw, in my opinion, and I hope LG update their firmware to allow keyboard input to be offered wherever possible.

I am impressed by the ease of locking and unlocking the phone. It requires you to press one button on the side of the phone and that's it! This, in my opinion, is much nicer than holding * down!

The phone also vibrates when touched, but only lightly, providing nice sensual feedback. Whilst it is slightly disconcerting at first, you soon grow to love it.

Scrolling is achieved by moving the stylus up, down and across the screen. You move the stylus in the opposite direction to the one in which you wish to move... as if you're pulling it.

Surrounding the camera lens there is a jog wheel which is used to control music, zoom in and out of photos and webpages.

I do find my hardware keyboard in my XDA Exec much quicker to type on than this one which requires lots of tapping. However, for the average Joe they won't want to carry about such bulk!

Connectivity: fast 3G!

The phone is armed with 3G (HSDPA allowing speeds up to 3.6Mbps... faster than my DSL!) and although I live in an area of marginal 3G coverage it will often pick up the signal. 3G allows you to do all sorts and I've been enjoying T-Mobile's ability to watch live TV for only £1/daily. Obviously, 3G coverage needs to rapidly be expanded inside the United Kingdom.

Also, it has Bluetooth which was very quick and easy to set-up with my Mac. The phone also comes with a USB connectivity cable and driver disc for Windows; neither LG or iSync support the Viewty on OS X :( . I'm not sure about Linux but if LG are like most companies, Linux support is their last priority.

The phone doesn't possess infrared.

Phone's OS/software: Simple interface, lots of tools

The phone has an email client, which I admit I haven't used, a browser which despite my initial concerns is actually very good - perfectly rendering this blog. My only complaint with the browser is the one I mentioned above... that URLs cannot be inputted via QWERTY.

The menu is very well designed with shortcuts on the standby screen (ie the screen with the wallpaper etc) to messaging, phone, the main menu and contacts. The main menu is split into four sub-categories: a phone menu (with contacts, logs, dialling & messaging), media ('my stuff' (a file browser), camera, MuVee studio (a primitive video editor), music, video playlists, voice recorder, FM radio and Games & Apps), an organiser menu (browser, organiser, alarms, memo, tools and USIM services) and then settings.

One interesting feature is that the phone supports Flash and can open some SWFs, but they have to be very small in terms of filesize. It can also handle Java applications.

Camera and video: 5MP and DivX

One of the phone's main features is its 5MP camera which has a proper flash (not a lousy LED like my old phone's camera). You can also use the phone's front camera which is normally used for video calling to do photos, but these are at a much lower resolution.

The main flaw of this camera, in my opinion, is the lack of an optical zoom (effectively ruling it out as a fully blown replacement to my digital camera) and the fact that there's no lens cover of any sort. This might make the lens susceptible to damage.

The phone can 'achieve' low-light up to ISO 800, has a macro mode and allows images to manually focused.

The phone takes good quality photographs but it won't replace my S3 IS any time soon!

The camera can also record videos straight as a DivX or 3GP at a rate of up to 120FPS. The fact that files are DivXs saves a lot of effort if you want to share them, especially online, as most people now probably have the codecs on their computers if not DVD players!


Whilst the lack of Macintosh support and the inconsistency of where the keyboard can and cannot be used grows annoying, the phone has a supreme camera and good 3G ability.

It'd be amazing if the phone auto-rotated like the iPhone but I wonder if the K990 has the necessary hardware to ever facilitate such a feature (if I'm not mistaken, the Nokia N95 now auto-rotates).

In essence, the phone still very much feels like a phone despite its touchscreen. I've grown unaccustomed to phones and this mobile is right in between a 'phone' and a 'smartphone'. Smartphones aren't practical for everyone and I have a feeling that this phone's style and pricetag (£350 on T-Mobile as PAYG, freely on O2 on contract; compare that with the £280 for the iPhone on contract) will lure in quite a big audience.

Copyright Joe Anderson 2007, some rights reserved under CC-BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

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Comments on this review

  • babinaba published 17/01/2008
    Great review, have this phone and just want to make one point - if you change the view to landscape instead of portrait when you are in a browser you can use the qwerty keyboard for typing URL's. Love this phone!!
  • patriciat published 27/11/2007
    It sounds way too clever for me and I'd have lost the stylus before I'd figured out how to use it. Pat.t x
  • alan74 published 26/11/2007
    Really don't like the sound of this at all. Although the DivX and the 5mp Camera is Superb!! Saying that... great review... nice to read ya stuff again! Alan
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Product Information : LG Viewty KU990

Manufacturer's product description

Following the huge success of the LG Mobile Black Label Series Chocolate and Shine, LG has progressed into the high-technology camera phone category with LG Viewty. 5 megapixel Viewty is a professional level camera phone capable of taking both high quality pictures and superior home videos. The contemporary touch screen and innovative design result in a superb looking handset that continues to enhance consumer usability.

Product Details

Product Description: LG Viewty KU990 - mobile phone - WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM, LG KU990 Viewty - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990 - red - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990i - black - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990i - silver - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990 - white - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990 - black - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990 - dark silver - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990 - pink - 3G GSM - mobile phone, LG Viewty KU990 - silver - 3G GSM - mobile phone

Product Type: Mobile phone - 3G, Mobile phone

Service Provider: Not specified, T-Mobile

Form Factor: Touch

Dimensions (WxDxH): 54 mm x 15 mm x 104 mm

Weight: 112 g

Colour: Silver, Red, Black, White, Dark silver, Pink

Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 900/1800/1900

Integrated Components: Digital camera, 2nd camera, digital player

Display: LCD display - colour, LCD display - colour - 3" - TFT, LCD display - colour - TFT

Input Device(s): Touch sensitive screen

Mobile Email Client: Yes

Internet Browser: Yes

Digital Player (Recorder): AAC, MP3 , MPEG-4, H.264, H.263

Supported Flash Memory Cards: Micro SD Card

Talk Time: Up to 233 minutes, Up to 180 minutes, Up to 355 minutes, Up to 150 minutes

Standby Time: Up to 454 hours, Up to 300 hours, Up to 330 hours

Wireless Interface: Bluetooth

Mobile Services: Video Call

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 5 Megapixel

Playback Digital Standards: WAV, WMA, AAC, AMR, MP3, AAC +, MIDI , AVI, MPEG-4, DivX, 3GP, H.264, H.263

Supported Memory Card: microSD - up to 2 GB, Micro SD Card

Cellular / Features: GPRS; HSDPA; Bluetooth; USB; microSD card slot

Cellular / Extra Features: 5.1 MP digital camera; FM radio; MP3 player

Communications / Wireless Interface: Bluetooth

Cellular / Combined with: Digital Camera; Digital Player; FM Radio

Long Name: KU990 Viewty

Manufacturer: LG

Cellular / Type: Smartphone

Cellular / Integrated Components: Digital camera; Digital player; FM radio

Cellular / Phone Form Factor: Classic

Optical Sensor / Sensor Resolution: 5.1

Phone Design: Classic



Product Type: Mobile phone

Form Factor: Touch

Integrated Components: Digital camera, 2nd camera, digital player

Aerial: Internal

Width: 54 mm

Depth: 15 mm

Height: 104 mm

Weight: 112 g

Body Colour: Silver, Red, Black, White, Dark silver, Pink

Image Colour Disclaimer: The image of the product displayed may be of a different colour


Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 900/1800/1900

3G Mobile Broadband: Yes

Service Provider: Not specified, T-Mobile

Input Device(s): Touch screen

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Software Platforms Supported: Java MIDP 2.0, CLDC 1.1

Messaging & Internet

Cellular Messaging Services: SMS, MMS, SMS, MMS, EMS, SMS

Mobile Email Client: Yes

Internet Browser: Yes

WAP Protocol Supported: WAP 2.0

Downloadable Content: Audio files, video files, ring tones

Supported Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP4

Mobile Services: Video Call

Messaging & Data Features: XHTML Browser


GPRS (General Packet Radio Service): Yes

EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates For Global Evolution): Yes

HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access): Yes

Bluetooth Profiles: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)

Communication Features: Mobile Email client, Internet browser

Data Transmission: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA

Wireless Interface: Bluetooth

Telephone Features

Call Timer: Yes

Conference Call Capability: Yes

Polyphonic Ringer: Yes

Ring Tone Formats: MIDI, MP3


Phone Book Entries Qty: 500, 1000

Calculator: Yes , basic

Alarm Clock: Yes

Calendar / Event Reminder: Yes

Reminder: Yes

Personal Information Management: Calendar, synchronization with PC, calculator, reminder, alarm clock

Digital Player (Recorder)

Supported Digital Audio Standards: AAC, MP3

Supported Digital Video Standards: MPEG-4, H.264, H.263


User Memory: 100 MB - shared, 110 MB, 100 MB, 90 MB

Supported Flash Memory Cards: Micro SD Card, microSD - up to 2 GB

Digital Camera

Sensor Resolution: 5 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CMOS

Focus Adjustment: Automatic

Camera Light Source: Flash, LED light

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 5 Megapixel

Features: Video recording

Video Recorder Resolutions: 640 x 480 (VGA)

Digital Zoom: 16

Still Image Resolutions: 2592 x 1944


Type: LCD display - colour

Technology: TFT

Display Resolution: 240 x 400 pixels

Colour Depth: 262,144 colours

Display Illumination Colour: White

Diagonal Size: 3"

Features: LCD touch screen


Capacity: 1000 mAh

Run Time Details: Talk - up to 233 min ¦ Standby - up to 454 hrs

Technology: Lithium Ion


Included Accessories: Power adapter


Connector Type: USB

Phone Features

Additional Features: Intelligent Typing (T9), multitasking

Ring Tone Formats: MP3, MIDI, MIDI, MP3

Polyphonic Ringer: Yes

Phone Functions: Speakerphone, call timer, conference call, flight mode, vibrating alert

Polyphonic Ring Tone Voice Qty: 64

Media Player

Supported Digital Video Standards: AVI, MPEG-4, DivX, 3GP, H.264, H.263

Supported Digital Audio Standards: WAV, WMA, AAC, AMR, MP3, AAC +, MIDI


Listed on Ciao since: 30/03/2008