LG Viewty KU990 mobile phone
- 5Mp camera with plenty of modes and features; large, responsive touch-screen; innovative software tools
- Jog wheel takes some getting used too, unable to upload MP3s to Muvee Studio
The Viewty KU990 will suit anyone who wants to combine their camera and mobile phone into one product. From picture resolution to call quality, it performs its two primary functions with stunning proficiency. Highly recommended.
Price$ 749.00 (AUD)
If we had a dollar for every mobile phone that has masqueraded as a camera, we'd be rich enough to buy a top-of-the-range SLR. Year after year, the big players in the mobile phone industry enthusiastically talk up their latest hybrid hopeful, promising that this time, it truly will deliver professional-level photographs. Unfortunately, the results are usually lacklustre at best, with the majority of models suitable for nothing more than a handful of grainy caller ID pics.
In recent months, this trend towards mediocrity has thankfully begun to fade, with models such as the Sony K810i and Nokia N95 offering impressive in-built cameras. Now, with the Viewty KU990, LG is attempting to raise the bar even higher. This eccentrically named gadget is a touch screen tri-band 3G-capable mobile phone equipped with a 5-megapixel sensor. In addition to taking stunningly vibrant images, it can be used to record video at up to 120 frames per second and is equipped with a host of advanced photography features, including auto and manual focus, an image stabiliser, multiple ISO and shutter speeds, a continuous shot mode and a professional Scheider-Hreuznach lens. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it could almost be classed as a camera first, and a mobile phone second.
The first thing that stands out about the Viewty KU990 is its sleek and arresting design. With its prominent front-mounted lens and extravagant LCD display, it could easily be mistaken for a compact camera. Indeed, we were initially a little reluctant to make calls in public, lest we look like a crazy person talking into a camera -- it truly bears almost no resemblance to a mobile phone. With overall dimensions of 103x54x14.8mm and weighing 112g, it is a little large for a handset, but attractively slim for a camera. All up, we think they got the balance just about right.
Using the camera is a blessedly simple affair, with all functions accessed via the intuitive touch screen interface. A slider button at the top of the device swaps between stills, video and a picture/video viewer. Thanks to the inclusion of a flash and an ISO 800 setting, the Viewty is remarkably adept at taking photos in dark environments. This is doubly impressive when you consider that few camera phones have achieved this feat in the past -- finally, you'll be able to chronicle your night-life without having to lug around a stand-alone camera. If we had to name one criticism, it would probably be the zoom function. We found using the jog wheel slightly cumbersome for this purpose, with our fingers occasionally obscuring the lens. (With that being said, a little time and practice should eventually eliminate this problem.)
In terms of picture quality, the Viewty doesn't disappoint. While we wouldn't recommend making large-sized prints, the images it produces are perfect for displaying on social networking sites, such as MySpace or Facebook. This is equally true of its video capabilities, which have been specifically designed for sharing on the Internet. Once you've played around with the inbuilt editing tools, it is possible to upload your creations directly to YouTube. As mentioned earlier, you can even record video at an impressive 120 frames per second, which is ideal for capturing sporting events or tragic dance moves. Handily, there is no time limit imposed on the duration of your videos, other than the amount of remaining memory (the Viewty is expandable by up to 2GB via MicroSD).
You can also make professional looking slideshows by using Muvee Studio; a one-step application that automatically cuts user-selected images to a musical soundtrack. Unfortunately, the software only supports a range of pre-selected tunes, but you can upload a variety of music files (MP3, WAV, AAC and AAC+) for other purposes. Despite this limitation, this is one of the slickest and most user-friendly applications we have seen on a mobile in quite some time.
Following in the footsteps of the pioneering Prada (KE850), the Viewty KU990 marks LG's second stab at a touch screen phone. Once again, we found the interface to be almost flawless. Each menu item is clearly labelled and large enough to effortlessly tap with your finger. Making calls is equally intuitive, with the spacious on-screen keypad easily accommodating meaty fingers (if you'd like to avoid ugly fingerprints, a stylus is also included). As you would expect, the bright, colourful display does an admirable job of displaying your photos and videos, putting the LCD screens on many compact cameras to shame.
Rounding out the package is a voice recorder, a music player, games, a selection of PIM features (alarm clock, calculator, world clock, unit converter, calendar and memo), and the ability to browse the Net with Google Package and Messenger service. We were impressed by the overall call quality of the Viewty, which consistently produced crisp, loud audio. Meanwhile, battery life is rated at 198 hours talk time and 270 hours standby time; a huge improvement on LG's previous Prada phone.
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Ballistix Sport AT
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Toys for Boys
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Tivoli PAL BT
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Internet Security
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Smart Security Premium
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Technology is revolutionising the way we do things and that includes in the kitchen where a wealth of must-have gadgets and appliances are the making life easier for home cooks.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
Latest News Articles
- Alcatel renew Rabbitohs partnership and talk up 2018 growth
- Vivo Nex Dual Display Release Date, Price, Specs and More
- Samsung Galaxy A8s Release Date, Price, Specs and More
- Wizards of the Coast invest $10 million into MTG: Arena esports
- Sony Xperia XZ4 Release Date, Price, Specs and More
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies