One of the big criticisms about mobile phones that claim to be cameraphones is that they look and behave nothing like cameras. Another is the poor images that often result. Mobile phone makers can cram in more megapixels – as with the 5Mp LG KU990 Viewty – but cameraphone sensors just aren’t up to the job.
That doesn’t stop us buying cameraphones such as the LG KU990 Viewty at an impressive rate, though, and of course the best way to encourage innovation is if there’s money to be made from doing so.
For our money, the best cameraphones so far are the Sony Ericsson Cyber-shots. These taking photos at a quality or detail we find acceptable and are designed such that the whole of their rear is given over to the camera.
So it is with the LG KU990 Viewty - a 5Mp cameraphone that looks like an iPhone-lite on the front and a real camera from behind. The shutter release needs a firm press but the resulting photos aren't at all bad, even taken in unflattering artificial light.
At 2x and 4x magnification, detail is still acceptable, although beyond this you shouldn't have high expectations of the LG KU990 Viewty. For real close-ups, you want a real camera.
The LG KU990 Viewty's video facility is hard to argue with: super slow-mo playback of footage taken at 120fps (frames per second) is a real talking point.
Navigation-wise, you leave a fingerprint trail on the LG KU990 Viewty's 3in 240x400-pixel screen, but getting around it is a doddle as its onscreen icons approach iPhone levels of obviousness and are large enough to accurately select using a fingerpad. You can flit between portrait and landscape modes when viewing your photos and other media and use onscreen buttons to move through thumbnails of anything.
The other important feature of the LG KU990 Viewty is that it's a 3G HSDPA phone - something Apple has decided to hold off on for now with the iPhone.