If you saw someone walking down the street wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Smart", what would be your first impression? Would you assume this person was indeed of higher than average intelligence or would you assume exactly the opposite? LG calls its latest camera phone the Viewty Smart, suggesting an upgrade from the original Viewty with the inclusion of extra smarts, but just because the company says it doesn't make it so.
We may find fault in certain areas of LG mobile range, but we can't deny this Korean company knows how to design attractive handsets. The Viewty Smart looks like a cross between the original Viewty and the uber-sexy LG Secret; its rectangular shape is broken by gentle curves at the top and bottom of the screen with a gold-plated home key button elevating its glossy black finish. We don't love the matte silver coloured plastic battery cover, it's one of the few textures that cheapens the appearance of the Viewty Smart, but it's something we'd be willing to live with.
The Viewty Smart is a touchscreen handset sporting a 3-inch WVGA colour display, which is sufficient in size despite being a half-inch smaller than the iPhone's screen. The screen combines capacitive touchscreen technology with haptic feedback (vibrating response to touch) making sure you're always aware of when you have, or haven't, successfully made contact with an item for selection on the display. Test videos we played looked good, though LG's decision not to include a 3.5mm headphone jack on the phone itself is irksome — instead an adapter at the end of a long cable is bundled with the phone. Though the quality of the headphones included with the Viewty Smart are a cut-above those we tend to find with phones, so you may not mind forgoing the standard headphones socket.
We voiced similar concerns after reviewing the, the first LG handset to feature its recent release S-Class user interface, but we feel we need to reiterate the point. It's obvious this system has been developed in response to the successful platforms available on other popular smartphones, and while the S-Class UI is similar aesthetically, LG fails to address what is central to the success of any new system on a mobile — the S-Class UI is just such a pain to use.