The GT405 Viewty GT is the latest handset in LG's long-running Viewty range, which is primarily aimed at those who want a phone with a decent camera. This model is equipped with a 5-megapixel shooter, as well as image-editing software that lets you create quick slide shows of your snaps.
The GT is available for free on a £15-per-month, 2-year contract, or £110 on a pay as you go deal.
Fits in your mitts
The GT is quite small for a touchscreen handset. It measures just 55 by 107 by 12mm, so you don't need gorilla-sized mitts to hold it comfortably. It's light too, at just 98g, although this is partly due to its plasticky build quality. The chassis, although finished with a silver paint job, is made entirely from plastic and doesn't feel like it would stand up well to bumps, scrapes or being repeatedly sat on by someone's gigantic backside.
The front of the handset is dominated by the 76mm (3-inch) touchscreen, with just three buttons sitting beneath. The central button is used to bring up the multitasking menu, and sits between the two call buttons. The call-end button doubles as the power control.
The phone's microSD card slot sits alone on the left-hand side, behind a small plastic flap. It supports cards of up to 16GB in size. The right-hand side of the handset is much busier. There's a micro-USB port at the top, followed by a volume rocker, lock switch and camera button. The top of the right-hand side is also home to a small, telescopic stylus.
The GT uses a resistive, rather than capacitive, touchscreen. As a result, it's not as sensitive to touch input as handsets with capacitive displays, such as the Samsung Monte. You often have to press the screen a couple of times to get it to register your inputs properly.
Using the stylus makes for a better experience, but who wants to do that in this day and age? Not us, that's for sure. At least colours look fairly vivid, and the screen's resolution of 240x400 pixels isn't bad for a phone in this price range.
The GT uses LG's S-Class interface. The home screen is divided into two separate panels. The first panel is used to display widgets for services such as Twitter, Facebook, weather forecasts and news feeds, while the second panel can be set up with shortcuts for your favourite contacts.
Enter the main menu and you'll find that icons are grouped together in four categories: communication, entertainment, utilities and settings. The different categories are accessed via a tab on the right-hand side of the screen.
The GT can also undertake basic multitasking. If you hit the task-switcher button while in a program, it'll suspend the app rather than closing it, and you can jump back into the menu to open another app. With multiple apps open, you can switch between them simply by hitting the task-switcher button again.
The phone offers HSDPA support for fast Web surfing over 3G, but there's no Wi-Fi support. The GT does, however, support GPS and Bluetooth.
It's not all that often that you find a 5-megapixel camera on a handset of this price, so it's a welcome sight on the GT. The original KU990 Viewty had a xenon flash, but there's no flash at all on this model, so, as you'd expect, it's rather a lame duck when it comes to taking photos indoors in low light.
Nevertheless, the camera application gives you a good amount of control over settings like white balance and colour effects, and it also has some useful extras, like a timer function. Photos taken outdoors in good light look pretty impressive, with the camera capturing sharp detail and surprisingly accurate colours. You can edit photos into slide shows, complete with music and animated zooms and pans, using the basic but easy-to-use Muvee Studio editing application. The snapper can also be used to shoot videos, although only at a QVGA resolution.
The GT isn't so hot on the music front. The supplied headphones are pretty poor and, annoyingly, the GT doesn't have a standard 3.5mm jack, which would let you use your own cans. You could use an adaptor for the micro-USB socket, but LG doesn't include one in the box.
On the whole, the LG GT405 Viewty GT is a pretty decent handset. It's easy to use, offers a good range of features, and sports an above-average camera for a handset in this price bracket. But it's a shame LG didn't use a more responsive touchscreen and kit the phone out with a standard headphone jack.
Edited by Charles Kloet