LG GC900 Viewty Smart review: S-class act
Connectivity is perfect
Wireless connectivity is complete on the LG Viewty Smart. Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE is on board and so is the HSDPA 7.2 Mbps.
The phone also supports the two local connectivity standards - Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The Bluetooth version is 2.1 with A2DP support for stereo streaming while the Wi-Fi antenna works with 802.11 b/g.
Wi-Fi options have a simple interface - you choose the desired network, type the pass key and voila. Of course there are plenty of advanced options available for the geeks out there.
The last and most important thing is that every installed Java application which requires internet access prompts you to choose between UMTS and Wi-Fi, which is a great option.
The proprietary universal connectivity port is used to connect the charger or a USB cable. Speaking of USB, Mass storage mode is also supported so you can use the phone as portable memory storage.
Similar to LG Arena, the Viewty Smart's internal memory gets listed as a second removable drive along with the memory card contents. We were also impressed that the Viewty Smart can even receive calls in this mode.
Synchronizing PIM details is done through the LG PC Suite that comes on the bundled CD.
An optional TV-out cable can also be plugged into the connectivity port as the Viewty Smart supports the feature. PAL and NTSC are supported, so it should work on most TV sets.
Slow browser with no Flash
The decent browser is identical to the LG Arena's. Unfortunately, scrolling and panning is not really that fluid. Thanks to the multi-touch implementation, the Viewty Smart delivers where other browsers fail - the legendary 'pinch' zoom of the iPhone (well, the Hero and Pre are going to have it too).
Loading speeds are not enviable either. Over Wi-Fi, the LG Viewty Smart browser takes twice the time to fully load a page than the iPhone's and you can't really pan around while the page is still loading.
The multi-touch zooming has been tweaked since the latest LG Prada phone, but not at all compared to the LG Arena. There still is a slight lag, though nothing major. It's not as fluid as the iPhone but still does an ok job.
The controls don't auto-hide and the only option to make them disappear is to turn on the full screen view from the browser menu or rotate the phone to landscape. There the accelerometer comes into play and does its job pretty well.
A useful feature is that you can have two pages open at the same time in tabs and switch back and forth between them. Saving pages for offline viewing is another thing that you'll probably use quite often.
Another handy browser skill is searching web pages for specific words - the first match gets highlighted and the total number of matches is displayed with up and down buttons to scroll them.
A visual enhancement of the plain browsing history list is the option to view snapshots of the pages you've visited. You can flick between the pages and tap to open the one you are looking for.
Unfortunately, desktop YouTube watching is a no-go, as the browser lacks full Flash support. But, as we already pointed out in the video section of this review, you can go for the mobile version of YouTube found at m.youtube.com once you setup your streaming settings.
We also tried the Opera Mini browser and it just flies. It's very fast loading pages, zooming or scrolling them, there is also a nice integrated RSS reader. We managed to find a version without the Java touch-dedicated controls and it worked fine. There is no multi-touch in this one, but if you a want speed, then Opera Mini is the way to go for now.