We've already put the LG S-class user interface through its paces back in our LG Arena review and we are pleased with the snappiness and visuals of the new thumbable UI. The LG Viewty Smart runs the same S-class thing and is identical to what we saw on the Arena.
LG has got it quite right and the visuals of the new interface are spectacular - everything from homescreen to dropdown menus rolls, sweeps in, unfolds and revolves extra smoothly with a responsiveness that implies some heavy graphics acceleration.
There are four homescreens and they break down the homescreen UI to four easily manageable chunks: widgets, contacts, shortcuts and multimedia.
No matter which homescreen you choose the UI never skimps on eye candy - smooth animations, reflections, 3D spatial effects, motion blurring - it's all there for your viewing pleasure.
Not very practical, but surely eye catching interface feature is the Cube. The Cube is an interactive 3D element that has the four aforementioned homescreens as its sides. Selecting a side, zooms it in nice and smoothly until it fills the screen.
To start the Cube interface, you only need to press on the dedicated left side key.
The Viewty Smart main menu is accessible via the dedicated shortcut on the home screen. It has an unusual layout of four rows of menu items, which are scrollable horizontally. That way almost all menu items are accessible simultaneously without jumping from tab to tab.
Even better, if you turn the phone sideways, the menu items are all visualized with smaller icons fitting the screen perfectly with no need for scrolling (but with no text labels as well).
LG Viewty Smart again has a multitasking menu (a basic task manager). The active apps are signified by the respective icon bouncing up and down in smooth animation. To start the multitasking menu, you need to keep the Cube launcher key pressed for a little longer.
Quite naturally, the LG GC900 Viewty Smart offers an onscreen alphanumeric keypad in portrait orientation and a landscape QWERTY thumboard. The QWERTY keys are smallish but each symbol you tap is clearly marked by iPhone-style pop-ups.
Truth be told we got used to typing on the QWERTY keyboard quite fast despite the general criticism by many users. More than often it's even more accurate than the iPhone one when used on a daily basis.
Moving your cursor through the text is also a breeze. You can either tap on place of the screen where you want your cursor, or if you need more precision, a longer press over the cursor activates a virtual loupe that allows you to move it around more accurately character by character (think iPhone style).
Copying and pasting is always available.
LG Viewty Smart offers two gallery modes depending on the handset's orientation. In portrait mode images and videos are displayed in a grid while in landscape mode one image is displayed in the center and two more by its side in an impressive 3D spatial view.
The Viewty 2 also supports multi-touch, so you can zoom in images with the pinching gesture well known from Apple's handset. A note is due here though, LG have still not got the fluidity of the pinch zooming as far as Apple.
The LG Viewty Smart music player is accessible both from the Cube interface as well as from the main menu. The homescreen music player is rather basic but it does the job of quick access to the playing music.
The tracks are displayed on a rotating reel and get visualized with their album artwork "printed" on virtual vinyl records.
The full-featured music player sits in the main menu. You can sort tracks by artist, album, genre and your rating. The current track's artwork, name, album and artist are displayed in the screen's center while the next and previous track are visible at the top and bottom of the screen.
There are tons of equalizer presets (all non-customizable, though). Dolby for Mobile sound enhancement is among them. With Dolby Mobile selected the sound gets more spacious and richer - it's best perceived on headphones.
The LG Viewty Smart comes with a relatively large touch screen (especially for a device of that size) measuring good 3". That, along with the DivX/XviD video support turns it into a potentially excellent portable video player - especially considering the good track record. The LG Renoir, for instance, managed to play every desktop XViD/DivX video we threw at it.
Unfortunately, that's not the case with LG Arena or LG Viewty Smart as it turned out. The only DivX videos we managed to play where those converted through the DivX converter on the supplied CD and they have a maximum resolution of 320 x 240 pixels (QVGA).
Unlike the LG Renoir, with the LG Viewty Smart the Dolby for Mobile sound enhancement can be turned on during video playback as well.