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LG KU990 Viewty cameraphone

Give a phone a touchscreen and suddenly everyone's interested

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The menu system doesn’t take much getting used to at all, but it's not all plain sailing. Users may initially have a job working out when the scroll bar at the side of the screen can and can’t be used, for example. For some menu options and applications you need to use the jog wheel on the back of the phone to scroll through menus rather than moving your finger on the screen. Unless you’re an instruction book junkie, you won't necessarily know which to use and when.

Although there’s an element of this trial and error exploration with any new phone, some functions where the scrolling isn’t integrated fully – like text message writing – can be frustrating. And the positioning of the finger-controlled jog wheel on the back of the phone makes it less ergonomically agreeable than a side-mounted thumb-wheel alternative.

LG KU990 Viewty mobile phone
A good platform for video playback

Speaking of messaging, LG has delivered several text input options, including handwriting recognition, a virtual Qwerty keyboard and a regular phone texting numberpad. Handwriting recognition ranks among those love-it-or-hate-it features, but with practice it seemed successful with our (admittedly poor) scrawl.

The Qwerty keyboard worked pleasingly too after we’d got into the swing of it. The letters are pretty small but enlarge when you tap them, kind of iPhone-fashion, so you can see that you’ve connected with the correct key. In addition to text and MMS messaging, the Viewty does email. Attachments can be viewed on the superb, fast-operating Picsel-sourced document viewer.

The KU990 has a very capable music player inside that offers decent quality playback and a good looking and straightforward user interface. Shame about the lack of a standard headphone socket, but stereo Bluetooth is ready to use if you have a pair of wireless headphones. You can listen to music through the speaker, but it’s as limited as mobile speakers usually are. The handset has an FM radio too.

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