Hands-on with the LG KU990 Smart Phone (Verdict: Definitely Not an iPhone Killer)

IMG_0399.JPGHere's the LG KU990 Viewty (will I ever get used to that name?) in the flesh at IFA. The camera may pack a 5 Megapixel camera punch but the phone itself leaves a lot to be desired, especially when compared to you know what. It's got some nice ideas, like the lens rim functioning as both a manual focus and a click wheel, but after playing with it, we have to say it looks incredibly badly executed.


You saw what Mark said about the click wheel/lens rim: it just doesn't feel right and it doesn't work as you would expect a click-wheel to work.

LG's PR told us that the phone was "almost perfect" and only a little bit of the design may change for the production. Not the click wheel, though. He said that the phone may be a little bit thinner. Another problem with the phone was the speed. Really slow and stuttering when you compare it to the smooth-as-a-hot-knife-through-butter iPhone user interface.

The touchscreen wasn't impressive either. While demonstrating the Graffiti-like writing recognition, we asked specifically if you needed a stylus or not. The answer: yes. Yet, it seemed like they were trying to make it look like an iPhone alternative by demonstrating writing with their finger. As you can see by LG hostess Scarlet von Hardenberg (yep, that was her name) trying to use her nail as a stylus in the gallery, the experience is not as nice as using an iPhone. In fact, it looked quite painful.

The interface looked confusing when doing many operations, and it clearly wasn't designed for touch-based operations with your fingers. Small interface elements, as you can see in the video, made it quite difficult to use.

Sadly, and even counting its 5-megapixel camera, the LG KU990 can't compare in speed, user interface and overall experience with the JesusPhone. We don't know about the price yet, though, but from here it doesn't look it's going to be a bargain.

In other words: we were hoping this phone to be a worthy competitor to the iPhone, and our impression has been a complete letdown.

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