updated 07:44 am EDT, Mon August 20, 2012
LG takes on Galaxy Note in the 'phablet' segment
LG is taking the Optimus Vu, its would-be Galaxy Note contender, global. 'Select' markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America will be the first outside Korea and Japan to get their wrapped around its squat body, courtesy of its large 5-inch 4:3 aspect ratio IPS display. For the global rollout, the device will pick up a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, but will lose its LTE capability in the process.
The 'phablet' will ship with Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" loaded, while it will also ship with 32GB of onboard storage. The Optimus Vu will also pack an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera. According to LG CEO Dr. Jong-seok Park, "The different form factor makes [the] Optimus Vu unique even in the 5-inch smartphone category which we expect will catch on once they become more widely available."
While it uses an unusual aspect ratio to differentiate itself from the Galaxy Note, it does not utilize pen input. When we went hands-on with the device at the Mobile World Congress in February, we thought that it worked reasonably well when used with two hands, but found it quite awkward to make calls one-handed. Despite this, LG reports that since its launch in March, the company has already shifted over 500,000 units in just the two markets where it has been on sale.