LG Optimus Vu Android phone (preview)
LG Optimus Vu preview: Is it a big smartphone or a small tablet?
- Huge 5in screen
- Just 8.5mm thick
- Rubberdium pen
- Extremely wide
- Screen has odd aspect ratio
- No worldwide model just yet
With an extremely wide screen aspect ratio of 4:3, the LG Optimus Vu is definitely a contender for the oddest phone of 2012. Its huge 5in screen may prove to be handy for digital note taking, but it remains to be seen whether the odd shape of the Optimus Vu will be a selling point or a hindrance.
Is it a large smartphone or a small tablet? Officially, LG says its new Optimus Vu is a big smartphone. A very big one. With a huge 5in screen and an odd design that's extremely wide, the Optimus Vu will go head-to-head against the Samsung Galaxy Note in 2012.
LG says the Optimus Vu "offers a unique combination of tablet-like viewing with smartphone portability". In other words, the company doesn't really know if people will use this primarily as a phone or a tablet. This is a similar view Samsung took when it unveiled the 5.3in Galaxy Note, saying it was an all-in-one device and not just a smartphone or a tablet. The Optimus Vu certainly comes at an interesting time: Samsung has just announced it has sold over 2 million Galaxy Note devices worldwide and is aiming to sell 10 million by the end of this year. Not bad for what most would consider a niche device.
The LG Optimus Vu will naturally draw comparisons with the Galaxy Note, but this is a very different device for one particular reason: the 5in screen has an odd 4:3 aspect ratio. This means it is extremely wide. In fact, its the widest Android phone that has ever been released. LG says it chose this aspect ratio because it makes viewing documents, books, Internet and multimedia content easier and "more comfortable." We're not so sure this is the truth: in our view the Galaxy Note is a great device for reading despite having a far more conventional aspect ratio.
Measuring a whopping 90.4mm wide the Optimus Vu may be far too wide to use comfortably, though we can only wait until we get our hands on it to judge. LG does deserve some credit for its design — the Optimus Vu is just 8.5mm thick, which is a great achievement when you consider the odd-screen size and the sheer footprint.
One of the key features of the Galaxy Note is Samsung's "S-Pen" stylus, which allows users to write notes on the screen. The Optimus Vu's does have a stylus but from the images LG has released, there doesn't appear to be a spot in the phone to store it. Further, the stylus (or "Rubberdium pen" as LG officially calls it) is just a regular, capacitive stylus, whereas Samsung's effort on the Galaxy Note utilises specially developed Wacom technology. Most of the video demos LG has released have shown users drawing on the screen with their finger rather than the stylus.
The LG Optimus Vu is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for extra storage. Despite an odd aspect ratio, the IPS display has a resolution of 1024x768, which should make for crisp text. Other features include an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera and a large 2080mAh battery.
Disappointingly, the Optimus Vu will initially launch running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, though LG insists that an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is "already in the works." The software on the Optimus Vu will include a number of LG exclusive features including a "QuickClip hotkey" at the top of the device that will bring up a menu to capture screenshots, draw on them and share through multiple sources.
The Optimus Vu will initially launch in Korea in March as an LTE (4G) device, though LG is expected to eventually release a worldwide model in the near future.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Synology DS216+ Review
- 3 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 4 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 5 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Samsung files artificial muscle patent for use in flexible smartphones
- The affordable new Moto E grows in size, but not price
- Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 is now the company's fastest mobile chip
- Snapchat launches Memories so you can save and search for past stories
- RIP: The BlackBerry Classic and its iconic keyboard is dead
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCSenior Deployment ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Tester - Automation / Telecommunications (Urgent)NSW
- CCStrategic Business AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - CloudVIC
- CCIteration Manager/Project ManagerVIC
- CCService Lead - Cloud hosting and storageNSW
- FTData AnalystACT
- CCReport Business Analyst- BI, Oracle, SAP, TableauNSW
- CCData Entry - TelecommunicationsNSW
- CCSolutions ArchitectQLD
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- CC.NET DeveloperQLD
- CCEnvironment ManagerVIC
- CCDigital Project Manager, AgileNSW
- FTProgram Master SchedulerVIC
- CCPeoplsoft Technical SupportACT
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- FTFull-Stack .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTNetwork Infrastructure SpecialistSA
- FTDesktop EngineerNSW
- CCEnvironment Support AnalystQLD
- CCProject Manager, Credit CardsNSW
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL/Web) 160719/P/741Asia
- CCFull Stack Java DeveloperNSW