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 PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Xiaomi planning second version of its revolutionary Mi Mix ‘bezel-less’ phone
- 5G progress at Ericsson could help enterprises work worldwide
- Apple smartphones outsold Samsung's in Q4
- Apple joins Wireless Power Consortium, charging up iPhone 8 rumor
- Google might be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- TPProject ManagerOther
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)WA
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- TPSenior IT Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)VIC
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- CCSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- CCPerformance Test AnalystQLD
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- TPInstructional Designer | DETQLD
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW