LG unwraps Optimus One and Optimus Chic

LG Optimus smartphones running latest 2.2 "Froyo" version of Android

LG's Optimus Chic

LG's Optimus Chic

LG Australia has announced two new mid-range Android smartphones — the Optimus One and Optimus Chic — and both run the latest 2.2 "Froyo" version of Google's Android operating system.

Detailed at an Australian press event in Sydney that featured a live stream from the global launch in Seoul, the LG Optimus One ($349) will initially launch exclusive to Optus in October, while the Optimus Chic is stated for a Q1 2011 launch. LG says it is currently in discussions with carriers for the Optimus Chic, but has not yet confirmed any partnerships or pricing details.

The Optimus One will be one of the cheapest Android smartphones on the market, alongside the HTC Wildfire which is currently sold exclusively through Telstra.

The LG Optimus One is positioned as an entry-level Android device that is ideal for first time smartphone buyers. It features a 3.2in capacitive touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, FM radio, as well as GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Optimus Chic boasts largely the same feature set, but offers a better 5-megapixel camera. Neither of the smartphones has a camera flash.

Brad Reed, head of marketing in LG Australia's mobile division, said "both the Optimus One and Optimus Chic are midrange devices," but described the Optimus One as "more masculine." Both devices are largely unremarkable, but are the first low priced smartphones to run the Froyo version of Android in Australia. Froyo adds full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card, as well as a range of other improvements.

Among the LG exclusive features for both the Optimus One and Optimus Chic is App Advisor software that recommends 10 highly rated applications every two weeks, a slightly revamped LG user interface that allows you to group applications into categories, and a range of accessories including a car kit cradle and a matching Bluetooth headset.

The new Optimus devices follow the launch of LG's original Optimus smartphone in July. The original Optimus handset is currently sold through all Australian carriers. LG also revealed that the Optimus brand will cover multiple operating systems, suggesting an Optimus smartphone running Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 operating system is on the way.

LG also confirmed it was working on an Optimus tablet running Android, but didn't reveal a timeframe for its release.

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