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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all with Project Treble
- Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone
- Low-cost Android phones to get iPhone features with new Qualcomm chips
- Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear
- Apple's next iPhones may cut corners on memory due to price squeeze
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- FTDesktop Support OfficerSA
- FTBusiness Analyst - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTBI Developers - 4 positionsQLD
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerVIC
- FTNetwork Deployment ManagerVIC
- FTSenior DBANSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- FTInformation Security ArchitectQLD
- FT.NET DeveloperWA
- FTPrincipal Consultant / Account Delivery Executive.NSW
- TPSenior Web Developer/Consultant - ServiceNowNSW
- FTWeb Developer - Full Stack - VR 3D WebGLNSW
- CCJava / J2EE DeveloperVIC
- CCXML DeveloperVIC
- CCState-wide Business Transition LeadQLD
- FTSenior System EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Network EngineerNSW
- CCPega DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Web DeveloperQLD
- TPSoftware Engineer / DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Front End Developer - BRISBANEWA
- TPProject Manager - SOE / Office 365VIC
- FTSystems EngineerNSW