LG Optimus Vu Android phone (preview)

LG Optimus Vu preview: Is it a big smartphone or a small tablet?

LG Optimus Vu
  • LG Optimus Vu
  • LG Optimus Vu
  • LG Optimus Vu
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated

Pros

  • Huge 5in screen
  • Just 8.5mm thick
  • Rubberdium pen

Cons

  • Extremely wide
  • Screen has odd aspect ratio
  • No worldwide model just yet

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

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 shows off 5.5-inch Optimus Vu
Samsung Galaxy Note review
LG Optimus L3 preview

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.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?