We've just seen LG's new super-sized smartphone, a five-inch behemoth that's going head to head with the original Samsung Galaxy Note.
Announced before Mobile World Congress kicked off, the Optmus Vu offers a similar USP – a highly responsive touch-screen that works with a capacitive stylus to allow pen-and-paper style note and image annotating.
We got some time to take photos and preview the device for you:
Fronting the Optimus Vu is an IPS display that offers brilliant clarity and bright, sharp colours. Its five-inch corner to corner measurement is set in a 4:3 ratio screen, resulting in a squarer, more squat device than the Samsung Galaxy Note, which, like most smartphones, carries a 16:9 widescreen display to better display movies.
Navigation was quick and light though, its dual-core 1.5GHz chip keeping things running at a hum. (For comparison's sake, the original Galaxy Note packed a dual-core 1GHz chip – but Samsung's already upped its game with the Galaxy Note 10.1.)
A textured plastic back is smooth in the hand, and helps it feel light yet sturdy. Unfortunately, this LTE-supporting device won't be ranged in the UK.
The eight-megapixel snapper had a dual-LED flash and in our quick test, had a quick shutter speed, producing sharp, clear photos. Impressively, there's also a larger, 2,080mAh battery that will help power that brilliant screen for longer, plus 1GB RAM and 32GB storage, all in a device that's only 8.5mm thick.
LG calls the stylus a Rubberdium pen – its soft, rounded tip works with the touch-screen to allow navigation by stylus, as well as handwriting and drawing in the Notepad app. There's also a QuickClick button at the top of the Vu to take an instant screengrab, which you can then mark up using the stylus – or indeed, your finger.
Actually writing in it is a little odd though. We fired up the Notepad app and were confronted with three options for Text, Handwriting or Drawing (see the icons at the top of the screen). Selecting Handwriting meant we wrote in the little box, hitting the right-pointing arrow every time we moved on to a new word or phrase. It meant the resultant writing looked like this:
The screen is very responsive and the stylus works beautifully with it, and we suspect it is marking up images where this niche product could, well, find its niche.
In terms of its size, though 4.7-inch smartphones are becoming if not the norm, then normal, a five-incher with 4:3 feels large – one-handed use is pretty tough. There's also the fact that the Optimus Vu launches on Android Gingerbread, though LG has promised an Ice Cream Sandwich update within a few months.
The Optimus Vu is a polarising device, and it seems as though it will find its audience in people who want a tablet, but don't actually want to carry a separate device in addition to their smartphone.
Price and availability TBC.
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