We got to play with the upcoming Tegra 3-powered quad-core LG Optimus Vu two weeks ago. This is LG’s answer to the growing popularity of the Samsung Galaxy Note and does it in an unusual way.
Although the LG Optimus Vu has a 5-inch screen, it has a squarish 4:3 aspect ratio making it wider than most phones or phablets in the market. This form factor is unique and LG expects it to catch on once the Vu become widely available. Philippine launch will happen next week so availability is near.
Anyway we’re here to tell you some more about the Optimus Vu. Just like the Galaxy Note, this 5-incher also comes with a stylish looking flip-cover case covering the back and front.
Upon close inspection you will definitely see the similarities it has with other LG phones particularly the LG Prada 3.0 and LG Optimus 4X HD. It has the thin form with rounded chrome sides and symmetrical button/port placements.
A thing of note is that instead of the three Android Ice Cream Sandwich buttons, LG decided to go back with the four Android button layout – Back, Home, Task Manager, and Menu.
The back panel has that same Prada-ish texture called “Saffiano” leather that prevents fingerprints and at the same time gives traction when handling. The 8-megapixel camera sits on top left while on the right side you’ll find the covered microSIM slot in which you’ll need a pin to access. There’s no microSD slot here but the built-in 32GB internal storage should be enough for most people.
Since this phone is wide, you can barely close your grip on this phone although it’s not that hard to grasp with one hand. One-handed thumb-typing will be a challenge though.
There’s a stylus LG calls “Rubberdium” included in this phone (not shown) but the lack of any slot for the stylus makes it easy to forget about it. It’s quite useful though for the upgraded version of QuickMemo and the included Notebook app.
Powering the LG Optimus Vu is NVIDIA’s latest Tegra-3 quad-core processor running at 1.5GHz on each core or up to 1.7GHz on a single core. Along with 1GB of RAM, this phone is quite speedy and playing graphics-intensive games was a breeze thanks to the Tegra 3’s 12-core GeForce GPU.
The 4:3 aspect ratio works nice on regular smartphone functions like composing e-mails, browsing the net but looks odd on games and videos. Fortunately, there’s also an option to switch to a 16:9 aspect ratio when you want to.
The Optimus Vu is a pretty unique product from LG and it will be interesting to see how it will fare against the Galaxy Note. Unfortunately, with an SRP of Php28,000, we find it hard to sway Galaxy Note buyers to get this instead.