Feb 19 AT 10:20 AM Anthony Domanico 51 Comments

LG officially unveils the Optimus Vu, its 5″ entry into the phablet market

optimus vu8

Not content simply waiting for their chance to shine at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, LG has sent out some official press shots and confirmed the spec sheet for the Optimus Vu superphone. With the Optimus Vu, LG hopes to steal some of the spotlight away from Samsung’s Galaxy Note, as the Optimus Vu will be the next device to blur the line between smartphone and tablet.

Specs on the Optimus Vu include:

  • 5″ IPS LCD display, with 1024 x 768 resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread (though, we suspect this may be running Android 4.0 soon after officially launching – LG promises within 3 months)
  • Stylus-input capable with stylus-friendly applications built in
  • 8 megapixel rear-camera likely to come with 1080p HD video capture
  • 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 650 nits brightness on the display, mirroring the super-bright display found in the ASUS Transformer Prime
  • 32 GB built-in storage (no word on microSD slot)

While we like that LG has decided to go with the potentially more svelte 5″ display (vs. the 5.3″ monster that is the Galaxy Note), the press shots in LG’s press release reveal a device that’s none too pleasing on the eyes. While the Galaxy Note brought us more of what we love, looking exactly like a bigger Galaxy S II, the LG Optimus Vu looks like a big, boring rectangle. It’s sad, really, as the LG G2x/Optimus 2X was one of my favorite looking phones with the chrome accent on the back of a gray-ish slab.

optimus vu8 Optimus Vu1 optimus vu3 optimus vu4 optimus vu5 optimus vu6 optimus vu7

Hopefully we’ll see the Optimus Vu get a bit of a facelift before it launches to the masses later this year. Anyone out there interested in the Optimus Vu? We’ll have some hands-on time with the Vu in Barcelona next week. To hold you over, check out the video LG leaked a few weeks ago below.

Show Press Release

LG UNVEILS UNIQUE 4:3 RATIO, 5-INCH OPTIMUS VU: AT MWC 2012
With Productivity in Mind, LG Demonstrates its LTE and Display
Leadership with Device that Does, Well, Everything

SEOUL, Feb. 19, 2012 — LG today unveiled one of the most anticipated LTE devices, the Optimus Vu:. Equipped with LG’s advanced LTE and IPS display technology, the Optimus Vu: offers a unique combination of tablet-like viewing with smartphone portability. Running on a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 32GM internal memory and a large 2,080 mAh battery, the Optimus Vu: is a multimedia lover’s dream device.

“The Optimus Vu: was designed to maximize what customers could do with a smart-phone,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. “By offering an optimal 4:3 ratio viewing experience, 5-inch display combined with superfast LTE technology, Optimus Vu: is just one example of what we can achieve when we combine our best technology with customer needs.”

The large 5-inch display with bright 4:3 aspect ratio makes viewing documents, books, internet and multimedia contents easier and more comfortable. The 4:3 aspect ratio is optimized for viewing to grasp more at a glance and note taking to increase productivity in everyday life. Moreover, IPS display realizes every color in its natural state for the best viewing experience even under bright sunlight.

Backed by unparalleled speed and performance from LG’s advanced LTE technology, the Optimus Vu: boasts unmatched productivity. Its unique built-in QuickClipâ„¢ hotkey allows users to conveniently capture screenshots and memos with a single push. Jotting notes is also possible with a finger or with the dedicated Rubberdiumâ„¢ pen. Among many productive apps installed in the Optimus Vu:, the included Polaris Office allows users to open any document, spreadsheet or presentation while on the go.

At only 8.5mm, the Optimus Vu: is the slimmest among all LTE phones currently on the market and is perfectly suited for a hand and fits comfortably in a jacket pocket. Despite the large 2,080mAh battery, the Optimus Vu: adopts LG’s exclusive floating mass technology to appear slimmer than its actual dimensions.

In addition to HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), Optimus Vu: comes with 32GB memory and an 8-megapixel camera. While it will initially launch running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is already in the works.

The Optimus Vu: will be introduced in Korea in March. Additional information on the unique Optimus Vu: can be found at the LG Stand (Hall 8) at MWC 2012 from February 27 to March 1.

Key Specifications:
Chipset: 1.5GHz Dual-Core Processor
Display: 5-inch (1024×768) IPS Display
Memory: 32GB eMMC and 1GB DDR2
Camera: 8MP with AF LED Flash (rear) and 1.3MP (front)
OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Battery: 2,080mAh
Dimension (L x W x D): 139.6 x 90.4 x 8.5mm

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • Julian Rafael1

    No. Just no. Why even make something like that? They could have had a winner there, but no. It’s a severely dumbed down X3 with a slightly larger screen. Waste of R&D and time.

    • Jeff Pan

      While I do appreciate the effort to do something different, it is extremely disappointing to see the design which they came up with!

      • heeros

        yea, I’d say it’s exceptionally ugly, and I don’t enjoy the 4:3 aspect ratio. It just looks too wide.

        • delinear

          Same here, I can’t understand the choice of ratio at all – it looks uncomfortable to hold and to look at it’s just odd. It will definitely stand out from other devices and be instantly recognisable, maybe that’s what they were going for.

      • RRR

        Well, its ugly, no doubt, but the problem is that its spec looks like as if LG fired its major innovating designer and hired some moron on crack

      • patrick

        what are you guys talking about? would you prefer another HTC design-is-if-it-looks-like-a-’99-kodak-dc260?
        i think the design is fresh, a bit nokia lumia style.
        i also like the idea of a 4:3 display, i doubt if it will be usable with one hand, but that remains to be seen…

    • slimx30

      couldn’t have said it any better myself

  • Owain

    Though it’s not to my taste, I doubt it will make it to European or American shelves anyway… It’ll do really well in Asia though I guess as there is real market for larger phones there and so long as you can put a customisable case on it they don’t give a shingle about aesthetics (which is the right approach if you ask me! :D)

    • RRR

      In 2012? With 1024 pixels screen on 5″ i doubt they will find any dumbo even in tundra

  • txbluesman

    I’m not sure I dig it.

  • Jorge Vieira

    Yeah I doubt they will release it in the US

  • Billy

    I really want to play with something like this. 5in sounds so huge …. but so did my GNex at 4.65 and its fine.

    • delinear

      The Note is bigger than this but is still comfortable to hold (I don’t have huge hands or anything and it still feels fine to me), however the 4:3 ratio looks like it would be difficult to find a decent grip (especially if some of that side of the case is taken up with buttons). I can imagine some serious cramp after prolonged use.

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

    The Galaxy Note does the 5.3″ screen so right.
    The LG Vu does it so, so wrong… seriously a 4:3 aspect ratio?

    • redraider133

      I agree. I think this would really be awkward to hold with its 4:3 ratio.

  • AsakuraZero

    i knew what made the device fugly it was the 4:3 ratio, plus that the design itself its. … no thanks.

    and gingerbread? seriously ? LG seriously? and you say 3 months of extra wait? that i n LG time its like never plus how much it will cost me to buy that? 699 out of contract? please no keep it

    • AsakuraZero

      btw that korean girl is cute, sadly she may have 2 pounds of make up

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

    I’m not sure if it’s just the 4:3 aspect ratio, the huge bezel, or the sharp corners on it… but this just looks so awkwardly bad.

  • Nathan D.

    I don’t Think so I rather go for HTC s3 or quad core phones then this at least they know what they are doing.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Nice specs, ugly as phone. On top of being ugly it’s LG, so most likely full of problems. Galaxy Note is way better.

  • comandantecee

    Good god I hope this isn’t the new trend for 2012..

  • Hall Lo

    I wonder why the Galaxy Note looks so much better than this…. LG your doing it wrong…

  • spazby

    The consensus is in and I have to say I share the same view

  • Ironzey Lewis

    I think we should really reconsider calling these things phones. For me the phone part of these devices was secondary now we are seeing these devices that are more screen-centric and the phone part is there but is not star of the show.

    Phablet? (yuck)
    Smart phone? (already been used)
    Superphone (you’re kidding right?)
    Personal Computer? (has baggage but I like it)

    What should we call these things.

  • honourbound68

    ouch.. this looks too wide… it’d look stupid as a phone.

  • Dirge

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t 4:3 the ratio of the old SD televisions?

    • thekaz

      yeah. This phone only gives you an SD output. You cannot see it from the angle of the pictures, but it is actually a CRT display, not a flat screen… ;)

      • Dirge

        And that bezel…and those sharp corners…*shudder*

        If it wasn’t for the color screen, I would’ve thought this was a product from the 90′s.

    • Maximo

      I think so

  • BigCiX

    I thought the galaxy note was ugly. This sh*t is horrible!

  • sere83

    lol, WTF? LG have lost the plot. Actually having a complete laugh. Who the hell do they thinks gonna buy this? They might as well just transfer some money into Apple and Samsungs bank accounts.

  • Anuj Singh Tomar

    not sure about the phone .. but girl is already famous on all blogs as same pic is available on every other tech site !!

  • cb2000a

    Come on LG! Too wide and corners that would cut pockets open!

  • Richard Yarrell

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • squiddy20

      Another stupid, utterly biased comment from none other than Dick Yarrell. Last I checked, the Galaxy Note was released with (and still has) Gingerbread too so your point is moot there. Pixel density is only *slightly* less than the Note, probably barely noticeable. Slightly lower resolution front camera on the Vu, but again, barely noticeable. The Vu has a slightly higher processor speed. Looking at the specs alone, it’s perfectly comparable to the Galaxy Note, despite what you so ignorantly want to believe. You really have become Samsung’s bitch, just like you were HTC’s. I can’t help but laugh at how “great” you think you are, despite your incompetence. Good job.

      • Dirge

        I hate to say it, but Richard is right. This…product has “flop” written all over it. You could tell LG didn’t think this one out. From what I gathered from the Press Release was that it has optimized app, rather than allowing for full digital pen input. It feels like more of a “Look! I have a pen too!” than “What they can do, I can do just as good if not better.”

        • squiddy20

          So what? The most I could see anyone using the pen input for is drawing in/on a drawing app, notes, and *maybe* some little doodles in various apps such as shown in the Galaxy Note’s Super Bowl ad. The only things that a pen can do better than the finger is drawing and notes, both of which I’m sure LG has those “optimized” apps for. Besides, you can’t really consider a product a “flop” A) if it hasn’t even been released yet, or B) because there’s only one “glaring” flaw among a whole slew of features. That’s like saying the Galaxy Nexus was a “flop” because of it’s early issues…

    • RichardGivesAndroidFansABadName

      Really? Here is you March 18th, 2011 “…It is highly doutful my friend that device will be the best on the market for 2011 guaranteed…These will be the best devices in 2011..1. Evo2, 2. Atrix4g. 3. Lg optimus 2x, Lg optimus 3d, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Stealth, Nuexus S4g, Then everyone else my friend”
      In the same thread, there was this,”… We will team up to ward off these VERIZON ASSWAD’S just look at all these JERK’s come out the woodwork”.
      “Glad we don’t have to worry about all that stuff. Htc Evo 3D will rule android in 2011 just like sprint”
      http://phandroid.com/2011/03/18/sprint-promises-exciting-android-announcements-at-ctia/

      All YOUR comments, along with a bunch of others in that thread alone. Now that you have a GNex, everything that says “Galaxy” in it “rules Android” and “pimp slaps” other inanimate objects. Of course, I know you like making yourself look stupid and have people berate and belittle you because of your mental issues, so I thought I’d just help you out:)
      By all means, project your issues on to me so that we may all laugh at you.You look like a raving idiot, and we get to laugh at your stupidity. It’s a win-win!

  • McLovin

    Battery? Repaceable or non replaceable?

  • kazahani

    I don’t know about their square phone, but LG gets some gorgeous girls to show them off!

  • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

    I am a fan of large screen phones, first the Dell Streak 5, and now the internatonal Note. Reserve judgement until I see / feel it; however, I do like viewing web pages in portrait mode. The 4:3 ratio may enhance portrait viewing.

  • Owain

    The amount of consumer choice in phones is fantastic, love Android.

  • Shadowlore

    Not tech related… but I keep seeing that same photo on all the blog sites I frequent.. and for some reason, the gal creeps me out…

  • Maximo

    Ugliest thing ever

  • nipunmehta7

    Phabelets are getting more common these days

  • jose415thekidd

    I do not believe this will make an impact in the big carriers. Its just nothing impressive.

  1. No. Just no. Why even make something like that? They could have had a winner there, but no. It’s a severely dumbed down X3 with a slightly larger screen. Waste of R&D and time.

    • While I do appreciate the effort to do something different, it is extremely disappointing to see the design which they came up with!

      • yea, I’d say it’s exceptionally ugly, and I don’t enjoy the 4:3 aspect ratio. It just looks too wide.

        • Same here, I can’t understand the choice of ratio at all – it looks uncomfortable to hold and to look at it’s just odd. It will definitely stand out from other devices and be instantly recognisable, maybe that’s what they were going for.

      • Well, its ugly, no doubt, but the problem is that its spec looks like as if LG fired its major innovating designer and hired some moron on crack

      • patrickGuest 3 years ago

        what are you guys talking about? would you prefer another HTC design-is-if-it-looks-like-a-’99-kodak-dc260?
        i think the design is fresh, a bit nokia lumia style.
        i also like the idea of a 4:3 display, i doubt if it will be usable with one hand, but that remains to be seen…

    • couldn’t have said it any better myself

  2. OwainGuest 3 years ago

    Though it’s not to my taste, I doubt it will make it to European or American shelves anyway… It’ll do really well in Asia though I guess as there is real market for larger phones there and so long as you can put a customisable case on it they don’t give a shingle about aesthetics (which is the right approach if you ask me! :D)

  3. I’m not sure I dig it.

  4. Yeah I doubt they will release it in the US

  5. I really want to play with something like this. 5in sounds so huge …. but so did my GNex at 4.65 and its fine.

    • The Note is bigger than this but is still comfortable to hold (I don’t have huge hands or anything and it still feels fine to me), however the 4:3 ratio looks like it would be difficult to find a decent grip (especially if some of that side of the case is taken up with buttons). I can imagine some serious cramp after prolonged use.

  6. The Galaxy Note does the 5.3″ screen so right.
    The LG Vu does it so, so wrong… seriously a 4:3 aspect ratio?

  7. i knew what made the device fugly it was the 4:3 ratio, plus that the design itself its. … no thanks.

    and gingerbread? seriously ? LG seriously? and you say 3 months of extra wait? that i n LG time its like never plus how much it will cost me to buy that? 699 out of contract? please no keep it

  8. I’m not sure if it’s just the 4:3 aspect ratio, the huge bezel, or the sharp corners on it… but this just looks so awkwardly bad.

  9. I don’t Think so I rather go for HTC s3 or quad core phones then this at least they know what they are doing.

  10. Nice specs, ugly as phone. On top of being ugly it’s LG, so most likely full of problems. Galaxy Note is way better.

  11. comandanteceeGuest 3 years ago

    Good god I hope this isn’t the new trend for 2012..

  12. I wonder why the Galaxy Note looks so much better than this…. LG your doing it wrong…

  13. The consensus is in and I have to say I share the same view

  14. I think we should really reconsider calling these things phones. For me the phone part of these devices was secondary now we are seeing these devices that are more screen-centric and the phone part is there but is not star of the show.

    Phablet? (yuck)
    Smart phone? (already been used)
    Superphone (you’re kidding right?)
    Personal Computer? (has baggage but I like it)

    What should we call these things.

  15. ouch.. this looks too wide… it’d look stupid as a phone.

  16. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t 4:3 the ratio of the old SD televisions?

  17. I thought the galaxy note was ugly. This sh*t is horrible!

  18. sere83Guest 3 years ago

    lol, WTF? LG have lost the plot. Actually having a complete laugh. Who the hell do they thinks gonna buy this? They might as well just transfer some money into Apple and Samsungs bank accounts.

  19. Anuj Singh TomarGuest 3 years ago

    not sure about the phone .. but girl is already famous on all blogs as same pic is available on every other tech site !!

  20. Come on LG! Too wide and corners that would cut pockets open!

  21. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • squiddy20Guest 3 years ago

      Another stupid, utterly biased comment from none other than Dick Yarrell. Last I checked, the Galaxy Note was released with (and still has) Gingerbread too so your point is moot there. Pixel density is only *slightly* less than the Note, probably barely noticeable. Slightly lower resolution front camera on the Vu, but again, barely noticeable. The Vu has a slightly higher processor speed. Looking at the specs alone, it’s perfectly comparable to the Galaxy Note, despite what you so ignorantly want to believe. You really have become Samsung’s bitch, just like you were HTC’s. I can’t help but laugh at how “great” you think you are, despite your incompetence. Good job.

      • I hate to say it, but Richard is right. This…product has “flop” written all over it. You could tell LG didn’t think this one out. From what I gathered from the Press Release was that it has optimized app, rather than allowing for full digital pen input. It feels like more of a “Look! I have a pen too!” than “What they can do, I can do just as good if not better.”

        • squiddy20Guest 3 years ago

          So what? The most I could see anyone using the pen input for is drawing in/on a drawing app, notes, and *maybe* some little doodles in various apps such as shown in the Galaxy Note’s Super Bowl ad. The only things that a pen can do better than the finger is drawing and notes, both of which I’m sure LG has those “optimized” apps for. Besides, you can’t really consider a product a “flop” A) if it hasn’t even been released yet, or B) because there’s only one “glaring” flaw among a whole slew of features. That’s like saying the Galaxy Nexus was a “flop” because of it’s early issues…

    • RichardGivesAndroidFansABadNameGuest 3 years ago

      Really? Here is you March 18th, 2011 “…It is highly doutful my friend that device will be the best on the market for 2011 guaranteed…These will be the best devices in 2011..1. Evo2, 2. Atrix4g. 3. Lg optimus 2x, Lg optimus 3d, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Stealth, Nuexus S4g, Then everyone else my friend”
      In the same thread, there was this,”… We will team up to ward off these VERIZON ASSWAD’S just look at all these JERK’s come out the woodwork”.
      “Glad we don’t have to worry about all that stuff. Htc Evo 3D will rule android in 2011 just like sprint”
      http://phandroid.com/2011/03/18/sprint-promises-exciting-android-announcements-at-ctia/

      All YOUR comments, along with a bunch of others in that thread alone. Now that you have a GNex, everything that says “Galaxy” in it “rules Android” and “pimp slaps” other inanimate objects. Of course, I know you like making yourself look stupid and have people berate and belittle you because of your mental issues, so I thought I’d just help you out:)
      By all means, project your issues on to me so that we may all laugh at you.You look like a raving idiot, and we get to laugh at your stupidity. It’s a win-win!

  22. Battery? Repaceable or non replaceable?

  23. I don’t know about their square phone, but LG gets some gorgeous girls to show them off!

  24. I am a fan of large screen phones, first the Dell Streak 5, and now the internatonal Note. Reserve judgement until I see / feel it; however, I do like viewing web pages in portrait mode. The 4:3 ratio may enhance portrait viewing.

  25. OwainGuest 3 years ago

    The amount of consumer choice in phones is fantastic, love Android.

  26. Not tech related… but I keep seeing that same photo on all the blog sites I frequent.. and for some reason, the gal creeps me out…

  27. Ugliest thing ever

  28. Phabelets are getting more common these days

  29. I do not believe this will make an impact in the big carriers. Its just nothing impressive.