May 16 AT 8:01 AM Anthony Domanico 17 Comments

LG unveils new Optimus UI 3, promises to be unobtrusive and simple

optimus ui 3 post image

By now, you probably know that I’m not exactly the biggest fan of custom UI overlays. Sure, I totally understand why they exist, and how various features from these skins pave the way for new and great things to come from Google. But that doesn’t change the fact that three different people walking down the street can have three completely different Android experiences, which ultimately makes a large headache for developers trying to create an application that reaches all of them.

LG has sent us a press release this morning about their new LG Optimus 3 overlay. I’ve tried nearly every single UI overlay out on the market today, and have continually placed LG near the bottom on my preferred list. Google’s stock Android is always first, followed very distantly by HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s Touchwiz, then distantly again by LG’s UI and MotoBLUR (or, whatever the heck they’re calling it now).

With the Optimus 3 overlay, LG promises a skin that is unobtrusive and simple to use. Sure, judging from the few pictures they’ve sent along, it does look like a toned-down version of LG’s Optimus UI, but it still has enough changes to the stock Android experience to leave a sour taste in my mouth. Granted, my annoyances with Optimus UI’s app launcher can easily be fixed with a launcher replacement (which, I’d recommend you do immediately after powering on your LG device), changes to the notification bar and some of the included widgets are much more difficult, if not impossible, to change.

I’ll hold off full judgement on LG’s Optimus UI until I have a chance to get my hands on the Optimus 4X HD to test for myself. One thing I can say for sure, however, I definitely long for the day when there are multiple Nexus devices to choose from on multiple carriers.

optimus ui 1 optimus ui 2 optimus ui 3 optimus ui 4

Show Press Release

New User Interface Makes the LG Smartphone Experience
Faster, Simpler, More Convenient

SEOUL, May 16, 2012 — LG Electronics (LG) is introducing a new User Interface (UI) for its newest Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices, aptly named Optimus UI 3.0. Optimus UI 3.0 brings with it an array of enhanced key features, including Quick Memoâ„¢ and unique unlock functions, among other new features and functions aimed at improving LG smartphone experience.

“With smartphone hardware becoming more and more similar, it’s important for manufacturers to differentiate their products from the competition through the user interface,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Both carriers and customers tell us that they want LG phones to look and feel unique and the UI plays a big part in that. LG is really going to push the boundaries of what is possible in user interfaces starting with Optimus UI 3.0.”

Optimus UI 3.0 is designed with convenience and speed in mind. A powerful memo function called Quick Memoâ„¢ enables users to jot notes on the screen using a finger. Quick Memoâ„¢ in Optimus UI 3.0 allows users to share their thoughts through social networks, text messages and e-mails more conveniently than ever before.

Other new features include:

– the ability to unlock the phone by dragging anywhere on the screen;
– a new Pattern Lock that allows users to preset the most frequently used function, such as the camera, which automatically opens once the phone is unlocked;
– a simpler version of Optimus UI 3.0 for new smartphone users which organizes the main applications so that they are the easiest to access;
– a new Voice Shutter that allows users to capture photos using only voice commands;
– a special camera feature that enables users to pick up the best shot among multiple images including the moment just before the shutter button is depressed;
– an Icon Customizer that provides an additional level of personalization by allowing users to set their own photos as icons and shortcut images;
– the addition of a Download category to the menu for easier organization.

Optimus UI 3.0 will debut on the LG Optimus LTE II launching this week in Korea, followed by LG Optimus 4X HD in June.

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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  • Legend

    Never been an LG fan but good to see they are waking up to their, in my opinion, awful UI.

  • B2L

    Looks like LG is trying a little too hard to be like Samsung. LG’s UI looks almost identical to Touchwiz.

    • jonathan3579

      While I do agree with you, it also seems they retained a fair amount of ICS elements in the notification bar which is easily the most difficult aspect to change without rooting or loading a custom ROM.

  • droilfade

    It would be OK if it’s just the launcher and the app drawer. I could get a custom launcher (ADW FTW!) and change it. But, I hate how the manufacturers change every aspect of the phone from clock to settings. This takes away even the little uniformity left and that’s why the three stooges walking down the street are all confused!

  • Derek R-C

    Disagree with your reasoning behind reason for manufacturers putting in custom UIs. Instead of the manufacturers creating the UIs, they should be made and put on the android market.

    This is the whole point of open source, let the people decide not the manufacturers.

    • droilfade

      But isn’t the UI the place where the manufacturers can differentiate! The hardware for sure…but all Samsungs have Touchwiz all HTCs- Sense. I think it helps them build the brand! If they put on the Market..then a HTC phone can run Touchwiz and a Samsung can run Sense…which I’m sure is not what the manufacturers want!

  • Matt

    Man she is stacked!! Focus people focus..

    • Joel

      OMG!…I totally missed the point of the pic..I feel so stupid.

      • Deli

        to go with huge phones, they got a girl with huge…….

        too bad these girls don’t have nametags.

  • Joel

    Its good news that OEMs are actually listening to comments about their UIs. Both HTC and now LG have made some seemingly good changes this year. But Anthony I couldnt agree with you more…So far nothing beats Stock Google…its just…so….right!

  • Nathan D.

    And their UI still sucks if you ask me.

  • masterpfa

    I personally like Asus’s take on things, on the whole a stock Android experience with a few choice additions.

    I agree with the OP Stock is by far and away the best experience with everyone having the option to choose how their phone is set up.

  • spazby

    i know a few people who have LG phones and they are all regretting that decision….

    • Minkiu

      Same here… every time I read an LG new it’s like: ” yes sure.. i don’t care.. ” jaja

  • DroidRocka

    She has some big ole hangers woooo oh yea nice phone LG

  • Aaron_301

    Kill it with fire (LG android phones and their UI)

  • Timmy

    Nice racks, LG… Good job!!! \\(.)(.)//