As we all know, one of the finest axioms of competition is “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” And that is exactly what LG is doing. Not waiting for the Mobile World Congress(MWC) which is just a week away, LG has announced the Optimus Vu, a stylus-bearing phablet with a 5-inch 1024×768 IPS display, 1.5Ghz dual-core processor courtesy of Qualcomm, a 8MP rear camera, LTE support, and a substantial 32GB of internal storage.
The ‘me-too’ copycatting of the Galaxy Note is painfully obvious here, and frankly I think I like the Note better. While the Vu—derived from, and pronounced something like “view”—does have a .1GHz edge on the Note, it’s missing an extra .3-inches of screen real estate, comes out on the wrong end of a significant resolution difference—the Note featuring 1280×800—and has almost 500mAh less battery power.
It will be interesting to see how this more squarish phablet fares. The Note had a lot of people yelling doomsday predictions, and yet has done rather famously. The Vu is a slightly different spin on the form-factor, and has already been announced for a March launch on LG+ and SK Telecom. Pricing is AWOL right now, and while the phone will be launching with Gingerbread, ICS is promised to be pushed to the device by the middle of summer.
[LG via The Verge]
LG has announced a new branding effort and logo for its Optimus line. LG has a lot of phones, but has lately been trying to push the Optimus brand to be known as a premium smartphone brand, be it Windows Phone or Android. In a short press release yesterday, the company based in Seoul, South Korea announced the above new logo, which also represents a new design aesthetic.
LG isn’t calling this a rebranding—the name isn’t even changing after all—rather a “renewing” of the incumbent Optimus brand, which has done well for LG so far. The new aesthetic isn’t all that radical either, touting “metallic edges and slim shape.” Now there’s a ground-breaking design-or not.
I don’t know about you, but while the look of the phone does matter, it rarely influences my buying decisions. I’m more interested in the “live demo of the new smartphones…at MWC” that was mentioned, almost as an afterthought. Either way, I think this is one more reason to get at least a little bit excited for what the Mobile World Congress (MWC) will bring us in less than two weeks.
[LG via TechnologyTell]
LG is returning to Windows Phone with a Miracle, according to reports. A new image of the device, accompanied by some mid-range specs, has leaked online, providing additional details about the previously-rumored LG Fantasy.
The South Korean conglomerate was one of Microsoft’s Windows Phone launch partners in late-2010. Its initial offering, the LG Quantum, was a decent device, featuring a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3.5-inch screen, and 16GB of internal memory. Unfortunately, the somewhat bulky device just couldn’t compete with the competition–namely, the original Samsung Focus.
The LG Miracle certainly isn’t aiming to go up against the Nokia Lumia 900, but it’s a nice improvement over its predecessor and it looks much better. It’s rumored to come with a brilliant 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5MP camera with 720p video, and 8GB of internal memory. A VGA camera now graces the front of the device, ready to take full advantage of features found in Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango.”
The most intriguing part of this rumor is support for NFC, a feature not currently found in the Windows Phone OS. Will the device somehow support NFC at launch, or has LG added the hardware in preparation for the release of Windows Phone 8 “Apollo” this fall? The latter might be a logical move for LG if it wants to keep up with the competition while only releasing one device over the next year.
Either way, we should find out soon, as the device will supposedly be released this spring. Hopefully we’ll get some official information at World Mobile Congress, which is taking place in Barcelona at the end of the month.
The LG Spectrum is a case study in how not to handle secrets before a major trade show. The entire press release was leaked a week ahead of schedule, completely preempting the official CES announcement. But, that doesn’t change the fact that Verizon is getting an awesome new top-tier device tomorrow, January 19. The Spectrum from LG has 4G LTE on board—as almost all of Verizon’s smartphones will have this year—and is rocking a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor.
It also includes the following list of goodies:
- 4.5″ True HD IPS display, protected by Gorilla Glass
- 8MP, 1080p rear camera
- 1.3MP front camera
- 1GB of RAM
- 4GB of on-board storage, 16GB micro SD card pre-installed
- 1830mAh battery
- Bluetooth 3.0
- WiFi-including Direct Connect
- Dimensions: 5.33″ x 2.71″ x .41″
- Weight: 4.99 oz.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread with SWYPE will be on-board at launch, though it’s sure to get an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich before long. Also, there will be an additional 3000mAh battery available for an unspecified premium. All of this technological glory can be yours for only $199.99 and two years of your life. Not bad, not bad at all.
[The Verge | Droid Life]
The electronics giant LG has announced that its high-end Optimus smartphones will be receiving the newest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). What LG hasn’t told us is when we can expect to see these phones updated. LG did state that we will receive an announcement sometime this month detailing the schedule for these device updates and at that time it will also add other models to the upgrade list.
“LG confirms today that the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS will be initially available for the following high-end LG smartphones which were introduced this year: the Optimus 2X, the Optimus Black, the Optimus 3D and the Optimus LTE.
We are also continuing to evaluate the ICS OS to determine whether it is compatible with the functionality, features, and performance of other LG smartphones to make the ICS OS available on as many LG smartphones as possible.”
The LG Nitro HD—which is an AT&T rebranded version of the Optimus LTE—has also been slated for an ICS upgrade, but as far as we know it will ship with Gingerbread when it hits stores on December 4.
With this release LG is following in the footsteps of Sony Ericsson and HTC. Sony Ericsson has already announced that its entire 2011 Xperia device lineup will be recieving ICS, and HTC has announced that its HTC Vivid, Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation XE, Rezound, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G and Amaze 4G will also be getting ICS. All three manufactures have so far been reluctant to even give us any dates for their upgrades.
[LG via Android Headlines]
LG’s latest Android device is what you might get if you merged the features of a modern smartphone with the look of the Nintendo DS. The phone, fittingly dubbed the LG DoublePlay, features a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard split around a secondary 2-inch LCD. The sub screen lends a lot of flexibility to the device, allowing the user to perform two separate tasks at the same time. Or, optionally, just use the two displays together for additional screen real estate.
The LG DoublePlay runs Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” and is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. A 5MP rear-facing camera with dual LED flash and support for 720p video sits opposite the device’s 3.5-inch primary display. The amount of internal storage and RAM were not revealed in the press release.
T-Mobile will have the device on its network sometime in the near future, but the exact release date and price tag haven’t been disclosed yet. The LG DoublePlay is an intriguing device, despite its relatively low specs. The dual-screen design makes for a very unique device indeed.
[PRNewsWire via Engadget]
Second generation Windows Phone handsets, running the Mango update, are slowly making their way to wireless carriers. One of the first devices to be widely available, aside from the Japan-exclusive Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T, is the LG 9606, a designer handset from Jil Sander’s German fashion house.
The handset goes on sale today (October 7) in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. As previously reported, the LG Jil Sander will include a 3.8-inch WVGA display, 1GHz processor, and 5MP camera with flash and 720p video. Essentially, it’s a Mango version of the LG Optimus 7. Pocket-lint notes that these are pretty good specs for a “fashion phone,” which often choose form over function.
The stylish handset also comes with a case and premium headphones which, as one might expect, perfectly coordinate with the phone. The device also comes pre-loaded with exclusive apps which tie into Jil Sander’s other properties.
The specs for yet another Windows Phone handset from Nokia, the “Sun,” hit the internet this week. The device will supposedly include a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen, 1.4GHz processor, 8MP camera, and 16GB of internal memory. The handset will run Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” and it will be encased in a unibody polycarbonate shell. It will also support micro-SIM cards.
Nokia’s Sun joins the Finnish manufacturer’s Ace, Sea Ray, and Sabre handsets. Most, if not all, of these devices are expected to be announced at the Nokia World conference on October 26. The Sun is rumored to hit stores sometime between November 7 and 13.
LG’s next Windows Phone has also passed the FCC. Not much is known about the LG LS831 at this point, but it will support CDMA networks and run Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango.” This is great news for Sprint and Verizon customers, since there aren’t many CDMA Windows Phones currently on the market.
The Nokia “Lumia” 800 and Samsung Monument device names were also uncovered, but they could be anything from brand new phones to codenames for existing devices.
[Mon Windows Phone via WinRumors | BlogOfMobile via WPCentral]
A leaked T-Mobile roadmap has revealed some very interesting information about the network’s fall device lineup. The company also officially announced the specs for the next generation myTouch handsets on Wednesday.
The device roadmap kicks off with mid-October launches for the HTC Amaze 4G (codenamed “Ruby”) and Samsung Galaxy S II (codenamed ”Hercules”). The release dates on the roadmap are incorrect, but the two handsets will indeed launch in October for $259 and $229 respectively. The Huawei “Wayne” will hit T-Mobile on October 19 for $99. Of course, the prices for all three Android devices factor in a $50 a mail-in rebate.
November 2 will be T-Mobile’s biggest day, ushering in the launch of the HTC Radar 4G Windows Phone for $199. Also set for release are the LG Flip II at $149 and the Samsung “Ancora” at $99, which TmoNews believes might be the successor to the Samsung Exhibit 4G or the next Samsung Galaxy phone.
The LG myTouch (“codenamed Maxx”) and myTouch Q (codenamed “Maxx Touch”) will also be released on November 2. Both Android handsets, which were officially announced this afternoon, will include a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 5MP camera, and 4G network speeds. The myTouch will sport a 3.5-inch screen, while the myTouch Q will have a slightly larger 3.8-inch display.
Last, but not least, is the BlackBerry Torch 9860 (codenamed RIM “Dumoine”), which is scheduled to hit T-Mobile stores on November 9 for an as-yet undetermined price.
[TmoNews via enConnected | Engadget]
Microsoft and its partners just won’t let up, and we mean this in the nicest way. The latest handset in a long line of device announcements–which are becoming difficult to count–comes from LG. It’s the oddly named LG Jil Sander, based on the German fashion house by the same name.
The device is very similar to the LG Optimus 7 (e900), which was released last year. The phone has a 3.8-inch WVGA display, 5MP camera with 720p video, and support for HSDPA 7.2 on the 900, 1900, and 2100MHz bands.
Pocketnow notes that while the device chassis is strikingly similar to its predecessor, it’s actually slightly larger. It’s also 15 grams lighter than the Optimus 7.
Like the rest of the Windows Phone 7.5 handsets, pricing and availability hasn’t been announced yet. What we do know, however, is that the device will run the Windows Phone Mango update, as well as include a custom bright blue theme and “exclusive Jil Sander content.”