No she’s not trolling you, that’s actually a real phone
What happens when you take the LG Prada 3.0, a slim Gingerbread phone that looks svelte and sleek, and then you decided to make it fat and obnoxious? Well, you get the LG Optimus Vu – a Gingerbread Android phone with a 5” screen, but in a 4:3 ratio screen format. This type of ratio of screen was typical back in the days of thick CRT monitors and televisions, but not very popular in the land of smartphones and portable devices – and we think there’s a reason why. Either way, it’s clamoring for LG’s flagship right now with a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor with various high-end options. At the same time its also obviously going for the Samsung Galaxy Note’s market by including a capacitive stylus in the package. Despite not being such a big fan of Samsung’s large-screen tablet-phone, when you compare the specs and factor in the ridiculous screen ratio and handling difficulty of the LG, you’ve got a pretty simple answer when choosing between the two.
The LG Optimus Vu is the Korean-company’s newest stab at the high-end Android smartphone market which, we admit, is getting really crowded these days. In fact, its so crowded right now that without a specific selling point, its hard to differentiate yourselves from the rest of the pack. Samsung has done its part in developing devices that has had the highest quality HD AMOLED screens coupled with ridiculous amount of processor specs and tech underneath with its 5.3”-screened Galaxy Note. LG seems to want to compete in this category with their Optimus Vu, which comes in with a 5” 1024×768 IPS display in 4:3 format, Dual-Core 1.5Ghz processor, 8MP Camera with LED Flash, 1.3MP front facing camera, and the usual smartphone connectivity options all running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. (An update to Android 4.0 ICS is promised later on.) Finally, support for a stylus will be built in, though it wasn’t noted if it will come in the package or if there will be a slot to hold it in the phone.
LG Optimus Vu (left) and the LG Prada 3.0 (right). Its like the Prada’s twin just got a little extra tubby
But Jesus Christ look how hard that thing is to hold! And it just looks exactly like the Prada 3.0 phone except wider and without the Prada accents! Come on LG. We can’t see any reason at all why you should use a 4:3 ratio screen when everyone, including your televisions have been getting wider and wider. Motorola made the same ugly decision when they released the “square”-screened Motorola Flipout – there’s just no real world use for “square-ish” screens. Videos will look terrible on this since they’ll be letterboxed while watching, wasting at least 20-30% of your screen space. Pictures will mostly be shown letterboxed as well, unless you shoot at 4:3 ratio. You could argue that the 4:3 screen is for your stylus input or ease of use, but people write on wider screens perfectly fine so why even bother? Is it just to be different? Can you imagine yourself holding this pancake phone up right next to your face and not looking like a complete douche?
LG Optimus Vu side by side against the Samsung Galaxy Note (Source: HelloAdam100)
Specs-wise LG comes out with respectable, high-end performing phones. However, if its going to compete with the Galaxy Note its going on an uphill battle. The incredibly popular Note has an HD 1280×800 resolution Super AMOLED screen versus LG’s 1024×768 IPS display – a difference that might as well be night and day favoring the Samsung phone. While processor specs aren’t really that much more different, Sammy’s got the upper hand when it comes to brand recognition and popularity right now, so what is LG getting at?
When it comes down to it, LG’s Optimus Vu is not as offensive as it seems. The specs are definitely up there for a flagship device and certainly the thin design and stylus adds a lot of usefulness to the phone. It doesn’t look like it can directly compete with Samsung’s offering, but will likely want to carve a niche of its own. The handling is definitely a concern here, but isn’t impossible to overcome. The fact that LG xeroxed their Prada design and made it wider isn’t a terrible idea either, since the Prada 3.0 looked and felt pretty awesome. We would have wanted them to lead the charge by having Android 4.0 out of the box, but they’ve opted to go for the relatively aging Gingerbread platform – losing a huge opportunity to beat Samsung to the punch. Either way, its had to knock a phone that comes that close to competing with one of the top devices out there, and that’s what the LG Optimus Vu does.
We give the LG Optimus Vu n* Stars. Oh wait, this wasn’t a review; we just sort of got carried away there.
The Optimus Vu isn’t yet announced to be coming to the Philippines at all, and has only been announced in Korea. It’s expected to show up in other parts of the world though, so we might see it in our shores soon. Its not a bad phone, despite all our criticisms – but we just don’t understand why even bother with a 4:3 screen. Maybe we’re just dumb and don’t know anything about phones and we’ll stand corrected when we see it for ourselves, or even review it. But until then, yeah.
To see more of this device, check out the video thing below. Then watch the Prada 3.0 trailer just after it and tell us that’s not exactly the same thing except wider.
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