After selling 500,000 units in Korea since its March debut, the LG Optimus Vu is crossing borders: LG will start selling the 5-inch Android phone internationally in September. The Vu will mainly compete against Samsung’s 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, another large Android handset that the company recently said has crossed the 10 million sales mark. Like the Note, LG’s Optimus Vu includes a stylus for digital note-taking.
Next month, consumers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America can purchase the international Optimus Vu, which has a few changes from the original edition. Gone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and support for LTE networks. Instead, the revised Optimus Vu uses Nvidia’s Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip along with HSPA+ network support.
Although the Vu’s display is smaller than the Galaxy Note, the phone is wider by 7.45 millimeters or nearly 0.3 inches. The reason? LG opted for a 4 : 3 aspect ratio display, just as Apple did for its iPad.
That muddies the waters even more to those wondering if this is a tablet or a smartphone. Functionally, it’s both, however, and runs on Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Oddly, even with the extra width, the stylus doesn’t fit into the phone; a solution used by Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Carrying — and potentially losing — the stylus isn’t ideal.
LG says the phone comes with 32 GB of internal storage, a 1024 x 768 screen with wide viewing angles, and a pair of cameras: 8 megapixels on the rear and 1.3 megapixels on the front of the smartphone. Pricing and exact dates of availability have not yet been announced.
Will the Optimus Vu be successful in capitalizing on the large-screen smartphone that’s a tablet? Time will tell, but I don’t see LG having nearly the success that Samsung’s Galaxy Note is enjoying. The LG phone may be too wide for many and folks could opt for the Galaxy Note — or its expected successor — with integrated stylus storage and more software that takes advantage of the digital pen.