After passing up on Samsung’s 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, Verizon(s VZ)(s VOD) reportedly plans to sell LG’s 5-inch Optimus Vu smartphone. Droid Life posted a screen shot that shows the handset will cost $199.99 with contract, or $549.99 without, and it will be named the LG Intuition. As with all other smartphones that Verizon now releases, the Android-powered(s goog) Intuition will support the operator’s 4G LTE network.
The leaked information follows just two days after LG announced the phone would be sold internationally. The handset maker launched the device in Korea, where it has sold 500,000 units. It’s likely that LG will have to use two different chip suppliers for the Vu based on my news report earlier this week:
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.
Nvidia(s nvda) doesn’t yet have a chip with an integrated LTE radio, although it is working on one. That suggests to me that a Verizon version of this phone will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon(s qcom), unlike the international model of the handset.
Interestingly, Verizon doesn’t yet have a smartphone with a tablet-like form factor and display size. The company doesn’t, for example, sell the popular Samsung Galaxy Note, which is carried by AT&T (s t) and T-Mobile in the U.S. I’d think that if Verizon was planning to bring a large-screened phone to market, it might wait for the Galaxy Note II, expected to be announced by Samsung next week.
And even if the Galaxy Note successor wasn’t right around the corner, I still question if the Vu — or Intuition, if the reports are accurate — will even challenge the Galaxy Note, regardless of Verizon’s widespread 4G network coverage. Without a place to put the phone stylus and with an awkward (for a smartphone, that is) 4:3 aspect ratio, the Note line is likely to appeal more and Verizon would be better off by choosing it over the Vu.