Hands-on: LG Optimus Vu [Updated: we have video!]


At long last, LG’s own interpretation of the phablet has reached our shores. The Korean company has sent us a demo unit of the Optimus Vu to play with, and although we’ve only spent a short time with it, we can talk about some of its features and the things we like and don’t like about it.

Even among the phablet crowd, LG’s Optimus Vu is an odd device. Unlike most other smartphones, the Optimus Vu uses a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of 16:9 or 16:10. That means that the Optimus Vu is much wider and has a more square-ish shape than other phablets out in the market, most notably the Galaxy Note II. Because of this odd shape, some people may not be able to hold the device correctly. You’ll have a hard time trying to grip the Optimus Vu correctly because of how wide it is, though it has to be said that one of our staff writers, Racine said that she did not have issues holding the phone even though she had small hands.

The Optimus Vu is not a new unit – it was announced earlier this year in Korea where it sported a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and LTE. LG has since announced an upgraded international version that now carries a 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, which was the one sent to our office. That processor is paired with 1GB of RAM, and users are given 32GB of non-expandable storage space. The Optimus Vu is completely self-contained, which means that you cannot change out the battery if you have a problem with it. Imaging-wsie, the Optimus Vu packs an 8-megapixel camera on the back.

The display on the Optimus Vu is a 5-inch, 768 x 1024 resolution HD-IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen. LG has always included decent displays in their smartphones, and the Vu is no different. You’re getting a pixel density of around 256 ppi, which is more than adequate for a device of this size.

LG has also included a stylus with the Optimus Vu, but anyone looking for an experience that mirrors Samsung’s excellent S-Pen should look elsewhere. The stylus is relatively simpler than the one included with the Galaxy Note II, as is the accompanying software on the Optimus Vu.

You write on whatever screen that you are currently looking at and send it off to different sites and your email or save it as an image, but that’s pretty much it. There’s not a lot of other things you can do with it, and because it doesn’t have a dedicated slot on the device where you can store it, there’s always a risk that you can lose it (especially if you’re as scatterbrained as we are).

Performance-wise, the Optimus Vu can hold its own against other devices out in the market today, as shown in the benchmark above. As far as OS is concerned, the demo unit that we’re using is sporting Android 4.0.4. As far as upgrades are concerned, we’re not going to hold our breath, as the Optimus Vu has already been upgraded from Android 2.3 as evidenced by the four capacitive buttons on the bottom of the device, so we doubt if another upgrade is coming down the pipeline.

As for price, we heard through Teklokal that the price for the Optimus Vu will be around Php 25,490, which is considerably cheaper than the Galaxy Note II’s Php 32,990 price tag.

That’s pretty much it. Check back later for the video of our hands-on of the device, and the full review that will be posted at the end of this week.