Featured: LG Tegra 3-based Phablet Going Global

LG Optimus Vu

Spreading beyond its native South Korea, the LG Optimus Vu will be going global in the coming weeks. After landing in Japan this month, LG has set its sights on Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America for September. Rumors are also circulating that the Vu may make its way to Verizon though no official announcements have been made.

For those who don't keep up with all of LG's Korean releases (and who would blame you?), the LG Optimus Vu is in that in-between land known as phablet. Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? No! It's plank of electronic glory! However, this particular phablet is a bit more awkward than the popular Samsung Galaxy Note. Though it's a bit smaller of a screen diagonally at 5 inches verses the Note's 5.3, it has a 4:3 aspect ratio. Yes, the image above is sized correctly. The LG Optimus Vu virtually looks like a square. According to LG, the square sits just fine with their home crowd.

Since its March debut in Korea, the Optimus Vu: has sold over 500,000 units, demonstrating public acceptance of its form-factor. The reception the device received in Korea prompted LG to launch the Optimus Vu: in Japan this month, where it has also been received positively by Japanese consumers.


Really? I can understand the Note but this thing looks a little… unnatural. Perhaps LG is just trying to sneak in some different shapes so Apple won't sue them for using a rectangle. Maybe they'll release the LG Optimus Rhombus in the next few months.

Regardless, the specs are respectable. It comes with the Tegra 3 offering the "super 4-PLUS-1â„¢ quad-core with 5th battery-saver core, that offers a superb balance of performance and power requirements." From the specs below, 4G seems an odd absentee but I imagine if and when a Verizon release happens, we'll see the usual LTE and dual-core combo instead.

  • Operating System Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Network 3G
  • Display 5.0-inch 4:3 ratio XGA IPS with 768 x 1024 pixels
  • Memory 32GB
  • Cameras 8.0MP rear / 1.3MP front
  • Size 139.6 x 90.4 x 8.5mm
  • Weight 168g

Though I can't imagine wanting this for myself, I suppose that it is desirable. According to LG, they've shipped over half a million units already. And considering that's been a very small segment of the global market, it could grow considerably.


Would any of you buy a 4:3 5 inch phablet? From LG to boot? I'd love to be convinced.

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Writer --- I was born and raised in Kentucky and got my professional start in photojournalism there. I worked at various television stations around the country including Bowling Green, KY, Reno, NV, Knoxville, TN, and Charlotte, NC. I began working in the production environment while still in high school and ultimately followed his career for several awards including an Emmy among others. After leaving television in 2009, I started working in web development and graphic design while still longing to hold a camera once again. This opportunity came in the summer of 2009 when I shot a documentary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I would go on to travel to Ireland that summer before relocating to Knoxville to pursue my career in design. Another chance to shoot a film in a devastated Haiti moved me back to Charlotte and I have been here since.

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