LG recently announced the much-awaited Optimus G smartphone in Korea. The LG Optimus G is the company’s latest flagship device featuring a 4.7 inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) processor with a 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait CPU, 2 GB RAM, 4G LTE Connectivity and much more. This handset runs on the old Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS. It comes with the unique QSlide Function which shows two different screens simultaneously on one display. Basically it means that you can view once apps on the first half and the second app on the another half of the screen.
Dr. Jong-seok Park, CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said:
“The Optimus G is a groundbreaking premium device not only in the history of LG but also in the smartphone industry. With the Optimus G, users will be able to experience unsurpassed UX features that will allow them to perform tasks that really enhance their daily lives.”
LG Optimus G features a 4.7 inch WXGA True HD IPS PLUS display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, Optimus UI 3.0, 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, NFC (Near Field Communication) and much more.
Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, 2 GB DDR RAM, 32 GB internal memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, microUSB 2.0, MHL, GPS with A-GPS, Google Play Store, up to 335 hrs of stand-by time, up to 15 hrs of talk-time and a 2100 mAh battery.
This handset measures 131.9 x 68.9 x 8.45mm and weighs 145 grams. Sadly, the much-needed MicroSD card slot is missing from the device. LG Optimus G comes with the enhanced UX features such as QuickMemo, screen zooming, live zooming, dual screen dual play, icon personalizer and so on. It also packs a new battery from the LG Chem which has a longer life of 800 cycles.
LG Optimus G will go on sale starting next week in Korea, followed by key global markets in October. The price of the device will be revealed in the coming days.
LG and Verizon have teamed up to announce the U.S variant of the LG Optimus Vu, the LG Intuition. The Galaxy Note competitor from LG sports a 5-inch True HD IPS display with 720p resolution with excellent viewing angles and color reproduction.
Other specs of the LG Intuition include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Adreno 220 GPU, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP camera with an LED flash at the back, a 1.3MP camera in the front, Bluetooth 3.0 + HS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC and GPS with A-GPS. LG will also be bundling two NFC tags, which can be re-programmed using the pre-installed LG Tag+ app.
The handset-cum-tablet hybrid will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box with LG’s own custom skin on top of it. LG have added some useful features with their skin including the ability to click a picture via voice commands, a Notebook app that will allow users to take virtual notes on the Intuition, and a suite of Amazon apps.
The LG Intuition will be available from September 6th on all Verizon stores and website for $199.99 on a two-year contract. Buyers who order the phablet between Sept. 6 to 10th will also receive a free LG Tone Stereo Bluetooth headset.
I have always found the mid-range smartphone segment to be quite interesting. The budget limitations prohibit manufacturers from offering the absolute best they can cook up. However, they can’t afford to be too shabby either, since consumers rightly expect these handsets to be capable performers that are significantly better than the absolute low-end handsets that are typically available for half the price. The trick to coming up with stellar mid-range devices is to make compromises that the customer won’t mind compromising on. The Optimus L5 is LG’s mid-range Android smartphone. Let us see if LG has managed to perfect the balancing game.
With the L-series, LG has been emphasizing a lot on style, and the L5 is undoubtedly among the better looking devices in this price range. The L5 is a fairly slender device with a thickness of just 9.5 mm. The combination of sharp and bold corners, faux metal rims, and intricate matt-finish on the back cover lends it a somewhat premium look that Samsung would do well to learn from.
The LG Optimus L5 E610 sports a 4’’ TFT LCD screen with enhanced brightness that offers good outdoor visibility. Viewing angles are also quite reasonable. Unfortunately, those are pretty much the only positives I could identify in the display. The extra brightness comes at a premium. The L5, much like all other Optimus devices I have tried, lacks contrast, as a result of which, images appear washed out. This problem is compounded by the L5’s abysmal pixel density. LG increased the screen size, but chose not to amp up the screen resolution beyond 320 x 480 pixels. As a result, the L5 has a pixel density of 144 ppi, while Ace Plus has 165 ppi, Desire C has 165 ppi, Ace 2 has 246 ppi, and even Xperia J is rumored to have 245 ppi.
Under the hood, the L5 is powered by a Qualcomm MSM7225A Snapdragon, which is essentially an underclocked version of the chip powering the more expensive L7. The 800 MHz Cortex-A5 processor and Adreno 200 GPU are hardly cutting edge, but they are a notch above what similarly priced Wildfire S, or Desire C offer. However, when compared with the innards of Ace Plus, Xperia P, Ace 2 or even the Xperia Mini, the L5 is found lacking. Thankfully, the L5 comes with Ice-cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) that has been optimized to run on low-end hardware. The half gigabyte of RAM also comes in handy. As a result the L5 is laggy, but not unusable. During my two weeks of usage, I encountered several momentary freezes, but on the whole, the L5 was fairly usable. If you want to play cutting edge games you will have to pony up more dough, but the L5 is good enough for the likes of Angry Birds Space and Fruit Ninja.
The LG Optimus Ux Overlay is mostly unobtrusive and well done. However, I wish OEMs stopped replacing the modern, understated icons of ICS with bright, in-your-face, pastel colored blotches. And LG is not the only one who is to be blamed – this seems to be something all the manufacturers think is a good idea. A few of the extra stuff that we saw in the Optimus 4X trickle down to the L5 (for example, QuickMemo for notes and annotations), but most of the goodies are gone. The default install is mostly junk-free with just a handful of pre-loaded apps like Polaris Office, Smartworld and Smartshare. Smartworld is LG’s own app store, which offers personalized recommendations based on your download history. It’s largely redundant, and in India, it appears to be only suggesting free apps. Smartshare is a much more useful addition that enables streaming of media directly from Windows Media Player (on your PC) or to your HDTV over Wi-Fi. It is essentially LG’s counterpart of Samsung’s Allshare. However, the best bundled app is MobileTV, which is exclusive to the Indian market. LG Mobile TV is actually powered by Myplex Now, which is a free Android app available for all handsets. Mobile TV offers live streams of several dozen TV channels from different categories like news (Aaj Taak, NDTV, TimesNow etc), Entertainment (UTV Movies, Zoom, UTV Bindass etc.), Infotainment (History Channel and NDTV Goodtimes), Music (9XM and Channel UFX), Spiritual (Aastha, Gurbani etc.), and Regional (Asianet, Jaya TV etc.). Mobile TV is also slated to offer movies and other multimedia content on-demand. According to LG India, it will be free for first two months, and then require subscription.
LG’s 5 mega-pixel camera is competent, which is exactly what you should expect from products in this price range. It struggles to produce clear images under low light, but outdoor performance is good enough for most casual photography needs. Although ICS’s instant capture is technically supported, the low-end hardware means that there is a couple of seconds’ delay (more under low light) between shots. Special photography modes available include panorama and continuous shot (keeps on taking snaps as long as the capture button is pressed). Advanced options include ISO and EV settings. However, macro focusing mode is absent.
Optimus L5 Camera Sample (Picture)
Video capture is a bit of a disappointment. The L5 only captures VGA videos at 30 fps. This pales in comparison to Xperia Mini, and Ace 2’s ability to record at 720p. Front camera for video calling is also not available.
Optimus L5 Camera Sample (Video)
The L5 packs a 1500 mAh battery, which easily manages to last more than a day with average usage. Call clarity is good and the speaker is quite loud. I didn’t have trouble talking even in the noisy streets of India. Connectivity options supported include Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, and NFC.
The Optimus L5 makes a lot of compromises. The biggest of them are with the screen and the processor. The low ppi and single core processor means that mobile enthusiasts are unlikely to find the L5 to their liking. Sony’s Xperia Mini and Walkman Live are smaller, but come with better processors, better displays, and 720p recording. Xperia U costs about Rs 3,000 more, but offers a significantly better hardware (Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9), but doesn’t support expandable memory. If you want micro-SD support, along with a dual-core processor, high ppi display, and 720p video recording, you will have to stretch your budget a bit further to accommodate the likes of Ace 2 and Xperia Sola.
However, the L5 hardly seems like a phone targeted at enthusiasts. LG is clearly gunning for the average consumer. The average consumer doesn’t care too much about the specs as long as the phone feels good. And the L5 feels good. It’s sleek, stylish, and well built. It takes decent pics, and the ICS build is optimized enough to not frustrate the casual user. LG TV is essentially a rebranded version of a readily available Android app, but it’s still something that most consumers will be attracted to.
In the end, I can’t help but feel that LG has sacrificed quality with the goal of appealing to the casual mobile users. Currently the Optimus L5 is selling for about Rs. 13,000. It would become a lot easier to recommend LG’s mid-range device had it been a couple of thousand bucks cheaper. However, right now, unless you really need the big screen, it’s hard to justify buying the L5 over similarly priced Xperia Mini or Xperia Live. In fact, if you can afford to spend a bit more, you will end up with a significantly better device by considering the Xperia U (Rs. 14,000 approx.), Xperia Sola (Rs. 15,500 approx.), or Ace 2.
Earlier this year, LG announced three L-Series phones, the LG Optimus L3, L5 and L7 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona. Now, the company went ahead and announced another handset in the L-Series range of smartphones, the LG Optimus L9. This handset will be showcased at the upcoming IFA 2012 event in Berlin. Sadly, the Optimus L9 will be shipped with the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, instead of the latest Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS.
Dr. Jongseok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company, said:
“The Optimus L9 is a great smartphone that appeals to every consumer. LG will continue to offer differentiated value through the Optimus L9 and strengthen our position in the smartphone market.”
LG Optimus L9 features a 4.7 inch IPS display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, 5 megapixel rear camera, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, 1 GB RAM, 4 GB expandable memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, DLNA, QMemo, QTranslator, Google Play Store and a 2150 mAh battery. This handset measures 131.9 x 68.2 x 9.1 mm and weighs 125 grams.
LG Optimus L9 comes with the QTranslator function which translates words, sentences and phrases with a simple scan from nearly 44 foreign languages to 64 user languages. This handset will also include the QMemo, which allows the users to capture, save and share their ideas with others using their fingertip or handwriting. LG Optimus L will go on sale from next month in Europe, followed by North America, Asia and Latin America. The price of this handset has not been announced yet.
LG has finally gone ahead and announce its latest addition to the Optimus family, the Optimus G. The Optimus G has made quite a lot of appearances over the last one week, sometimes showing off its quad-core Qualcomm S4 APQ8064 SoC, sometimes its 4.7-inch display with its new True HD IPS+ technology and sometimes its new battery technology.
Other specs of the Optimus G include 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera at the back and a 1.3MP snapper in the front, a 2100mAh beefy battery, the usual bunch of sensors and connectivity features including support for LTE networks and more.
LG has also managed to integrate the cover glass and the touch sensor into a single piece of glass, thus leaving no gap between the actual display and the sensor itself. This gives users a sense of touching the actual image itself, rather than any sort of glass. The handset runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, with LG’s own software gimmicks and tweaks on top of it. The press release from the company does not mention anything about the Jelly Bean update for the handset.
The Optimus G will be available in Korea from next month, followed by Japan. The handset is also expected to be available globally by the end of this year.
There might not be many LG Optimus handset owners out there, but the way the Korean company has confused its current Optimus user base regarding the ICS update for their handsets, it is going to lose their faith as well.
Thanks to all the negative criticism that followed after that, LG Singapore finally decided to clear the air on this issue. The LG Mobile Singapore PR team has confirmed via their Facebook page that the Optimus 2X, Optimus Black, Optimus LTE, Optimus 3D and the Prada will get to taste Ice Cream Sandwich.
While the post from the PR representative does not mention as to when the roll-out will begin, it does state that the update is currently being “fine-tune” for improved experience right now.
Hopefully, this news should come as a sense of relief for many Optimus owners who must have been cursing LG for not updating their device to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Ahead of the new iPhone launch, the rumor mill is in full swing. Today, Reuters reports that LG has officially announced that it has started a mass production of news displays. These displays are rumored to make their way into the next-generation iPhone. In fact, this news follows similar comments from Sharp as MacRumorspointed out earlier this month. This news comes just three weeks ahead of Apple’s expected media event to introduce the new device.
The report also claims that the new iPhone displays will be measured at four inches diagonally and will have in-cell technology to embed touch sensors directly into the display, which would help decrease the thickness of the component. The Wall Street Journal also has a similar report discussing Apple’s plans for the panels.
WSJ’s report also goes on to say that LG, Sharp, and Japan Display are all producing displays with in-cell touch sensors for the next-generation iPhone. It is also reported that these suppliers will be able to meet their production goals despite the challenges of the new technology.
Last year, LG launched the powerful Nitro HD smartphone exclusively for the AT&T subscribers in the US. It was the carrier’s first device to feature a 720p HD screen. LG Nitro HD was shipped with the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. The owners of this device finally has a reason to cheer, since the much awaited Android 4.0 update will soon hit your device.
AT&T recently announced that the LG Nitro HD will get the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update starting from July 31. It will also replace the old UI with the LG’s new Optimus 3.0 user interface, which allows you to unlock the phone by swiping anywhere on the screen. It also brings additional display customization such as using your own photos as icons and shortcut images and the addition of a “Download” category in the menu for easier organization. Check out the complete changelog below.
New lock screen actions let you conveniently jump directly to a specific application without unlocking the homescreen.
The redesigned Gallery App and Photo Editor makes it easier to manage, show, and share photos and videos than ever before.
An updated home screen folder and favorites tray that lets you group your apps and shortcuts logically by simply dragging one onto another.
Enhanced multitasking capabilities let you instantly navigate from one task to another by leveraging a list in the System Bar that includes thumbnail images of all recently used apps. Just tap the thumbnail to resume using that app.
Improved text input with an updated keyboard that supports faster text input and more accurate entries with better error correction and word suggestions.
An app that helps you easily monitor your data usage.
Face Unlock, a new screen-lock option that intelligently unlocks your device using facial recognition software.
This update will be available from July 31st via OTA (Over-The-Air). You can also manually update your phone, just by connecting you phone to the computer and then using the LG Mobile Phone Support tool. It is advised to backup all your data before updating the device. You should also make sure that, the battery is fully charged before updating your phone.
Among all the major Android OEM manufacturers, LG has been the slowest in bringing Ice Cream Sandwich update to its handset. The Korean company has just started rolling out the ICS update for the LG Nitro HD, while its other previous-gen droid handsets patiently wait for their turn.
LG had earlier released a list of handsets that it will be updating to Ice Cream Sandwich, which included the Optimus 2X and the Optimus Black. Sadly, LG Canada has annouced via its Twitter account that it won’t be bringing ICS to the Optimus 2X and the Optimus Black.
The Optimus 2X was the first dual-core toting handset to be released to the world, but the company’s poor software support essentially made it a failure. It is nothing but shameful to see a dual-core phone not getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update. On the other hand, the Optimus Black packs similar internals as the Nexus S, which recently got its Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update. The Korean company definitely needs to hire some better developers!
Considering LG’s statement that the “original upgrade announcement was a general statement issued from the HQ”, don’t be surprised if the company shelves the ICS update for its other handsets.
LG Electronics was yet another company which reported its earnings this week. It reported a 46% increase in its net profits year-over-year. Net profits increased to $138 million but revenues declined to $11.16 billion, down 10.6% year-over-year primarily because of declining phone sales.
LG posted a total operating profit of around $303 million, most of which came from its home entertainment division — around $187.5 million. Though division sales declined to $4.76 billion, down 5.8% year over year, margins increased due to improved supply chain management. Continued sales of LG’s Cinema 3D TVs made it the global leader in the 3D TV segment.
LG’s mobile division, on the other hand, posted a loss of around $50 million, with revenues declining 28.5% to $2 billion. The loss was primarily due to increased marketing expenses following the launch of new models. Smartphones now account for 44% of unit sales, and will only increase going forward.
LG’s home appliance division posted an operating profit of around $143 million, nearly triple last year’s profit due to a better product mix and improved cost efficiencies. Developing market growth also pushed revenues up to $2.5 billion.
Its AC and energy solutions division posted an operating profit of $61 million, up 17% over last year, with revenues declining to $1.28 billion.
Despite declining revenues, LG has been able to prop up its operating margins by focusing on profitability rather than sales.
What we are most concerned about is LG’s mobile division, which has been hammered not only by the iPhone, but also by Android devices from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and others. Hopefully, it will make a comeback in the coming quarters.