The 5” LG Optimus Vu is finally coming to Malaysia and before moving on, it’s pronounced as “view” or “vue”, not “voo”. I have to admit, when I first saw the original LG Optimus Vu in pictures, it looked really awkward, in fact if I may be totally honest, it looks pretty ugly with its unique 4:3 aspect ratio that makes the phone look too squarish.
Just a little background information on the Vu, the original LG Optimus Vu was first announced earlier this year and features a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and IPS display with 1024 x 768 resolution. Few months ago, LG announced the Optimus Vu II and just so you know, the Vu that is in Malaysia is the second generation LG Optimus Vu that comes with higher specs than the original Vu and Vu II. I know it’s confusing, the original Vu and Vu II are competitors to the Samsung Galaxy Note while the new Optimus Vu is to compete with the Galaxy Note II.
We had a chance to go hands on with the LG Optimus Vu and boy were we surprised that the awkward looking phone is actually pretty good to use. Unlike typical 16:9 smartphones, the LG Optimus Vu’s targeted at productivity instead of entertainment. With a wide display, it allow users to read email, browse the web and take notes with ease, in fact, with its unique design that actually looks like a notepad, I think the Vu should be called the Note instead.
Hit the break to find out more about the LG Optimus Vu and how we actually like it.
While 4:3 aspect ratio along with a large 5” screen may make the Vu look big – it is – but typing on the on-screen keyboard is surprisingly easy, with TWO hands that is. The Vu feels very good to hold on to and it has plenty of space to make the keyboard as big and as easy to use as possible. There is also a one-hand keyboard option to make typing with one hand easy. When activated, just flick the keyboard left or right and it’ll get pushed to one side, shrinking the keys, making them smaller and closer together so you can reach it using your thumbs. Typing on it is a breeze and with a wide space, drawing and writing it with the stylus is user-friendly as well. The one thing bad about the Vu is how it does not have a slot for its stylus.
The LG Optimus Vu features everything I love about LG’s design – it feels solid and it comes with a nice metal slide cover for its Micro USB slot. With a chrome side surrounding the phone, the Vu looks pretty sleek. Most of the buttons and slot are located on the top of the device such as 3.5mm audio jack, HotKey to activate QuickMemo, Micro USB slot and power button. The left and bottom of the device is clean and empty while the volume buttons are located on the right. The front comes with a nice and big 5” display with no physical buttons and the back features the camera, LED flashlight, speakers and a very pretty LG logo in chrome. It features a unibody design so the micro SIM slot is located at the back as well. The Optimus Vu comes with a stylus in the box and it’s in the box because you can’t slot it into the phone. According to LG, the Optimus Vu comes bundled with a leather casing so you can put the stylus there, so yes, the phone you thought was big just got bigger. Of course, you can use it without a stylus so you can leave the casing at home.
I love what LG has done with the software on the Vu to make it somewhat, “child proof”. I’m no business man, I’m not someone who uses the Vu to jot down notes in a meeting or to send emails to clients, the big screen on the Vu is perfect for my toddler to watch his cartoons on as well as to “draw” on. When using the default video player, you can lock the display and on-screen buttons so your kid cannot mess with the app. There’s also an option to lock the on-screen buttons when you’re on QuickMemo mode so kids can draw and keep drawing without exiting the app, giving them access to delete your other files! There is also an option for you to pinch to hide everything on your homescreen. LG says that it’s so you can appreciate your wallpaper but for me, it’s so I can hide all the buttons especially the “Phone” option from my toddler so he doesn’t wake up and start calling people at 3am.
So far, I must say I’m surprised by how much I love the Optimus Vu. With a quad-core Qualcomm processor on board, it’s smooth and responsive as well.
Stay tuned for our detailed review of the LG Optimus Vu.
For now, the LG Optimus Vu retails at RM1,899 and comes bundled with a Rubberdium stylus that matches the back of the phone, a NFC tag sticker, charger/USB cable, a leather pouch that fits the phone and the stylus together, as well as a screen protector. It runs on Android ICS at the moment and LG made no mention as to whether it will receive any Android JB updates but I don’t see a reason to not to.