LG Optimus Vu review: Vu from the top
LG may have given up on tablets, but not on the Optimus Vu - it's halfway between a phone and a tablet, a hybrid of form factors that we like to call "phoneblets". The Samsung Note was one of the first, but that doesn't mean it can have the market all for itself. The LG Vu pairs the big screen with a handy stylus to enhance tasks like note taking, something that can be a chore on a normal thumb-operated handset.
The dedicated Notebook app lets you create elaborate, multiple-page notes with images and text, or you can just hit the QuickMemo key, which snaps a screenshot and lets you scribble on it - you can screenshot a website, a part of an email, a document, an image, and just about anything else.
This makes the Optimus Vu a handy tool for putting down reminders or helping you communicate with others - it's much easier to explain what you need when you can take a screenshot and sketch your idea over it. Once you're done, sending the image via email, Dropbox, a social network or another channel is just a tap away.
The phoneblet sure has a lot going for it, but it's not all sunshine and roses - you can go ahead and copy our notes on where it scores and where it misses.
- Dual-band CDMA, 1x EV-DO, HSDPA and LTE connectivity
- 5" 16M-color capacitive HD-IPS LCD touchscreen of XGA resolution (768 x 1024 pixels)
- LG Rubberdium stylus and QuickMemo button
- Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread
- Dual-core 1.5GHz ARM Scorpion processor, 1GB of RAM, Adreno 220 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8660 Snapdragon chipset
- 32GB of inbuilt storage
- 8 MP autofocus camera, face detection and geotagging
- 1080p @ 30fps video recording
- Front facing 1.3MP camera, video calling
- Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
- NFC connectivity
- GPS with A-GPS
- microUSB port (charging)
- Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
- MHL TV-out
- Polaris Office document editor
- Smart dialing, voice dialing
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- DivX/XviD video support
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Dolby Mobile and SRS sound enhancement
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- T-DMB TV tuner
- microSIM cards only
- Runs older Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- Wide form factor needs getting used to
- 4:3 aspect ratio not a good fit for video watching
- No microSD card slot
With a rich app package, the Optimus Vu has solid business credentials. It features the Polaris Office document editor and an app that can automate backups (with an option to encrypt them).
You also get an NFC app, with which you can easily share your contact details, web site, memos, scheduling info and more. You can share it directly with another NFC-enabled device or write the info to NFC tags that you can hand out to people.
The extensive connectivity options go on - you get fast data connections over LTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi Direct, then there's the fun stuff like DLNA and a T-DMB TV tuner (ok, that's a Korea-only feature).
We're not counting on the LG Optimus Vu being very pocketable, but we'll be putting the screen under a microscope (even literally) to find out if it's worth the tradeoff. We'll also look at the rest of the hardware and rummage through the retail box - all that's coming up.
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