LG drew on its resources and the result is the Optimus G, an Android smartphone packed with firsts, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor said to be three times faster than early generations.
LG Electronics has introduced the Optimus G, an Android-running smartphone that, in leaning on the expertise of LG partners and sister brands, should stand out in the veritable Ice Cream Sandwich buffet.
With the Optimus G, LG is again first to market with new features, this time the first Long-Term Evolution (LTE) device to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad-Core Krait processor and newest-generation Adreno 320 GPU.
LG officials explained, "The Snapdragon S4 Pro runs at 1.5GHz and features Asynchronous Symmetric Multiprocessing (aSMP), which enables each core to power up and down independently, for maximum performance with better battery life."
The Adreno 320, they add, is also three times faster than the previous Snapdragon processors, offering a smoother gaming experience and a higher high-definition resolution.
LG turned to LG Display for the device's 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS+, which features a pixel per inch (PPI) density of 320 and a resolution of 1280 by 768. A Strip RGB IPS [In-Plane Switching] Panel features a 15:9 aspect ratio. The company says it "pushed the boundaries of its technology" with the display, which is "sharper and crisper with color accuracy of SRGB 100 percent, to show natural and life-like images."
Another first: The Optimus G features a G2 Touch Hybrid Display, developed by LG Innotek and LG Display, that's thinner than current touch-screen panels and said to offer the sharpest visibility, even outdoors. And while the panel has been thinned down, says LG, its strength has been increased to prevent damage when dropped.
Finally, working with LG Chem, the phone maker created a high-density, 2,100mAh battery that lasts longer and can withstand more charging cycles-approximately 800 cycles at 80 percent charging capabilities, compared with the 500 cycles of regular phone batteries, according to LG.
The Optimus G is also a looker. With glass on both sides and a ribbon of aluminum around the perimeter, it's a sort of a longer, wider, thinner iPhone 4S, with a "polarized" pattern on the back glass and a profile that's slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy S III's.
There are front and rear cameras-the model on the rear is a notable 13 megapixels (MP)-and the other features, such as near-field communication (NFC) and LTE technology, that we've come to expect from devices at this end of the spectrum.
As with the Optimus Vu, users can write or draw on the display with their fingers, and there are ICS perks like photo bursts, from which users can choose the best shot, and a "Cheese Shutter" (writer bites tongue) that can snap a photo when prompted by a voice command.
At a glance, the Optimus G's specs look like this:
Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor with 1.5GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 320 GPU with 4G LTE
Size: 131.9 by 68.9 by 8.45mm (for context, the iPhone 4S measures 115.2 by 58.6 by 9.3mm, and the Samsung Galaxy S III measures 136.6 by 70.6 by 8.6mm)
Weight: 145 grams (the S III is 133 grams, and the iPhone 4S 140 grams)
Display: 4.7inch WXGA True HD IPS+ (1280 x 768 pixels)
Cameras: 13MP (rear), 1.3MP (front)
RAM: 2GB double data rate (DDR)
Network: 2G/3G/4G LTE
Other perks: NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, USB 2.0, A-GPS, Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) capabilities
While LG has repeatedly been first to market with features, it's generous to say that the brand remains in Samsung's shadow. LG ranked fifth among the globe's top-selling phone makers during the second quarter, but has lost market share as Samsung's (and Apple's, ZTE's and Huawei's) have risen. While LG shipped 24.4 million devices during the second quarter of 2011, this year its second-quarter shipments fell to 17.9 million.
"We are confident that users will have a superior experience with everything that we're offering in the Optimus G," Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics, said in an Aug. 28 statement. "The Optimus G isn't just another high-performance phone with the latest bells and whistles. It's a collaboration of some of the best component makers on the planet coming together for a singular cause-to develop a smartphone that stands out in a sea of me-too devices."
LG will launch the phone in Korea this September and then expand distribution to markets worldwide.
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Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.