LG Shows Off 4G USB Modems, Android and Windows Phone 7 Phones at CES

LG kicked off CES 2011 by showing off nine phones, two 4G USB modems, two Bluetooth headsets and a charging pad. Among the phones are its first with Windows Phone 7.

LG Electronics got rolling at 2011 Consumer Electronics Show by introducing a haul of new devices, including nine phones, Bluetooth headsets, a wireless charging pad and two USB modems-the company's first devices to work with 4G networks.

"In an ever-changing wireless industry, it is vital that we continue to listen to the voice of our consumers and develop devices that meet their growing needs," Tim O'Brien, LG's vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "LG is dedicated to providing users with products that embody the latest in innovation and consumer benefits."

Starting from the top, the LG Quantum runs Windows Phone 7-another first for LG-and features a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera with video and the ability to stream media content directly to DLNA-DMR (Digital Living Network Alliance) devices. It can connect over WiFi and Bluetooth, and with ActiveSync technology can synchronize e-mail, contact and calendar information. The Quantum also includes Zune Xbox Live gaming and Microsoft Office Mobile 2010.

For first-time Verizon smartphone owners, the Android-running LG Vortex can connect over 3G or WiFi, features a 3.2-inch touch screen with tactile feedback and has seven customizable home screens. There's a 3.2-megapixel camera with video capabilities, and the Vortex can act as a mobile hotspot to other devices.

Another Android smartphone, the LG Optimus T, for T-Mobile (there are four Optimus phones, get ready), is again for first-time smartphone folks wanting an affordable, easy-to-use option. It features Voice Actions for Android, so users can instruct it through voice commands to send a text or e-mail, call a contact, listen to music and more. It also provides access to the Android market and popular social-networking sites.

The LG Optimus S, for Sprint, comes with Sprint ID, a new way of customizing Android devices. It's also the only Sprint ID phone, LG officials said, to launch with Android 2.2 and offer "hotspot functionality." Users can also download ID packs-up to five per phone-which enable the phone to be customized with grouped-together widgets, ringtones, wallpapers and applications, catered around a particular interest. Sports, say, or dogs.

Looking just about identical to the Optimus S, the LG Optimus U, for U.S. Cellular, again runs Android 2.2 and features a 3.2-inch touch screen with Swype-a "superfast" way, according to LG officials, to navigate around the display. The Optimus U can also act as a hotspot, comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera and offers up to seven customizable home screens.

The fourth of the Optimus phones is the Optimus M-for MetroPCS owners. Like the others, it runs Android 2.2 and includes the 3.2-inch display, lots of options for customization and access to the Android Market's 100,000-plus options.

Lucky number seven is the LG Neon II, headed for AT&T. Designed to put users at the center of their social circle, per LG, it features a touch screen paired with AT&T Social Net-a sort of social mission control that streams together data from Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking and news sites into a single application. The Neon II also features a slide-out QWERTY keypad, an MP3 player, a built-in camcorder, the ability to quickly upload video and a microSD slot for saving it. LG suggests you might record and upload footage of yourself dancing, but really, let us be your better friend and say: This is a good idea for very, very few people.

The LG Octane, again for the gaming- and socially inclined, opens on a double hinge to reveal a QWERTY keyboard and comes with Facebook, MySpace and Twitter integrated. Also on board are V CAST Music with Rhapsody, voice commands, a Mobile E-mail Client 4.0, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a Web browser and Visual Voicemail.

And finally, the ninth new LG phone is the rather refined looking Cosmos Touch. It pairs a 2.8-inch WQVGA touch screen with a slide-out, four-row QWERTY keyboard. Three home screens can be customized with widgets, and it supports voice commands, and mobile instant messaging, Web and e-mail.

On to the accessories, the LG HBM-810 is, in LG's opinion, the "ultimate road warrior's headset." Slim, with a brushed-silver exterior, it can sit in a speaker phone cradle, when users are in a car or otherwise alone, or snap off and be popped into the ear, for private conversations (at least on one end). It offers up to 5 hours of talk time and 150 hours of standby-and when the juice finally does run low, the cradle can charge via solar power. Additional features include auto reconnect, voice dialing, caller ID and A2DP, for listening to music.

Looking more like something for a futuristic Sony Walkman, the LG HBS-700 is a stereo Bluetooth headset for talking and music listening. Controls on the headset's slim frame allow for answering calls or skipping songs.

The new LG Wireless Charging Pad is exactly that-a pad that users can place phones on, to charge them without external connections. On average, a "standard smartphone" should charge in two hours.

Finally, LG also introduced two USB 4G modems. For Verizon Wireless subscribers, there's the LG VL600 LTE USB modem, for connecting to Verizon's new 4G LTE network, and for AT&T subscribers is the LG Adrenaline, for connecting to AT&T's EDGE, HSPA and soon-to-launch LTE network. Both modems feature little flip-top caps that cover over the business end of the devices when they're not in use.

LG has yet to announce when these new devices will launch, and chances are excellent that pricing will vary according to carrier.