LG's Optimus Vu is perhaps the one smartphone that is more daring than even the Galaxy Note with its form factor. While it has only a 5-inch display, the 4:3 aspect ratio makes for a huge, almost square device. Announced around Mobile World Congress, the Vu finally went up for sale for the first time in its home country of Korea.
The production version of the device adds 4G LTE to the Vu's already impressive list of specs, which includes a 5-inch 1024 x 768 display, 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera with flash and front facing 1.3MP camera, 2080mAh battery, and 32GB of internal storage. Another new addition is a capacitive stylus, which although it doesn't appear to dock in the device, does put it in even more direct competition with Samsung's phone/tablet. Unfortunately, though, the promised Android 4.0 update hasn't yet been delivered and the Vu still ships with Gingerbread.
Currently, the Vu is only for sale in Korea, and the 999,900 WON/$894 USD price almost certainly does not reflect the hardware's true cost. However, while official release dates are not known, it seems possible that the Vu will soon be available in countries other than Korea. Especially with the increasing popularity of the Galaxy Note, I would expect LG to be pushing for a US release in the near future. I, for one, would love to see both devices side by side on store shelves, as having not one but two choices of seemingly excellent phoneblets would likely increase public adoption of the phoneblet form factor and lead to the release of more true pocketable hardware.[Fone Arena]