March seems to be the month that all the flagship phones are coming to the surface, and one of these has been practically promised since last year. Australia seems to be the last stop on LG’s Optimus G tour, because it’s launching now, bringing high-end features to a world that expects a lot from its mobile phones.
“We believe today is a special day,” said LG’s Lambro Skropidis, Marketing General Manager for LG Australia, “[for consumers] to experience what we generally believe is a new dawn for mobile technology in Australia.”
That “new dawn” is a handset that was previewed last year and shown again at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and is LG’s answer to this year’s generation of mobile phones.
Called the Optimus G, it is LG’s latest entry to its Android-based “Optimus” line of mobile handsets, and the current model brings with it specs that are sure to impress, including quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, Adreno 320 graphics chip, 32GB storage built in, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, GPS, Near-Field Communication, wireless video over Miracast, Android 4.1.2 “Jelly Bean”, 13 megapixel rear camera, 2GB RAM (the sweet spot for running Android), a 2100mAh battery, and a 4.7 inch high-grade IPS screen capable of 1280×768, which is part of the 15:9 aspect ratio, offering a touch more width than the 16:9 screens most other phones use.
Marketed as more than just your regular phone, Mr. Skropidis this week said that “it’s positioning is to not be a ‘me too’ phone, but a ‘superphone.'”
High-speed 4G LTE connectivity is one of the things included, but so is a denser battery designed not to lose its charge for a longer period of time (compared to the competition), as well as a thinner screen construction that throws the touch panel directly into the LCD and helps with minimising reflectivity in direct sunlight.
“With adoption of 4G expected to explode in 2013, we are sending a clear message to consumers with the Optimus G and Optimus F Series that LTE isn’t just for heavy content users and technophiles anymore,” he said. “It’s for everyone.”
More than the performing technology under the hood, LG is doing its best to make the experience interesting, and this is likely to be an important area, as it’s the little things in software that will differentiate phones like the Optimus G from other devices out there.
These enhancements come in the form of an easy to use installation of Android, a camera shutter that activates when you say a word with an “eee” sound (like “cheese” or “whiskey”), being able to mirror your screen wireless with the assistance of a Miracast box, show three apps simultaneously as you would on a Windows or Mac OS desktop, having the camera take up to two seconds of shots before you press the shutter, and QMemo which will allow you to scrawl in notes or phone numbers while you’re on the phone for use later.
“The Optimus G is a ground-breaking premium device not only for LG but also for the smartphone industry,” said Mr. Skropidis. “With the Optimus G, users will be able to experience unsurpassed features that will allow them to perform tasks that really enhance their daily lives.”
LG’s Optimus G comes at an interesting time, with opposition Samsung launching its Galaxy S4 in the next few days. Already, this handset is competing against the now-available Sony Xperia Z, which has a higher resolution screen, but shares the same graphics and processing power. Samsung’s release is expected to trump both in power, similar to HTC’s recently announced “One” handset, which features faster innards and a higher quality screen than both Sony’s and LG’s releases.
But this could come down to the software, as we said before, because it doesn’t necessarily matter how fast everything is in the phone, but rather if the experience is enjoyable and better for the customer, and only time will tell for LG if its Optimus G wins on that one.
The LG Optimus G is available exclusively from Telstra for $0 on a $60 plan, though no outright price has been announced. The first 5000 customers will receive a Miracast box for wireless transmission of video from the handset, with any subsequent purchases finding it in the market for $99 RRP.