Seeking to replicate the success of Samsung's Galaxy Note "phablet," LG and Verizon Wireless are about to launch a similar device with a 5-inch screen blending voice-call ability and tablet features.
LG's Intuition hits stores Monday, Sept. 10, with online orders beginning Thursday for $199.
The New Vu vs. the Note II
The device was previously launched overseas as the LG Optimus Vu. Now the manufacturer, badly trailing fellow South Korean electronics giant Samsung in the smartphone market, sees some potential in the plus-size touchscreen form factor even as Samsung rolls out the Galaxy Note II, with an even larger screen: 5.55 inches instead of 5.3.
Samsung claimed in March that it had sold 5 million Galaxy Notes in the first five months of availability, impressive numbers for a non-Apple phone. The Note is now available via AT&T and T-Mobile, while the carriers for the Note II have yet to be announced.
The Android 4.0-powered Intuition matches the Note's price, with a two-year voice and data contract, of $199. It comes with a Rubberdium pen as opposed to the Note's electronic S-Pen, and has apps for productivity such as Polaris Office for documents, spreadsheets and presentations (sorted by folder) and QuickMemo for drawing or writing messages that can be added to pictures, maps or Web sites and shared via text, social media or e-mail.
Like another Samsung device, the Galaxy S III, the Intuition can also read reprogrammable near-field communication stickers via the LG Tag+ app to change phone functions from Car Mode to Office Mode, Sleep Mode or User Mode with a tap. The stickers can also activate or change settings.
The 5-inch HD display has a 4:3 aspect ratio and 650 NIT brightness, and the Intuition sports a 1.5-gigahertz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, and an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, voice-command activation, panorama horizontal-shot merging and 1080p HD video recording. There's also a 1 .3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting.
If you order an Intuition online before Monday, Verizon will throw in an LG Tone Stereo Bluetooth headset gratis.
Hard To Hold
It remains to be seen whether the phablet form factor merging phones and tablets will catch on beyond the Galaxy Note. Because of the awkward size of such devices, users may find them difficult to hold in one hand for phone calls, even though that is an increasingly small feature of the smartphone experience.
"I don't think 5-inch is catching on," analyst Ken Dulaney of Gartner Research told us. "But as people move more toward data and away from voice, these form factors may be more attractive."
He added that despite the voice-call problem, consumers seem to support diversity in screen size.
"It's no longer appropriate to talk about what size wins," Dulaney said. "They all win."
Posted: 2012-09-06 @ 1:48am PT
"I don't think 5-inch is catching on," Ken, 5 Million Galaxy Notes in the first 5 months.... Think again....