LG unveils Optimus G for American market

LG Optimus G
LG's flagship phone gets a New York welcome

This morning in New York City, LG held an event to formally introduce the Optimus G, their brand new flagship handset.

It's the first 4G LTE device to sport Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor, and LG's head of marketing, James Fishler, claims that it will set "a new standard in mobile, for both professionals and consumers."

In addition to announcing a new smart phone into the marketplace, it was a chance for LG and Qualcomm to celebrate their 16 year long partnership, which includes developing the first CDMA phone, among other milestones.

But the focus was squarely on the new phone. Unfortunately, those expecting something more from what was announced in South Korea just yesterday will be disappointed. An LG rep admitted that the unveil in Seoul caught everyone off guard.

What's old is new again

LG didn't have all that much to add. The same specs were repeated, including a 1.5GHz Quad-Core Krait CPU running Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Optimus G runs on 2G, 3G, and LTE networks, has 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, a 15:9 aspect ratio, and a 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS display - the first device from LG to sport such a feature.

The pre-production models that the press were allowed to handle was 131.9 x 68.9 x 8.45 millimeters and weights 145 grams. Inside was 32GB of internal memory, with no means of expansion, and 2GB of DDR ram.

When asked if other configurations would be available, LG could not comment, but they did say that 32GB was the baseline.

The 2,100mAh battery - which has a talk time of 15 hours and standby time of 335 hours - was regularly touted as being the ultimate solution for both professionals and consumers.

LG Optimus G

Options abound with the Optimus G

'Live without boundaries'

The device's tagline, "live without boundaries," was stressed throughout the product demo. And, at the top of the list of highlighted apps and services was QuickMemo, which exists on same LG handsets today - it allows one to draw annotations on the screen.

Additionally, the Optimus G adds QuickMemo URL to the mix, which allows users to transmit both a screenshot of webpage plus notes to another Optimus G - very useful for business situations.

What's more, during the QuickMemo demo, an Optimus G user can add annotations to a Power Point presentation in real time, plus a finger can become a virtual laser pointer. This app is a system-wide service for the most part, but its unavailable when taking pictures or shooting video.

Speaking of pictures, the Optimus G sports a rear 13 MP camera. Various shooting modes were highlighted, includes Time Catch Shot, which takes five pictures near simultaneously, in case someone blinks.

Another feature, Cheese Shutter, allows users to take self portraits by simply saying the world cheese, instead of trying to deal with a shutter button.

The rear camera can also capture 1080p video, and the front facing camera can shoot 720p. No framerate was given.

Shutterbugs can also pinch to zoom while shooting images, or use it to zoom in while watching video - a feature that is only possible due to the quad core processor.

LG Optimus G pricing, release date still a mystery for US

True multitasking was also unveiled. Called Dual Screen Dual Play, users can send video onto an HD set, via WiFi Direct, but still use the phone. Picture in picture on the device is also possible. Q Slide Video allows one to play video in the background while also performing other functions. And a slider allows one to control the opacity of the image.

As noted, the handset runs Ice Cream Sandwich. No word yet on if Jelly Bean will make an appearance, but pretty much everything was pre-production, so it might have Jelly Bean included when the smartphone ships.

The Optimus G supports a custom UI that's not all that different from the stock Android experience, other than some fancy (albeit distracting) transitions between screens and apps. Despite not being final, everything felt nice and snappy.

The release date in this territory is unknown, other than Q4 of this year (though it's speculated that it might come out in South Korea as early as next week).

No price was stated, nor carrier agreements. The make on display had a white backing, but there is supposedly a black version somewhere in the pipeline.

TechRadar will have the latest on the release date a soon as it's available.