LG Optimus Vu Review

Last month LG launched the Optimus Vu in India at a MRP of Rs 34,500. With the launch of Optimus Vu LG has entered the Phablet market to give competition to already existing phablets like Samsung Galaxy Note & Note 2. Optimus Vu is different from any of the existing phablets in the market due to its different 4:3 aspect ratio.

LG Optimus Vu in hand

It looks more like a tablet due to its flat design and 4:3 aspect ratio. Watching videos, live streams and browsing internet on Optimus Vu would be an awesome experience. Optimus Vu comes with a Rubberdium Stylus and few NFC tags. To know more about the Optimus Vu retail box contents check out our Unboxing of the LG Optimus Vu post.

Display & Design

Though Optimus Vu looks quite big in your hand but still it is light in weight and thin. The phone weighs just 168 grams and it is just 8.5mm thick. Talking about the display, the Optimus Vu has a 5 inch HD-IPS LCD display which has a 768 x 1024 pixels resolution.

LG Optimus Vu

As mentioned the display has a 4:3 aspect ratio which is quite different from the normal smartphones. The unique aspect ratio gives you a better viewing experience while watching live TV or while browsing the web. Though some applications may not scale well according to the screen’s aspect ratio, for such situations you can use the aspect ratio correction provided by LG in the phone. You just need to hold down the home key to open aspect ratio correction screen and it would slim down the app for better viewing. Due to 4:3 aspect ratio the phone has awkward dimensions as compared to other smartphones.

Above the display you have a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera and a proximity sensor.

LG Optimus Vu above display

Below the display, there are 4 touch buttons, for back, home, recent apps and properties.

LG Optimus Vu Touch Buttons

On the right side you have a volume rocker for increasing or decreasing the volume. Though there is no dedicated camera key present on the right side but the volume keys can be used to perform the same function as the camera key while using the camera app.

LG Optimus Vu volume rocker

On the left, you don’t have any buttons but just a SIM card slot. You need a pin to prise open the slot which comes with the retail box.

LG Optimus Vu left

The phone uses a microSIM instead of a normal SIM which can be inserted once you open the SIM card slot. The phone does not have any microSD card slot but comes with 32Gb internal storage which would be sufficient for most of the users.

LG Optimus Vu microsim slot

On the back you have a camera along with a LED flash, LG logo below the camera module, speaker grille and some device information printed on the back.

LG Optimus Vu Back

The device information printed on the back contains information like the model number, Manufacturing country and FCC ID.

LG Optimus Vu Back bottom

At the top of the phone you have a 3.5mm audio jack and next to it is a dedicated quickmemo hot key, microUSB slot and a power/lock key. The microUSB slot present on the top has a slider cover to prevent dust from accumulating in the slot.

LG Optimus Vu top 2

At the bottom of the phone you just have a mic just like any other phone in the market.

LG Optimus Vu bottom

Stylus Input

The era of the Stylus was nearly gone since most of the smartphones launched in the market came without a stylus. But with the launch of Galaxy Note we saw the stylus trend coming back. Optimus Vu comes with a rubberdium stylus which is bit different from a standard stylus. It is quite comfortable to hold and use.

LG Optimus Vu with Stylus

The phone does not have any slot to keep the Stylus which is quite surprising. You need to carry it like a pen in your pocket and due to this reason most of the people would not prefer to use it.

The quickmemo hot key is a great innovative feature provided by LG in Optimus Vu which lets you quickly create and save memos. In such scenario where you are creating a memo using handwriting mode, using stylus is a great advantage but unlike S Pen it has limited software support and no pressure sensitivity.

Hardware & Performance

LG Optimus Vu is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor along with ULP GeForce GPU. The phone comes with 1 GB RAM and 32 GB Internal Storage. We did not face any lag or slowness in the phone even while running many apps simultaneously. We performed few benchmark tests on the phone and it performed very well in these tests. Optimus Vu Scored 4999 in Quadrant benchmark test which is one of the most popular benchmarking test. It performed better than most of the smartphones in the market beating HTC One X, S3 etc.

We also performed AnTuTu benchmark on the phone, which is also one of the most popular benchmarking tool. In this test also Optimus Vu performed really well though in this test Galaxy S3 had higher score than Optimus Vu. Overall, Optimus Vu is a powerful phone which is highly optimized and benchmark results clearly shows that the phone does not lack anywhere in terms of performance.

Software

Optimus Vu runs on android ICS (ice cream sandwich) along with customized Optimus UI. Optimus UI provides upto seven home screens,  skinned app drawer  and customizable dock. It allows you to access various power controls from the notifications tray.

The skinned app drawer have 5 x 5 matrix of apps with some tabs at the top. These tabs let you choose letting you sort between all apps, downloaded ones and all widgets currently present on the phone. There is also a small settings option along with the tabs which can be used to change the order of the apps according to your preferences.

LG have included some useful apps like Weather, Polaris Office, Yahoo finance etc which comes pre-installed in the phone. Talking about the lock screen, Optimus Vu has a simple drag to unlock screen. You won’t find much options/ information on the lock screen.

One of the cool app present on  the phone is LG’s Media App which gives you a common access to all your videos, photos and music.

Optimus Vu has LG Tag+ application which allows you to easily save or erase the settings on various NFC Tags.

One of the things which you would enjoy on the phone is the typing experience. Due to 4:3 aspect ratio you get a stretched out keyboard in which keys are well spaced and you can type quite easily.

      

Camera

Optimus Vu comes with a 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash. Phone can capture images at 3264×2448 pixels resolution. The camera also supports full HD video recording i.e 1080p@30fps.

    LG Optimus Vu Camera

The camera interface is quite easy to use and offers lot of options to the users. You can easily swap between front and rear camera and between image capture and video recording.

The camera performed really well even in the low light conditions. The quality of the captured images were quite good with very less noise. Here are some of the sample images taken with the Optimus Vu Camera :

The last image was taken at night with no other light source except the Optimus Vu LED flash. Here is a sample video recorded using the LG Optimus Vu camera :

Overall, we were quite impressed with the quality of the captured images. One of the best feature of the camera in Optimus Vu is that you can use the volume keys just like the dedicated camera key. The phone also has a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera for video calling.

Battery Life

LG Optimus Vu Comes with a 2100mAh Battery which is not sufficient as compare to large high resolution display it comes with. With even moderate usage the battery was just sufficient to last for a day. For heavy users, they need to keep a charger handy or a portable charger as the phone’s battery won’t last for even entire day for them.

Conclusion

LG Optimus Vu is a great and one of the best handset available in the market. It is a powerful phone that has an incredible quad core processor and you won’t face any lag or slowness even while multi-tasking. Awesome Screen and good camera gives it an edge over other handsets in the same price range. One of Problem with the device is its awkward dimensions. Overall, for a price tag of Rs 34,500 it is surely a great buy for the users who want to have a handset which looks more like a mini tablet.

Pros:

  • Great Screen & Design
  • Good Camera
  • High Performance
  • Optimized Software

Cons:

  • Awkward Dimensions
  • No Place to Store the Stylus
  • Average battery life

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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