Same phablet, with minor hardware upgrades (hands-on)

January 9, 2013 9:28 AM PST / Updated: January 9, 2013 3:29 PM PST
LG Optimus Vu II
The massive Optimus Vu II displayed at LG's equally massive CES 2013 booth. Lynn La/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Though it was released in South Korea this past September, the Optimus Vu II, LG's updated phablet device, cropped up at LG's booth during CES 2013.

Compared with its predecessor, a few of the specs have stayed the same: it still has the same gigantic 5-inch IPS LCD touch screen, the 8-megapixel camera (with the 1.3-megapixel camera up front), and the 1.5GHz dual-core processor.

What's different, however, is that it's thinner, its RAM has been bumped up from 1GB to 2GB, its onboard memory increased from 32GB to 64GB, and it now comes with a microSD card slot.

The OS has been updated, too, though it runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and not Jelly Bean.

In addition, the device has two new software features. One is called Panorama Note, which is just an expansion to LG's note-taking app, Quick Memo. Instead of being able to write and draw on one plane, you can scroll from side to side using a navigation tool on the bottom-right corner and take "panoramic notes" that are wider.

Quick Memo also has more pen-tip styles and more background pictures for your notes, rather than just a blank white sheet and ruled notebook paper.

The handset also comes with Vu Talk, which works very similar to a capability in Samsung's S Memo (that was already included in the first Galaxy Note).

Vu Talk lets you create notations on documents and photos on your device while sharing it with another Vu II through either a network or Wi-Fi connection. Both handsets view each other's annotations in real time and are differentiated by separate ink colors.

Currently, the first Vu is available in the U.S. with Verizon, going under the name "Intuition." Because of this, don't be surprised if you hear talk of this model (dare I say, it might be called the Intuition II?) hitting our shores soon.

For more of CNET's CES 2013 coverage, click here.

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About The Author

Lynn La is CNET's associate editor for cell phone and smartphone news and reviews. Prior to coming to CNET, she wrote for the Sacramento Bee and was a staff editor at Macworld. In addition to covering technology, she has reported on health, science, and politics.