LG Optimus G

/ Updated: 18 September 2012 10:43 am BST

LG let the cat out of the bag about its latest flagship blower, the Optimus G, on YouTube last week but the Korean giant has now made it official.

The Optimus G is a 4.7-inch smart phone that packs a high-definition screen, a 13-megapixel camera and a nippy quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM.

There's no word yet on UK pricing or availability, but stay tuned for more information.

Design

The photos LG has provided of the new Optimus G show an industry-standard monolithic rectangle shape, dominated by a screen that appears to offer a deliciously slim bezel.

It's packing a 4.7-inch screen, so expect it to be about as pocket-unfriendly as current smart phone giants like the Galaxy S3 or HTC One X. It measures 131mm long, 69mm wide and is 8.5mm thick, which is to be expected on a 4.7-inch phone, as is its 145g weight.

Interestingly, LG mentions it has a glass-coated back, which it calls 'Crystal Reflection'. The Korean company reckons it can "display different patterns depending on the viewing angle and lighting" and is "exquisitely reminiscent of a jewel". While that might sound like something you'd see during a feverish hallucination, it will at least mean it's more interesting to look at than the standard plastic back seen on many Android phones.

Around the back of the phone you'll find a 13-megapixel camera, which is one of the highest resolutions we've seen on a phone -- excluding, of course, Nokia's crazy 41-megapixel 808 PureView. There's no word at all about any other technical specifications of the snapper, so the verdict on its quality will be left for the full review.

LG Optimus G back
The 13-megapixel camera on the back of the LG Optimus G has one of the highest resolutions yet seen on a smart phone.

Camera and screen

LG has bundled the phone with some camera software, including a best shot function that captures numerous images at once for you to pick your best (something we've seen on various phones already), as well as a voice control feature that lets you activate the shutter by saying "LG", "cheese" or "kimchi", which is what Koreans say when posing for a photo.

There's also a 1.3-megapixel camera stuck to the front of the phone to let you make video calls over Skype or take Myspace-style self portraits.

The screen measures 4.7 inches on the diagonal, with a resolution of 1,280x768 pixels, giving a pixel density of 318ppi, which is excellent, if a smidge lower than the iPhone's 326ppi. It's a mite better than the Galaxy S3's screen, which stretches a very similar number of pixels over a slightly larger space. I haven't been able to test the screen with my own eyeballs, but I'm hoping for a pin-sharp display with bright, bold colours.

Software, processor and 4G

The Optimus G will ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board, which is a shame, as ICS is no longer the latest version of Android -- that honour goes to 4.1 Jelly Bean. Given the G will sit as LG's flagship phone, it's odd that it hasn't done its best to pair it with the latest software.

Still, ICS is very usable and so long as LG hasn't mucked up the interface too much with its own skin, it should keep even the more dedicated Android users among you happy with its multiple home screens that you can fill up with apps and widgets.

LG has thrown a few pieces of its own software into the mix, including something called QSlide that lets you view two apps side by side at once (which sounds identical to the side-by-side apps that feature on Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1). There's also Live Zooming, which lets you zoom into any videos to focus on a particular area, although I'm not exactly sure why you'd want to do that.

Powering the Optimus G is a quad-core processor clocked at a very nippy 1.5GHz, alongside an impressive 2GB of RAM. Those are seriously potent specs and look set to give even the powerhouse S3 a run for its money. These specs are from the Korean release of the phone though, so whether we see any changes to the line-up in the UK remains to be seen.

When it launches in Korea, the Optimus G will come with LTE capabilities, meaning it'll be able to use 4G networks for super-fast data downloads. EE launched the first 4G network in the UK last week, so it's reasonable to assume the 4G version of the Optimus G will make its way to the UK to use the new network.

EE hasn't released any information on its pricing yet, but it's expected to come with a chunky premium over and beyond a standard 3G contract. If you don't think you'll need the extra speed, or you live beyond the 16 cities EE will service at launch, you'll be better off sticking to your existing 3G connection.

Outlook

The LG Optimus G packs some impressive specs beneath a high-definition 4.7-inch screen. It looks set to take on smart phone big boys like the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5, and on paper at least, it might have a shot. Stay tuned for a full review soon.

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LG Optimus G

Part Number: CNETLG Optimus G
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