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LG Optimus Vu available unlocked, but not cheap

LG's answer to the Samsung Galaxy Note is now on sale in Korea, but for a big markup over its competitor.

Apparently the privilege of using a stylus on an out-sized phone is worth a few hundred bucks these days.

The Samsung Galaxy Note officially has some competition in the world of huge phone/tablet hybrids that work with a stylus--coming from another Korean company, LG, and its 5-inch Optimus Vu.

South Korea's second stab at a mega-phone went on sale in the country today with an unlocked price of about $900. The LTE-enabled Optimus Vu comes with Android Gingerbread, but LG promises an Ice Cream Sandwich update is just around the corner.

LG seems to be positioning the Optimus Vu as an e-reader alternative, touting an IPS display and 4:3 aspect ratio that provides "optimum readability" (according to Google Translate.)

A no-contract Optimus Vu from Korea is currently running about $200 more than an unlocked Galaxy Note, but I wouldn't consider this initial price to be indicative of what LG's biggest phone might run if it ever made it to North America.

There are no specific plans to float the Optimus Vu over the Pacific just yet, but if it got much bigger it could almost be a viable raft.