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twitter-logoNidhi Singal | Print Edition: December 2012

Optimus VU
Price: Rs 34,500
Specs: 5-inch display; 8MP camera; Quadcore Tegra 3 processor; 1GBRAM, 32GB onboard storage; WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G; 2080 mAh battery.

Plus-sized Android smartphones are all the rage these days. Now, LG too has joined the phablet bandwagon with its Optimus VU, a gigantic device with a 5-inch display. But the 4:3 aspect ratio and the resultant size of the phone makes it almost impossible to use with one hand. Unlike the Samsung Note 2, which is optimised for single-hand operation, we had to use both hands to use the VU. Then there were some weird looks from the people around when they saw us making a call on the phone.

A soft-tipped stylus, which replicates finger touch, comes with the phone, but this needs to be carried separately as there is no slot to store the stylus on the device. The phone, however, doesn't disappoint on the performance front. The VU has four touch keys below the display (back, home, multitasking and options), while the menu tray is divided into apps, downloads and widgets. A settings icon is prominently visible in the main menu tray as well as notification bar.

Like on the Samsung Note, LG has added a Notebook application to the Optimus VU. The interface looks similar to that on the S-Pad. To create a new note, we had to first select the Cover colour followed by a title, the kind of paper and its colour. Once done, a wide row of options appear on the top of the sheet that allowed us to create text or add image to the note. Quick Memo allowed us to snap a screenshot and scribble on it. There is a dedicated key on the top panel of the VU that instantly captures the screenshot. Both the notes and quick memos can be shared via email, Bluetooth, etc.

The Optimus VU has an 8MP camera with an LED flash that manages to capture decent shots but disappoints in low-light. The huge display hogs a lot of battery and even an average user will have to keep the charger handy to charge this device throughout the day.

The awkward dimensions mean the Vu is more a compact tablet than a smartphone.

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