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Nov 15 2012, 04:49 IST
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SummaryThe LG Optimus Vu is for those who want more than a smartphone.

The LG Optimus Vu seems to be aimed at the same market as the Samsung Galaxy Note—more than a smartphone, but not quite a full-blown tablet. With a five inch screen, the Vu starts off with the same problem that afflicts the Note—it’s too big to comfortably hold in the hand or put in the pocket, and looks decidedly odd when held up to the ear. That said, with greater size comes greater accessibility. Where the larger screen might seem cumbersome when used as a phone, the Vu is outstanding when used as a tablet. That is, the larger screen makes reading PDFs, viewing photographs, and even accessing social networking sites a dream.

What adds to this pleasurable experience is that the 1.5 GHz Dual Core processor and 2 GB RAM allow apps to be opened instantly. There’s not even a half-second wait before you have the app up and running at your fingertips. This fast processor speed, a shade faster than what the Note offers, makes all the difference as the phone runs a graphics-heavy operating system—the Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Now, Android comes with a lot of fun features that, though lacking in an real functionality, make the user experience a more enjoyable one. One example is the manner in which you can slide between pages—the tiles can simply move to one side, cascade, ripple etc. To make sure these transitions are seamless, a fast processor is a must, and here the Vu delivers.

Given the size of the phone, one would think it would be clunky and heavy, but that is not the case. With a thickness of just 8.5 mm, the Vu is even slimmer than the Note (9.65 mm). And, weighing just 168 grams, it is a full 10 grams lighter than the Note. The buttons are mostly standard —power on/off, volume—but there is one additional button that really changes the game for the Vu, making it at once an accessible tablet and a smartphone all in one. That button, placed on the top in line with the power button, turns on and off the sketching mode.

Once you click the button, the phone enters drawing mode— that is, whatever the background, you can draw/write over it using only your finger or the stylus provided. Now, this is a fantastic feature. Suppose you are in a hurry and need to write down a number. Instead of entering

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