LG is a bit funny. They claim time and time again that they will launch dozens of new smartphones this year and sell millions of them. And then they keep announcing and re-announcing the same devices.
Take the Optimus One and Optimus Chic smartphones. These Android-packing devices were first semi-announced more than two months ago. And I say “semi-announced”, because back then a few pictures were made available, there was a quick mention of Froyo and… that was it. No specs, no price, no release date.
And today LG has made the bold step of re-announcing these two handsets, this time throwing in the actual specs and giving an expected release time frame. Still no information on price though. We should probably expect a new LG event in about a month or two that will unveil just that.
So, what do LG’s newest smartphones pack under the hood? Not much, by today’s superphone standards. These are midrange devices, not in any way close to the high end, but, if priced accordingly, may sell very well.
The LG P500 Optimus One has a 3.2″ 320×480 capacitive touchscreen, 3 MP autofocus camera with VGA video recording at 18 fps, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, WiFi 802.11g, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, 600 MHz processor, 170 MB internal memory expandable via a microSD card slot (a 2 GB card is included in the sales package), DivX/XviD playback support, 1500 mAh battery, 129 g and dimensions of 113.5 x 59 x 13.3 mm.
The LG E720 Optimus Chic differs from the Optimus One in a few areas. First, there’s the design, with the Chic having touch sensitive Android keys as opposed to the One’s actual hardware keys. The Chic’s camera is 5 MP, and it records video at VGA resolution at 30 fps. The Chic’s battery is only 1250 mAh and this handset is a tad heavier at 132 g. Its internal memory is just 150 MB. Other than that, the insides of the two phones are identical.
Choosing one or the other will probably be just a matter of personal style preference in the end, since they’re so similar.
Software-wise, both of the smartphones will come with Android 2.2 Froyo. LG has also added the so-called LG UI, which is a lot less intrusive than other Android overlays, and the Optimus One also comes with the LG App Advisor, which recommends 10 highly rated apps every two weeks.
The Optimus One will become available in Europe in October and will, over its lifetime, launch in 90 countries on 120 operators. The Optimus Chic will be available in Europe in November, with other markets to follow soon after.
As I said before, there is no information on the pricing of these devices, but judging from LG’s ambitions to launch them on as many operators as possible, prices will probably heavily depend on how much your preferred operator will choose to subsidize them.
In other LG and Android-related news, the Optimus Pad tablet that LG have told us a number of times that they are working on is apparently delayed. There was almost no mention of it during today’s press event, even if it was originally semi-announced alongside the Optimus One and Optimus Chic.
LG’s CEO insisted that they don’t just want to release a bigger smartphone, but get the tablet form factor, from both a hardware and a software standpoint, right. My guess is that they’re waiting for the next version of Android to come and supposedly bring enhanced support for tablets.
Either way, if you were hoping to see and/or buy an LG Android-powered tablet any time soon, you may be disappointed, but that isn’t happening.
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