iPhone 4S Rival Alert : LG Releases Optimus VU

LG has announced the launch of a new device, the Optimus VU which bridges the gap between traditional smartphones and tablets, just like the Dell Streak and the Galaxy Note did before it.

The Optimus Vu was announced in South Korea ahead of the start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next Monday, with the phone going on sale in its launch country in March. LG hasn't said when or whether it might release the handset abroad.

There's one feature that sets the Optimus Vu apart from the rest of the competition, which is the fact that it has a 1024x768 display (an IPS LCD one), with a 4:3 aspect ratio, making it the only smartphone on the market with such a property.

The only other popular device to sport a 4:3 aspect ratio is none other than Apple's iPad. Other features include a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC clocked at 1.5GHz (a MSM8660, rather than either an Nvidia Tegra 2 or a TI OMAP4 model), 1GB RAM, 32GB built-in storage, an eight megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front facing one, a 2080mAh battery and is only 8.5mm thick.

Like the Galaxy Note, it features a stylus which LG calls the "Rubberdium pen" which betrays its origins. Sadly though, the Vu doesn't come with an HDMI port and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread for now, although LG says there's an upgrade to ICS coming soon.