LG Electronics has launched an LTE smartphone with a quad-core processor, the Optimus G, which it hopes will set it apart from the competition as the smartphone market starts to ramp up for the Christmas holiday season.
The next month will see plenty of competition, with the expected launch of a new iPhone, Nokia's first Windows Phone 8-based smartphones and the successor to Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note.
LG's Optimus G has a 4.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 by 768 pixels, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel camera. But it's the combination of LTE connectivity and a 1.5GHz quad-core processor that sets it apart from the current crop of high-end smartphones, which have either LTE and a dual-core processor or a quad-core processor and 3G.
The processor that makes it possible for LG to marry the two is Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro or APQ8064, which can be integrated with Qualcomm's 3G and LTE modems and modules, making it possible for LG and others to develop versions that match the spectrum bands used across the world.
The processor can also independently control each of its four cores to improve battery life, according to Qualcomm.
The fact that the processor is available to LG also means that other vendors can also use it in their next-generation flagship smartphones.
Other features that LG is highlighting include Live Zooming, which allows users to zoom in and out while viewing a video, and Dual Screen Dual Play. The latter not only allows mirroring between the smartphone and a TV, but it also has the ability to display different content on each screen. For example, a slide presentation can be displayed on a TV while the Optimus G shows the accompanying speaking notes, LG said.
The Optimus G will become available in South Korea in October; in Japan in October or November; and in the rest of the world later this year, LG said.
For vendors that want to compete with the new iPhone, commercial availability will be key, according Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.
"The challenge all phone makers have is getting their products to market fast enough to ensure that they remain a consideration for consumers who are chomping at the bit to get the new iPhone 5," said Wood.
LG will have ample opportunity to detail its launch plans outside of Asia from its stand at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin this week.
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