LG steps up to the plate

Features Marin Perez 11:36, Dec 17 2010

With the introduction of the Optimus 2X and other upcoming devices, LG Electronics is showing that it’s serious about becoming an even larger mobile player.

When it comes to the high-end smartphone game, LG Electronics hasn’t even been close to being a part of the conversation, but the introduction of the Optimus 2X shows that it could be a force to be reckoned with. There are many potential hurdles, but this device shows that the company is not going down without a fight.

Previously known as the LG Star, the Optimus 2X has a stat line that should make any mobile fan drool. We’re talking about the world’s first smartphone with the dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 1080p HD playback and recording and a 4-inch WVGA screen all in a slick-looking package.

The dual-core processor is going to be a dominant trend in 2011, so it’s important that LG can claim to be the first on the market. More importantly, if this device is properly optimized, the Tegra 2 should give the horsepower to perform better than any other smartphone on the market. Additionally, there are those who say dual-core processors can provide better battery life because of how efficiently the multiple cores handle tasks.

Having this flagship device will give LG some bragging rights over its Korean rival Samsung, but that first-mover advantage won’t last for long. We already know that Samsung is working on its dual-core Orion chip, so I’d expect it to start showing off devices with this new chip as early as February. Motorola, HTC and others will definitely also have dual-core phones over the next few months, so LG will have to have a multi-device strategy to succeed.

Luckily, it looks like it has a strong one.

The LG B Android phone was just uncovered a super-slim device that also sports an incredible screen. Not much is known about this thing, but leaked photos show it will be thinner than the Apple iPhone 4 (which has been called the world’s thinnest smartphone) and it should be brighter than Apple smartphone or the Samsung Galaxy S lineup. There’s no guarantee it will be a better display overall, but this is shaping up to be a very chic device at the very least.

Tablets will also be a trending topic in 2011 and LG should also have this base covered with the so-called Optimus Pad. Very little is known about this device but it’s a safe bet that it will have a 9-inch screen, will run Android Honeycomb and it should also have a dual-core processor. LG is also promising that it will have many “firsts” and I’m betting that it will be a stellar tablet when it does come out.

The difficulty in creating an Android tablet is that it appears Google is specifically designing its Android tablet experience around a prototype that will be made by Motorola. This gives the maker of the original DROID a huge leg-up when it comes to Google’s tablet ambitions. I’m sure LG, Samsung and others get some insight into what the little, green robot will be on this new form factor, but it can’t be as much knowledge as Motorola is receiving.

Granted, these are just three LG devices, two of them aren’t confirmed and the competitions’ responses haven’t been uncovered yet but it’s still an amazing feat for LG that the mobile community is so jazzed about its upcoming portfolio of products – I mean, was anyone counting down the days until the LG Ally came out?

The products should be on point, now it’s just a matter of executing a strategy to get these devices into our hands. While every company would love to have the cache of the iPhone, that exclusive route may not be the best approach for LG (or Apple either, if you believe the Verizon iPhone rumors). LG could take a look at what Samsung has done with its Galaxy S lineup and the Tab, as the multi-carrier approach has led to that company selling more than 3 million Galaxy S smartphones in the United States and more than 1 million Tabs in the world.

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