LG’s next on the 5-inch screen bandwagon, gambles on a 4:3 aspect ratio

LG Optimus Vu Sketch VideoToo big or not too big, that is the question that has been raging ever since mobile device screens topped 4-inches, recently coming to a head with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note, with its 5.3-inch screen.

Despite being deemed “just too damn big” in our brief hands-on at the beginning of the year, the Galaxy Note has already performed well, racking up more than 1 million devices sold in Korea and at least another million shipped worldwide.

Samsung has been pushing the Note hard too, culminating in an extravagant commercial which played during the Superbowl, in preparation for its US launch.  Where Dell failed — or was just too ahead of its time — Samsung looks to be succeeding, and it seems those who want a phone that barely fits in a pocket outnumber those who do not.

LG looks to be the next company to go large, having released a teaser trailer for a 5-inch device themselves. Named the Optimus Vu, or the Optimus Sketch according to other sources, the screen will sport a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the Note’s 16:10.

Ratio: A Fellow of Infinite Jest.

Because very few subjects sound as dull as aspect ratios, and in all honesty, in-depth discussion should be left to the bearded few who know the pixel-to-ratio conversion sum without needing to look it up; but its use on these smartphone/tablet hybrids could be a key differentiating factor.

LG Optimus Vu Sketch LeakWhen hearing 4:3 or 16:9, most people will think of their televisions, and equate 4:3 with old and 16:9 with new. While true to a certain extent, on a portable device with a smaller screen, a 4:3 aspect ratio could make good sense.

The Optimus Vu’s resolution is rumored to be 1024 x 768, meaning it’s more square than it is oblong. This ratio/resolution combination is clever, as many websites are optimized for this resolution, it’s great for reading eBooks in portrait, as it’s closer to a paper book’s look, plus almost all pictures shot with a point-and-shoot camera are 4:3 too.

LG isn’t the first to recognize that 4:3/1024 x 768 can be put to good use on a screen smaller than a TV, but larger than a smartphone. That’s right, it’s also Apple’s choice for the iPad 2.

Still Too Big?

Aspect ratios aside, anything with a 5-inch screen is still going to be a bit of a monster, and even though it’s 0.3-inch smaller than the Note, opinions on its practicality will be as split as the seams in pockets forced to accommodate such a device.

With the spec sheet said to feature a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, it’s looking like LG is banking on its 4:3 screen to draw customers away from the Note.

Few thought there was a need for one device with a 5-inch-plus screen, let alone more than that, so will LG’s 4:3 gamble pay off?

The Optimus Vu could make an appearance at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month.


Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.

You forgot all about these 6 phones of 2018. Prepare to forget them again

The best phones of the year are memorable, exciting, and ones we all want to buy. But what about the others? We're not talking about bad phones, we're talking about forgettable phones -- ones that aren't even bad enough to be remembered.

T-Mobile is giving away free iPhone XRs and Galaxy S9s for the holidays

T-Mobile is celebrating the holiday season with a series of deals for customers who want an iPhone XR, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6T, LG V40, or LG G7. There are terms and conditions to the deals, but they are still worth considering.

Why Honor’s new screen is the hole-y grail in quest to ditch the notch

Honor will release a smartphone with an in-screen camera in the new year, a trend which is gathering momentum in the industry. Honor said it has cracked the formula, and explains what's special about its All-View Display.

Forget 3 being a crowd, 4 is the magic number on the Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei's sequel to the P20 Pro, the P30 Pro, has already started to leak ahead of its 2019 announcement and release. The company is likely to improve even further on the P20 Pro's excellent camera.

How to use Samsung’s Bixby assistant for all of your smartphone tasks

Samsung Bixby is a powerful tool, but not the most intuitive one we've encountered. Here's how to set up and use every feature of Samsung's digital assistant, as well as what to expect in the future.

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.