The LG Optimus Vu is official in Korea, will an international launch follow during MWC?

LG Optimus VuAt the beginning of the month, LG revealed a teaser video featuring a device named the Vu, a tablet/smartphone hybrid and challenger to the Samsung Galaxy Note. It stood out due to its use of a 4:3 aspect ration touchscreen.

LG has now made the Optimus Vu official in its home country of Korea, but will be taking the device with it to Mobile World Congress at the end of the month, signifying an impending international launch.

As expected, the Vu has a 5-inch IPS touchscreen with a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution and that unusual 4:3 ratio, and is powered by a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor. The operating system is Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the press release promises an update to Ice Cream Sandwich will be coming “within three months.”

Despite the dodgy Google translation of the Korean text making it a little unclear, the Vu also replicates the Galaxy Note’s S-Pen feature, as it talks about a “reobeodyum pen made of rubber” used for “separate memos,” as well as pointing out that “pictures can be recorded.” We’ll take that to mean you can use a stylus to jot down notes and draw pictures.

Size-wise, at 8.5mm the Optimus Vu is slimmer than the 9.7mm thick Galaxy Note, while as you’d expect the form factor is more square. The 168 gram weight is also slightly less than the Note’s 178 grams. In the pictures, the form factor looks really interesting, but unfortunately even more ungainly than the Note.

Other features include an 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.3-megapixel video call lens on the front, an HDMI-out, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, 32GB of internal memory, a 2,080mAh battery and 4G LTE connectivity.

Does the Galaxy Note need a competitor? Will the Vu’s 4:3 aspect ratio screen be enough to entice customers who want a massive phone/small tablet away from Samsung’s device, which has already got a considerable head start? We should find out after Mobile World Congress.