LG hammers home on thin and bright at MWC 2012

LG mwc 2012 press conference

Check out our full review of the LG Optimus 4X HD smartphone.

Mobile World Congress has yet to begin in Barcelona, but LG has already preempted many of its competitors by lifting the veil from its entire line of announcements. The company’s latest phones and tablets lean heavily on big, high-resolution screens and hot specs, including Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core CPU.

Headlining the glittery parade of slim new smartphones is the anticipated LG Optimus 4X. As the name suggests, it boasts Nvidia’s aforementioned Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, plus a 4.7-inch True HD IPS display with 1280 x 720p resolution. All those pixels packed into 4.7 inches give an impressive pixel density of 313 pixels per inch, which definitely makes for sharp text and graphics. 

Coming a close second: The Galaxy Optimus Vu, a 5.0-inch not-quite phone, not-quite table that will compete directly with Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Like the iPad, it adopts a 4:3 aspect ratio to make for more comfortable reading, but its biggest differentiator will be its ultra-slim profile of just 8.5 inches. LG is also emphasizing its notebook size with a “QuickClip hotkey,” a dedicated button up top that switches it into a unique note-taking mode where you can write directly on the screen.

Although the LG Optimus 3D may not have been a top seller or particularly well reviewed, LG will also refresh its 3D phone with the LG Optimus 3D Max. No major surprises here: The new version is brighter (at 520 nits), slimmer (at 148 grams) and slimmer, (at 9.6mm thick). LG also added a 3D converter for apps and games that don’t direct 3D viewing, like Google Earth. It also gets HSPA+ support for speeds up to 21mbps.

LG optimus 3D

Another rehash, the LG Optimus LTE Tag, adds NFC, and will sell only in Korea.

LG also announced a new design language it’s calling L-Style, and three new phones that fit the mold: The L3, L5 and L7. That “language” includes a squared-off front profile, tapered edges to make the phones look slimmer, and a lack of seams. With mostly low-end specs, the phones will mostly be tailored to consumers who value fashion over power. The flagship L7 (below) gets a sharp 4.3-inch display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but only a 1.0GHz processor. Further down the line, the L5 gets a 4.0-inch screen and 800Mhz processor, and the L3 gets a tiny 3.2-inch screen, while dropping a version of Android to 2.3.

LG L7 mwc 2012

We had a chance to play with the lineup before the show floor opened, so stayed tuned for first impressions and hands-on video.