|Wonky, ugly and just plain wrong|
After the recent success of the original Samsung Galaxy Note, it seems that everyone want to get in on the phablet action. HTC for instance is expected to announce their own 5-inch phablet on September 19th. LG has lagged in recent years as none of it’s device have pulled in the type of press coverage that Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Nokia have. The LG Intuition, available now from Verizon Wireless, is their own entrance into the 5-inch phone-tablet hybrid market. From the looks of it, LG has cut too many corners to make this worth it’s $199.99 price point.
It takes a special person to want a phablet. They have to be willing to sacrifice the compactness of a traditionally sized smartphone. They have to be willing to endure some level of ridicule from their friends and family as they hold their device to their ear. They also should probably really want a stylus. So when LG introduces their wonky idea of an already wonky idea of a smartphone, they don’t don’t the category any favors.
Lets start out with the screen ratio. The LG Intuition’s screen is in a 4:3 configuration. The last time you looked at a 4:3 screen was that old tube television that your family had several years ago. What LG may have been attempting here is a more book like feel but instead they made a device that will be too wide for many people to hold comfortably. Over the past decade, we’ve grown accustomed to our screens being in 16:9 and 16:10 configurations, largely thanks to our laptops.
Next lets talk about the stylus. Part of the appeal of the phablet category is the return of the stylus. For a myriad of reason, many people want or even need a stylus. I know Steve Jobs said the best stylus is your finger but he is wrong. When you need a stylus you need a stylus because some of us have fingers that are simply too fat. But LG did include a stylus! One might say in protest. Yes they did but they did it all wrong. Not only is the stylus capacitive (unlike the active Wacom digitizer in the Galaxy Note and Note 2) the LG Intuition completely lacks a way to carry it with you. That’s right. There is no slot for the stylus. How unituitive is that?
Lastly lets talk about the internals. The LG Intuition is powered by a last-gen dual core S3 processor running at 1.5 ghz. In a world where even the mid-tier $99 Motorola Razr M is running a S4 processor LG has no excuse. The smartphone world moves too quickly for this phone to remain relevant beyond a few months. I predict that it will be selling for less than $100 by Christmas time. The fact that this phone originally launched in Korea running Android 2.3 Gingerbread should be saying something. You know that Verizon had to force LG to put 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the phone in order for Big Red to agree to sell it.
All in all, if you are looking for a phablet on Verizon, wait until HTC makes their announcement and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is available for pre-order. Both device will keep their respective owner far happier than the absurd, disappointing offering from LG.