But when you launch a document in Drive, take a shufti at a web page in Chrome, fire up Navigation or open a book, everything looks a lot less cramped than usual. In short, it feels much more like a small tablet than a large phone.
Obviously a 4:3 aspect ratio screen is hardly ideal for watching widescreen video but the eye soon learns to ignore the black bars above and below so it’s not a deal breaker. With a pixel density of 256dpi and using IPS technology, the screen is a crisp and colourful as well a big one. It’s bright too. LG says the panel’s luminescence is rated at a maximum of 650nits which is 50 more than the Asus Transformer Prime manages in eyeball-searing Super-IPS mode.
The home screen and Chrome on the LG Vu
QuickNote and Write
I was expecting to encounter a fair number of apps that wouldn’t play ball with the Vu’s unusual screen but all the apps and games installed on my Desire HD worked a treat. If you do come across an app that looks wonky a press-and-hold of the home key will render the app in its native aspect ratio.
One word of caution for gamers: while the aspect ratio change worked with Dead Trigger, the touch-sensitive control areas stayed where they were on the screen at 4:3 rather than moving to suit the revised layout. The game played well in 4:3 but everything looked a wee bit stretched.
Stretching the imagination: Dead Trigger on LG Vu
There’s a lot to like in the physical design. The body is very solid and the rear pleasantly textured. The micro USB slot at the top is concealed by a funky chrome sliding door. The Vu takes a micro Sim card, has a fixed battery and a brace of very decent cameras - 8Mp at the back, 1.3 at the front.
LG has carried over some handy tweaks and enhancements from the 4X HD, including the excellent video player and QuickMemo, which lets you make handwritten notes and take screen grabs and doodle on them - it’s answer to Samsung’s S-Note.
Next page: Hip to be square?
Probably more along the lines of; we've got 2M industrial 5" 4:3 IPS screens from a cancelled order, no one wants them, what shall we do with them?
Don't hurry. 700 quid laptops will still be x768 for another decade.
<gets off hobby horse>
Deal breaker for me is the fixed battery, from the look of the charging cycles thingy it will be fooked in just over a year of daily charging.
Or, expanding consumer choice by bringing out a device with an unusual aspect ratio.
Re: "The Vu doesn’t have a MicroSD card slot ..."
"However, for the past year I haven't removed the microSD card from my phone because WiFi transfer is fast enough for pictures and music files."
I don't think I have ever removed the SD card from any of my phones to transfer data to it.
However, I still don't want a phone without a card slow, because:
a) With a card I can upgrade when I want. Without, handset upgrade time.
b) With a card, I can upgrade handset and not have to copy all my data over. Without, there's a lot of work to move the data over
c) With a card, if the card fails I just buy a new one (£15?). With internal memory only, I have to buy a new phone (£350).
d) With a card, I can pop the card out to back up the data quickly. Without, backing up several GB over Wifi/USB is slooow, and over Wifi normally fails before it's complete.
A separate memory card is just more flexible.