The release date and price hasn't yet been announced, but the LG Optimus G should be available before Christmas. See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?

LG's Optimus G smartphone: hands on

I got a short hands-on experience with the LG Optimus G at the MobileCon mobile IT conference this week.

The Optimus G weighs 144g, about the industry average, and measures 129x69x8mm. I found that the size, weight and feel of the phone were quite comfortable.

The phone's quad-core processor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with a clock speed of 1.5GHz, offers snappy speeds for making swipes and touches, especially useful in gaming moves. The LG Optimus G will include either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, along with a microSD slot and a pre-loaded 16GB SD card. There is also a high-capacity 2,100 mAh battery, offering an estimated 13 hours of talk time.

The 4.7-in. display, at a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, provides vivid colours with what LG calls true HD IPS (In-Plane Switching) Plus and Zerogap Touch technologies. According to LG, Zerogap eliminates the gap between the glass and the LCD panel to add clarity to the display. And this showed up in my quick tryout while I was looking at images and videos - I have to admit, it was truly impressive.

LG Optimus G: great new features

LG Optimus G NexusBut while speed and a great display are standouts, what makes the G in Optimus G stand for gold -- at least, for me -- are features such as the Dual Screen Dual Play capability, which allows mirroring of an image onscreen with a TV or monitor. Dual Screen Dual Play means a trainer or presenter can run a PowerPoint presentation on the phone, complete with notes and slides panel, and then show the presentation to an audience on a large display -- without the notes or the panel visible.

In addition, if the presenter needs to answer a question from the audience, she can quickly browse the Web for an answer on the Optimus G without the search showing up on the larger display. This is the kind of technology that shows the power of the smartphone as a truly convenient and effective mobile computer.

Other software features include a QSlide function that shows two different screens simultaneously on the phone's display with adjustable transparent overlays. That means you can write and send an email while keeping another app open, such as a Web page or a game, in the background.

LG Optimus G NexusA QuickMemo feature allows you to take notes using your finger as a stylus on a document or photo. (A real stylus, not included, can also be used for more handwriting precision.) For example, you could draw a circle around an item on a Web page, capture it as a screenshot and then email it. For Web designers and others, QuickMemo could prove to be a time-saver.

I was also impressed by the phone's Screen Zooming capability, which allows you to zoom in and out of photos, emails, texts and lists.

The biggest downside of the Optimus G for some early adopters will be that it ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with no word yet on an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

LG Optimus G: Specs

  • Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • 16GB or 32GB internal storage
  • microSD slot with pre-loaded 16GB SD card
  • 2,100 mAh battery
  • 4.7-in IPS touchscreen display, 1280x768 pixels
  • 8Mp camera
  • 144g
  • 129x69x8mm
  • Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • 16GB or 32GB internal storage
  • microSD slot with pre-loaded 16GB SD card
  • 2,100 mAh battery
  • 4.7-in IPS touchscreen display, 1280x768 pixels
  • 8Mp camera
  • 144g
  • 129x69x8mm

OUR VERDICT

With all of its many great qualities, the LG Optimus G deserves to do well in the market. But it will face a wide array of new smartphones shipping in the next few weeks, including quad-core models like the HTC One X+ running Jelly Bean, and a slew of new devices which will be running Windows Phone 8. And, oh yes, there's that iPhone 5 to consider, with Apple continuing to dominate the marketing wars. LG seems to have arrived at the smartphone party wearing a great outfit and fabulous jewelry. But Apple may have already moved on to the after-party with its many friends.

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