LG unveils new smartphone design philosophy--and smartphones--ahead of MWC

LG, seeking to grab attention ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, next week, unveiled a new design philosophy for its smartphones and also took the wraps off a trio of gadgets it plans to showcase at the conference.

lg optimus vu

Optimus Vu

LG said it is launching a new "design identity" called "L-Style" in 2012 as it seeks to regain momentum in the market. The company, which posted its first profit from its handset unit in six quarters during the fourth quarter, lost its No. 3 position in the market to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) during the quarter.

The new philosophy is part of plan to re-establish LG as a premier designer, a status it held during the heyday of its Chocolate series of feature phones before smartphones become popular. L-Style has five key elements, LG said: "Modern Square Style" for a comfortable grip, "Floating Mass Technology" for a slimmer look, "Seamless Layout" for a more intuitive arrangement of keys, "Harmonized Design Contrast" using metallic accents and "Sensuous Slim Shape" that seeks to draw customers' attention.

"Design is consistently the top or second most important factor for customers when choosing a mobile phone," Jong-seok Park, the president of LG's mobile communications business, said in a statement. "With smartphones, we sometimes took a more functional approach to design but with L-Style we're going back to our roots as a company focused on how our products fit into the lifestyle of our customers."

LG will unveil three new Optimus L-branded smartphones at the trade show to highlight the style. The flagship device is the Optimus Vu, similar in some respects to the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note from Samsung. The Vu sports a 5-inch 1024 x 768 IPS display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), processor, an 8-megapixel camera, 32 GB of storage and support for LTE. The device, whose screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, is geared at multimedia users.

For more:
- see this release
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this The Verge article
- see this Engadget post

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