It’s not exactly news that LG isn’t the pinnacle of cellular innovation anymore, with new (and some old) competitors out-performing the company’s smartphone team.
Now we know that LG hasn’t been sitting on its hands and watching companies like HTC, Samsung and Motorola control the increasingly competitive smartphone market. Instead, LG has been working on the first dual-core Android handset, the LG Star, which will finally bring NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor into the smartphone realm.
The (presumably) fastest processor to ever launch on a smartphone is only one of many features of the Star, and LG didn’t stop the innovation there. The device packs an 8 MP camera (and a less impressive front facing camera) that shoots 1080p video recording, and sports a 1500mAh battery.
The centerpiece is a beautiful 4″ screen, and although it lacks AMOLED or Super AMOLED clarity, it matches up nicely with the iPhone 4’s stunning retina display.
The most unfortunate thing that LG did to the Star was smother it with the Envy Touch-like UI that’s coated over stock Android. The only explanation for this is LG’s symptomatic ‘copying’ strategy, in which they see that companies like Samsung, Motorola (to an extent) and HTC put their own respective ‘personal touches’ on their flagship devices.
For example, most HTC smartphones (with the exception of the G2) come with Sense UI, which covers up the Android experience (whether the customer wants it or not). Motorola also coats Android with Motoblur. Samsung’s TouchWiz interface is extremely similar to that of iOS. LG’s Star UI is far more comparable to TouchWiz than Sense or Motoblur, so it appears as though LG is targeting the look of the iPhone’s layout. Probably not coincidentally, the Star is aesthetically closer to the iPhone 3GS than its Android counterparts as well.
The Star is expected to ship with the next version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread, early next year. Had LG followed HTC’s strategy with the G2, however, and given consumers the choice of enjoying the stock Android experience, the LG Star would be even more impressive.