HTC and LG try to take the phablet challenge

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LG Intuition front image

Galaxy Note White front and back with S-Pen The phablet, a term coined after the arrival of the original phablet – the Samsung Galaxy Note, now has a market all to itself. It addressed a niche that needed a much larger display, but still retaining smartphone possibilities. Not only that, it was also a device that resurrected the stylus in the form of the S-Pen. This market has grown, and now HTC and LG want a piece of the pie.

The Samsung Galaxy Note is a device that differentiates itself in two aspects. One is the display which is over 5 inches diagonally. The other is the great implementation of the stylus in the overall functionality of the device, boosting productivity and accuracy. These two factors created the ultimate productivity smartphone-tablet hybrid.

LG, a major South Korean brand, could see that the Samsung Galaxy Note was indeed a winner product, and the product line is going somewhere in the future. That is why they created the LG Optimus VU, which Verizon has ironically named the LG Intuition. It was meant to emulate the same success that Samsung had with the Samsung Galaxy Note, but in many people’s eyes, it falls short.

LG Intuition front image The LG Intuition is soon to hit Verizon. It has been made official, and will be available for $199 in a contract. The LG Intuition also has a 5-inch display, but uses a 4:3 aspect ratio. This makes the device wider at portrait than the usual phones we use, making it harder to fit into the pocket, and harder for smaller hands to use.

Many reviews already find that the LG Optimus VU, now LG Intuition, had a very poor implementation of the Stylus compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note which incorporates the stylus pretty well within the operating system. Otherwise, the specs seem good on paper, rated at 1.5 GHz with its dual core Snapdragon processor, with 1 GB of RAM and LTE capabilities. Then again, usability is always the greatest factor above specs, so even if the device does perform well on paper, it may take a hit in usability with its poor design.

HTC is on the losing side right now, and they are trying to bounce right back into the game. The problem is they have yet to land a clear winner in the market, and remains to be overshadowed by larger OEMs that can afford better marketing. The HTC One X was indeed awesome, but they needed more than that to get back into this race. Maybe a phablet will do?

Mystery HTC phablet front shot That might just be the case after we are treated into a few teaser photos from PhoneHK detailing an HTC smartphone which looks like it has a 5-inch display. The leak shots were rather blurry, but it does seem larger than the HTC One X. Some leaked benchmarks also indicate that the display would have a 1794 × 1080p HD display. There seems to be no stylus, or it could have a stylus but no slot for it like the LG Intuition.

Mystery HTC Phablet back photo Judging from the blurry shot, Beats is still available for the device. The photos were removed from the source, but copies of the images have already been spread around the web. If HTC was planning to keep this secret, they are one step further from that goal. It looks beautiful by the way, and you can bet we will be watching out for this device.

The phablet is indeed on its way from being a community watch-word to a real device category. I wonder which OEM will launch their own phablet in the future. What are your bets?

Image sources: geeky-gadgets.com, computerworld.com, slashgear.com