Seoul: LG Electronics unveiled yesterday the latest version of its flagship smartphone, boasting a higher resolution screen aimed at gaining a technical edge over bigger rivals like Samsung. The Optimus G Pro — the newest version of the Optimus G series and the first LG smartphone offering a full high-definition (HD) screen — will hit stores at home today, the South Korean firm said.
The new handset is powered by Android software and measures 15.2cm (5.98 inches) long and 7.6cm wide. It goes on sale in Japan and North America in the second quarter.
The Optimus G Pro features a 5.5-inch display that packs over 2 million pixels, or twice as many as smartphones with ordinary HD screens, offering brighter and clearer images.
HTC and Sony
Global handset makers like Taiwan's HTC and Sony of Japan have recently rolled out models boasting full HD screens — most commonly used for TVs — to gain an edge in the increasingly competitive smartphone market.
Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of both smartphones and mobile handsets in general, is also expected to unveil a new full-HD version of its headline Galaxy S model.
"With smartphones getting bigger and bigger, its visual function becomes ever more important," LG said in a statement. "An ability to offer high-resolution images is paramount."
LG, world's number two flat-screen TV producer and the fifth biggest phone maker, has struggled for years in the rapidly-growing smartphone market, with its Optimus series lagging far behind Apple's iPhone or the Galaxy S.
Flat-screen TV sales
On the other hand, LG plans to increase television sales 15 per cent this year by offering sets with new display technology and more advanced functions. he target is about 10 percentage points higher than projected growth in the global flat-screen TV market, LG said in a statement.
The Seoul-based manufacturer sold about 30 million flat-screen TVs last year, it said. LG plans to focus more on higher-margin TVs using new display technologies, including ultra-high definition screens and organic light-emitting diodes, or OLED, to combat slowing profitability in the industry as consumers shift toward portable devices.
The company released an upgraded version of an Internet-enabled TV with 3-D capability in South Korea.
LG has said its fourth-quarter net loss widened to 468 billion won ($432 million) from a 112 billion-won loss a year earlier on strong currency.