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LG Optimus LTE 2 and Optimus UI 3.0 hands-on (update: video)

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There's little doubt that the LG Optimus LTE 2 is LG's flagship play, with a "True HD" 4.7-inch IPS display, 2GB of RAM, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 processor, and LG's own Optimus UI 3.0 skin.

Gallery Photo: LG Optimus LTE 2 hands-on images
Gallery Photo: LG Optimus LTE 2 hands-on images

We just wrapped up a launch event for the LG Optimus LTE 2 here in Korea, and there's little doubt that it's LG's flagship play. The center of attention is definitely the screen: the phone boasts a 720p, 4.7-inch IPS display that looks pretty great to our eyes. Beyond the screen, the most notable spec is probably the 2GB of RAM LG has thrown in to power both Android 4.0 and LG's new "Optimus UI 3.0" skin. Presumably that much RAM means the phone won't need to make any multitasking compromises, but as LG tells us, "In the Korean market, 1GB of RAM is not enough for LTE phones." The processor is just what we suspected, a Qualcomm S4 MSM8960 clocked at 1.5GHz, though LG claims that it offers significant power savings over the previous Optimus LTE — improving battery life by as much as 40 percent.

The 2,150mAh battery — which can be juiced up with wireless charging if you so choose — can't hurt either, with the company claiming up to 10 hours of talk time on a single charge. LG managed to pack both the battery and the screen into a device that measures 134.7 x 69.5 x 8.9mm, weighing in at 145g. It's not the thinnest LTE Android phone out there, but it's respectable enough.

The new Optimus UI 3.0 features a few clever tricks, starting with the lock screen. A new unlock action lets you drag from anywhere across the display to unlock the device, showing a hint of what's behind the lock screen while you swipe. If you need to use a security pattern, you can also use different patterns to directly launch specific apps as well. Within the camera app, you can snap photos with the phone's 8-megapixel camera with a voice command: "Kimchi." LG also says that the camera app keeps four photos from the second before you hit the shutter button, so you can choose the best image from the group of five. There's also a Quick Memo function that lets you take notes on top of screen shots and an "Icon Customizer" which will let users assign a photo as the icon for any app. LG calls this Android skin "simpler" than other skins, though whether that's actually the case is obviously up for debate. As for availability, the LTE 2 is destined only Korea at the moment, though the company did tell us "if carriers overseas want to sell them, we'll give it to them." Whether the full 2GB of RAM would come along for the ride, however, remains to be seen.