It's big. Really big. And it's coming to Verizon. The 5-inch LG Intuition has finished its trek from overseas — where it's known as the Optimus Vu – and we got to spend some time with the device at an event LG held in New York City to celebrate the new launch.
The phone's an obvious competitor to the even-larger Galaxy Note, which has sold extraordinarily well — there's clearly a market for a device like this. Despite the slightly smaller screen measurements, the Intuition feels considerably larger than the Galaxy Note. That's because the 5-inch screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, which makes it wide enough to be virtually impossible to use one-handed. It's perfectly comfortable in two hands, however, though that does make the Intuition feel a bit more like a tablet than a phone.
The display's 1024 x 768 resolution equals that of the first two generations of iPad, and it looks great on the smaller screen — colors are crisp and accurate, and there are few jagged edges or visible pixels. The wider screen may be unwieldy, but it also comes in handy at points; full web pages look far better on the Intuition than on any 16:9 phone.
On the software front, the Android 4.0 / Optimus UI combination is almost exactly like what we saw on the Optimus 4X HD, and that's mostly a good thing: there are some unsightly icons, but a lot of useful feature additions as well. LG also includes plenty of drawing-friendly apps, which is a smart thing to put on such a doodle-friendly surface. Verizon's usual additions are here, from the nagging Wi-Fi status bar in the notification pulldown to the NFL Mobile and myriad carrier-branded apps.
You've never seen such a roomy on-screen keyboard
LG has a very clear idea of who the Intuition is for. In large part, it's the messaging set — people who want to send a lot of texts, emails, and tweets. ("It's also a phone," reps said.) There's something to that: we were instantly able to type quickly and nearly error-free on the wide screen, and keys are really well-spaced. Reps also said it's designed for people who don't want two devices — they're willing to sacrifice a bit on either end for the convenience of only carrying one thing around. We're not sure that crowd really exists, but the Intuition is certainly an exact medium between phone and tablet.
We're already working on our review of the $199 Intuition, so stay tuned. But at first blush, though it's certainly stretching the definition of the word "handset," this phone should have plenty of appeal to buyers considering the Galaxy Note. Or at least to Verizon customers who want a huge phone.