LG’s Hefty Optimus Vu Released In Korea, World Tour To Follow?

Remember LG’s squarish, Gingerbread-powered Optimus Vu smartphone? The Korean company’s new handful debuted at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and thanks to its… ahem… unique industrial design, it turned its share of heads on the show floor.

But will the ability to cause people to do double-takes translate into real sales? We should have the answer soon, as LG has announced that the Optimus Vu has gone on sale in its native South Korea.

The Optimus Vu has garnered more than a few comparisons to the Galaxy Note, but it’s definitely a peculiar take on the concept that Samsung has been running with. Most notably, the Optimus Vu features a 5-inch IPS display with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which accounts for the device’s boxy frame. A quick peek inside the device reveals a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, all of which is housed in a 8.5mm-thick frame.

There’s no word yet on whether or not the Optimus Vu will embark on the same sort of world tour that its Samsung contemporary is currently enjoying, but my gut says LG will eventually rebrand the thing and push it into other markets. It’s not like there isn’t a precedent for a device like this — Samsung has sold over 2 million Galaxy Notes globally since it launched in October of last year. Not too shabby for a device that tech critics and pundits have generally come down hard on, though more than a few consumers seem to have taken a shine to the thing.

Will the Optimus Vu be able to replicate that level of success? LG certainly hopes so — they’ve poured gobs of money into their once-flagging handset division, and is in dire need of a real hit. With the hybrid phone/tablet market still in its infancy, the Optimus Vu may give LG a much-needed kick in the pants, though its relatively dumb stylus may hamper people’s enthusiasm.