Someone in LG's smartphone marketing apparently has a sense of humor, because they've given a rather odd name to their latest phone.
The G2 Mini smartphone is a scaled down version of the LG G2, but I'm not sure the mini label is entirely correct. This smartphone features a 4.7" screen which is far smaller than the 5.2" screen found on the G2, but it is still larger than most of the smartphones on the market.
The G2 Mini smartphone runs Android 4.4 Kitkat on a quad-core 1.2GHz CPU with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, and a 2.4 Ah battery (user replaceable, yay). It has 2 cameras (an 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera), Bluetooth, Wifi, and (depending on the market) various cell connectivity. According to Liliputing, it will have 4G LTE networks in some countries or dual-SIM 3G in others.
This is a more pocketable smartphone than its larger brethren, but pundits are already complaining about the weaker CPU the lower resolution screen. Screen resolution is 960 x 540, which is only about a quarter as many pixels as on the larger G2.
According to LG, this smartphone will begin rolling out next month in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and a few other regions. Launch details for the United States are still unknown.
LG is the latest smartphone maker to take their flagship phablet and scale it down, and I can't help but wonder if we're seeing a new trend in the smartphone market. For the past couple years smartphone makers have been releasing larger and larger phablets, with screen sizes eventually peaking at 7" (the Asus Fonepad), but now we're seeing smartphone makers go the other way.
What withe the Sony Xperia Z Ultra tablet, the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, and now a new smaller smartphone from LG, I wonder if the phablet era is at an end. Given that only an estimated 20 million phablets were sold in 2013 out of hundreds of millions of smartphones, that should probably come as no surprise.
And if this trend is real, do you realize that it would also mean that all the rumors and predictions about an iPhone phablet are probably nothing more than hot air. There doesn't appear to be a market for Apple to pursue - not if Android phablets are any indication.