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LG Unveils G2 Mini Smartphone – It’s the Beginning of the End of Phablets

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.


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Bart Anderson February 19, 2014 um 2:58 pm

I think it’s hard for us in North America and Europe to assess the phablet phenomenon. As I understand it, the phablets are big in Asia but have little appeal in N.A and Europe.

From what I’ve read, it seems that N.A. and Europe find phablets un-stylish. They look "strange," it is harder for men to carry them in a pocket, etc.

OTOH, Asians apparently appreciate the convenience of having ONE portable device which enables you to play games, browse and read, as well as make phone calls. If you are watching your money, phablets would make sense.

There may be some underlying cultural differences … hard to figure out.

Internet user February 19, 2014 um 3:04 pm

Isn’t the definition of a "phablet" as anything at or above 5 inches? The Dell Streak was considered a tablet and it was 5 inches.

If that’s the definition, I don’t see how this is the "end". In fact, 5 inches now seems the norm for high-end phones, and also increasingly for mid-end ones. The moves by Sony and LG address the lack of a high-end Android phone smaller than 5 inches – they’re going after that market too, not abandoning the 5″ and over market.

I think the phablet term will die indeed. People will just buy phones, whatever size they may be.

Regarding the 20 million claim: the GS4 alone sold about twice as many. That’s without counting the bajillion others. Nobody knows how many of those were above 5.5″ or whatever, but for now I don’t see the big-screen tide receding.

Nate Hoffelder February 19, 2014 um 3:13 pm

Actually, my source for the 20 million phablet sold only counted devices with a screen 5.6″ or larger (you inspired me to go look it up). So technically the original G2 wouldn’t count in that estimated 20 million.

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