Seoul, South Korea — LG unveiled a smaller midtier variant of its flagship G3 smartphone to target growing demand by consumers who it said want the latest technology at a more attractive price.
The strategy coincides with U.S. carriers’ strategy to promote unsubsidized smartphones paid off in monthly installments.
The LTE-equipped LG G3 Beat, which features Android 4.4.2 OS, will make its debut on July 18 in South Korea followed by Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It will be known in those regions as the G3 s. U.S. availability wasn’t announced, nor were prices.
The G3 Beat targets “the growing low- to midtier segment of smartphone customers who want a great device that’s more compact but still powerful enough to run the most popular apps,” the company said.
The device retains the G3’s floating arc metallic design with curved sides and gradually tapered edges for a more comfortable grip. It also retains the flagship’s laser auto focus technology. The Beat retains the bigger brother’s back on/off and volume buttons.
The new model, however, features 5-inch 1,280 by 720 HD IPS display with 294 ppi compared with the G3’s 5.5-inch Quad HD 2,560 by 1,440 display.
A thin-bezel design delivers a screen-to-body ratio of 74.1 percent, promoted as the highest in the midtier smartphone segment.
Other features include Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB memory, 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+21Mbps, MicroSD slot, rear 8-megapixel camera with laser autofocus, front 1.3-megapixel camera and a removable 2,540 mAh battery. The 4.73-ounce phone measures 5.42 inches by 2.74 inches by 0.41 inches.
The phone also includes Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS/GLONASS, NFC and USB 2.0. Software features include touch and shoot picture taking, a smart keyboard, QuickMemo+ and gesture shot.
“The LG G3 Beat represents our commitment to the midtier smartphone market that demands mature technology, proven branding, great innovation and attractive price, all in a single device,” contended Dr. Jong-seok Park, president/CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications.
The flagship G3, unveiled June 2, also features Android 4.4.2 but measures 5.76 by 2.94 by 0.35 inches; ups CPU speed to quad-core 2.5GHz; and features 3GB RAM, 423 ppi display and 3,000 mAh battery. The screen-to-body ratio is 76.4 percent.
All four national carriers have announced G3 plans, with AT&T pricing the phone at $199 with two-year contract or $24.17/month and $29/month under its trade-up programs for unsubsidized phones. T-Mobile priced it at an unsubsidized $598, or 24 monthly payments of $24.95 under the carrier’s EIP. With Sprint’s Easy Pay plan, the G3 is priced at $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $25.