CES: LG unveils smartphone with HD video

Spectrum takes stage at Vegas consumer showcase

The union of the smartphone and HD video took center stage at Monday morning’s LG presser at CES.

The Korean electronics maker spent much of its 45 minutes unveiling their latest high-end smartphone, the Spectrum, a 4G LTE model featuring a 4.5-inch screen with 720p HD video and a 16:9 aspect ratio for watching widescreen content. LG is promising more improved color accuracy for the Spectrum, which goes on sale Jan. 19. It will cost $199.99 with a two-year Verizon contract.

LG is working with ESPN on the debut of the Spectrum, as the phone will bow with exclusive rights to the ESPN HD app for streaming high-def video. The marketing campaign for the Spectrum will specifically go after sports fans.

LG’s top-of-the-line smartphones will also feature the ability to run two versions of Android simultaneously, so employees using their personal smartphone for work can maintain privacy on their personal information while companies can enforce security rules.

On the TV front, LG unveiled several advanced models, including a 55-inch OLED flatscreen, which they are touting as the world’s largest OLED. TV is only 4 millimeters thick, and weighs just over 16.5 pounds.

Company continues to push 3D TV hard, as well. Their 3D TV line is getting bigger screens, with display sizes of 55 inches, 60 inches, 72 inches and 84 inches, with the three largest models getting an “ultra-definition” display: 3480 x 2160 pixels, very close to 4K. The entire line will have improved 2D-to-3D real-time conversion, with new options for depth control and “3D sound zooming.” Company is also touting its 1 millimeter bezel and 28 millimeter thickness for its 3D TVs.

Tim Alessi, director of home electronics for LG USA, said that while LG met some skepticism when it skipped active-glasses 3D tech and moved immediately to passive 3D, it has already reached 30% market share, passing Sony (as of November) and is taking aim at Samsung in that market. About 50% of LG’s TV product line will feature smart TV and Cinema 3D, he said.

LG is also marketing glasses-free 3D displays for laptops and computer monitors, but these are expressly for single-user viewing.

Google TV is also coming into the LG line. Company’s chief technology officer, Scott Ahn, released few details but said, “We think this will form the basis of a strong future working relationship with Google.”

Other high-tech features touted by LG include the first-in-the-industry application of Intel’s WiDi wireless display technology; a new LG-designed chipset (with multi-core CPU/GPU) to improve 3D picture quality, overall performance and features on its premium TVs; and voice and gestural interfaces on its Magic Remote. The gestural interfaces will rely on a 3D camera built into the remote.

Company also spent some time on its home appliances, including new smart refrigerators with a “food manager” and “health manager” built in. Touchscreen tech on the door lets users enter food purchases (or scan a grocery store receipt with a smartphone). Then the fridge will suggest recipes based on food purchases. Feature also allows users to check the contents of the refrigerator remotely, while shopping.