LG Optimus G brings quad-core power to the U.S. by the end of the year

LG's Optimus G will be one of the first quad-core smartphones on the U.S. market when it launches later this year.

LG says its flagship phone will launch in the United States in the fourth quarter, but did not announce pricing, an exact release date, or which wireless carriers will support the device. The phone ships in Korea next week for roughly $900 without carrier subsidies.

Although other phones have shipped with quad-core processors this year, they've all used Nvidia's Tegra 3 chip, which lacked an integrated modem for 4G LTE. That made it a non-starter for U.S. carriers, who instead opted for dual-core processors in phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE.

LG's Optimus G uses a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro , a quad-core processor with LTE support. The chip promises more responsive photo capture, faster loading of large files and speedier Web browsing. It also features a powerful Adreno 320 GPU for high-end gaming, and supports 5.1 surround-sound playback.

The Optimus G plays the spec game well in other areas as well. It has 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage—but no MicroSD slot—and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. Its 4.7-inch IPS display has a resolution of 1280-by-768. (Engadget reports that specs may vary by carrier.)

On the downside, the Optimus G ships with Android 4.0, rather than the newer Android 4.1. LG has thoroughly skinned the software with some of its own features, including resizable icons, the ability to zoom in during video playback, and wireless screen sharing to supported TVs. The camera app can also adjust exposure to correct sudden movements, activate the shutter when the user says “cheese,” and snap several frames before and after the user taps the shutter button.

LG hasn't been known for making killer flagship phones, but the Optimus G looks like its most promising attempt so far. Still, we'll have to wait and see which wireless carriers want in.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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