LG’s continued rollout of new Android smartphones continues this week with the announcement of the Vu II. The original 5-inch tablet/phone hybrid was released in Korea and Europe earlier this year, but has yet to come to North America and is set to debut this fall.
The Vu II looks to have the same 5-inch 1024×768 screen as its predecessor, and in fact LG didn’t comment on hardware improvements at all, save for one important addition: an IR blaster. The Vu II will integrate with LG’s Q Remote feature, allowing the device to act as a universal remote for hundreds of consumer electronics items, including set-top boxes, audio systems and air conditioners (?). The sensor/app combo will work not only with LG products but any IR-receiving piece of electronic, something that LG says will increase the viability of the product.
With Logitech’s Harmony remote series dominating the market of universal remotes, and a dearth of smartphones with integrated IR blasters, the market is wide open for LG to take over this rather niche spot. We’re more curious to hear what the Vu II has over its predecessor in terms of processing power and battery life, but that should be revealed at IFA this week.