The first phone with Qualcomm’s speedy new quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor is coming to AT&T. The carrier today committed to selling the LG Optimus G – although in typical if frustrating fashion for recent cell phone announcements, it won’t say exactly when or for how much.
AT&T’s Optimus G will feature a 1.5-GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM, 32GB of internal memory along with a memory card slot, and an 8-megapixel camera on the back. The big, bright screen is a 4.7-inch, 1,280-by-768 IPS panel. AT&T’s press release didn’t mention what version of Android its Optimus G runs, but the one we’ve seen has a heavily customized version of Android 4.0.
We got some hands-on time with the Optimus G last month. Our senior analyst Jamie Lendino found the phone to be a “trim, finely cut device,” surprisingly thin and light but made entirely of plastic. The international model he tried had a 13-megapixel camera and mobile TV, though. Those features won’t be coming to the U.S., according to AT&T’s press release.
We also benchmarked the processor that the Optimus G uses back in July, and found that on many measures, it was up to twice as fast as the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processors used in many phones and tablets nowadays.
This past month has been a big one for phone announcements without dates or prices attached to them. The Optimus G joins Nokia’s Lumia 920, HTC’s Windows Phone 8X, theMotorola Razr Maxx HD, HTC One X+, and Samsung Galaxy Note II, among others, in this foggy netherworld of “coming soon.” They’re rumored to be arriving anywhere from Oct. 24 (for the Galaxy Note II) to mid-November (for the Razr Maxx HD), but carriers won’t confirm those dates.
While there’s usually a flood of new phone releases during the four weeks from mid-October to mid-November, this level of pre-announcement is surprising. The common element might be the best-selling iPhone 5, which is currently shipping with delays from most retailers. Apple’s competitors are saying that if you’re considering a phone, don’t look at what’s on sale right now – there’s something better just around the corner.