Mid-tier device packs a rather weak hardware spec, but some nice software features

Perhaps looking to cash in on the cachet of its flagship smartphone, South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570)(KRX:066575) has launched a similarly named smartphone with a wildly different hardware spec -- the LG G3 Beat.  Where as the LG G3 packs an industry-leading spec with features like a 5.5-inch, 2560x1440 display (538 ppi) "quad-HD" (QHD) display, a Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 801, and up to 3 GB of LPDDR3, the spec on the G3 Beat is towards the bottom end of mid-tier.

Think of a 2013 mid-tier device and you'll come pretty close to the spec on this 5-inch handset:

  • Body
    • Chassis: Plastic
    • Backplate Colors: Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold
    • 137.7 x 69.6 x 10.3mm (5.421 x 2.740 x 0.406 in.)
    • 134 g (4.727 oz.)
  • Hardware
    • CPU: 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad-core)
    • GPU: Adreno 305 GPU @ 400 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB DRAM
    • Buttons: Soft-buttons (on-screen)
    • Storage
      • Internal: 8 GB NAND
      • MicroSD
    • Camera
      • Rear
        • 8 megapixel
        • Laser rangefinder autofocus
        • Quick shoot UI
          • Gesture shoot
            • Clench hand into fist in front of screen to trigger shooting countdown
          • One touch shot
            • Long-press to focus and shoot
      • Front
        • 1.3 megapixel
    • Screen
      • 720p (1,280x720 pixel)
      • 294 ppi
      • 5.0-inches
      • IPS LCD
      • Multitouch
    • Wireless
      • 4G LTE
      • HSPA+ (21 Mbps)
      • 802.11 b/g/n
      • Bluetooth 4.0
      • A-GPS/Glonass
      • NFC
    • Battery
      • 2,540 mAh
      • removeable
    • Other
      • MicroSIM
      • MicroUSB
      • 3.5 mm Jack
  • Price
    • "Prices and details of availability will be announced locally at the time of launch."
  • Availability
    • South Korea -- July 18
    • Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) -- late July or early August (rebranded as the LG G3 S)
    • North America -- ??
LG Electronics Mobile's CEO and President Jong-seok Park says of the device:

Smartphone manufacturers cannot ignore this growing segment of consumers who want the best balance of looks, features, performance and, of course, price.  The LG G3 Beat represents our commitment to the mid-tier smartphone market that demands mature technology, proven branding, great innovation and attractive price, all in a single device.

He'll need to deliver on his promise of aggressive pricing.  He's facing tough pressure from Chinese OEMs that have undercut the price of his flagship device.  The Chinese rivals are also tightening the screws on the budget end.  Last, but not least, competition is coming from unexpected places -- like the somewhat reinvigorated Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Nokia Devices unit.
No U.S. launch plans were announced.  If the LG G3 Beat/G3 Beat S does come stateside, it will likely be to prepaid carriers as an unlocked budget option.

Source: LG [press release]

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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