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Pictures of the "Optimus Big" 4.3-inch smart phone from LG have leaked.  (Source: Xports News)
Company also has three other smartphone models awaiting release, including another 4.3-inch design

South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics (LGLD) has struggled in the smartphone market.  While it picked the winning operating system (Android), it failed to deliver compelling products, even as competitors like Motorola, HTC, and Samsung came through with smash hits.

The company has shaken up its executive ranks and hopes to get back on track with new Android handsets.

News has leaked that the company is working on a beefy 4.3-inch phone, which would theoretically compete with competitors' large-screen touch phones, such as Motorola Droid X,HTC EVO, and HTC Thunderbolt.

The phone is reportedly code-named the LG Optimus Big.  It packs a single-core 1GHz processor and a T-DMB TV tuner.  But its biggest asset is a crystal clear NOVA display.  LG is a top maker of LCD TVs, earning some of the best customer reviews on Amazon.com and other retailers.  The company hopes to parlay that experience into its handset designs, and NOVA is the embodiment of that effort.  Early reports are that it looks impressive.

Previously, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, LG previewed a 4.3-inch LG phone by the name "Optimus 3D" that came packed with Google's latest Android version, Android 2.3 "Gingerbread".  True to its name, the Optimus 3D also packed in dual 5 megapixel cameras, capable of 720p and 3D recording.

The LG Optimus Big appears to be almost identical to the LG Optimus 3D, except without the 3D camera.  Thus it appears to be a slightly plainer, but likely cheaper large-screen variant.

LG also is preparing to release the LG Optimus 2X, which includes a Tegra 2 processor from NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).  And to round out the lineup it's releasing a 4-inch smartphone dubbed the LG Optimus Black, which features the NOVA screen.

Confirmation of the Optimus Big's product status or when it might land in the U.S. has not been shared by LG.  

The Optimus 2X, Black, and 3D are expected to launch on T-Mobile this spring in the U.S. While early rumors pointed to a March release, that obviously came and went.  A release in April remains possible, as the devices have received FCC approval.  T-Mobile and LG Electronics have not announced exact U.S. release dates, though, yet.

The company recently launched a new Windows Phone 7 device, the LG Optimus 7.





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