Fabulous phablets just won't stop here at CES 2013, and LG's back with the Optimus Vu II, the follow up to the Vu, otherwise known as the LG Intuition on Verizon in the US. That wasn't a wildly popular phone thanks to its wide body design (this is a 4:3 aspect ratio smartphone), but the Vu II isn't quite as wide and it's thinner. Still, it's a handful, but that aspect ratio is friendly for note-taking with the included pen and for reading ebooks.
For now, the Optimus Vu II isn't coming to the US, but who knows what the future will bring. Given the popularity of the Samsung Galaxy Note II 5.5" phablet with a narrower and more manageable body there may be no place for the Vu II. Still, it has a very pleasing 5" 1024 x 768 display that shows up the Note II's Super AMOLED for clarity and color accuracy. It should ship with Android 4.1 but the unit we looked at was still on ICS 4.0.4.
The phone runs on the usual dual core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU (no quad core love here) with 2 gigs of RAM, 64 gigs of internal storage and a microSD card slot. It's an LTE phone with 3G as well. One of the neater features is Vu Talk, where two Vu II users can converse using a virtual ink note over WiFi or cellular. This worked very well in our tests and has to be the best way we've seen of sharing a quickly drawn map or diagram.