LG thinks yesteryear with its new Wine Smart handset

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The LG Wine Smart, an Android-powered smartphone that plays on nostalgia with its clamshell body, is ready to make its international debut.

Sporting a physical alphanumeric keyboard like those commonly found on cell phones not too long ago, the handset is designed to appeal to users who still want the smartphone experience without the all-encompassing touchscreen. After flipping open the handset, users will discover Android 5.1.1 Lollipop running on its 3.5-inch touchscreen.

“Our goal with LG Wine Smart was to create a smartphone that fans of flip phones could embrace,” Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications LG Mobile Communications, said in a statement. “Consumers shouldn’t have to miss out on the smartphone revolution because they prefer a particular phone design over another.”

The LG Wine Smart is LG’s latest effort to stay competitive in a fierce smartphone landscape. Research firm TrendForce reported last month that LG is the fifth-largest smartphone maker in the world with 5.8 percent market share. According to LG, its devices have grown in popularity in North America, where sales were up 36 percent year over year. In its home country, LG’s mobile sales fell by 29 percent year over year on weaker demand.

Powered by a 1.1GHz quad-core processor and 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, the current Wine Smart is an updated version of the model introduced in Korea last year. The new version, branded as the LG Gentle in the handset maker’s home market, will be available in blue and burgundy colors later this month in France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Kazakhstan, Japan and the United Kingdom.

(cnet.com)

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