LG Optimus G: hands-on with Korea's latest powerhouse (video) (updated)

We're in Seoul for the launch of LG's latest flagship smartphone, the Optimus G, and we finally managed to spend a few minutes with a demo unit. This is a powerhouse -- the first handset built around Qualcomm's 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro. It features LTE, a 4.7-inch 1280x768 True HD IPS PLUS display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage, a 13-megapixel autofocus camera, a sealed 2100mAh battery, and NFC.

We like the simple and elegant design, which is reminiscent of LG's Chocolate and Prada models -- it's thin (8.45mm / 0.33 inches) and reasonably light for its size (145g / 5.11oz). The front sports a glass surface with three capacitive buttons and the back showcases the company's Crystal Reflection process -- an attractive patterned glass-like finish that's a bit of a fingerprint magnet. Materials and build quality are excellent (better than the Galaxy S III) and the Optimus G feels pleasant in hand.

You'll find a volume rocker and micro-SIM slot on the left edge and the power / lock key on the right. There's a notification light next to the 1.3MP front-facing camera. A standard headphone jack sits on the top side, with the micro-USB / MHL connector on the bottom. The speaker and main camera are in the back, pretty much where you'd expect them. While the display is definitely high quality, it's not mind blowing (the One X screen still looks better) -- we expected better viewing angles from LG's True HD IPS PLUS and Zerogap Touch technologies.

Sadly, we didn't spend much time using the software, but the Optimus G runs Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with a skin similar to what we saw on the Optimus 4X HD and performance is definitely impressive. We'll get more seat time with LG's flagship over the next few days, so stay tuned for more impressions. In the meantime, enjoy our gallery below and our hands-on video after the break.

Update: We've added pictures of the white model and screenshots to the gallery.