The Engadget Interview: Chul Bae Lee, VP of LG's mobile design lab at MWC 2013

We first met Chul Bae Lee -- VP of LG's mobile design lab -- in Seoul last fall and were lucky to spend a few minutes with him in the company's booth at MWC. LG's flagship Optimus G Pro made quite the splash in Barcelona but looks rather different from the Optimus G. We asked Mr. Lee to walk us through the design process behind the company's new superphone. He mentioned that LG offers two high-end product lines, one focused on premium design (Optimus G), the other on high-performance design (Optimus G Pro) and shared a diagram with us to illustrate this (after the break). The new handset puts an emphasis on ergonomics rather than style by featuring a comfortable and a friendly shape, with soft edges and round corners.

We discussed the extremely narrow display bezel, striking RGB notification ring around the home button, recessed camera lens and IR blaster (for the QRemote functionality). Mr. Lee explained that the placement of the buttons around the Optimus G Pro was carefully chosen to minimize interference with the power / lock key -- this includes the QNote button, which can be remapped to invoke other apps, and even double as a shutter key. We then talked about the new Optimus F series, which blends the design DNA of flagship devices with performance specs (like LTE) at a more affordable price, and the Optimus L II line, which offers unique designs for specific markets (single SIM in Europe, and dual-SIM in Latin America). Hi the break for our video interview and to check out the aforementioned design diagram.

The Engadget Interview Chul Bae Lee, VP of LG's mobile design lab at MWC 2013