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All eyes on you: LG's AKA series is about to turn heads overseas

In the face of customer apathy towards smartphone design, LG has a new one. Four, to be precise. The AKA series is about to hit the global market. Cuteness!
By
March 20, 2015
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The pillars of the AKA community.

Last year, LG released its AKA product line exclusively in its home country of South Korea. The quartet of devices are seemingly simple on paper, with mid-range specs across the board. Their unique point however stems from the unique “identities” each one carries. There is Wooky in white, who speaks slang, Soul in dark blue who loves beer and music, Eggy in yellow who is a romantic at heart, and finally Yo-Yo in pink whose crash-diets cause her weight to… fluctuate. This intricate couple of pairs will be releasing in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Turkey in the coming months. Pricing has not been set, but we expect something similar to the $460 they retailed for in Korea.

Each phone comes with a sleeve-type cover that activates the persona, which can be seen via the eyes that appear on the screen while sleeping. In addition to the standard affair of contents bundled with the product, each comes with a “Art Toy” mini figurine of the character the phone embodies as well as stickers you can use to decorate it with.

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Specs are as follows:

  • CPU: 1.2GHz Quad-Core
  • Display: 5.0-inch (720X1080) HD IPS
  • Memory: 16GB / 1.5GB RAM / microSD slot
  • Camera: Rear 8.0MP Laser Auto Focus / Front 2.1MP
  • Battery: 2,610 mAh (removable)
  • Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Size: 138.7 x 71.9 x 9.9mm
  • Weight: 135.5g (without font slide cover) / 157g (with front slide cover)
  • Network: 4G LTE
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.0 / NFC / A-GPS / USB 2.0

In its press release, LG has indicated the four phones are being enhanced beyond their original concept by the inclusion of an “emotional UX element”. Additional unique features for the AKA series include the ability to customize the character’s eyes with various pairs of glasses and eyebrows. The aforementioned “Art Toy” figure can be used with the included Snapshoot app to digitize the character into selfies for potential photobombs of an otherworldly nature.

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Check out the cool features and optional accessories on the bottom!

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To expand on the potential marketing prowess, LG has ordered an animated AKA YouTube video series beginning today (March 20th) called Rotary Park.

While the AKA series caught our interests when first announced in November for its unique take on smartphones, it was largely assumed they would remain exclusive to Korea. While it’s unclear as to if the international roll-out is a product of the series’ individual success or simply LG’s, we will definitely be watching their reception closely. Will you?

[press]

SEOUL, Mar. 19, 2015 — LG Electronics (LG) will begin the first overseas rollout of its fun and customizable AKA smartphone starting in Hong Kong next week followed by China, Taiwan, Singapore and Turkey with additional markets to be announced as they are confirmed. Originally designed for the domestic market, AKA was first introduced to Korean customers at the end of 2014, where it has seen healthy sales and positive customer feedback for its originality and sense of humor.

AKA is available in four different personas, from Eggy in yellow who falls frequently in love, the ever-so-impulsiveWooky in white, the soft-hearted and music-loving Soul in navy and Yo-Yo in pink who is always on a diet. The characters’ personalities are an integral part of each phone as they are woven into wallpapers, widgets and ringtones. In addition to each AKA’s interactive, animated eyes, owners can customize their phones with stickers (provided), markers or paint, for a true DIY experience. This customer-centric thinking helped AKA win an iF Design Award for its unconventional approach to smartphone design.

With a global audience in mind, LG tweaked the AKA lineup by adding an emotional UX element. Some of the additional features include customizable glasses and eyebrows for each pair of eyes. Another unique UX feature is the included Art Toy figurine, which can be digitized and integrated into the phone’s user experience. Snapping a photo of the accompanying figurine with AKA’s Snapshoot tool creates an animated 3D version of the figure that appears alongside selfies. Other camera features come straight from LG’s premium handsets and include Laser Auto Focus, Touch & Shoot and Gesture Shot.

To celebrate AKA’s overseas rollout, LG is collaborating with TUBA Entertainment, the creators of the popular Larvaanimated series, to produce a new series called Rotary Park. The first episode of Rotary Park will debut on March 20 on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/TheRotarypark).

“AKA is the first smartphone that gives owners a blank canvas to express their own personalities via a customized user experience,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “AKA is about being creative and never losing sight of the things that make us young and interesting. This is a whole new direction in smartphone UX and we’re excited about where it may take us.”

Key Specifications:

■ Chipset: 1.2GHz Quad-Core

■ Display: 5.0-inch HD IPS

■ Memory: 16GB / 1.5GB RAM / microSD slot

■ Camera: Rear 8.0MP Laser Auto Focus / Front 2.1MP

■ Battery: 2,610mAh (removable)

■ Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat

■ Size: 138.7 x 71.9 x 9.9mm

■ Weight: 135.5g (without font slide cover) / 157g (with front slide cover)

■ Network: 4G LTE

■ Connectivity: Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.0 / NFC / A-GPS / USB 2.0

■ Color: White / Yellow / Navy / Pink

■ Other: Art Toy / Stickers

[/press]