When LG announced the Optimus Vu in February of this year, we were taken aback. The device was obviously intended to be a Samsung Galaxy Note clone, but LG’s key differentiator with the Vu was the screen. Whereas practically every phone on the market makes use of a 16:9 display, LG opted to go 4:3 with the Vu, which made it impossible to hold, much less slide into your pocket. Anyway, the Vu hit the Korean market one month later, in March, and then it finally came to America’s shores a couple of weeks ago on Verizon as the “LG Intuition”.

Today LG is announcing the Vu II. And guess what? It’s got the same 5 inch 4:3 display as the original Vu. In fact, we’re having a tough time telling the Vu II apart from the first Vu. The only thing that’s different is the spec sheet. This new Vu has a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip, 2 GB of RAM, and a stylus that’s supposed to be easier to hold. We have no idea when the Vu II will ship, but we do know how much it’s going to cost: roughly $865.

So let’s recap: LG announced a 5 inch 4:3 smartphone in February, shipped it one month later in their home country, shipped it six months after that in America, and now there’s a new version. That’s just not cool. We understand that LG wants to compete with Samsung, but rushing subpar clones of Galaxy devices to market simply isn’t the way to prove your credibility with customers.

In other news, later this year we’re expecting HTC to announce a 5 inch smartphone that uses a 1080p screen made by LG. This brings up the obvious question: Why didn’t LG make a phone using that screen?

It would have attracted a hell of a lot more attention.