LG takes quirky Aka smartphones beyond domestic shores

  • Expand distribution after healthy sales and positive consumer feedback
  • Prices for these customisable handsets outside Korea not announced yet
LG takes quirky Aka smartphones beyond domestic shores

LG Electronics has begun rolling out its ‘Aka’ smartphone models in Singapore, as well as China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, and Turkey.
Originally designed for the South Korean market back in late 2014, the electronics giant decided to expand the distribution of its customisable handsets after seeing healthy sales and positive consumer feedback, it said in a statement.
In a bid to differentiate its mid-range devices targeted at a younger crowd, LG provided Aka with user interface elements that show off their ‘personas’ based on the colour of their cover accessory.
The yellow model, called ‘Eggy,’ is said to “fall frequently in love,” while ‘Wooky,’ the white unit, is apparently “the ever-so impulsive” one. The navy blue model, dubbed ‘Soul,’ is “soft-hearted and music loving” while ‘Yo-Yo’ is the pink unit that is named such due to the fact that it’s “always on a diet.”
These characteristics will show up through the interactive, animated eyes (whenever the phone is placed in its cover), and there are wallpapers, widgets and ringtones to enhance the personalities.  LG is also expecting users to customise their devices by packing in stickers in the box.
For the overseas market, LG added other elements such as customisable glasses and eyebrows, as well as an Art Toy figurine which can be digitised and integrated into the phone’s user experience. An example of this would be capturing a photo of the toy using the customised Snapshoot tool to bring the animated 3D version of the figure into a selfie photo.
Juno Cho, president and chief executive officer of LG Electronics Mobile Communications, said, “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 (user experience) and we’re excited about where it may take us.”
Hardware-wise, the devices are decidedly low to mid-range in terms of specifications. The Aka smartphones have an unspecified 1.2GHz Quad-Core chipset under the hood, backed by 1.5GB of memory and 16GB of storage.
The 5-inch display has a 1280 x 720 resolution (HD). It has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2.1-megapixel front camera. The phone is powered by a removable 2,610 mAh battery.
It runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat) and comes with 4G connectivity.
The device itself however is just part of the story. What LG is hoping to bring to the table are its front slide covers which will affect the user interface in a seemingly fun and interactive way. Slide in a blue one and ‘Soul’ comes to life, while adoring the yellow one will call upon ‘Eggy.’
Aka recently won an iF Design Award for its design – no doubt giving LG even more reason to spread the smartphone’s availability overseas.
The price of the smartphones has not been announced, but they cost around US$455 in South Korea.
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