A ‘Secret’ like no other

- Ann Corvera () - June 21, 2008 - 12:00am

Smart, stylish, sexy. No, it’s not what a romantic partner is idealized to be but these traits are ideal for mobile phone users looking to have style and substance in the palm of their hands.

With a growing demand for these phone qualities from today’s “trend-leading consumers,” LG Electronics Inc., the fastest growing mobile company, answers with its newest member of the popular Black Label Series.

Ask and LG provides, unveiling for the Asia-Pacific market the LG Secret at CommunicAsia 2008 in Singapore last Thursday.

The secrecy that shrouded LG Secret, otherwise known as KF750, unfolded at an elegant conclusion at the largest infocomm and media trade event, with the launch happening just some two months after it hit the European market by storm by selling over 200,000 handsets in the first two weeks alone.

The same storm is forecast to reach the Philippines next month with a by-invitation press and consumer launch slated on July 9 at Ascend at The Fort in Taguig City.

But is the wait for yet another new handset worth it? That’s the thing — LG Secret is not quite like any other mobile phone. Ever imagined that high-premium materials found in luxury cars like BMW would one day be used in a cellphone? LG did and the “Secret” was born.

When you think of carbon fiber and tempered glass, you think of cars and architecture and now there’s LG Secret to in a pioneering move to incorporate these materials in the cellphone casing.

“(This is) first time the mobile industry applied these materials (to a) product,” said Bo H. Choi, vice president for the Asia-Pacific of LG’s Mobile Communications Co., said during the product launch at CommunicAsia 2008.

The design team of LG Secret led by Park Sangmin fit a stylish pattern into the carbon fiber, one of the lightest composite materials for a more sophisticated look.

With style not enough for LG, the KF-750 is coated with tempered glass that shields the LCD and gives it a more polished look especially when its multimedia functions are in play.

These materials are “unique and special” to LG Secret, said Lew Sung Koo, general manager of LG Electronics’ Southeast Asia Mobile Marketing Group, during a huddle with the Philippine media at the LG booth at the four-day CommunicAsia event.

The LG booth showcased an impressive array of the company’s latest and top handset models with the LG Secret on center stage.

The launch featured the LG Secret TV advertisement with a product presentation followed by a Q&A with executives of LG Southeast Asia who all emphasized the “timeless” elegance that the new handset brings to consumers.

Secret has a tough act to follow following the success of LG Chocolate and LG Shine, launched in a span of two years and which sold over 26 million units combined.

With this, LG Secret will continue the legacy of the Black Label Series in mobile design and technology, said Jae Bae, president of LG’s Mobile Communications Division for Southeast Asia.

“LG Chocolate and LG Shine helped built LG’s reputation as a premium brand name (in mobile communications) and more people recognized our brand across the region. It is because we are always striving to provide our consumers with the best and latest in mobile design and technology,” Jae told the press.

In Asia last year, LG executives reported that LG had total sales of 12.37 million units of GSM and CDMA handsets. The company is on target to achieve sales of almost 21 million units this year for a 69.8 percent increase from 2007.

“We are balancing design-oriented products with feature-oriented product so we are trying to give more chance for consumers to meet their different needs in each sense,” Bo said.

Also on hand to present LG Secret to the Asia-Pacific was Fiorina Moon, global marketing strategy director, who emphasized “consumer understanding” that LG bears in mind to give what users exactly want in a mobile phone.

‘Style that lasts’

With an 11.8-mm profile that can easily be slipped into the pocket, the slider LG Secret is the slimmest five-megapixel camera phone on the market to date equipped with LED flash.

This 3G phone also boasts of 120 frames per second video recording and DivX certified video playback plus. Users can edit their photos and video with features like “morphing” or facial editing and SmartLight that automatically adjusts the picture’s light settings.

Want your MTV? LG Secret has the Movie Maker software installed so you can create your own music videos.

The Black Label Series “focuses on design without sacrificing functions” and vice versa, Lew said.

In explaining the name for this latest Black Series model, LG said, “Secret symbolizes a slender and stylish handset that does not compromise the benefits and convenience of smart, digital technology.”

The goal is to “tantalize the user with intrinsic features” that would make him explore its inner workings “that will never go out of style,” it added.

In its words, “Style that lasts.”

With the success of LG Chocolate and LG Shine in the Black Label Series of premium handsets, LG said its brand awareness in the region has improved in the last two years.

Not bad at all for LG Electronics, a South Korean technology innovator popularly known for home appliances and consumer electronics.

Thousands of delegates and media people from different countries trooped to the Singapore Expo, venue of CommunicAsia 2008, where LG Philippines executives Myung Joon Kim, Jon Santico and Eric de la Cruz brief everyone on how LG is positioning itself to be a force to reckon with in the Philippine mobile industry and its goal to become a “top-tier mobile brand” in the Asia-Pacific region.

LG Secret found the perfect platform in CommunicAsia, which last year attracted more than 50,000 attendees and over 1,600 exhibitors.

“We expect the introduction of the third LG Black Label Series will continue to raise our position as a premium brand in the Asia-Pacific in the second half of 2008,” Dr. Skott Ahn, president and CEO of LG Electronics’ Mobile Communications Co. said in a statement.

It’s all in the Touch

Going beyond the exterior of LG Secret, LG employed Neon Touch Navigation that gives off luminous neon light with soft vibration touching your fingertip as it guides your way through the phone.

However, the touch system is available only on certain parts of the KF-750 like the navigation pad and the Touch Media menu.

Nonetheless, the Touch Media technology is for LG Secret’s entertainment features wherein the touch screen directly accesses five multimedia functions of the phone with a single button so that you can sing along with your MP3 music or songs played on the FM radio, view photos and documents on MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats, and play games. To add some mood while flicking through photos, users can listen to music at the same time.

Speaking of flicking, LG Secret’s games are enabled by a motion or accelerometer sensor — called M-Toy — wherein users can swing at a baseball, hook a fish or throw darts with a flick of the wrist to tilt or rotate the handset. It might look pretty funny when a grownup plays — flipping wrist and all — but it goes to show how this phone, though exuding a business-like exterior, can bring out the kid in us.

The technology of LG Secret connects with the user with its touch-sensitive features that are intuitive enough to make you feel like it knows what you’re thinking.

In designing the LG Secret, Park’s team wanted to convey “emotion” through the handset and precisely connect with the user. “We wanted a model that can communicate with the users on an emotional level and make (them) feel as if they are playing with their pets,” Park said.

The KF-750 also has an Auto Rotating Display that shifts the image on its comfortably wide screen of 2.4 inches, allowing the user to view it from any angle.

The phone’s Auto Luminance Control — a battery lifesaver, according to LG, adjusts the screen lighting according to “ambient brightness,” resulting in a view “that is always clear.”

Google & YouTube

There’s no need to download the popular mobile features of Google with LG Secret. Need to search a term, phrase or practically just about anything, a few strokes will take you to the Google Search preloaded on LG Secret along with Gmail.

If you feel the need to blog, there’s Blogger on the package, too, and Google Map to help you find your way. If that’s not enough, LG Secret makes accessing videos on YouTube as part of the Google Package.

It’s a pity though that the Wi-fi feature is not incorporated into the KF-750 although it comes with GPRS, EDGE technology and WAP 2.0 and supports an impressive HSDPA 3.6.

Users can multi-task with LG Secret and the same is true while surfing the Internet where multiple windows can be opened on its browser.

Annoyed with USB cables that get all tangled up? LG Secret’s answer is Bluetooth auto-sync that automatically synchronizes with the PC.

Despite all these features and functions packed in such a slim phone, LG Secret has an internal memory of 100MB with an external SD slot up to 4GB.

LG Secret’s price remains a secret (as it depends on the local networks), but the company believes that the phone is worth the wait.

“The price is more about the value that we give to our consumers so we are going to follow what consumers want and what consumers are ready to pay for this value provided by the Secret handset,” the company said.

“It is not the quantitative value, it is the timeless and elegant design that LG Secret has,” it added.

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