​LG's Ray: New mid-range 5.5-inch smartphone with 8MP selfie-shooter aimed at 3G markets

LG's Ray is for smartphone owners in 3G markets who don't want all the bells and whistles of a flagship status device, but still appreciate a solid selfie-camera.

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The new LG Ray is a mid-range phone for 3G markets. Image: LG

LG has announced the rollout of the 5.5-inch Ray smartphone running Android Lollipop, joining the ranks of the Korean company's lower- to mid-range handsets for select markets.

The LG Ray, which is destined for 3G markets, arrives a rung below LG's recently launched G4 Beat and somewhere closer to its earlier mid-range quartet -- the Joy, Magna, Leon and Spirit -- only with more powerful cameras.

LG continues to face challenging times as it's squeezed at the high end by Apple and Samsung and at the low-end in key markets by the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei and others.

The company hopes its own V10 and the Nexus 5X that it makes for Google will boost revenues at the high end.

It also needs an answer in the mid range, which is where the LG Ray is aiming to pick off rivals, specifically for 3G markets, with a few standout features blended with others sufficient to get the job done.

Some of the 'best in class' features the company highlights are the Ray's 5.5-inch HD display, which offers a 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution at 277 pixels per inch, as well its 13-megapixel rear camera and eight-megapixel selfie-shooter. Another standout feature is the Ray's 3,000mAH removable battery.

LG has also designed the Ray with a more expensive-looking metal finish, unlike the Magna and Spirit, which respectively had faux-metallic and matte plastic backplates. At launch next week in some markets, the Ray will be available in a silver metal finish but by next year will also come in black and gold.

Besides these features, the Ray sports a 1.4GHz octa-core processor and comes with 1GB RAM, 16GB storage and a microSD slot. Despite arriving well after Google released Android Marshmallow 6.0, the Ray will ship with last year's Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Meanwhile, supported connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 2.0, and its 3G radio supports speeds up to 21Mbps. The device also comes in single- and dual-SIM variants.

Like other LG mid-range handsets, the company has brought down features from higher-range devices, such as Gesture Shot from its G Series for better selfies. The Ray also comes with LG's signature button on the rear beneath the camera and its speaker grill on the bottom rear.

LG hasn't yet revealed pricing, which it will keep under wraps until it launches with the first market scheduled for next week in the Commonwealth of Independent States region and Latin America.

"Customers in 3G markets continue to be a priority for LG, so we will continue to develop new products with these consumers in mind," Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said.

"No matter the country or the device, every LG customers will receive a unique user experience with a balance of design, performance and value."

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