Smartphones are inspirational. People see me carrying an LG G4 and want a cheaper almost just as good alternative from the brand. But up until now, LG's midrange has been lacking both in terms of specs and looks. That's why it's interesting to hear about the global rollout of a new premium'ish offering from the company that is good enough for a grand majority of users. Think of this LG Zero as the answer to Samsung's Galaxy Alpha series, but in only one configuration so far.

If the design looks eerily familiar to those of you who have had smartphones for more than 5 years, it's because the LG Zero resembles a Nokia N8 with a bit of LG thrown in. The 142 x 8 x 7.4mm solid aluminum body is covered on the front by a 5.0" 720p IPS display with a glass that arcs to meet the edges, for a slimmer feel in the hand. But that shiny refined exterior contrasts with very modest internals: a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, MicroSD slot, 2050mAh battery, LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1. There's no mention of NFC and it doesn't look like the battery is removable — a feature LG has been touting continually to differentiate its high-end offerings from its Android competitors. Sadly, the phone still runs Lollipop 5.1.

LG focuses on the Zero's cameras, claiming similarity with its flagship G series of devices in terms of resolution, shutter speed, and sharpness. The laser auto-focus is gone, but there's still a 13MP camera on the back and an 8MP one on the front with all of LG's gestures and camera additions.

The Zero first appeared in Korea in September and is now starting to make its rounds through Asia, Europe, and Latin America, but there's no word on exact availability and prices yet. Color choices include gold and silver.