The LG Optimus Vu, a challenger to the Samsung Galaxy Note, has been equipped with a quad-core processor for its arrival in Europe, Middle East and Latin America, the company said this morning.

For the global roll-out, the Optimus Vu will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 mobile processor, which is already used in products such as LG's own Optimus 4X HD and the HTC One X.

The CPU uses four cores to tackle high-performance tasks such as games and HD video playback, and a more frugal processor core that is used for simpler tasks such as calls, emails and music playback to increase battery life, LG said.

The first iteration, which was announced in February, had a dual-core processor. Unlike that version the new one is a 3G smartphone and can't connect to LTE networks.

Since its March debut in South Korea, the Optimus Vu has sold over 500,000 units, which LG sees as sign that the public, at least in that part of the world, has accepted the form factor. The original version is also available in Japan.

The new version still has a 5-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ration and a 1024-by-768 pixels. The operating system is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and there is 32GB of storage.

LG isn't the only company to upgrade the spec of a product that was showed at Mobile World Congress. Samsung Electronics swapped a dual-core processor for a quad-core one on the Galaxy Note 10.1, which was recently released.

A lot has happened since February, and to compete in the high-end space having a quad-core processor has become more important, according to Francisco Jeronimo, research manager at IDC. Also, the prices have come down and getting the extra performance makes sense on devices with bigger screens, he said.