LG will exit the mobile phone market in a couple of months, it simply wants a while to push out Android OS updates for its premium smartphones. LG’s revolutionary spirit will likely be missed – we already checked out LG’s greatest inventions – right this moment we wished to discuss its best phones.
There are far too many fascinating phones to cowl, so we are going to divide the historical past of LG phones into two main intervals – before Android and after Android – and have a look at what we predict are the Top 5 phones from every period.
We’ll begin with the LG KG800 Chocolate. The Motorola RAZR grew to become a design icon in the early 2000s, however the first Chocolate was a success as nicely and its design language set the tone for LG phones for a number of years to come. There was additionally the LG KE800 Chocolate Platinum and LG KG810 Chocolate Folder in the first era of LG’s Black Label Series.
These launched in 2006 and by mid-2007 the Chocolate sequence had reached 10 million gross sales. By December 2007 the quantity grew to 15 million. Not fairly RAZR gross sales, however nonetheless an enormous success for LG.
Of all the Chocolates, the CDMA-based LG VX85000 slider was king. It grew to become one in every of LG’s best-selling phones of all time, transferring 21 million items. Side be aware: it is best ever was the primary LG KP100, which sold 30 million units.
We’ve already coated the LG KE850 Prada in detail – the first telephone with a capacitive touchscreen. It had an all-touch UI and (as you may inform by the identify), LG took nice pleasure in the fashionable design. Alas, its contribution to the cell world was overshadowed by the Apple iPhone that got here out a couple of months later.
LG’s cell division had its heyday in 2009 when optimism was operating excessive. The firm was forecasting that it’ll promote 120 million phones that 12 months, then 140 million in 2010 and that by 2012 it will likely be the second largest smartphone maker in the world.
The unique Prada wasn’t a smartphone, however that wasn’t an issue as LG had a profitable line of touch-operated featurephones. The humble LG KP500 Cookie (2008) had a 3.0″ resistive touchscreen (240 x 400 px), a cute design and an reasonably priced €200 worth. LG sold 9 million units in 9 months, which later grew to 13 million. These numbers led LG to launch a number of follow-ups, similar to it had accomplished with the Chocolate and the Prada.
Among LG’s telephone improvements we listed the LG KU990 Viewty, which was the first telephone to file slow-motion video (the Viewty did nicely for itself, transferring 5 million units). The LG Optimus 2X grew to become the first telephone to file 1080p video. The LG G5 was the first correct twin digicam telephone.
But we wished to spotlight one other digicam telephone from the firm, the LG KC910 Renoir from 2008. This was the successor to the Viewty and upgraded the digicam to an 8MP sensor and xenon flash, it additionally stored the Schneider-Kreuznach optics.
The Renoir competed in our 8 Megapixel Grand Shootout the place it tied with the Sony Ericsson C905. Also, this one added GPS and Wi-Fi over the Viewty spec sheet, so it was a a lot better telephone in addition to the digicam as nicely.
The final telephone in the pre-Android period we wished to spotlight is the LG KM900 Arena (2009). It had a pointy 3.0″ display with 480 x 800 px resolution – that’s 311 ppi, a year before Apple came up with “Retina” and the iPhone 4. And the display was protected by Gorilla Glass whereas the telephone’s chassis was made out of steel.
The Arena was stunning in software program as nicely, with the S-Class contact UI. Using capacitive contact, after all, this is not the Cookie. It price nearly twice as a lot at €350, however nonetheless less expensive than the €630 iPhone 4. It wasn’t good, the however Arena was one in every of the best non-smartphones ever. Certainly one in every of the best that LG ever made.
LG actually was at its best when making featurephones. It dabbled with Symbian, however before Android arrived, it by no means actually put a lot effort into making smartphones. We’re not going to have a look at the few Windows Phone units it made as there aren’t many fond reminiscences there.
To spotlight the chasm between LG’s featurephone and smartphone intervals, let us take a look at the LG G2 (2013). It was an ideal telephone with by far the smallest footprint for its 5.2″ show in its day and had a inventive design with the Volume rocker and Power button on the again, proper beneath the digicam. And it was amongst the first to function the now-standard double faucet to wake.
G2’s 13MP digicam had OIS before most different Androids, the telephone additionally had a strong Snapdragon 800 chipset. It was stunning and quick and it solely bought round 3 million units, a few third of which went to South Korea. Oof. That’s nowhere shut to Cookie numbers and nicely beneath the 10 million target.
The sequel, the LG G3 (2014), improved on the state of affairs, finally reaching the 10 million mark that the G2 by no means did. The G4 additionally focused 10 million (even 12 million), however could not even surpass the G3.
The LG G3 was nonetheless an excellent telephone as we recounted in a Flashback post. It had one in every of the first 1440p shows and one in every of the early 4K-capable cameras, which launched Laser autofocus to boot. However, LG by no means managed to garner the attraction that Samsung had cultivated for the Galaxy S sequence – the Galaxy S5 hit 10 million in just 25 days.
The LG V10 (2015) was begin of one thing new. It was a semi-professional line for severe folks with severe calls for. It was a rugged telephone with a chrome steel physique (316L), Dura Skin again cowl and it popularized the MIL-STD-810G ranking.
Audiophiles rapidly embraced the V10 because it got here with Quad Beats headphones tuned by AKG and a high-quality 32-bit DAC. It was a kooky telephone too, with a line show above the 5.7″ predominant show. This was used to present standing information, notifications, shortcuts and extra. And subsequent to that had been two selfie cameras – broad and ultrawide. That impressed what got here subsequent.
The LG G5 (2016) was one in every of the most bold LG phones ever. This was the first telephone to function an ultrawide-angle digicam on the again and was maybe the first Android with modular add-ons. The Magic Slot additionally had the good thing about holding the battery consumer accessible.
Few mods ever materialized and the best one, the B&O DAC, was made out of date by the introduction of Quad DAC with the LG V20. The G5 nonetheless had glorious audio high quality, although, and that modular system died fairly rapidly with only a few modules reaching shoppers.
In the finish, the LG G5 flew too shut to the solar and the V-series took over as LG’s best. It bought to the level the place stories claimed that the G-series will be killed off. Ultimately, that proved to be true (there was no G9 in 2020), however the G-series by no means bought a real alternative.
LG was dreaming huge till the finish, nevertheless. With it leaving the telephone enterprise, we’ll most likely by no means see its rollable phone, however we’re glad we not less than have the LG Wing (2020). This is a inventive tackle the second display – the giant 6.8″ P-OLED show may rapidly snap to panorama orientation, good for multimedia.
The secondary 3.9″ G-OLED display below that was just the right size to keep texting or scroll through your social media feeds, without pausing your movie or game. Speaking of gaming, this was a great way to have some on-screen controls that don’t cover up the game. It was such a clever design and we found many makes use of for it in our evaluate.
The LG Wing is a throwback to outdated LG units like the V9000, for instance, which makes it a full circle. One of those was featured in the first Iron Man film. Which different firm will likely be making such out of the field designs in 2021?
The transition to smartphones was the starting of the finish for LG – similar to it was for Nokia. The firm put up an excellent struggle and launched many inventions alongside the method, however it by no means discovered a large sufficient viewers to flip a revenue. And it by no means returned to the ranges of success it loved in the 2000s.