LG is get out of the smartphone business, and it is a movement that we look back on with mixed feelings. For one thing, LG never really established itself as on par with Samsung and Apple or as a compelling alternative in the line of OnePlus or Motorola. However, on the other hand, it was not for lack of trying; Throughout the years, LG certainly introduced some unique phones.
“Unique” is a double-edged sword in this case. Certainly some of LG’s phones were undoubtedly amazing, but many missed the mark, sometimes spectacularly.
LG briefly carved out a niche for itself by making cheap phones for discount carriers, but those aren’t the devices we’ll remember when we look back at LG’s phone business. Instead, the ones that will linger in our memory are attempts to build flagship phones that could fit the iPhone or Galaxy S and Note models. Most never realized it, but it’s still fun to look back on the best and worst LG phones of recent years.
Best LG Phones
LG G2: The LG G2 shrugged off the design of a mainstream smartphone in 2013. Back then, LG decided to place the power and volume buttons on the back of the phone. While it was met with initial skepticism, it worked quite well in practice, as that is where your index finger is likely to rest.
The G2 also introduced Knock On, an official way to double-tap the screen to wake it up. While it’s not necessarily new, it was revolutionary and we still see it on many phones today. Overall, the LG G2 was very good for its time and looked great to boot.
LG V10: The V10 stood out in 2015 … Not only did it feature a “professional” design, it offered a replaceable battery at a time when that feature was almost gone. The phone really stood out thanks to its quad DAC for wired audio and the second display just above the main one.
I wish the LG V10 had caught on, given its premium build materials and decent camera. It’s a reminder that LG could have focused on its V series of phones, most of which were very good rivals to the iPhone and Galaxy Note.
LG V20: Speaking of V-series devices, the LG V20 took a lot of what the V10 did well and made it better for 2016. It still had the quad DAC, replaceable battery, and similar software and camera experience. Again, it didn’t match the giants at the time, like the first-gen Pixel, iPhone 7, or Galaxy S7, but it was certainly better than the LG G5. (More on that modular monstrosity in a moment.)
Reviews at the time praised the V20’s build quality and audio hardware, although the camera disappointed, especially compared to the Pixel and Galaxy S7. The second screen, while great, felt unnecessary to a lot of people. Although it struggled, the V20 was one of LG’s best phones up to that point.
LG G6: Continuing the legacy of the G2, the 2017 LG G6 resisted the G5’s modular mistakes and went back to basics. The 18: 9 QHD LCD screen was pretty good for the time, the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner / power button was excellent, and the phone itself worked very well with the Snapdragon 821. It was the kind of phone you can. use as your daily driver without any problem.
The LG G6’s battery life was fair, but call and camera quality was excellent. (To consider this picture shot by a G6.) While the G6 may not have matched the camera quality of the Pixel, Pixel 2, or iPhone 8/8 Plus, it performed well under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, it reached the end of its useful life with Android 9 Pie.
LG Velvet: The writing was probably on the wall for LG’s phone business at the time LG Velvet shot last year, but give LG credit for at least trying something different to revive their smartphone fortune. LG eventually ditched its string of letters and numbers for a distinctive phone name that evoked an emphasis on superior design.
In the case of the LG Velvet, the appearance of the phone lived up to the promise of that name. We were especially impressed by the variety of raindrops from the rear cameras, where the lenses descended vertically down the back of the phone from largest to smallest. Priced at less than $ 700 and 5G support, the LG Velvet also gave smartphone buyers an inexpensive entry into the world of 5G phones.
The worst LG phones
LG G8x ThinQ: At a time when other phone makers began to dabble in folding screens, LG took a different direction. Instead of a phone that could be opened to reveal a tablet-sized screen, LG came up with a design that allowed it to glue one 6.4-inch OLED panel side by side. We were able to appreciate the additional screen real estate that the LG G8x ThinQ provided, although the implementation was a bit awkward.
Some apps, especially Chrome, were not optimized for the LG G8x’s dual-screen approach. And while we appreciate the ability to use the G8x’s second screen as a controller when gaming, launching games could be a frustrating experience. Add to that the fact that it was almost impossible to use the G8x one-handed, and this was the case with another LG phone that needed more time on the drawing board.
LG G5: From Google’s Aria project to the Motorola Mods that attach to the back of the Moto Z series, phone makers have always dreamed of creating modular devices where various parts of the phone can be swapped on the fly to add new ones. capabilities. The LG G5 was one of the first phones to reveal that the dream was actually a nightmare.
Not that the LG G5 was a bad phone, necessarily. The wide-angle camera was excellent and offered stellar performance for the time. But all that modularity meant lugging around different add-ons, severely limiting the G5’s portability. The initial add-ons available for the G5, which LG slapped with the ridiculous name “Friends,” weren’t particularly inspired. And before third-party accessory makers had a chance to try to do … um … Friends For the G5, LG had scrapped its modular ambitions, reverting to a more mainstream smartphone approach with the LG G6.
LG DoublePlay: In 2011, QWERTY phones were coming out. However, some people still clung to their physical keyboards, and for them LG released DoublePlay. It had a single main screen, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. That keyboard was divided with a second screen in the middle.
While it’s a cool concept, DoublePlay was plagued with terrible battery life, a thick body, and poor ergonomics. It wasn’t a standout phone, not even for its time, and it showed that LG, while willing to try risky things, was not going to be a real player in the smartphone market. Too bad it took 10 years and incalculable sums of money for that reality to finally assimilate.