Korean electronics powerhouse LG is preparing to unveil the G6, its latest high-end smartphone, at an event next week in Barcelona just as this year’s Mobile World Congress gets underway. LG is no stranger to the smartphone space having released very many smartphones over the last few years.
The G6 may become the first non-Pixel smartphone to arrive with Google’s Assistant if the rumours currently making rounds turn out to be true. If that happens, then it will be in good company since LG has over the years released smartphones that will forever be etched in our memories for a feature or two. Here are some of them (please note that memorable ≠ remarkable):
1. LG GW620
There isn’t much to remember about this device other than it was a pioneer. It opened the floodgates of LG Android-powered smartphones that were to follow for the next 7 years before the arrival of the G6 we are expecting.
Where were you in September 2009? I was still being mesmerised by Windows XP and couldn’t understand why I had to move to Windows 7 even before having tried out the disastrous Vista. My Compaq V55 monitor was the best thing in the whole wide world. Many oceans away, in Korea, LG had put final touches on what was to be the company’s first ever Android smartphone, the LG GW620.
That name may not immediately ring a bell but, hopefully, this photo of the device will:
As you can expect from a device from 7 years ago, the specifications are nothing to write home today but they were a big deal back then. Cutting edge if I may say. The GW620 shipped with 150MB internal storage (expandable via a memory card up to 32GB), a 3-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera (no selfie cams back then), Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity.
2. LG Optimus 3D
3D TVs? They’re dead. 3D phones? Well, to start with, they were never a thing. It’s a fad that LG started and no one was willing to follow them to the grave on this one as it flopped badly. The last serious company to attempt such a thing, Amazon, got its fingers burned and learned a lesson it is unlikely to forget anytime soon.
Yes, we are always having the technology edge being pushed when it comes to mobile devices but not the 3D way. It’s the one technology that consumers have outrightly rejected. Probably it is because the implementation at that level was haphazard but we may never know.
The LG Optimus 3D prided itself as the world’s first 3D smartphone and that is as much about it as I am willing to painfully share. The phone had an HDMI port just in case you needed to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo or Fast 5 (the first 2 movies that come to mind when you mention to me the year 2011) on your big living room’s 3D display.
To say the least, the LG Optimus 3D was way ahead of its time. It was an ambitious move on LG’s part but a good one for tech enthusiasts. It is just that the market spoke with its wallets and continued buying more iPhone 4s and Galaxy SIIs and there was nothing LG could do about that. The market, however, was just ready for smartphones with bigger displays and not some crazy and costly display technology as evidenced by the overnight success of Samsung’s Galaxy Note phablet which came out just a month after the Optimus 3D’s arrival.
Since there’s even a review of the device somewhere here on Techweez, you can take your time and check that out if you are interested in one of the most expensive relics to ever come out of LG’s factories.
3. LG Vu 3
The first LG device with the Vu name was an unremarkable touchscreen feature phone the company released long before Android became a thing. In 2012, co-opted under the company’s Optimus Android smartphone lineup, the Vu brand came back to life with the first generation LG Optimus Vu. The main purpose of the device, back then, was to unseat Samsung’s then hot-selling Galaxy Note smartphones. That was never to be not then and not a year later when the Vu 3 launched looking squarish with an awkward 4:3 display. As such, Samsung’s excellent Galaxy Note 3, which was then still on the way, had it easy in the market and the Vu 3 was, to put it in Games of Thrones parlance, the last of its name.
4. LG G2
While 2013 may not have been the year for LG to steal some thunder from Samsung’s unstoppable Galaxy Notes, it surely was the year when the company made some big calls that were long overdue. Besides being the year we last heard it make so much noise about the underwhelming Vu lineup, it was also the year it decided to drop the Optimus branding from its devices. Its flagship smartphone that year was simply known as the LG G2.
However, it is not the easy name that made the world fall in love with LG’s latest creation. The G2 was easy on the eyes as well. LG had removed all the buttons from the side of the device and dumped them at the back, a first for any device at that time. It did not just stop there, it overhauled the entire device’s design and software user experience and the end result spoke for itself. Do you remember Knock On? Before double tap to sleep/wake became mainstream. It was such an interesting feature that LG went all in and advanced it to Knock Code when it unveiled the G Pro 2 not long after. Throw in a battery that lasted much longer and a very fast Snapdragon 800 and we were all in agreement that LG had actually finally gotten its act together. That didn’t turn out to be the case as they dropped the ball just as fast as they picked it up with the G2’s successor but hey, that’s a story for another day.
5. LG G Flex
The banana phone from LG actually felt much better in the hand than it looked in the press images. Starting the G Flex lineup was a bold move for LG and it is disappointing that the company has abandoned it.
Which is your memorable LG smartphone?