Counterclockwise: an abridged historical past of LG’s telephones #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada


Seoul, South Korea is house to 2 tech rivals – LG and Samsung. While the latter is the bigger firm, LG has additionally introduced loads of innovation in tech even when it usually goes underappreciated. So, allow us to inform you its story and see for those who acquire extra respect for the corporate.

Let’s begin with the LG Prada – it first emerged in December 2006 and launched in May 2007, it was the primary telephone with a capacitive touchscreen. Yes, LG beat Apple by a couple of months. The firm even suspected that Apple ripped off the design, although nothing got here of that.

Alas the Prada might by no means be the success that the iPhone was. Its smaller display (3.0″ vs. 3.5″) had a restricted coloration vary (256Ok vs. 16M) and did not assist multi-touch, which means fancy pinch gestures would not work.

Worst of all was the storage – solely 8MB (megabytes!) inbuilt. Sure, there was a microSD card, but it surely solely supported as much as 2GB (costly on the time). Despite Apple’s normal stinginess, its first telephone had 4GB of storage as base, which was lots in 2007.

LG KE850 Prada

LG KE850 Prada

Another telephone from the identical period was the LG Viewty. It was a cameraphone with a 5MP sensor (in comparison with 2MP for the Prada and that iPhone), it had Schneider Kreuznach optics with autofocus and digital picture stabilization. And it had a xenon flash!

Its declare to fame, nevertheless, was its slow-motion mode – it might file 320 x 240px video at 120fps. Not dangerous contemplating its normal recording mode was 640 x 480px at 30fps.

LG said that in 5 weeks of gross sales, the Viewty moved over 300,000 models in Europe. A UK retailer even steered that it outpaced the iPhone. However, it was by no means made obtainable within the US, which restricted its impression.

LG KU990 Viewty

LG KU990 Viewty

LG, Samsung, Nokia and Sony Ericsson had been in a contest for probably the most spectacular cameraphone – it was the digicam that drove the gross sales again then (and to a big extent right this moment nonetheless).

The LG Renoir got here out in 2008 marked one other first – the primary full touchscreen telephone with an 8MP digicam. It beat rival Samsung Pixon by a couple of months and there have been a couple of non-touch 8MP shooters to take care of. It was the slimmest 8MP telephone amongst them at 14mm.

The Renoir boasted a built-in GPS for geo-tagging images, handbook focus, blink detection and different goodies.

LG KC910 Renoir

LG KC910 Renoir

LG briefly toyed round with Symbian, however in 2009 it positioned its bets on Android. Its first Android telephone was the LG GW620 aka Eve or InTouch Max. Like the unique G1, this one packed a slide-out {hardware} QWERTY. LG mentioned that it will launch extra Androids and even Windows telephones, but it surely wasn’t executed with featurephones.

LG GW620

LG GW620

Earlier that yr the spectacular LG Arena got here out. It boasted a tremendous sharp display – 311ppi with 480 x 800px decision – and it was coated with Gorilla Glass. The steel chassis of the telephone solidified the impression that this can be a premium system.

LG ready visible feast with S-Class Touch UI with a 3D dice changing tabs and a 3D carousel serving as menus. While not a smartphone, the Arena supported multitasking (at a time when the iPhone couldn’t), featured a multi-touch browser, Google Maps (with built-in GPS, however no voice-guided navigation) and a Microsoft Office package deal.

LG KM900 Arena

LG KM900 Arena

In some methods LG presaged the ultra-widescreen craze that’s upon us now. The LG New Chocolate had a 4″ display with an insane 21:9 side ratio and supported Dolby Mobile, a boon for film watching on the go.

The telephone additionally used the S-Class UI, full with multitasking (the app switcher UI was styled to appear like the Symbian one). And it did have voice-guided navigation due to Wisepilot, the app labored a lot better than Google Maps (which did not fairly match Chocolate’s display). Unfortunately, this was solely a trial app.

LG BL40 New Chocolate

LG BL40 New Chocolate

By the best way, it is “New Chocolate” for the reason that authentic telephone was the LG Chocolate (from 2006). It was the primary of the Black Label Series telephones and it traded on its design. The capacitive keys across the D-Pad disappeared when the telephone was closed, making for a smooth exterior.

LG KG800

LG KG800

Mobile telephones had been in a clumsy interval in 2009 – the market was nonetheless transitioning from key-operated telephones to touchscreen. The main push was executed by smartphones, however they had been costly, so LG equipped budget-friendly options.

The LG Cookie had a capacitive display and a stylus – a 3″ 240 x 400 display. LG reduce down the options, even fundamentals like 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS, but it surely did not matter – the worth was proper (€200) and it grew to become a best-seller. The best-selling contact telephone, says LG.

It offered a whopping 2 million models in 5 months and 5 million in 9 months.

LG KP500 Cookie

LG KP500 Cookie

Before transferring on, let’s point out that LG made some Windows Phone 7 handsets. There, we simply spent as a lot time fascinated with them as LG did.

LG E900 Optimus 7
LG C900 Optimus 7Q
LG Quantum
LG Jil Sander Mobile

LG E900 Optimus 7 • LG C900 Optimus 7Q • LG Quantum • LG Jil Sander Mobile

LG’s most up-to-date historical past is outlined by the LG Optimusa mid-range telephone designed for smartphone first-timers. It adopted Cookie’s sport plan: an reasonably priced worth will deliver within the crowds. After a brief detour by 3D, the Optimus sequence introduced us the LG Optimus 2X – the world’s first smartphone with a dual-core processor.

Powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, it was additionally the primary telephone to have sufficient energy to file 1080p video (supposedly at 24fps, however in actuality lower than that). The replace story was surprisingly good, launching with Android 2.2 Froyo and being introduced as much as 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The efficiency was Optimus 2X’s greatest function. We had Nvidia promising video games with Unreal Engine Three and “perhaps even” the iD Tech 5 engine (Doom 4!) and Frostbite (Battlefield: Bad Company). That did not come to cross, sadly.

LG GT540 Optimus
LG Optimus 3D P920
LG Optimus 2X

LG GT540 Optimus • LG Optimus 3D P920 • LG Optimus 2X

But actually, we’re searching for the LG Optimus G – the primary broadly obtainable telephone with the Snapdragon S4 Pro, Qualcomm’s first chipset with a quad-core processor (however not the primary quad-core telephone, that was the Optimus 4X HD with a Tegra 3). The processing energy was put to good use with the Q Slide choice – LG’s multitasking resolution that used home windows as a substitute of display splitting. The 16:10 display gave you the mandatory room to maneuver. Q Slide did not work for all apps, but it surely was a begin.

The {hardware} was used as the bottom for the Nexus 4 – the telephone that redefined the phrase “flagship”. It value $300 at launch, a steal for a Snapdragon 800 telephone, and the worth would go on to drop to $200. Competing telephones might simply value 2-Three instances as a lot. This was one of many earliest telephones to assist Qi wi-fi charging too.

LG Optimus G E975
LG Nexus 4 E960

LG Optimus G E975 • LG Nexus Four E960

The next-gen telephone dropped the “Optimus” and used the now acquainted G-series branding – the LG G2. It was a bezel-less telephone earlier than it was cool and had uncommon key association – the quantity rocker and the facility button had been on the again.

At the identical time the corporate unveiled one of the futuristic telephones in years – the LG G Flex. Not fairly a foldable telephone like those we see within the rumor mill right this moment, but it surely did flex. Everything, the display, the battery, the motherboard, every little thing flexed. And we liked the concept of the self-healing coating on the again panel. Bye, bye, scratches!

The early era P-OLED panel was low-resolution (720p) and it suffered from different points. LG would repair a lot of these with the LG Flex 2, but it surely deserted the Flex line after that.



Moving on to the LG G3one of many first telephones with a 1440p QHD display. LG labored exhausting to get acceptable battery life (and management the warmth) out of the 2014 chipsets, which weren’t nicely suited to rendering at QHD (even right this moment many flagships default to 1080p inside decision).

The again buttons had been enhanced with a fingerprint reader, one other forward-looking transfer by LG. The Laser autofocus system was an enchancment over the sluggish AF techniques of the time too. Selling almost 10 million models in lower than a yr made the G3 a hit.



LG tried to be fancy with the LG G4. It was a curved telephone and had non-obligatory leather-based again covers with ornamental stitching. The Quantum IPS show (QHD, in fact) fastened a number of the coloration rendering complaints in regards to the G3 display, however the Snapdragon 808 chipset was not best (LG correctly averted the S810).

Later that yr LG launched its Note competitor – the LG V10. It was a telephone that meant enterprise, it was MIL-STD-810G and had a grippy again. Its distinctive function was the secondary line show that held notifications, shortcuts and different instruments. The selfie digicam was pushed right into a proto-notch on the aspect.

And it was a twin digicam – one of many first of its variety. Not used for 3D, it supplied two fields of view 80° and 120°.

Around this time the bootloop points (that plagued earlier LG telephones too) had been changing into a meme, which wasn’t nice.

LG V10

LG G4 • LG V10

LG additionally constructed the Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X (which was obtainable alongside the Huawei-built Nexus 6P). Not fairly as low cost as its predecessor, the Nexus 5 was nonetheless among the many most reasonably priced flagships and it went on to turn out to be a fan favourite. The 5X was, nicely, costly – $380/€480 for a 16GB telephone was by no means going to fly.

LG Nexus 5
LG Nexus 5X

LG Nexus 5 • LG Nexus 5X

Then got here the LG G5 – LG’s tackle a modular telephone. But extra importantly, it moved the twin digicam magic to the again – it was among the many first usable twin digicam telephones, once more displaying LG’s capability to innovate. But the modular system flopped and the shift to a steel physique was marred by the unusual coating that gave it a plastic-like really feel. On the up aspect, the Always On Display labored fairly nicely and the battery was user-accessible.

The G5 was adopted up by the LG V20which dropped the sensible exterior of the V10 for a smooth steel unibody. It was nonetheless MIL-STD-810G compliant, although, and the battery was nonetheless user-accessible (the detachable again cowl had mushy padding). The V20 was the primary telephone to launch with Android 7.0 Nougat.

LG V20

LG G5 • LG V20

The LG G6 launched final yr and adopted the navy toughness of the V-series and improved on them with an IP68 score. The display was enhanced with HDR10 and Dolby Vision, however quick provide of chipsets left it with an previous Snapdragon 821. The failed modular system was dropped, sadly, the detachable battery went with it.

The LG V30 is extra of a G6+ – gone is the secondary display, swapped for a P-OLED show. Despite supporting HDR10 and Dolby Vision once more, the display caught some criticism. But the V30 has a lot to be pleased with, it did improve to Snapdragon 835 and its twin digicam boasted the brightest aperture (atthe time) at f/1.6.

LG V30

LG G6 • LG V30

This brings us to right this moment and there is not a lot to report. The LG G7 ThinQ felt like a small improve on the V30 (however with a notched LCD display), then LG refreshed the V30 with the V30S (a easy reminiscence improve) and once more with the V35 (V30 display, G7 chipset, V30 digicam). There could have been a Plus model or two in there, however we really feel like we’re spinning in circles.

As you possibly can see, LG has an extended historical past of innovation, particularly on the subject of cameras, but additionally when speaking about processing energy and screens. However, regardless of being the primary on many events, it looks like the corporate not often managed to be on prime (particularly these days).

This leaves us with a multi-million greenback query: what can LG do to show “first to market” into “first in the market”?

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