Smartphones manufacturers, as we know them, are always trying to differentiate their products from each other. This article goes over some of the features or steps that LG included or took to bring about this difference.
LG has made most of these inclusions in their flagship line of phones – these being the G-Series and the V-Series. The V-Series started in 2015 and immediately became a line that received yearly updates, and the G-series dates back to 2013.
In this article, we talk about six features that first came to the smartphone market with LG.
In today’s day and age, bezel-less displays and foldable phones are all the rage, but back in 2013, a phone with a curved display earned a lot of media credit. The curved screen pre-dates today’s steps towards foldable phones and can be said to be a stepping stone in the direction of unique display ideas.
Although not favoured by many because of its design similarities with G2 the G-Flex did implement technology which was considered ‘bleeding-edge’ for its time.
The G-Flex had a 700mm curve through-out its body and display; this made the smartphone challenging to handle. The display was a 720p unit which was heavily criticised for its poor quality and image retention defects.
It had a successor in the form of the G-Flex 2 which was worked upon to fix these problems. The Flex 2 brought with it a 1080p curved screen and different levels of curvature across it(700mm for the display and 650mm for the body) which made the phone a lot easier handle.
Self-healing is another feature which was found on the G-Flex series phones. It was a technology which was present on these brushed metal backs which could recover from micro-abrasions and scratches within 10 seconds(on the G-Flex 2).
The science behind the technology was never made available to the general public, and it is still a mystery as to how this back was made. Rumours suggest that a hydrogen atom infused back has been used due to hydrogen’s property of self-alignment which eliminates cavities formed by scratches.
Ever found a little extra space that you thought you would want to use? Well LG found some on the V10 and V20 and used it to add a secondary display. These minor additions usually go a long way, and it did work for LG as it made their phone standout. LG’s iteration of secondary displays is much simpler than what you may see on the Vivo Nex Dual Screen.
LG’s secondary display measures 2.1 inches in size with a resolution 160×1040. This display is set to be an always-on display and can be used for notifications; it can have shortcuts for 5 of your desired applications, some quick toggles for phone settings (like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) and a few other options.
LG G5, the follow up to the successful G4, was a phone which was overall a bust due to this feature but back in 2015 when LG introduced a modular approach with the G5 it sure was interesting.
The LG G5 had an aluminium body with a removable bottom section which housed the battery and could be replaced with other units known as ‘Friends’ (not all Friends are modular), like one with a high-quality audio DAC by B&O and a camera mod called LG Cam Plus.
The battery was also removable because of this but hot-swapping was not possible, and this received criticism.
Hi-Fi Quad DAC
Hi-Fi Quad DAC is a feature which was appreciated by audiophiles and was for sure a surprise for any typical user who bought LG’s phones. LG offered a high-quality DAC with the G5 in the form of a mod, but it did include one built into the 3.5mm jack with V-series ever since its conception.
The G-series also became a regular in the DAC-world when it was made available in the G6(in some Asian markets) and the phones that followed (the G7 ThinQ and G8 ThinQ).
A DAC is a digital to analogue converter which can make the audio transmitted from your device sound better.
Hand ID and Air Motion
Hand ID and Air Motion are the latest additions to LG’s ever-growing array of unique features. Hand ID works based on reading the circulation of blood in a users palm; this is used as a way to unlock the smartphone. Hand ID uses LG’s Z-camera set up in the front.
The unique time-of-flight sensor (in the Z-camera) also enables the user to use Air Motion which is LG’s attempt at letting a user perform actions without touching the screen. It can be used to answer calls, launch applications and perform other actions.
Innovations galore but LGs market share is dwindling
Even though LG has shown promise in the past with different innovations, including the work they did during their partnership with Google to build Nexus 4 and 5, they’ve failed to convert it into sales and have fallen behind companies like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo when it comes to global smartphone share.
Although they’ve come to the market with some significant innovations, it’s not about who does it first but who does it better when it comes to consumer tech.
With a dwindling between 3-4% market share since 2015, LG’s stock seems to be diminishing and only an aggressively marketed handset that can compete with the likes of OnePlus, Google, Samsung and the other aforementioned companies might revive their brand in the smartphone game.