How LG Became an Innovator Without Recognition


In the smartphone world, LG is facing dwindling returns as sales dry up. While the company is committing to its smartphone division, the truth is LG handsets are not as popular as those from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and many others. By the second quarter of 2020, LG was not even in the top 7 smartphone manufacturers.

However, if we look at the history of LG smartphones, there’s a story of great innovation and a feeling of missed potential. For all intents and purposes, LG should be one of the major players in the smartphone market, but somehow isn’t.

LG does everything well. If you want a regular smartphone experience including a decent camera, internet for playing at popular casino venues, media for music and videos, and more, LG is as good as any other brand. Furthermore, the South Korean company has also been a dynamic innovator in the mobile world.

In this article, you can read about LG’s key smartphone innovations and why they did not propel the company to the top.

Ultra-High-Resolution Screens

When consumers buy a smartphone these days, they expect it to come with a stellar screen experience. Even at the budget end of the market, devices are shipping with good screen quality. LG has a lot to do with that as the first company to use Quad HD (QHD 1440 x 2560) screens on its smartphones.

Not only was LG the first, it was using this display resolution long before other companies. These days, all flagships on the Android side ship with at least Quad HD, but it was LG that started the trend. The company’s G3 flagship was the innovative handset, arriving way back in 2014 when 1080p (Full HD) was still seen as bleeding edge.

Wide-Camera Lens

Cameras are a fundamental part of the smartphone experience. Many consumers look at camera quality as defining factor when purchasing a handset. Many companies are now embracing wide-camera lenses as a major selling point on flagships. Whether it’s Samsung, Apple, or Huawei, they are all late to the party.

LG began putting wide-angle lenses in its smartphones five years ago with the LG V10 (itself a hugely innovative smartphones).

Steel Frames

In 2020, if you’re buying a smartphone flagship, you expect it to have a metal frame and some sort of glass sandwich construction. Even for the modern iPhone 11 Pro, Apple discusses how amazing the stainless-steel frame is. Even devices at the lower end of the price market use metal construction these days.

As you might have guessed, LG was the first built a smartphone with a stainless-steel frame. Once again, it was the V10 in 2015 that paved the way for the future.

So, What Went Wrong?

If LG is such a great innovator, why is the company currently floundering in the smartphone market? Well, there are a few reasons:

  • The company was never hugely successful in mobile and was never competing with Apple and Samsung in terms of sales. Innovation became a way for the company to stay relevant.
  • While innovative, LG’s devices often made compromises to achieve their trend-setting features. The G3 with Quad HD, for example, had fairly terrible battery life.
  • LG never struck upon a truly amazing design. Apple has the build quality and desirability of the iPhone, Samsung evolved smartphone design with the Galaxy S6 Edge, and Chinese brands mixed high-end design with affordability. LG trod an uneasy line between both. Its smartphones never pushed design boundaries and were never priced lower than rivals.

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