We won’t beat around the bush here, LG hasn’t been going so great on the smartphone scene lately. Some sort of re-imagining is definitely in order and we have already seen early signs that the Korean giant is trying to take a new course one way or another.
Winner: LG Velvet 5G
The LG Velvet family offer a great example of LG’s ongoing course-correction. First off, there is the “Velvet” moniker itself, which was a great move to try and get a fresh start by effectively killing-off the faltering “G” line of flagships and transforming it into something new.
The LG Velvet 5G arrived on the scene first and managed to make quite the splash. With a Snapdragon 765G chipset at its core, it took part in the major 2020 industry-wide movement towards democratizing 5G and bringing high-end specks and features to the “mid-range” in terms of pricing. A trend that has only sped up since, with the Snapdragon 765G followed by newer, cheaper 5G chipsets. Even so, the fact that the Velvet 5G remains the most popular 2020 LG model in our database is enough of a testament that the company was on to something.
By the way, the more limited in availability, Velvet 5G UW deserves to be acknowledged alongside its regular Sub-6 sibling as representative of a positive LG trend.
Looser: LG Velvet
Soul-searching is rarely an easy process. Case and point – the LG Velvet, which came out a bit after its 5G sibling, which is already a bit weird and weirder still, substituted the sensible and trendy, mid-range Snapdragon 765G with a dated flagship Snapdragon 845.
It should come as no surprise that this variant of the Velvet flopped. We honestly don’t quite get LG’s reasoning behind this odd move. Not only did they yank-away 5G support, but also downgraded the phone’s charging in the process. Perhaps clearing old stock or simply bad R&D timing.
Winner: LG K92 5G
The LG K92 5G is hardly a familiar name to many, but it did alright within LG’s lineup.
It is a great example of LG continuing to explore the trendy “feature-rich mid-ranger with 5G” formula. Though, this time around within the budget-oriented “K” series, instead of the Velvet line. Our best guess is that LG is testing the waters once more and will hopefully be basing some smart decisions within the “mainstream” Velvet line off of the relative success of the LG K92 5G.
The phone itself is based around the Snapdragon 690 5G chipset, with no real bells or whistles beyond that. A simple 60Hz IPS panel, solid 4,000 mAh battery pack and a tried and tested 64MP Quad-Bayer main camera, alongside an uninspired 5MP ultrawide and a pair of equally forgettable 2MP supplementary shooters. Nothing special, but a good start on the right path.
Loser: LG V60 ThinQ 5G
However, despite advancements in the dual screen accessory it still fails to win people over with the company failing to properly communicate the advantages of its design.
Winner: LG Wing 5G
Not so much a hot seller you still have to appreciate the Wing, mainly for what it represents in terms of R&D capacity by LG. A unique phone even if with rather niche appeal. Hence, it ends up absolutely tanking it the value department. A showcase device, if you will.
However, that’s kind of the point. It is the part of the new initiative LG calls the Explorer Project. Like the name suggests, it’s LG making a clear and deliberate investment in experimentation and trying to find the next big thing or failing that – a new formula that works for it. It’s a scary, uncertain and costly endeavour, but nothing short of a bold and admirable one. That’s how innovation is born. LG has already teased a slide-out display phone design as the potential next step for the Explorer Project, so here’s hoping the Wing leaved a great legacy as an important milestone on a future-facing journey for LG.