South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc estimated that its second-quarter operating profit rose 14 percent from a year ago, but fell short of expectations as the mobile division’s struggles likely continued.
“It’s likely that the mobile division’s losses were well over 100 billion won, while profitability for both the television and appliances businesses were a bit weaker than what we had anticipated,” Dongbu Securities analyst S.R. Kwon said.
We can see android phones, in the meantime, have been going through a renaissance of ever more sophisticated design and improving camera performance. Witness the Galaxy S8 with its multiaxial symmetry, or the OnePlus 5 with its iPhone-esque refinement, or the HTC U11 in its iridescent Solar Red garb, and you’ll find so much more visual variety and intrigue. And if you want to take great photos, the list starts with the U11, Google’s Pixel phones, Samsung’s flagship, and then maybe there’s a spot for an iPhone.
The above is why I’m finding myself more excited about Android phones as a general class, but what I didn’t expect to be saying right about now is that an LG phone is the most intriguing one to look out for. And yet, the LG V30 is shaping up to be a formidable challenger: f/1.6 lens, 6-inch OLED display, thin as hell, and even slimmer bezels than the G6 from earlier this year. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8 and leaked photos of the Note 8, the V30 even has its fingerprint sensor in the right place.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, when has it ever been a good idea to get hyped up about an LG phone? Well, the V10 of two years ago had the best camera (in my judgment) at its time of release, and the V20 from last year has become the gold standard for audiophiles that want their phones to also be their portable media players. So LG’s V-series has quietly asserted its technical credentials among niche audiences. It’s just never had the design refinement to match, and early images of the V30 suggest that LG is finally getting that part right. At 6 inches and with no bezels, this is going to be an LG V-series phone that’s actually usable with one hand.
But what makes it truly enticing is the prospect of the LG V30 being the foundation upon which the second-generation Google Pixel XL is built. I’ve made no secret of my abiding love of Google’s camera software on the 2016 Pixel phones, and if I see that matched with a handset as deprived of bezels and as thin as these LG V30 leaks suggest, I’d be somewhere close to heaven.
We know it almost as a fact that LG will build the larger Google Pixel this year, which makes my dream scenario rather likely. If there’s any way LG can screw up the V30, it will be through iffy software and camera over-sharpening — both aspects that a Pixel XL built on the same hardware wouldn’t suffer from.
Ultimately, I know that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 will most likely be a terrific success, one that will easily overshadow the LG V30 in terms of sales and perhaps in terms of quality and performance, too. Apple’s partners have also helped things along by leaking almost everything about each new device, including the latest one to come this September.
I’m also confident that Apple will introduce a phone or two next month that will sell like hot aluminum cakes. But those devices are not, at this present moment, exciting. They’ll be predictably great, I’m sure. The LG V30, on the other hand, is a tantalizing promise of an excellent phone from a company that’s always come close but never quite accomplished that feat. It’s fun to root for the underdog, and even if the V30 proves imperfect, it’ll certainly whet appetites for the next Google Pixel flagship to come.
This is an important phone for LG as it seeks to drag the mobile unit back to profitability. There are three things that will define this phone and ultimately lead to its success or failure. Let’s go over them in details.
There are FEW things that will define this phone and ultimately lead to its success or failure. Let’s go over them in details..
LG has not made a phone with an OLED display since the G Flex 2, and it was bad. The company’s old P-OLED tech was light years behind Samsung’s panels at the time. They were blotchy, dim, and prone to failure. This is why LG’s flagship phones have been using LCD panels for years as Samsung and others moved forward with AMOLED.
The problem, though, is Samsung is by far the largest maker of AMOLED panels. Everyone goes to Samsung, and that has led to a shortage. LG is spinning up production of new OLED panels with some investment help from Google. The V30 will be the first phone to ship with one of the screens, and the quality could make or break the phone. From leaks, we can see that the screen goes almost all the way to the edges and has the same rounded corners as the G6 and Galaxy S8.
The LG V30 has leaked a few times in the form of renders and devices in the wild. There’s one big thing we can tell from these leaks: the V30 is a beautiful phone. The G6 is well-made, but it looks and feels like a failed attempt to imitate Samsung. That’s not necessarily a bad goal—the Galaxy S8 is an incredible piece of design.
The V30, from what we’ve seen, could come close to matching Samsung’s industrial design. The device is sleek, has smaller bezels than the G6, and the frame appears to curve down at the edges. The panel is probably flat, but the curve can make a large phone more comfortable to hold. The back looks like glass, just like the G6.
If this phone looks in real life anything like it looks in renders, it’s safe to say LG isn’t playing catch-up anymore.
LG has been the last stalwart in the fight against non-removable batteries, but the V30 will probably be the phone that signals its surrender. The V20 last year had a metal cover that popped off to reveal the removable battery, but it’s hard to make a phone like that water-resistant. As much as people like removable batteries, consumers respond more positively to an IP rating than a battery they can take out.
The G6 has a sealed-in battery, and there’s every reason to expect the V30 will be the same. The V-series has traditionally been the power user phone in LG’s lineup, and those are people who still want a removable battery. With an inbuilt cell, the phone has an expiration date, so to speak. After about 18 months of charging and discharging, the battery won’t last as long as it used to. At that point, you need to have someone with the right tools replace the battery, or you can just get a new phone. The V30 would just be a more disposable device.
The V30 is a vital device for LG. The G6 was a good step after the G5 disaster, but LG’s mobile unit is still bleeding cash. This phone might be a real triumph for LG’s industrial design, and the new OLED could make it a key player as OLED panels become harder to come by. The battery situation will be tricky—traditional fans of the V-series won’t be pleased. We’ll have to see if LG can pick up some Samsung converts to make up the difference. What do you think about LG’s future….