Flashback: LG’s best phones before and after the switch to Android

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mobtkr23 April 2021Last Update : 1 year ago
Flashback: LG’s best phones before and after the switch to Android

LG will leave the mobile phone market in a few months, it just needs some time to push Android OS updates to its premium smartphones. LG’s innovative spirit will be missed – we have already looked at LG’s greatest inventions – today we would like to talk about its greatest phones.

There are way too many interesting phones to cover, so we split the history of the LG phone into two major periods – before Android and after Android – and look at what we think are Top 5 phones from each era.

Before Android

We start with LG KG800 Chocolate. The Motorola RAZR became a design icon in the early 2000s, but the first chocolate was also a hit, and its design language set the tone for LG phones for several years to come. There it was, too LG KE800 Chocolate Platinum and LG KG810 chocolate folder in the first generation of LG’s Black Label Series.

These were launched in 2006, and by mid-2007, the Chocolate series had reached 10 million sales. In December 2007, the number increased to 15 million. Not quite RAZR sales, but still a huge success for LG.

Of all the chocolates, the CDMA-based LG VX85000 was the shooter king. It became one of LG’s best-selling phones ever, moving 21 million units. Side note: the best ever was the basic LG KP100, which sold 30 million units.


LG KE800
LG KG810
LG KU800

LG KG800 • LG KE800 • LG KG810 • LG KU800

We have already covered LG KE850 Prada in detail – the first phone with a capacitive touch screen. It had a user interface with all the touches and (as you can tell by the name), LG took great pride in the stylish design. Alas, its contribution to the mobile world was overshadowed by the Apple iPhone, which came out a few months later.

LG KE850 Prada
LG KF900 Prada
LG Prada 3.0

LG KE850 Prada • LG KF900 Prada • LG Prada 3.0

LG’s mobile division had its heyday in 2009, when optimism ran high. The company predicted that it would sell 120 million phones that year, then 140 million in 2010, and that in 2012 it will be the second largest smartphone maker in the world.

The original Prada was not a smartphone, but that was not a problem as LG had a successful range of touch-powered features. The humble LG KP500 Cookie (2008) had a 3.0 “resistive touch screen (240 x 400 px), a cute design and an affordable price of 200 €. LG sold 9 million units in 9 months, which later grew to 13 million. to launch several -up, just as it had done with the chocolate and Prada.

LG KP500 Cookie
LG GS290 Cookie Fresh
LG T375 Cookie Smart
LG Cookie Lite T300

LG KP500 Cookie • LG GS290 Cookie Fresh • LG T375 Cookie Smart • LG Cookie Lite T300

Among LG’s phone innovations, we built the LG KU990 Viewty, which was the first phone to record slow motion video (Viewty did well on its own and moved 5 million units). The LG Optimus 2X became the first phone to record 1080p video. The LG G5 was the first real dual camera phone.

But we wanted to highlight another camera phone from the company, the LG KC910 Renoir from 2008. This was the successor to the Viewty and upgraded the camera to an 8MP sensor and xenon flash, it also retained the Schneider-Kreuznach optics.

Flashback: LG's best phones before and after the switch to Android

Renoir competed in our 8 Megapixel Grand Shootout, where it teamed up with the Sony Ericsson C905. This one also added GPS and Wi-Fi over the Viewty spec sheet, so it was also a much better phone besides the camera.

LG KC910 Renoir

LG KC910 Renoir

The last phone in the pre-Android era we wanted to highlight is LG KM900 Arena (2009). It had a sharp 3.0 “screen with 480 x 800 px resolution – that’s 311 ppi, a year before Apple came with” Retina “and iPhone 4. And the screen was protected by Gorilla Glass, while the phone’s chassis was made of metal.

Flashback: LG's best phones before and after the switch to Android

The arena was also beautiful in software with the S-Class touch UI. Using capacitive touch, of course, this is not the cookie. It cost almost twice as much at € 350, but still much cheaper than € 630 € 4. It was not perfect, but the Arena was one of the best non-smartphones ever. Definitely one of the best LG has ever made.

LG KM900 Arena

LG KM900 Arena

After Android

LG was really the best when they made featurephones. It dabbled with Symbian, but before Android arrived, it never really puts much effort into making smartphones. We will not look at the few Windows Phone devices it made as there are not many good memories there.

Let’s look at the gap between LG’s phone and smartphone eras LG G2 (2013). It was a fantastic phone with by far the smallest footprint for its 5.2 “screen in its time and had a creative design with the volume rocker and the on / off button on the back just below the camera. And it was among the first to present the moment – standard double tap to wake up.

Flashback: LG's best phones before and after the switch to Android

The G2’s 13MP camera had OIS before most other Androids, the phone also had a powerful Snapdragon 800 chipset. It was beautiful and fast, and it sold only about 3 million units, of which approx. a third went to South Korea. Oof. It is not close to cookie numbers and well below the target of 10 million.

LG G2

LG G2

The sequel, the LG G3 (2014) improved the situation and eventually reached the 10 million mark that G2 never did. G4 also targeted 10 million (even 12 million), but could not even surpass G3.

Flashback: LG's best phones before and after the switch to Android

The LG G3 was still a very good phone as we told in a Flashback post. It had one of the first 1440p monitors and one of the early 4K-compatible cameras that introduced Laser autofocus for startup. However, LG never managed to get the appeal that Samsung had grown for the Galaxy S series – the Galaxy S5 hit 10 million in just 25 days.

LG G3

LG G3

That LG V10 (2015) was the start of something new. It was a semi-professional line for serious people with serious demands. It was a rugged stainless steel phone (316L), Dura Skin back cover, and it popularized the MIL-STD-810G rating.

Flashback: LG's best phones before and after the switch to Android

Audiophiles quickly embraced the V10 as it came with Quad Beats headphones tuned by AKG and a high quality 32-bit DAC. It was also a bold phone with a 5.7 “line screen display above the main screen. This was used to display status info, messages, shortcuts and more. And in addition, there were two selfie cameras – wide and ultra wide. It inspired what came next .

LG V10

LG V10

That LG G5 (2016) was one of the most ambitious LG phones ever. This was the first phone to have an ultra-wide-angle camera on the back and perhaps the first Android with modular additions. Magic Slot also had the benefit of keeping the battery user available.

Few mods ever materialized, and the best, B&O DAC, became obsolete with the introduction of the Quad DAC with the LG V20. However, the G5 still had excellent sound quality, and the modular system died pretty quickly with very few modules reaching consumers.

Flashback: LG's best phones before and after the switch to Android

In the end, the LG G5 flew too close to the sun, and the V series took over as LG’s best. It got to the point where reports claimed the G-series would be killed. In the end, it turned out to be true (there was no G9 in 2020), but the G-Series never got a true replacement.

LG G5

LG G5

However, LG dreamed big until the end. When it leaves the phone industry, we’ll probably never see its phone that can be rolled, but we’m glad we at least have it LG Wing (2020). This is a creative shot on the second screen – the large 6.8 “P-OLED screen could quickly cut to landscape orientation, perfect for multimedia.

Flashback: LG's best phones before and after the switch to Android

The secondary 3.9 “G-OLED screen below that was just the right size to continue texting or scrolling through your social media feeds without pausing your movie or game. Talking about games , this was a great way to have some control over not covering the game.It was such a smart design and we found many uses for it in our review.

LG Wing 5G

LG Wing 5G

The LG Wing is a return to old LG devices like the V9000, for example, making it a full circle. One of these was shown in the first Iron Man movie. What other company will make such out of the box designs in 2021?

The transition to smartphones was the beginning of the end for LG – just as it was for Nokia. The company fought well and introduced many innovations along the way, but it never found a wide audience to make a profit. And it never returned to the level of success it had in the 2000s.

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