Do lesser-known manufacturers stand a chance in the smartphone realm?

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| Published: April 20, 2011

Before Android came along, nearly every aspect of a phone was designed and made by each individual manufacturer. Companies put a lot of time, effort, and money into the design of the phone, the components, and the software. With the introduction of an open source platform and the rise of more and more component manufacturers, companies like Motorola, HTC, and Samsung have been able to focus more time and attention on the important aspects that differentiate their product from the rest of the pack.

Not only have these larger, more widely-known companies grown and taken advantage of Android's Law, the smaller and upcoming groups like ZTE have, too. They now have a fighting chance in the mobile space; a prime example of this lies with LG.

Known primarily for their flip and feature phones, LG has held the number three spot in the top five cell phone manufacturers in the world for quite some time now – they're not exactly small or less known. But last May, LG broke into the smartphone world with their first Android handset, the Ally. Though it was only a mid-range device, it settled in nicely among Verizon's top dogs.

LG didn't enter the race walking though. They have since released nine more Android phones and have several others on the way, namely the Revolution, Optimus Black, and Optimus 3D. They have also brought the heat in the tablet world as well with the highly anticipated G-Slate (AKA Optimus Pad).

It hasn't been easy for LG though, and they aren't in the clear just yet. A lot of buyers are likely to be skeptical seeing that LG doesn't have the greatest track record for build quality or durability. But from what I've already seen from them, they have matured and are ready to prove that they are deserving of a little more respect.

Their current and upcoming lineups are sporting some of the hottest, most impressive phones to date. Not to mention, they were the first company in the world to release a dual-core phone and the first to preview a 3D phone and tablet. Impressive to say the least.

I'll admit, I've been very skeptical of LG thus far and pretty much every other upcoming smartphone manufacturer. But if the G2X is enough to make Aaron "Hairon" Baker say that it is the "best Android device on the market at the moment," it might not be a bad idea to give LG the benefit of a doubt.

LG isn't the only smartphone manufacturer on the rise. Sony Ericsson has some unique ideas, hot devices, and some serious promises to be held to. And even though we don't hear much stateside about the Chinese company ZTE, their success is largely due to Google's little green robot. After seeing what a huge success the platform has become, I imagine other companies will try to get in on the fun, too. Not all of them will survive, but it's good to know that the lesser known companies do have the opportunity to make a name for themselves as well.

What say you? Would you buy one of LG's phones or is there too big of a risk involved? What about the Vizio phone? Are you more prone to stick with what you know over giving newer companies a chance?