LG has been a hit-or-miss manufacturer when it comes to Android. That's just the name of the game, to be honest. When it comes to the Android platform, or with any platform really, you need to not only create the perfect device in the hardware department, but also the software. It is more prevalent in the Android ecosystem because that's where proprietary user interfaces come into play, and those are really hit-or-miss. So, with LG's track record, can we really expect them to change things up in 2012?
I'm asking the question because LG is on the brink of launching new devices this year, as anyone should have guessed, but they are taking a very distinct approach this time around. While the handsets the company launched last year may not have been the cream of the crop, there is no denying that LG is looking to take the king title for the Android platform. They're trying to do that by going for the market between the smartphone and tablet, and by launching a whole new Optimus-branded line-up of devices.
But will it be enough? And, truthfully, after looking at the brand new Optimus Vu, and the upcoming Optimus L-series of handsets, are you actually interested in these devices?
When it comes to the Optimus Vu, for example, we're looking at a device that is boasting a 5-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio. There's a 1.5GHz dual-core processor under the hood, 32GB of internal storage built-in, and a battery that is measured at 2,080mAh. There's also LTE-connectivity, and it will be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box.
And then we've got the new Optimus L-series, which consists of the L3, L5 and L7. At the bottom of the barrel we've got the L3 and its 3.2-inch inch display, and Android 2.3 Gingerbread mobile OS. As for the L5, it will bring to market another 4-inch display, while the L7 is measured in at 4.3-inches. Both of the higher-end numbered devices will be launching with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but there's not much else known about any of the devices.
There's no denying that the Optimus Vu certainly has high-end specifications. But, come on. Look at it! If you compare LG's 5-inch smartphone offering to that of the Galaxy Note by Samsung, I can't help but wonder what LG was thinking. The thing doesn't look like a phone at all. It's a square, and not in a good way. Yes, there are plenty of black slabs out there, especially ever since the all-touchscreen revolution started, but this is getting ridiculous. And, frankly, the L-series of devices don't really look all that much better.
The L5 and L7 look all right, and I am very interested to see what the "Floating Mass Technology" looks like in use, because I think a phone that looks like it has a hovering display has to be cool (right?). But, the physical aesthetics of the device just don't seem all that appealing, and I can't really see LG competing with the other manufacturers in 2012, if that's how this is going to start.
Then again, if LG can somehow promise to update their Android 2.3 Gingerbread devices to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right after launch, then maybe they have a shot. But, the fact that they are even launching 2.3-based devices is bewildering to me.
LG has a lot to prove at Mobile World Congress next week, and my fingers are crossed that they've got what it takes to blow everyone's mind.