Time to wake up, smell the roses and stop ignoring LG

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: December 4, 2013

In this industry, it's easy to get lost. Not only are there hundreds of smartphones out on the market, but they're all doing their own thing. Different screen sizes, different housing materials, different features, different platforms. For the most part, they're all just different. So you try a few out, you find one or two that you really like, and you latch on to it. You prefer this phone - you like this brand. It's hard not to support a manufacturer once you find something that you really like that they've made.

It's also just as easy to dismiss a manufacturer if they've made something you really don't like, or even just something that you feel indifferent about. That's how I've felt about LG for a long time.

LG has always been the middle ground for me, even before smartphones came on the scene. When messaging phones were still popular, LG was fairly popular across several carriers. They would usually come up with some unique form, like the full QWERTY keyboard flip device, the LG Lotus. Or the LG Chocolate - who could forget that? There was also the LG enV and the enV2. All of these products left a dent in my mind, but once smartphones came on the scene it wasn't long before I dismissed LG as being mediocre, and when it came to smartphones you just couldn't be mediocre. And I dismissed them because I had an LG smartphone for a while.

It wasn't my first smartphone, but it was a smartphone that got me by when I needed it. The LG Optimus S, a mid-range smartphone that came out sometime back in 2010. There is absolutely nothing special that sticks out in my mind about the device, other than it had horrible battery life, but what smartphone didn't 3 years ago? The Optimus S was the phone that I had when I first started working at Sprint, and you better believe that the second I had the opportunity I went and replaced it with something better (although looking back the HTC EVO 3D was not much better). But of course, working for a cellular company meant that the Optimus S was not the last time I would be dealing with LG - in fact, working at Sprint meant that I had to deal with LG a lot more often than that.

Over the course of the next year, I would have to say that LG was one of the least interesting manufacturers of smartphones, at least when it came to Sprint. The Optimus S was offered for a lot longer than it probably should have been, and was the phone that we saw most frequently come in for repair and troubleshooting issues. It would be several months before LG came out with something aside from the Optimus S, at least for Sprint, and so for a long time I learned to ignore LG and I hardly ever recommended the Optimus S to anybody. But the new phone that replaced the Optimus S as the spotlight for LG's smartphone lineup, the LG Viper 4G LTE, was a breath of fresh air for what seemed like a stale line-up. 

Unfortunately, the arrival of the Viper coincided with the release of other popular devices, the most notable being the Samsung Galaxy S III. Even if you weren't a fan of Samsung devices, the HTC EVO 4G LTE was also coming out, as well as the release of the CDMA version of the Galaxy Nexus. This was all part of the small starting line-up that Sprint had ready in order to move away from WiMax, and unfortunately with LG not really having a real influence in the flagship area of smartphones the Viper was lost amidst more popular devices. I can't say I helped the situation, because I myself would often forget about the Viper until running across it on the display. The phone had an interesting build. It was also fast and pretty much up to par with every other flagship in every other way. But in the back of my head, yeah, I guess you could say I had a bias against them. 

Even now I realize that I don't really talk much about LG. I know they're there, but I've been so focused on other manufacturers for so long that I guess I just haven't really come to terms with the fact that LG is making huge strides for themselves in the smartphone industry. As in, they're actually in a position now where they should be seen as a threat. They are a threat. I have to give up ignoring them. 

LG's G2, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5 are clear indicators to me that they're going nowhere but up. Given the specs, the builds, and the features, it's clear that LG in 2013 is not the same as LG in 2011. They're doing all of the things that a run-of-the-mill manufacturer should be doing, and something that they should be recognized for doing. So for that, I apologize for ignoring LG for all of this time. 

As the title states, it's time to wake up, smell the roses and realize I need to stop ignoring LG.