When you read about Windows Phone these days, you’re probably getting a face full of information regarding the huge update from Microsoft, called Windows 10 Mobile, coming soon; every once in a while you’ll hear that another low to mid-range Lumia device has been released by Microsoft. Most recently, though, you might have been pleasantly surprised (or maybe confused) to hear that LG has decided to make a Windows Phone of their own.
Although not a flagship handset (which the Windows Phone platform has been desperately lacking for the better part of a year) the LG Lancet meekly arrived on shelves for Verizon Wireless customers for just $120 off contract. With a 4.5-inch 854 x 480 resolution display, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (of which only 4GB is usable, apparently), and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and VGA front-facing camera, there’s really not much to say about the LG Lancet in terms of uniqueness. In fact, the only reason that anybody would remotely care about this device is simply because LG is this device’s manufacturer. For some clarity, LG hasn’t made a Windows Phone handset for several years; LG has never even released a Windows Phone 8 handset until now.
Why now, though? Why would LG suddenly decide to make a Windows Phone device when the platform is nearing the end of its cycle, when nobody cares about Windows Phone in its current state?
Probably because they want a piece of that sweet, sweet Windows 10 Mobile success – or at least, what they're hoping will be a success.
It’s no guarantee that Microsoft’s new Windows 10 platform will be that popular, but it’s certainly shaping up to be that way. With Microsoft unifying all of their Windows 10 products to work together no matter what type of device you’re using (be it PC, tablet, or smartphone) there’s a lot of potential for this underdog (of mobile operating systems, that is) to make a complete 180 from where it has been over the past several years – and if you don’t know where it has been, try bringing up Windows Phone with any telecommunications consultant the next time you go into a store. You're likely to experience the following scenario:
“Hi, what can I help you with today?” the host asks enthusiastically.
“Yes, I wanted to ask you about Windows Phone," you say.
“Huh? Oh! Haha. You mispronounced, ‘Android’. Yes, of course; the Samsung Galaxy S6 is right over here,” the host dismissively replies as he quickly leads you past the damp, dark corner where they keep the aforementioned Windows Phones.
Maybe the conversation won’t go exactly like that, but you get the gist; things haven’t been great, and Windows Phone is all but ignored. But if the bridging of Windows 10 devices, along with the hope that the infamous “app gap” will be fixed, there’s much to look forward to for the new mobile version of Windows. Since nobody (aside from Nokia, which is now Microsoft) has put much thought into Windows Phone lately, it’s not a bad idea for LG to get their feet wet now.
It’s important to note that Windows 10 Mobile should still run decently on less powerful devices, which is something that Windows Phone has always been good for; because of this, LG’s decision to creep in with such an unremarkable device isn’t necessarily uncalled for.
At the end of the day, the Lancet itself isn’t anything to write home about; it’s still a low-end Windows Phone 8.1 (for now) device. With that in mind, it’s a decent, affordable option for Verizon Wireless customers who are interested in trying Windows 10 Mobile later this year. The biggest impact here is LG’s decision to re-enter the Windows Phone market at all. The Lancet tells us that there’s some faith – even from OEMs – that the new Windows 10 Mobile could do well.