I’ve been an Android user since the original HTC Desire (which was basically a Nexus One in drag) and in that time I’ve seen Samsung rise to the top, HTC sink quite a bit and other players rise to the top as well. While Sony and Motorola aren’t big in the same sense as Samsung, they’ve become solid Android manufacturers and ones that we all think of when we go to purchase our next Android smartphone or tablet. It took Sony a long time to become ‘a name’ in Android, with lackluster first attempts like the Xperia X10 and flagships like the Xperia Z just missing the mark a little. The same can be said for LG, but they never really made bad devices, even in the days of the Optimus Black and the Optimus 4X HD LG never made bad devices, they just weren’t all that great and they didn’t have that same sort of appeal. A few years later though, and now all three of my main personal devices are from LG, with the G Watch, Nexus 5 and G Pad 8.3 currently my daily drivers. As someone who doesn’t care too much about brand – I am a “fanboy of good technology” – I have to ask myself, where did LG come from?
Truth be told, I’ve always had my eye on LG’s devices, and had a respect for them, but never really wanted one. That’s one of the important things I think LG has fixed over the last two years. While it’s easy to say that my Nexus 5 isn’t really an LG device, I’d simply say that the Nexus 5 wouldn’t have interested me much if it weren’t cut from the G2’s cloth. I like simple, I like good quality hardware and I don’t really care who makes it, but right now LG is doing everything right for me. The G Pad 8.3 I have is a great tablet, the 8.3-inch display is crisp and it’s a really nice compromise between being portable and having a little more display to play with, it helps that it has nice speakers and is you know, fairly simple.
I recently reviewed the G Watch and love the simple approach there as well, and I’ve recently been thinking that LG is doing simple in their own way. Devices from LG like the Optimus G and the Optimus 4X HD before it were laden with an awful software mess. Sure, these guys were loaded with features, but nobody really cared for them and they were sort of all over the place. The G2 changed all that, and the company focused on getting the right things right, and toning things down a little bit. The G2 has a great camera, superb battery life and while the software is still a little in your face, it works well for the most part. Now, the G3 builds on the excellent traits the G2 launched with, a different yet logical approach to user buttons, a great camera, cramming the display into center stage and making the most of its battery.
LG also has one of the smallest product lineups of all major Android manufacturers, with the G3 standing atop the lineup and a mid-range of sensibly named (you listening HTC?) mid-range devices like the Optimus L3, L5 and L7 as well as their second versions. Keeping things simple doesn’t have to be boring and while I have probably written the word simple so many times you’ve already switched off, simple is important. It makes choices easier, more meaningful and it means that the company can keep creating devices like the G3 without the fanfare.