LG promises ‘wow factor’ smartphones will revive mobile fortunes

LG’s smartphone (mis)fortunes have been well documented in recent years, with the firm scaling back its offerings and swinging and missing with flagships like the LG V40 ThinQ and LG G8.

However, rather than gracefully bow out and focus on tellies and white goods, LG is plotting a return to smartphone prominence – and profitability – by next year.

Speaking at CES 2020, a bullish CEO Kwon Bong-seok said the company has lined up an array of “wow” features to bring those consumers, who ditched LG phones long ago, back into the fold.

He told the Korea Times: “LG Electronics mobile business is going to be profitable by 2021. I can say we can make that happen as LG Electronics will expand our mobile lineup and steadily release new ones attached with some wow factors to woo consumers.”

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Naturally, he didn’t elaborate on what any of those “wow” factors would be, and whether they would be akin to overreaches like the five cameras loaded onto the LG V40 ThinQ, which failed to impress smartphone buyers.

The LG G8 was a real disappointment from a critical and commercial standpoint, with our reviewer Alex Walker-Todd awarding it an underwhelming 3/5 stars despite the presence of an OLED screen, great audio tech, a Snapdragon 855 processor, long battery life and cool Air Motion gestures.

He wrote: “Overpriced and forgettable, although the LG G8 is an okay phone, the alternatives offer more for less or excel in a particular area. Audiophiles might see value in the G8’s specific talents but will likely sway towards dedicated media players instead, leaving a question mark around who this phone is for.”

Like it’s HTC compatriot, it’s been a long time since LG phones were high on the smartphone food chain. Getting back there in a climate where the Chinese manufacturers continue to impress with innovative new features at flagship-defying price points will be exceptionally difficult.

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