LG – oh, sweet, sweet LG.
When Little Phone maker announced That Could not ™ that it will step down from the rat race earlier this year and focus on fewer models with longer lifetimes, [ing] will unveil new smartphones when needed, "the company said put it – I was a little bit optimistic that it could mark the beginning of a promising new trend.
Then came this week's launch of the LG G7 ThinQ (Health!). And, well, we 're back to a typical LG schedule.
At first glance, the G7 ThinQ looks like a prime example of what would happen if a company were run solely by its marketing department and did not have product-oriented people handling the load. It feels like the result of too many chefs in the kitchen without a single unifying vision ̵
The G7 ThinQ has a score because all hot phones use scores these days, so it's clear that that must be why people buy them. The G7 ThinQ has a dedicated Google Assistant button, as Samsung's flagship flagship ships have dedicated virtual assistant buttons. It has to be clear what people want. The G7 ThinQ is all about "artificial intelligence," because these days it's all about artificial intelligence, so people need to pay close attention.
LG G7 ThinQ is basically a mixture of keywords together to create a marketing-enabled concept. The problem is that catchwords alone can not make a phone compelling – or successful.
That's the big picture anyway. Let us now turn to some specifics. (Tap, tap, tap.) Is this thing on?)
1. The Name
Look, there is no other way: The name of this phone is hilarious. (What's worse, "ThinQ" seems to be pronounced as a "thin queue." Overall, no joke.) Nowadays, a phone name must be memorable and iconic – not some random gibberish that looks like the result of too much team brainstorming.
It all needs "LTE" and a few extra numbers are pinned to its end, and we're about the same time as the "Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch".
. 2 The Upgrade Promise
LG says the G7 ThinQ is "upgrading", so to speak. Forgive me while making a quick exaggerated virtual spit …
Still here? Cool. We all now know the deal with LG's software support record, right? The only real upgrade-related strength of the company is that it does very little while it looks as if it did a lot . To be honest, his narrative skills may be impressive – but not for the reasons anybody would consider buying a new phone.
A promise of "continuous upgrades" from LG is like a promise to "take users' privacy seriously" from Facebook. When can we all just laugh when that happens?
. 3 The A.I. angle
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "Artificial Intelligence" has become a meaningless marketing jargon. It's the moment's mobile tech marketing buzzword (along with, of course, everything about Bezel).
The G7 ThinQ uses the keyword to display its wizard button (okay …) and also a feature of its camera that supposedly identifies certain types of objects in the view and then tweaks its settings accordingly. The proof is in the pudding (mmm, pudding), but early real-world testing leaves much room for doubt as to how effective this will be in practice – especially compared to the already award-winning cameras currently available in other companies. Phones.
Simple and simple, "AI" (And the fact that you have "A.I.") is not enough. Using A.I. In a way that enhances the user experience and enhances the value of a life, it counts – and so far LG's efforts seem more about branding and buzzword implementation than anything else.
. 4 The Broader LG Problem
The LG issue has long found a compelling vision for its phones – an approach that identifies a true raison d'etre and a phone as more than just the Sum of its parts acknowledges. A collection of impressive components is fine, but it's been a terrible long time that this alone has been enough to make a device stand out.
I talked about this subject in 2015 while reviewing the G4 study: 19659027] Despite its progress from year to year, LG has not figured out how to put pieces together into something that feels coherent and special ,
And that's exactly what comes to mind when you look at the new G7 ThinQ. Of course, the G7 ThinQ may appeal to stubborn LG fans who already buy LG cell phones – but clearly there are not enough such people to keep the company afloat. (Side note: The G7 ThinQ is apparently being sold in the US for $ 930 So, yes … there it is.)
With its pixel smartphones, Google is focusing on a software-centric one Experience in a way like no other Android manufacturer tries. With its Galaxy phones, Samsung attaches great importance to first-class workmanship and the usual consistency of its own internal ecosystem. What sets the G7 ThinQ apart from everyone else in a meaningful way? In a way that actually makes people sit up and listen?
In 2018, it certainly will not be the specifications of a smartphone that will do it, at least not on a large scale. Few people today buy cell phones because they have extra bright screens or speakers. Hardware itself has become a mass-produced product, and the difference between "big" and "maybe a little bit better" is barely perceptible. If a phone at this point will exert a significant influence, it must have this inspiration, this vision something about it as a whole that makes it seem extraordinary in a sea of similar-looking slates.
Earlier this year, I wrote about eight Android stories that should be skeptical in 2018. Number two on the list: "This is the year LG will make a cell phone!"
As I said the time:
It's like a clockwork: Every year we hear endless hype about a phenomenal new LG phone. Every year the phone has a crazy new concept or technology that generates endless buzz and headlines. And every year, the phone does not deliver an extraordinary experience – and does not deliver any significant performance in the larger Android ecosystem. …
That's LG in a nutshell: many scattered ideas without a coherent vision. It is a company that has been characterized "with much effort and very little impact," as The Verge put it in 2015. Time and Time again Year after year it's the same story. "Once the initial excitement fades, the phones have little impact on the real world – and sales mirror that.
Part of me had hoped that this would be the year that would change – the year the healthy salt grain The last and greatest of LG would eventually prove unnecessary.
After seeing the pitch for the G7 ThinQ – Well, let's just say, I will not clean up the salt so soon.
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[Android Intelligence videos at Computerworld]