LG swears that at least some of its current phones will be getting updates, some up to the upcoming Android 12, as it bids the smartphone market goodbye. We can't speak to the likelihood of that outcome (well, we could, but we're being nice), but at least one more current model is getting updated to Android 11. The Verizon version of the LG Velvet is starting to get its Android 11 OTA this weekend.
I never thought I'd see LG shut its mobile division before Sony or HTC, but here we are. The South Korean company officially announced its exit from the smartphone market a few days ago. While the company wasn't explicit about the software support situation at the time, some details have emerged since.
When LG shut down its mobile division last week, a few details remained unclear about its existing products. We initially speculated that the latest flagships should be in for at least another big upgrade to Android 12, but now LG has shed some light on its plans going forward. It pledges to update most of its flagships for up to three years.
So far, the only notable LG devices we've seen updated to Android 11 are the V60 and the Velvet (in South Korea, anyway). According to a support page on LG's German site, a few more phones will get the big software bump ... just don't expect them to be especially timely. Why would you, at this point?
It's always unusual when one variant of a phone gets different specs than all the others, but that's what's happened with T-Mobile's LG Velvet. For some reason, T-Mobile decided they wanted a Velvet with a MediaTek chipset — something no other Velvet variant globally has. Plus, it has a smaller battery. Granted, this model is pretty cheap at $588, but we'd expect a little more discount for the lesser specs.
We're deep into summer and almost due for a couple of new phones from Samsung and Apple. Perfect time, then, for LG to finally bring around its new Velvet smartphone from overseas to the U.S. market. It came to AT&T late in July and is eventually going to make it to T-Mobile, but we now know exactly when Verizon will bring it to customers.
LG could use a win. While it once innovated with modular hardware and pushing the whole industry past 16:9 screens, it's been hard to find any unambiguous successes over the last few generations of G- and V-series flagships. That's not to say that they weren't decently good phones, but none really stood out — maybe the V40 was one of the best, but even then we couldn't recommend paying big money for it. Is it time to take things back to the drawing board?
As we're used to for the past several years now, LG leaves very few secrets on the table about the phones it's going to launch. Indeed, the new Velvet phone was teased quite early on as the successor to the longstanding G-series. Tomorrow, it goes on pre-sale in South Korea and we're now getting a clearer look at what we can expect out of the phone.
LG’s troubled smartphone business seems to be taking a few marketing lessons from OnePlus in the hopes of building up a little buzz once again. The company has been dropping some key features of its upcoming LG Velvet over the last week or so, weeks before the phone’s official unveiling on May 7. In its latest update, LG gives away a few more details about the handset, including its local availability date, possibly leaving only pricing for the actual announcement.