Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Inside the LG G2 Smartphone Event, Which Is Very Much Like Other Smartphone Events

It is summer in New York. Actually, it is August, which is different. I am reporting from another smartphone event.

It has been a very busy summer for the mobile phone industry: Apple announced its next mobile operating system (non-developers can’t have it, just yet). Samsung announced a water-resistant phone (it isn’t entirely waterproof). T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T announced wireless plans catering to phone-upgrade freaks (it’s unclear how they benefit people who don’t change phones very often).

Nokia announced a phone with a camera so great, you can zoom in on every acne scar you acquired in high school. Motorola announced a new flagship phone, the Moto X. It is a good phone, and it comes in pretty colors.

Now it’s LG’s turn. The Korean electronics company is hosting an event at Frederick P. Rose Hall in Manhattan. The nice thing about it being at a jazz hall is the warm-up music is mellow jazz, rather than the untz-untz techno that is common at smartphone events.

Will this new LG smartphone be a game-changer? I ask because everybody asks if the next smartphone is a game-changer. Later on, we might all make charts comparing the game-changing specs.

The new LG phone is called the LG G2. For this flagship phone, the company has ditched the old name for its smartphones, Optimus. It has a brilliant, 5.2-inch, 1080 by 1920 display. This is a big display. It is bigger than the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Moto X. It has a super-sensitive LCD touchscreen.

The smartphone is one-tenth of an .35 inches thick. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. It is running on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system. It has a big battery. LG says the battery is a breakthrough. The smartphone is 4G LTE-compatible.

The G2 has a 13-megapixel camera, a 2.1-megapixel rear-facing camera and an optical image stabilizer, so you can take clear, non-blurry photos from a moving car, an LG executive says. Assuming you are not the one driving.

LG executives mention the company’s partnership with Qualcomm a lot. Qualcomm makes good chips.

Now we are watching a video of a couple in formal wear taking selfies on a balcony. Then an executive onstage takes a selfie, too.

Last year around this time, LG announced this phone’s predecessor, the Optimus G. Like many smartphones, it had lots of capital letters and numbers, like 4G LTE, NFC and a 4.7-inch, 1,280 by 768-pixel HD touchscreen. It had Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and a 13-megapixel camera on the back. It was running on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich OS. I could really go for an ice cream sandwich right now.

So this new phone, the G2, is an improvement by the numbers. The shuffle toward innovation continues.

That’s why you should consider this new phone, even though we haven’t heard yet how much it costs.

The G2 will launch in South Korea before it comes to the U.S and Europe in the coming months.

This makes sense. On a global scale, LG earlier this year became the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor. But in the U.S., Apple and Samsung dominate. Motorola, HTC and LG are at the bottom of the pile.

Just outside the jazz hall, people are probably snapping selfies in Central Park at this very moment. Inside, members of the press and industry analysts look at their smartphones and laptops. If our faces appear lit up, it’s mostly from the glow of the screens.

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