LG's Upcoming Innovative Mobile Trends


Fira Barcelona, the location of the 2014 Mobile World Congress. Source: Supplied

Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest exhibition of mobile tech takes place in Barcelona, Spain from February 24-27, 2014. It's the show where most of the hottest mobile devices of the year are seen first.

This year is set to be about even bigger displays and, as has already seen from new disruptive innovations such as LG’s G Flex.

There may also be some interesting new tech on display in the form of bendable screens and yet more takes on the emerging smartwatch and wearable technology trend.

Smartphone Usage is Powering Design

In March 2013, Facebook and analyst firm IDC collaborated on a US study named “Always Connected” which aimed to showcase the relationship between smartphones and social activities.

The study focused on the behavior of Android and iPhone owners over 70 percent of whom believe in smartphone connections as the best and preferred form of direct communication to their peers.

One of the key takeaways relevant for the ongoing innovation of mobile is that people are spending less and less time using smartphones as phones. The study highlighted that only 16 per cent of user’s time was spent using their devices as a phone, whereas other activities such as emailing (78 percent), web browsing (73 percent) and playing games (60 percent) ranked much higher.


As a result of these usage patterns the design and form of the latest mobile phones is starting to change.

Bigger screens, more human-centric UX and the rising popularity of large display smartphones which mix the best of phone / PC functions all point towards users now viewing their devices more as pocketable, personal computers as opposed to just phones, a distinction which has allowed for a exciting slew of innovative new products which aim to meet the changing needs of the smartphone user. 

Making Flagship Products Available to the Masses

Bigger has apparently meant better in the competitive world of smartphones and the size of the average smartphone has increased dramatically over the past few years

However, as the world’s smartphone using population increases, these smaller, more compact versions of flagship products remain hugely important to the ongoing health of the industry

A key factor is that smartphone growth is beginning to slow in developed markets like the United States and Western Europe, where giant smartphones with the latest features are a hot commodity. Emerging markets are seen as the key future growth driver in this category however consumers in these regions are more budget-conscious. As a result, products such as LG’s Optimus G Pro Lite which takes it’s cue from the Optimus G Pro have recently launched help to provide consumer choice, and the right blend of functional and premium features to retain the essence of the original model in order to bridge this gap between affordability and advanced functionality

Although price remains a key factor in the appeal of these new compact devices (larger screens in particular can contribute significantly to the cost of a smartphone), many believe the rise of these smaller devices to be due to the fact that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ when it comes to smartphone preference. For example some people may want a smaller phone because they have small hands or wish to fit their smartphones in their pockets. As ever it’s consumers who drive demand for these new form factors.

The Parts are More Worth than the Sum
The phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ is often used to refer to a thing or place with more than meets the eye. However in the world of smartphones the opposite often reigns true with individual mobile features heavily influencing the buying habits of consumers. With the proliferation of smaller, more localized smartphone manufacturers particularly in Asia, many devices on the market now look very similar to others, but often lack the premium components that make the overall UX of a product like LG’s flagship smartphone the G2 so enriching. Below are some examples of key components which can make all the difference between a bad, good and great smartphone.

Cameras – The successful marriage of phone and camera remains one of the most iconic inflection points in the evolution of smartphones despite first appearing some years ago. Today powerful cameras like the 13 megapixel model featured on the LG G2 remain just as important as digital communication becomes even more visual with new social media channels and live video-streaming.       

Batteries – With increased mobile phone usage, satisfying power needs has become a priority. Innovations in battery technology however, have lagged behind advances in processing power. Since 2000, battery capacity has only doubled while processing speed has increased 12-fold. Lithium Ion batteries are the current industry standard, however the race is on to engage with newer battery technologies such as wireless charging and carbon nanotubes to help improve efficiency. 

Displays – Increased usage also means the need for more power-efficient, durable and versatile high contrast displays. LG’s OLED display technology, which features in both in its SMART TV and premium smartphone models such as the G Flex is a key differentiator in consumer buying decisions.

Large Display Smartphones: LG G2 and Optimus G Pro

When tablet-like large display smartphones were first introduced, many consumers were skeptical, citing the oversized nature of the device when making a call.  However as user smartphone habits have moved away from the primary function of making a call, demand for these different-sized devices has risen and is growing so fast in that analysts such as are predicting that these devices worldwide in 2014 will outsell traditional smaller tablets. One firm, Technalysis Research predicts that 175 million large display smartphones will be sold worldwide, versus a more modest 165 million sales of smaller tablets (screens measuring 8 inches or less on the diagonal.)

The bullish case for large display smartphones stems from the success of sales in key growth regions such as Asia, Europe and Brazil. The popular definition for these devices are any smartphone with a diagonal screen size of 5 inches or more and less than 7 inches. This would then include two of LG’s flagship international products, the 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro and  5.2-inch G2.

While the G2 has received plaudits for transcending the premium smartphone market as well as doubling up as pocket PC, the 5.5-inch G Pro, released shortly after MWC 2013, represents more of an archetypal large display smartphone in its dimensions. This form factor is now set to get an update, with the launch of the LG Gx recently in Korea. The new phone has an IPS screen which stays at 5.5-inches and still has a 1080p resolution, and like the Optimus G Pro, the bezel is super thin, making it easier to handle than some big-screen devices. The Gx is expected to make its debut internationally early in 2014.

Curved Display: LG G Flex

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Ma Chang-min, head of LG’s mobile product marketing in Korea, said. “Curved display is the future technology, which will evolve into wearable displays.” Indeed, the race is for leading companies like LG to bring curved displays and components such as batteries to mobile devices. Success in doing so will offer leading technology companies a competitive edge over their counterparts in an area of human-centric devices that is shaping up to be the next battleground in consumer electronics. 

Although LG’s new G Flex Smartphone marks an innovative leap in the design of smartphones via its distinctive curved screen. But to create a truly useful curved phone, it’s critical that key components in the phone are developed specifically for a curved device, such as the battery. Components designed for regular phones more often do not offer any consumer benefits when fitted to a curved smartphone.

What the G Flex shows however is a glimpse into the future around human-centric smartphone design. In terms of form, the vertically curved LG G Flex reduces the distance between one’s mouth to the microphone when the device is held against the ear. In addition the same curvature arc is optimized for the average face, to deliver improved voice and sound quality. The curved design also fits more comfortably in one’s back pocket. Finally in relation to human vision, landscape mode offers the user an immersive, cinematic experience as well as a comfortable viewing angle ideal for videos or gaming.


LG’s newest advanced UX feature, Knock Code™
With recent research data showing that users unlock their smartphones more than 100 times a day, LG clearly saw this as an opportunity where it could add value. Knock Code, which evolved from the KnockON feature first introduced in LG G2, enables users to both power on and unlock their LG smartphone in one easy step by tapping a personalized pattern on the phone’s screen. Knock Code offers greater security as the pat­tern is entered on a blank screen using an­y­where from two to eight taps, allowing for more than 80,000 possible combinations. What’s more, Knock Code can be entered on any part of the display, making one-handed entry effortless and convenient. A number of previously released LG smartphones will also receive Knock Code firmware updates as well.


LG Targets New LTE Smartphone owners with LG F70


Intent on further strengthening its footprint in 4G markets, LG Electronics (LG) unveiled its newest device — the LGF70 — which was unveiled for the first time at the 2014 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week. Featuring the latest Android KitKat OS and a Quad-Core processor, the F70 is expected to appeal to millions of new LTE customers around the world.

The F70 features a compact and slim body with a 4.5-inch WVGA IPS display, a 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor, and is powered by a removable 2,440mAh battery that has the largest capacity in its class so users will be able experience the exceptional speed of LTE without having to recharge mid-day. And the F70’s thin bezel and smooth rear design contribute to its ease of usability and comfortable grip. The user-friendly hardware is complemented by the addition of Easy Home, which simplifies the home screen while increasing the size of icons and fonts to make the transition to a smartphone easier for first time users.

LG F70 also comes equipped with LG’s newest advanced UX feature, Knock Code™

“Not only does the LG F70 offer the best of LTE technology, its hardware and UX are also best-in-class,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Utilizing our expertise in the field of 4G technology, we plan to strengthen our leadership in the global market.”

Key Specifications:
-    Processor: 1.2 GHz Quad-Core
-    Display: 4.5-inch WVGA IPS (800 x 480, 207 ppi)
-    Memory: 4 GB / 1 GB RAM / microSD slot (up to 32 GB)
-    Camera: Rear 5.0MP AF / Front VGA (640 x 480)
-    Battery: 2,440mAh (removable)
-    Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat
-    Size: 127.2 x 66.4 x 10.0mm

LG Named Most Innovative Company at MWC 2014 



LG Electronics (LG) was named Most Innovative Device Manufacturer of the Yearby the GSMA at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The Global Mobile Award, sponsored by the GSMA Award Committee represented by mobile specialists and analysts, is by far the most prestigious and authoritative award in the mobile industry.

“We are incredibly humbled that GSMA selected LG from among the many capable companies in the mobile industry to honor with this award,” said Chris Yie, vice president of LG Mobile Marketing Communications. “Innovation has been the key to LG’s success. This recognition, in addition to last year’s Best Smartphone of MWC 2013 award, is clear proof that our hard work and effort is paying off.”

At this year’s MWC, LG introduced eight smartphone models, including the G Pro 2, G Flex, G2 mini, F Series and L SeriesIII under the theme, Knock and Discover Tomorrow. LG’s 1,261m2 booth, divided into three zones — Knock and Create, Knock and Play, Knock and Connect — allow industry leaders to experience the differentiated features of the company’s newest mobile devices, which include the iconic and unique Knock CodeTM among other unique UX features.

Visitors to MWC 2014 are encouraged to stop by LG’s Booth in Hall 3 of Fira Gran Via to see the impressive products on display.

 For more information, please visit www.LGnewsroom.com.

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This year will definitely be an interesting and exciting year 
as we see more innovative products LG are going to present to us.
  
LG, truly the leader of mobile technology.



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