One giant leap for the LG V series, one small step for LG’s design language
The next iteration of the LG V line, the V20, is fast approaching, and mobile world is eagerly awaiting its arrival. The V10 was a smash hit for the company, and LG fans are looking for some consolation after the poor reception of the G5. That being said, we have a set of rather polarizing leaks that show us a nearly bezeless display, a secondary ticker, and a duel camera setup all wrapped up in a rather familiar package. While it’s tempting to fixate on the leaks themselves, there’s a deeper story developing here.
The V20 seems to employ the design used for the G5, which can either be a step in the right direction or the wrong direction. The G5, while a magnificent phone in all honesty, did not win the award for “Best looking phone of 2016.” And to add insult to injury, there were a few engineering flaws present; a few rough edges which showed us that there was room for refinement. We all gave LG a slap on the wrist and an encouraging “Better luck next time” as we turned our heads to the successor to the V10, but what should happen? To many V10 fans, this is upsetting, but this may be an indicator as to a new design language for LG, and a possible step in the right direction. If LG had just abandoned the design of the G5, then it would seem like more of a mistake, but advancing on this design and improving it shows that it has potential, making the G5 seem more like a misstep than a mistake. Stream lining the phone and tightening up the eccentric camera bump of the G5 makes the V20 look significantly more appealing. It appears to be fully metal, rather than coated with the microdized primer (this is yet to be proven of course). It also appears that it will have the G5’s modularity, an extremely polarizing feature.
These leaks show us that LG has faith, not only in this new design language, but it its loyal costumers. The G5 checked a lot of boxes, but missed the mark in terms of its design and its modularity. This is one of the main reasons that it didn’t sell as well as LG had hoped (comparable only to it being launched pretty much along side the wildly popular Galaxy S7/S7 Edge). LG keeping this design shows that this weird… or a better term to use here is unique. It shows that this unique design has a future and will continue to grow and mature. It’s one of those situations that let us know that, although we’re dealing with cold hardware, designing a phone is as much an art as painting a picture or writing a symphony. It takes time, attention and missteps to get it right and come up with a beautiful device. Just think about the Galaxy S6. It’s a stunning device, but flawed. What did Samsung do? They refined the design with the S7, and FURTHER refined it with the Note 7. This is what LG is hopefully doing, starting down the path that will ultimately lead to a beautiful device sporting the LG brand. It’s probably the least selling flagship of 2016, but that’s because Samsung and HCT brought new generations of preexisting designs, whereas LG was trying something completely new. The G5 was the beginning of a new story for LG, and the V20 is where the plot thickens, let’s just hope that it has a happy ending.