LG is getting out of the smartphone business and that’s probably a smart move for a company that’s been losing money in that space for the past six years. But it’s still sad to see the exit of a company that had been pushing the boundaries of smartphone weirdness with models like the dual-screen LG Wing, modular LG G5, secondary screen LG V10, and the LG Rollable which will now sadly never see the light of day.
If there had actually been much demand for any of those far-out designs, maybe LG wouldn’t be closing its mobile phone business. But the bigger problem is that the smartphone space is increasingly competitive… and increasingly dominated by a handful of companies that aren’t LG. So the more traditional budget, mid-range, and flagship phones the company cranked out didn’t make much money for LG either.
But it’s worth remembering that not only did LG put out a number of nondescript phones and some truly strange designs over the years. It also was one of the first to adopt features that later became normal like slim bezels, ultra-wide (or tall) displays, and even capacitive touch displays.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
- 7 smartphone trends that LG pioneered and others copied [xda-developers]
LG may not have had a lot of runaway successes in the smartphone space in recent years, but over the past two decades the company did pioneer technologies like capacitive touchscreens, QHD displays, and 18:9 displays that were later adopted by others.
- Top 5 most powerful Arm SBC’s & Devkits in 2021 [CNX Software]
There’s no shortage of small, inexpensive, energy-efficient Raspberry Pi-like single-board computers on the market these das. But if you’ve got more money to burn and want more power, these are some of the highest-performance options.
- Amazon blows eFuse on Fire TV Stick to prevent downgrading to old interface [AFTVNews]
The latest software update for the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K brings a new UI… and makes it even harder than usual (maybe even impossible) to downgrade to older versions of Fire OS. There’s a workaround, but only for rooted users who haven’t updated yet.
- Microsoft Edge is gaining users and outpacing other browsers [Windows Central]
With an 8.03 percent market share in March, 2021, it’s still not exactly toppling Chrome’s crown. But that’s a larger market share than Firefox has according to the latest Statcounter numbers and it’s close to Safari’s. That’s also up from less than 1 percent market share in March, 2020.
- HMD Global is hiring a UX designer for its Nokia Android phones [xda-developers]
In a possible sign that the company could be moving away from Android One and developing its own Android skin in-house, HMD Global (maker of modern Nokia-branded phones) is hiring a “User Experience Designer.”
- Pixel 6 may use Google-made chip instead of Qualcomm processor [xda-developers]
More details on that Google custom chip which may be used in the Pixel 6 – it’s expected to have a 3-cluster CPU (probably 1 highest performance core, 3 high, and 4 efficiency cores), a TPU, and an integrated Titan security chip.
- One XPlayer demo video [One Netbook]
A brief video showing the upcoming One Netbook One XPlayer handheld gaming PC with an 8.4 inch display and up to an Intel Core i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake processor in action.
- Linux-based tablet operating system JingOS is coming to phones [LinuxSmartphones]
A few days after releasing v0.8 for computers with x86 processors, Jingling has posted a short demo video that shows an earlier version of the operating system running on a smartphone. The company hasn’t released an ARM-compatible version of JingOS to the public yet, so you can’t try this yourself yet – and without support for mobile data, phone calls, or even portrait mode, you might not really want to yet anyway. But the basic UI and a few apps seem well suited to small screens.
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As a frequent critic of LG, I’ll admit that some of their ideas for smartphones were neat, but I just wasn’t willing to buy them based on the way that LG implemented the idea.
Every time I thought one of LG’s ideas was neat, there was some glaring flaw or compromise with the device overall. Each time I just told myself “this is cool, but I’m going to wait for someone to implement this idea in a better way”.
Like the modular LG G5. It was a cool idea, but the fact that you actually need to open a cavity of the phone’s chassis to swap the removable section was just a horrible implementation of that idea. The phone’s body just had this disgusting gaping seam that made the phone feel like it wasn’t assembled correctly. A friend of mine had a G5 and he always complained that the seam would get packed with pocket lint.
Then a few months later, Motorola did it properly with their Moto Z series, and their “Motomods”. They simply interface with the outside of the phone. Brilliant.
I was promised single board computers…
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