LG, wake up! The Optimus G arrives too late in Europe
There's a great saying that applies to new products -- get it while it's hot. Or shall I say, give it while it's hot. LG, sadly, is not familiar with either expression as the South Korean manufacturer has only now finally released the Optimus G on European soil. That's a whopping six months (well, nearly) after the smartphone's unveiling in late August, last year.
LG is its own worst enemy right now. The main problem with the late Optimus G release, apart from the obvious waning of initial interest, is the smartphone's bigger brother -- the Optimus G Pro -- and the plethora of new devices that were released after the Optimus G, with better specs and time advantage on their side. And we haven't yet reached MWC (Mobile World Congress) frenzy yet, where manufacturers are known to release or announce even more products.
The Limited European Endeavor
I got a kick from reading LG's announcement. The South Korean manufacturer releases the Optimus G in Europe, starting this month, but only mentions four major markets -- Sweden, France, Germany and Italy. Heck, that's not even a small part of the European Union let alone the whole continent. Will it be available in Spain, or Switzerland, or Belgium? LG doesn't say, which is not reassuring.
Trying to make up for the late release, LG says that the Optimus G launches with "enhanced" features, and I quote: "The European Optimus G will feature Google’s latest Android Operating System, Jelly Bean 4.1.2", alongside QSlide, Safety Care and Privacy Keeper among others. Say what? Android 4.1.2 is the latest version available?
LG must be joking as quite a lot of people have been using Android 4.2 for months now on their Nexus devices, one of which -- the Nexus 4 -- is even manufactured by LG itself. Talk about not knowing its own products.
Great, but Last Year
To be honest, the Optimus G sounded great at the time -- a super fast quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a large IPS display, 32GB of internal storage and 4G LTE really grabbed my attention, six months ago. But all that, and more, can be had nowadays in a newer device that will not be surpassed by a bigger brother in a few months and still has that novelty ring to it.
Imagine going to a retailer or carrier to choose a new phone sometime this month. Which one would you choose, honestly? A six month-old smartphone or a brand new one like, let's say, the Sony Xperia Z? Or, if you wait a little longer, you can get a great looking HTC One.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is last year's news and so are most of the specs. Qualcomm released two high-end processors, the Snapdragon 600 and the Snapdragon 800, that outshine the older Snapdragon S4 Pro. We're starting to see even more 1080p displays, with HTC packing a 1920 by 1080 resolution in a 4.7-inch panel -- same screen size as the Optimus G -- and promises of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean upgrades from Sony for the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL. Generally speaking we're seeing the future of smartphones, not the past.
I'm a European and I wouldn't touch the Optimus G, not even with a ten foot pole right now. LG, you can keep it.