Competition in the high end smartphone market is fierce. With brands like Xiaomi and Honor offering such low prices, it's hard to stay relevant. But, LG is sticking to its guns and won't abandon its strategy. In our interview with Product Manager of LG Italy Raffaele Cinquegrana, it was made clear: quality has a price.
LG focuses on an often neglected segment
Product Manager of LG Italy Raffaele Cinquegrana told us in our interview that sales of the LG G7 haven't disappointed, thanks in part to collaborations with carriers who have offered aggressive discounts.
The market in the high end is very competitive, but the South Korean manufacturer's efforts extend beyond this segment, especially with the low end and the K series. The lower range is neglected by some manufacturers, but not by LG, which tries to propose different features such as, for example, military certification. The G7 Fit, announced at IFA, aims to please users who want a design like that of the G7 at a lower price, closer to that of the Q series. The G7 fit sits in the middle and fills the gap between the two series.
The G7 One was also presented at IFA 2018. The One version of the G7 will have a Snapdragon 835 and run Android One for a smoother experience. It is a 'strategic' product for the brand: a way to face competition by offering users a smooth experience, albeit renouncing its interface, LG UX.
The V series represents the best LG has managed to achieve to date
Don't make the mistake of thinking of the G7 One as a cheap device (the price is actually still unknown) because the focus of this device is not the price tag, but the speed and experience which is optimized by the stock version of Android.
What about the V series?
With the V series, Raffaele Cinquegrana told us that "LG has proven itself able to make a smartphone which has nothing to envy from the competition and is being talked about more and more." The LG V30 marked a turning point, but the V40 hasn't yet arrived.
The specs of the V40 are no longer a mystery, and multimedia will be it strong point. Design, price and availability are yet to be leaked, but it won't be long until we have all the details as the launch will come sometime in October.
LG's response to the competition is quality
Safety and quality are two key words for the South Korean brand. Last year, during the G6 launch, the manufacturer focused on safety tests and the level of attention paid to the production processes behind each device. Of course, initially it seemed a sort of marketing response to the explosive end of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, but as Raffaele Cinquegrana put it "LG promotes its devices not based on technical specifications alone, but also taking account what is behind it."
Optimization of user experience and differentiation through implementing often overlooked features
Lately it seems that users are more and more concerned with the price/specs ratio, while brands like LG are going against the grain by continuing to invest heavily in R&D and production processes. This leaves LG unable to compete on price against those like Xiaomi and Pocophone.
SAR levels, reliability, and longevity in terms of updates (with the new software center, dedicated features and updates will be distributed more consistently): these are the factors LG is not willing to compromise on, and the final price of devices has to reflect this.
LG will also differentiate itself through the optimization of user experience and by implementing often overlooked features. New features are introduced by the brand on their devices (the camera is an example) without neglecting other components such as audio, which brands like LG (and HTC) have been paying special attention to for years. LG's goal goes beyond winning the game of who has the best specs sheet. It wants to make users understand that behind the specs, there is much more.
Are you willing to make compromises on quality for a cheaper smartphone with top specs? Will LG be able to hold its own against the aggressively priced Chinese competitors?