We have no reason to believe LG when it promises three years of software updates

Lg Velvet Review
Lg Velvet Review (Image credit: Android Central)

LG has exited the smartphone business, and as a parting gift, the company has promised that its current premium Android phone lineup — which means G and V series phones released after 2019, plus the LG Wing and the LG Velvet — will get three Android updates. That means if your LG phone shipped with Android 10, you'll get Android 11, Android 12, and Android 13. But you probably won't.

I'll take things that will never happen for $800, Alex.

I hate to be the Debbie Downer in the room, but let's get serious for a minute. LG couldn't update phones in a timely fashion or provide three platform updates when it was still in the smartphone selling game. Now that it has decided that it's time to quit losing money to Samsung and Apple, do we really think the company will change anything?

LG Nexus 4 in glorious white

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

I really liked LG as a smartphone company, but I waited forever for the software to match the potential of the hardware. I'm serious. My favorite Android phone is a toss-up between the white Nexus 4 (I still have it) and the V10, both of which came out during LG's "glory days" where the company made great phones. At least on the hardware side, because the software was like a poor version of Samsung's with even more junk and clutter. Samsung has fixed most of that, but LG... well, it's LG. LG sucks at software.

Lg Software Update Center Press Release

Source: LG (Image credit: Source: LG)

Look at the photo above. Read it. I wanted to copy the text of this short press release but I'm afraid that LG will archive it because it makes the company look so bad, so I screen captured it to save it forever. It mentions things that Android enthusiasts — the only people buying "premium" LG phones ever — are interested in: a promise of "faster, timelier, smartphone operating system and software updates."

LG can use the money it's not losing by building phones to issue updates — Android Central Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Bader.

The company built out a Global Software Upgrade Center (whatever that is) to try and get updates out to us and it did not work. Not even a tiny bit. We all waited for our LG G6 to get updated while other companies got it done, and if we bought the G7 or G8 it was the same. Again — LG sucks at software.

LG did do something very smart once it saw the writing on the wall: it yanked a handful of its own apps and replaced them with plain, vanilla Android versions that you can update through Google Play. That makes a big difference, since it lets the teams actually working on Android updates to focus on core implementations and not worse versions of apps Google already makes.

LG G2 back buttons

Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

I'm not bitter. I know I sound like I am, but I expected more from LG for almost 10 years and it never materialized. The company did some really innovative things — I loved the back buttons on the G2 and LG was the first company to offer a good, solid budget phone available for all carriers with the Optimus One. We also got to see the first "uber thin" phone with the LG Optimus Black and a phone that wears power armor with the V10. The company made such great stuff until you powered it on.

I don't trust LG being able to get three Android versions on any phone.

I just do not trust LG to update its phones for another few versions of Android. In fact, I think it would be better if the company built out a way to unlock the bootloaders on all of its phones so people like us who care can fix things the fun and messy way by visiting the XDA forums.

I'll miss LG. I had years of admiring the hardware and innovation while hating the software, waiting for LG to find a way to fix everything that was bad. The first phone I bricked was the LG Optimus 4X HD, and I was fiddling with it because the software was horrible and I wanted to roll my own.

LG Wing Review

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The company that has caused so many owners to complain about software and updates for 10 years just isn't going to give you much of anything now that the mobile division was scrapped. If updates do come, you'll have tossed that LG phone into the recycle bin or a drawer and have bought one of the other best Android phones by then.

At least your LG Wing can still double as a tomahawk.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.