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.

  • I'll believe it when I see it. Updates have always been a problem for LG? One of the main reasons that many consumers lost faith in them. There was always a simple solution but LG always had a hard time figuring them out!
  • Pig will fly the day when LG delivers software updates 😆.
  • This article is like beating a dead horse.
  • Your comment is like nails on a chalkboard. Jerry's take on things is always welcome.
  • Lol. Jerry’s articles are nothing but a whine fest anymore. He used to have good articles but now they are like nails on a chalkboard
  • You say potato........
  • Hey, I'm glad they're actually trying for their remaining customers. They really didn't have to announce anything.
  • Well since the G8 shipped with 9 Pie and has already received Android 10 there would only be 11 and 12 to go. I've enjoyed mine for just over a year now and can find little to complain about. It's very dependable and worth every penny I paid for it. I've never used Hand ID or Air Motion but those were easily ignored gimmicks. The Chrystal OLED speaker system took a bit of getting used to but I soon was automatically putting the phone to my ear right on the sweet spot. If it gets another OS update fine if not I don't care.
  • Agreed, G8 is a fantastic value. I just hope it gets Android 11, can't expect much more than that.
  • Lol thanks Jerry, who actually believes LG is going to update phones now 😂 Yeah that LG global software update center did really great 😋
  • My S20 FE 5G will be on Android 12 and 13 long before any LG phone receives even Android 11 😆 🤣.
  • FE is a nice phone
  • A very nice phone indeed, and One UI is fantastic. I only wished I'd gone with Samsung sooner and I quite like Bixby too.
  • Your probably right?
  • I think this empty promise is just a ploy to help clear out its unsold phone inventory.
  • Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
  • LMFAOOOO yeah y'all make a good point here. If updates weren't important when they made phones, they certainly won't be important now.
  • I loved every LG Phone I had but the lack of OS updates was annoying.
  • Bye LG you done, you should have taken care of your customer before
  • That List from LG only proves if you own a Stylo 6? Then you are S.O.L. (guaranteed nothing!) And that List still doesn't guarantee anything, unless it's the Carrier stopping advice from receiving an OS update (in which case the Carrier needs to stop selling the device!) LG should allow Root access, at least give modders a chance to give another year of life to whatever they have on the shelves now. Carriers should inform LG device owners to trade in.
  • To be fair, they should have a lot more time on their hands now.
  • I fully agree. I never had any reason to buy an LG phone and now that LG Mobile is dead I do not believe that their promise of updates will see the light of day. I would be surprised if a single device even gets an update. Au revoir LG Moblie you wont be missed.
  • Software updates by LG ⁉️ lol. All though since they are not making new devices anymore it could happen. Nah I bet it was all legal stuff that has to be said.
  • I liked the v10.. It worked and sounded great till it didn't. The v11 had some real issues in 1/2 the time and I moved on.. The hand writing was on the wall back then and most everyone knew it was only a matter of time before they pulled the plug. Software updates... PLEASE... Do not hold your breath,or hold out hope because it ain't worth it. It sucks for sure but it happens.
  • I haven't bought an LG phone since my bootlooped V10? But for the heck of it, got the G8, Amazon renewed for 242.00, and I'll give it a go? The phone is in great condition, hey if I don't like it, 90day warranty, not too shabby? Dying to see if it gets Android 11? Maybe?