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Opinion | One whole year after launch, a host of LG V40 users are still on Android Oreo

The LG V40. (Source: Mashable)
The LG V40. (Source: Mashable)
LG launched the V40 about a year ago as a Galaxy Note 9 competitor. That sounds good on paper and the hardware does compete, but all of that falls apart when one realizes that a host of V40 users are still on Android Oreo, the same version of Android the device was released with.

The LG V40 was released just about a year ago. The flagship was the first to feature a penta-camera setup: two selfie cameras and three rear cameras. Needless to say, it was an ambitious attempt by LG to compete against the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS Max. One year after launch, the V40 looks to be mostly ignored.

The V40 launched with Android Oreo, even though it was unveiled after the launch of Android Pie. Devices released in the same period as the V40, like the OnePlus 6T, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and Google Pixel 3, all launched with Pie so it’s a bit hard to excuse LG on that. That incompetence has turned out to be a major theme with the V40, as it’s remained behind the competition, software-wise.

Considering the fact that it launched with Oreo, one would expect LG to send out the update to Pie rather quickly. The Galaxy Note 9 was launched in August and received the Pie update a few months later. The V40, though? Nothing. It wasn’t until May or thereabouts that some models began to receive the update to Pie and even still, months after, a large number of V40 users are yet to get the update.

I’m one of them, and I’m pissed.

The issue appears to be limited to users of the Sprint model of the device, of which I am one, of course. Other carrier models have received the update. And yes, even the factory unlocked ones. Twice now I’ve had to put up with the indignity of getting a system update alert and opening it to find a security patch. Rather insulting, I must say, getting a security update when owners of the same device have been on Pie for months.

Now, I got into LG’s wild ride with full knowledge of what I’d be getting. LG’s update policy has to be the worst of all the big brands. That’s why I waited months before buying the V40 at half-price. I’d be even more peeved if I paid US$950 for this. 

And yes, I’ve heard all the rebuttals already.

“But the Pie update brings nothing!”

“I like Oreo, to be honest!”

“Pie messes up your notification bar!”

“I wish I never updated!”

Yeah, that’s all good and fine but I’d much rather get the update and see for myself. At this point, it’s become a matter of principle. A US$950 flagship shouldn’t be on a two-year-old version of Android. It reeks of negligence on the part of the OEM. And while there’s a chance the fault lies on the carrier, isn’t that exactly what Project Treble was created to combat? And why does it have to be the V40? Other Sprint devices don't suffer from similar illnesses.

All of this is a shame, really. The V40 is a beautiful piece of hardware. An excellent display, great cameras—regardless of what DxOMark says—loud speakers, and a svelte, premium build. One of the best flagships of the last generation, no doubt, but sadly let down by LG’s refusal to let go of its awful record with software updates.

Devices launched in the same period as the V40 are already running on Q builds. In fact, my US$200, two-year-old Honor 7X is also on Pie, and here I am, stuck on Android Oreo. Boy do I hate the LG life.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 09 > One whole year after launch, a host of LG V40 users are still on Android Oreo
Ricci Rox, 2019-09-22 (Update: 2019-09-22)