Sorry, there probably won't be an LG Nexus 5X successor this year

On the other hand, LG does plan to bring back the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, which had been yanked because of display troubles.

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Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng
3 min read

LG is taking a break from Google's Nexus phone program.

There are no plans to build a successor to Google's Nexus 5 or Nexus 5X phones, according to a spokesman for the Korean electronics conglomerate.

"LG needs to focus on its own brand," he said at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona on Friday.

The decision comes as LG puts its resources behind promoting the G5, a modular phone that launched at a splashy event on Sunday, just hours before a big unveiling by rival Samsung. LG hopes to position its G5 as a premium device and legitimate alternative to Samsung's new Galaxy S7 phone.

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The Nexus 5X was one of two Nexus phones Google released last year.


It also illustrates the pros and cons of building a Nexus phone. While partnering with Google offers the cachet of building a flagship device with the latest version of Android, the search giant tends to overshadow any handset maker it works with.

While the affordable Nexus 5 was a hit with hardcore Android fans, it's unclear how the Nexus 5X performed, especially since it came out at the same time as the bigger, more expensive Nexus 6P phone from Huawei. A spokesman declined to comment on how well it did.

LG is "totally happy" with its relationship and its work on the Nexus phones, but the project requires a lot of resources that could be better put in its own phones, he said.

Google couldn't be reached for comment.

A 'canceled' smartwatch returns

Key to LG's relationship with Google is its continued support of the Android Wear software for wearable technology. The company plans to bring back the LG Watch Urbane LTE 2nd Edition in the second quarter, the spokesman said.

The company pulled the watch less than a week after it went on sale in November due to issues with the display.

In addition, LG will release a second smartwatch in the second half, although he wouldn't provide details.

Watch this: Google's Nexus 5X is a wolf in sheep's clothing

While LG experimented with having smartwatches run the alternative WebOS software, which it acquired from Hewlett-Packard to use in its televisions, that has been "put on the backburner." The company will focus on Android Wear, standing in contrast to Samsung, which uses both Android Wear and its own Tizen software.

Don't expect LG to get too crazy with the design of the watches. The company has found that consumers are gravitating toward a more traditional look.

While few new wearable gadgets have emerged over the past few months, there are some hints of demand. Sales of smartwatches outpaced those of traditional Swiss watches in the fourth quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Around the curve

Remember the G Flex line? LG seemed to push the curved display trend with the G Flex line, introducing two phones over the span of two years.

This year, however, LG opted to skip introducing a new G Flex phone, instead focusing on its G5 and a V-family phone later this year.

The G Flex 2 was considered a commercial success, the spokesman said, but the company wasn't going to force an addition each year.

"Curved displays are not going away," he said.

Corrected at 9:51 a.m. PT on February 27: The actual release timeframe for the Watch Urbane LTE 2nd Edition is in the second quarter, not second half.