Friday, 11 August 2017

Credit Where Credit is Due: The LG G6 is a great comeback for LG


Over the years, LG has struggled with its reputation. At first, it was a lowly contender, sticking with low to mid-range models and generally being overshadowed by flagship manufacturers like HTC, Motorola, Apple and Samsung. Eventually, LG decided to take its chances in a more competitive market, and in the end made a name for itself with the LG G series, V series, and Nexus devices.  

Despite growing recognition, however, there were a couple of obstacles that LG had to overcome. Most are already aware of the famous bootloop issue that plagued several LG devices, seemingly at random. This is probably the biggest pitfall for LG’s smartphones as nobody wanted to risk having that phone that decided to brick itself in the middle of something important.

Furthermore, when LG unveiled the modular type G5 last year, response was lukewarm at best. Although the idea was a breath of fresh air considering the smartphone industry was in a somewhat stale state regarding fresh designs, things ultimately didn’t pan out well for LG. There were only a couple of mods available at launch, and as time went on and new mods weren’t released, it seemed as if the G5 was going nowhere fast. Meanwhile, Lenovo and Motorola managed to have more success with the concept when they unveiled the Moto Z line of smartphones with Moto Mods, which continued this year into a second generation.

Defeat can be a tough pill to swallow, but it was the pill LG decided to take when they unveiled the “back to basics” G6 earlier this year, ridding the device of any trace of modularity. Instead, LG managed to beat other big OEMs to the punch by creating the G6 with extremely slim bezels, fitting a 5.7-inch display in a device that would have otherwise housed a 5.2-inch display. Thankfully, LG continued to use an aluminum back to the device, making the G6 less fragile than smartphones that continue to use glossier glass backs; however, the aluminum still manages to keep the G6 looking sharp and feeling premium. Unfortunately, beating other OEMs to the punch did require a sacrifice: the LG G6 uses last year's Snapdragon 821 processor, rather than the current generation Snapdragon 835. However, it's also worth mentioning that most people likely wouldn't notice either way.

Now that the LG G6 has been out for 4 months in the U.S. with no mass reports of any bootloop issue, now seems as good a time as any to consider the G6 if you’re in the market for a new phone. It may not be the latest and greatest anymore, but now more than ever it seems like a smart idea to give a smartphone some space, just to ensure that everything is ship shape anyway. Plus, it’s still a current generation device, and should be for another 8 months or so.

Finally, there’s the G6’s price to consider. Among other flagships like the Galaxy S8 and Moto Z2, along with rumors that devices like the iPhone and Galaxy Note 8 may cost around or above $1,000, the LG G6 has a refreshing price. You can purchase the G6 from T-Mobile for $500; AT&T’s costs $584.99; Amazon sells an unlocked version for $649.99. Unfortunately, some carriers do charge more, but there has been no shortage of sales on the device. Best Buy recently offered the device for as low as $5 a month, bringing the device’s cost down to a jaw-dropping $120.

Oh, and LG now offers two years of warranty support for free, so that’s pretty cool.

To recap, here’s a device with no widespread software issues, slim bezels and large display, a premium design, extended warranty, and a headphone jack for less than what you’d typically find out there in the market, and that’s a pretty good deal in my book.

The LG G6 isn’t really a hidden gem so much as it’s easy to get swept up in the glitz and glam of new smartphone releases over the course of the year. Last year, I don’t think I mentioned the G5 more than a couple of times because the device just didn’t seem to accomplish what it sought out to do – not when compared to the Moto Z, anyway. This year, however, I feel like the G6 has held up extremely well to the competition over the course of the year, and it only feels fair to give credit where credit is due.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the G6 now? Without major reports of bootloop issues, is the device on your radar? With rumors of the V30 ramping up, do you think this will end up being a good year for LG? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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