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Following the Galaxy S8 reveal, does the LG G6 actually stand a chance on the market?

Posted: , by Kaloyan C.

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Following the Galaxy S8 reveal, does the LG G6 actually stand a chance on the market?

It’s fair to say that last week was pretty much dominated by news about Samsung’s latest flagship offering, the Galaxy S8. But now that the dust has settled a bit, let’s take a second look at the other spring 2017 flagship out there – the LG G6.

Following the failure of the modular G5, LG’s mobile division desperately needed a winner, and its successor clearly proves it: the G6 is, for all intents and purposes, a conventional flagship, opting to offer a good all-around experience rather than rely on gimmicks like its predecessor. But is it, perhaps, a bit too conventional? The Galaxy S8 is certainly a flashier device, and, being the G6’s main competitor on the market, this has the potential to spell trouble for LG.

But rather than compare specs and features (which we’ve done already anyway), let’s instead look at the two flagships through the eyes of the average consumer, and see whether LG has crafted a mainstream winner, or if we’ll see the G6 being obliterated by its competition.

Design


Here’s a little secret: people like pretty things. In fact, looks can have a major influence on a person’s buying decisions, and particularly so when it comes to phones. And it’s easy to see why – smartphones are essential to modern life, so who would want to spend hours of their day staring at an ugly device?

LG certainly recognized this as a fact, if we’re judging by the G6’s outward appearance. Unlike the G5, which looked like a blown-up version of the godawful Nokia Asha 311, the G6 is sleek and stylish. From what we've seen so far, it's obvious that the newest trend in smartphones is cramming the largest possible display with the smallest possible bezels around it, and LG’s latest flagship is a pioneer in this regard.

Good looks are still a major selling point for smartphones

However, being first more often than not also means not being the best – while the G6’s design is certainly striking, it still pales in comparison with Samsung’s best-looking device so far, the Galaxy S8. Even though rounded screen edges have been around for a few years, this is the first time they actually feel like a deliberate part of the design, rather than a tacked-on feature, and as a result the S8 looks like something a few years ahead of its time, while the G6 is more like a natural extension of past design principles.

Then again, those are just personal preferences, and there’s a fair chance the average consumer would prefer the G6’s more familiar design. Then there’s also the matter of some people’s choice of straight over curved edges and vice versa, though ultimately we believe form is much more important than function for many customers when it comes to a device’s design. Thus, we can’t give an objective ruling on the matter, as the question of which phone looks better is, at its core, purely subjective.


Marketing


Even if most people would hate to admit it, advertising plays a major role in everyday life, and as people are being constantly showered with promos, only the best of them ever get noticed. For a smartphone to be easily recognizable in an already oversaturated market, it needs a good marketing campaign that can differentiate it from its competitors. However, it seems LG didn’t get this particular memo:


Notice anything? Yeah, we neither – that ad was simply painfully boring. And what’s particularly bad about it is that it was released just a day before the Galaxy S8’s reveal – this was LG’s big chance of proving their phone is better than the competition, and yet the company completely wasted it. Compare and contrast with Samsung’s brilliant-slash-ridiculous ad for its new Gear VR:



Mind you, this ad isn’t for the Galaxy S8 itself, but rather for a VR headset compatible with it – if Samsung’s willing to make such a high-quality ad just for an accessory, it's clear that the company plans to go all-out when it comes to marketing its newest flagship. And if LG doesn’t step up its game soon, chances are the G6 will be forgotten just as fast as its predecessor, no matter how good of a phone it actually is.

Price


There’s another big factor at play here, however – smartphones, and especially those of the flagship variety, cost money. This is where the G6 is the indisputable winner: while the Galaxy S8 starts at $750, LG’s offering beats that by $100, which is on par with last year’s Galaxy S7 pricing. That is, where Samsung bumped up its prices by a somewhat significant margin, LG kept them consistent, making its offering much more attractive to a number of customers.

This is because, apart from its looks, the Galaxy S8 doesn’t have many immediate advantages over the G6 – most people won’t care enough to compare chipset benchmarks or virtual assistant capabilities. So that extra $100 could be the S8’s biggest obstacle, as many people would find little to no obvious benefits in return for it, which is definitely a win for LG.

Conclusion


While it may be a bit too early to call winners, for now it’s clear that LG is at a slight disadvantage. While the company correctly assumed the Galaxy S8 will be its biggest market threat, and thus launched its own device a month earlier to gain some head start, that might still not be enough to push the G6 into ‘market success’ territory.

The LG G6 still has potential to become a huge success

Still, we’re comparing apples and oranges here, as no one really expects LG to immediately bounce back from the G5’s failure and start shipping in numbers comparable to Samsung’s. In any case, the G6 was extremely popular at the time of its release, and if LG does enough to fix its current marketing strategy, there’s a fair chance that hype might be sustained for much longer, and thus generate more sales.

So, to summarize: while the S8 is more likely to win the Android flagship race this year, the G6 is still a strong competitor, a fact which is further enhanced by its lower price point. And even if tech enthusiasts may find a bit more to like in Samsung’s offering, it’s up to LG to prove to the regular consumer that their device can be just as good.

113 Comments
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posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:16 11

1. dubaiboy78 (Posts: 214; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


If lg lower the price of G6 to $500... maybe...

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:24 13

6. Tyrion_Lannister (Posts: 761; Member since: 21 Oct 2016)


That has its own issues. Lowering the price so close to release causes buyers' remorse for the early adopters and lowers confidence in the company.

If they do this, people will wait even more for more price drops, causing the phone to sell even less and LG to reduce the price further. It's a vicious cycle.

At this point, they can redeem themselves by providing a 64GB quad DAC variant, and some kind of promotion like HTC's 'uh oh' or some bundled accessories.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:43

15. Bankz (Posts: 1188; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


They might have a chance for those who entirely dislike edge screens, and those who really wants a dual camera and maybe those who hate samsungs oversaturated images (which seems to be a continious trend for samsung). Otherwise lg g6 practically has no chance against the gs8, and it will be worse for the v30 with the note 8.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:53 15

18. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 554; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)


LG doesn't stand a chance due to the most crucial item: Design.

Although I don't personally find the design very practical, the Samsung S8 is the coolest looking phone on the planet and will sell like hotcakes because of it.

Most ordinary will prefer the S8 design to the G6.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:57 1

20. joeytaylor (Posts: 831; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Hello Tyrion...... how much of difference is there between UFS 2.0 vs UFS 2.1...... LG has 2.0 while the S8 2.1

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 09:04 1

25. Bankz (Posts: 1188; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


After this statement i think the debate should be closed tbh. The design of the galaxy s8 alone will be enough to cast a spell on the casual buyer. Thats before the sales rep starts talking bout things like deX, iris scaning, etc

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 09:09 1

28. shy2papa (Posts: 331; Member since: 23 Jan 2010)


You are absolutely right the only thing stoping the g6 from being a success is the price, if they dropped the price to $550 it would be a hit.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 09:25 1

35. Sealblaighter (Posts: 266; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I agree with you. Lg could make a 64 GB version with quad DAC for everybody, not only for their home country. This could definitely help them.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 09:26

36. DFranch (Posts: 238; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


I am occasionally annoyed with the curved screen, and I think I'd really like to ditch it with my next pone (unless the S8 can fix the issues). Don't forget the horrible location of the fingerprint sensor on the S8. I've reserved myself to a fingerprint sensor on the rear, but does it have to be right next to the camera?

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 09:26

37. trojan_horse (Posts: 3644; Member since: 06 May 2016)


But at $550, it will also downgrade the worth of the G6 too quickly, and it will cause buyer's remorse to the early adopters.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 10:11 4

53. HomerS (Posts: 374; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Also 64GB memory, VR headset, facial regocnition, OLED display, Bluetooth 5.0, ect.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 10:54

63. pacattack81 (Posts: 58; Member since: 08 Dec 2016)


I dislike the curved edge screen so I wouldn't purchase the S8 for that reason alone. I think people who don't like the edge screen would go with the G6 instead. I have the Xiaomi Mi Mix and its bezeless on all sides except the bottom. I like the design of the Mi Mix better than the S8 in my opinion.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 11:04 3

65. Tyrion_Lannister (Posts: 761; Member since: 21 Oct 2016)


UFS 2.1 and 2.0 are interfaces, not hardware specifications, just like SATA or NVMe. Now, an NVMe SSD is much faster than SATA SSD. However, some SATA SSDs like Samsung's 850 EVO runs circles around something like intel 600p(NVMe).

Similarly, UFS 2.1 is a much better solution than 2.0; promising double the speeds. However, how fast the storage depends totally on the NAND flash inside S8 and the drive controller.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 12:02 1

71. L0n3n1nja (Posts: 145; Member since: 12 Jul 2016)


Completely subjective though, I think the S8 looks worse than the G6, and I find the edge screen very annoying and counter productive, makes it harder to use and hold the phone while making screen protection difficult.

As an owner of an S7 and Note 5 I would take the G6 before the S8, but I have no intention of buying either.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 12:24

76. UglyFrank (Posts: 1853; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


In what world does the 850Evo run circles around the 600p?
The 600p has more than 3X the read speed

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 13:14 1

80. Tyrion_Lannister (Posts: 761; Member since: 21 Oct 2016)


That's only in sequential read speeds in high Queue depth scenarios.

Here's the anandtech review if you want to read more about it:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10850/the-intel-ssd-600p-512gb-review

Here's the summary for you:

"Even with our expectations thus lowered, the Intel SSD 600p fails to measure up. But this isn't a simple case of a budget drive that turns out to be far slower than its specifications would imply. The SSD 600p does offer peak performance that is as high as promised. The trouble is that it only provides that performance in a narrow range of circumstances, and most of our usual benchmarks go far beyond that and show the 600p at its worst."

the 850 evo absolutely craps on the 600p in most of these tests.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 13:38 1

82. trojan_horse (Posts: 3644; Member since: 06 May 2016)


Right. Well said, Lord Tyrion.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 22:56

96. Highside (Posts: 127; Member since: 31 Jan 2017)


LG committed suicide by deleting the removal battery and the aluminum construction. Might as well just buy a Samsung. The last good phones from both with the S5 and the G5. As long as these companies keep trying to exploit us with junk, they won't get a dime from me.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 23:53

100. BonkerstheClown (Posts: 6; Member since: 03 Apr 2017)


The LG V30 at least has a fighting chance. The G6 was never ever going to get the SD 835. The Note 8 and V30 will both have equal access to that SOC. All LG has to do is offer a strong compelling case for themselves. Make a scaled up version of the G6 that is both IP68 waterproof and MIL-STD-810G certified drop resistant as well with an improved version of last year's quad DAC. Key thing: You're offering features Samsung doesn't. If at all humanly possible, beat Samsung's camera. And then above all else, do one step better on specs. If the Note 8 offers 6GB RAM, the stick 8GB in the V30. If the Note 8 ships with 128GB internal storage, then stick 256GB in the V30. That's called giving consumers a damn good reason to buy your phone over Samsung's.

Unfortunately, LG is too stupid. Smart bet is that the LG V30 will equal to worse specs compared to the Note 8.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 14:45

110. ebilcake (Posts: 875; Member since: 16 Jul 2016)


More than twice as fast based on hardware available, will vary though.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:17 4

2. darkkjedii (Posts: 23401; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


According to a certain Samsung fanboy (Michigan), not even the iPhone stands a chance on the market. It and the G6 won't sell a single unit by his logic.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:27 1

9. Scott93274 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


I think Samsung makes the best smartphones (or at the very least, the best-looking smartphones), but I also think they make the worst Android OS modifications. Some people love them, I know you're a fan, but I just love Stock Android... lol, and it pisses me off that buying the S8 with Vanilla Android isn't an option.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:31 12

11. Xperia14 (Posts: 827; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


This is a first from me, but I have to say that I would take Samsung's UI over stock Android. I really like the new looks plus it has a lot to offer. It also looks way better than LG's UI that I still don't like..

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:35 1

13. Bondurant (Posts: 526; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


Your part of the small online minority though.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:44

16. Scott93274 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Meh, possibly. I have no idea how many people prefer one version of Android over another. But I'm happy with my immediate system updates. :)

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:56 7

19. Bankz (Posts: 1188; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


Samsung ui is practically head and shoulders above stock android imo. It is just better in looks and far better in functionality tbh. In 2014/15 you might have had a claim but stock android and htc sense have since been regressing since kitkat tbh especially htc sense which now looks like those beta launchers on google play.. Kitkat was the last true great stock android os imo. The lollipop that was promised is far different from the one that was brought to us. Current stock android is just puke worthy imo. From the yawn worthy dialer to the sleep inducing music ui.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 08:58 9

21. joeytaylor (Posts: 831; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Stock android makes my eyes bleed

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 09:34 7

40. trojan_horse (Posts: 3644; Member since: 06 May 2016)


Stock Android is boring AF.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 10:21 1

58. Scott93274 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


I find it funny that your examples of criticism towards the stock OS are features easily modified/customized. And damn near all reviews I've read or watched for the Pixel/Pixel XL say that it is by far the best Android phone available. Granted, the S8 is not out yet, but that also means that your arguments about its interface are based off of expectations and not actual personal usage. But in all honesty, this is all subjective to the individual so the argument is pointless.

posted on 03 Apr 2017, 12:06 3

73. L0n3n1nja (Posts: 145; Member since: 12 Jul 2016)


I'm the opposite, can't tolerate stock Android, after years of Samsung and LG phones stock feels feature stripped and lacking to me.

I've also preferred the look of touchwiz since the introduction of themes on the S6.

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