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LG is getting out of the mobile phone business (axios.com)
620 points by thereare5lights 6 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 683 comments



Very sad. I found the perfect smartphone for me - the V20. It almost feels like a smartphone that happened by accident and will never return in its glorious form again. Dont know what else to use if it dies. Already have a spare Screen and its 4th Battery ready to be used.

The second screen is just the perfect solution for having an allways on display without a real (and stupid) notch. I love this feature. Also knock to power on is super convenient. Battery is replacable. The Screen is super sharp. Its thin despite its very accessible inner parts. The amp and music quality is absolutely awesome. The camera is awesome as is the sound recording quality. The IR Blaster ist just super convenient. Also the FM-Radio is a very nice addition. The camera-app is just awesome and i have yet not managed to find something simmilar. Also i like the gallery app. And the sound recording app. Its also fast, has enough power still to this day. And the SD-Card Slot combined with the internal memory gives me 640GB Storage. Also Dual SIM is nice.

Really it is such an awesome phone that im not sure how this phone happened in the first place. As each Smartphone does at least 2 things stupid or hase some dumb features no one asked for.

Its allways the same with me - as soon as i find the absolute perfect hardware - its already legacy and nothing like it is buyable in the future ...

The V20 is like the perfect tool. No stupid features only used for sales, no shortcuts, just a very nice package. Two things i would change: Cameras should never stick out and the volume buttons should be on the back like on the G4.


My first (and apparently last, now) LG phone was a V30. It's currently my main driver and I have no plans to get rid of it.

It has expandable storage, a headphone jack, a full screen with a very thin chin and forehead, a decent camera, loud speakers, a good fingerprint reader, FM radio, a battery that still gets me through a full day easily, and almost everything I want from a phone at what was a very competitive price.

The only thing it's really missing for me is a software update. If there was any hope for that before, there is certainly none now.

The only thing that appears to come close to being a suitable replacement is the ROG Phone 5 but it's expensive, lacks expandable storage, and I've heard bad things about ASUS's software support.

As excited as I am for the PinePhone and Linux smartphones in general, I don't see that being a viable main driver for at least three or four more years - probably longer. Maybe I can keep my V30 going until then...


You should make plans to replace it because it's quite likely updates for it will end soon. Corporations are well known to bail early when a profit center is axed. You don't want to end up hacked.


How sad is this industry that it's typical that a perfectly functional, $800 device has to be replaced after just three or four years because it stops getting security updates.


Agreed on how good the V30's design is.

Mine unfortunately got stuck in a bootloop last Thursday, so I'm going to have to go looking for new phones again - I'm considering just getting another V30, however.

It's worth noting, though, that I felt the same about my OnePlus X when it died ("no other phone will ever be good enough!") - perhaps I like the V30 mostly just because I've used it a lot.



I've thought about trying LineageOS. I tried and failed to get it running on my old Galaxy S3, though. It wasn't a big deal because I long-since stopped using that phone. But I'm a bit more cautious about trying to do that with my main driver, especially since LG phones probably aren't supported as well as Samsung phones.


How is the software though? I tried it years ago because of the audio quality and ended up going HTC 10 because the LG version of Android was horrendous. Less bloat than Samsung sure but still horrible


I also have a V20 and am quite satisfied. The replaceable battery, SD card slot, headphone jack, and LOS support make for a great overall package. I pray this device lives for many moons.


I'm still using a V20 as well. It's one of the last phones manufactured with a replaceable battery and a headphone jack. It'll be a sad day when it croaks.


I really miss my V20's 2nd screen and removable battery.

I went with the V30 next because I needed the extra horsepower. I'm mostly happy - except for the headphone jack on top.


I've appreciated LG's adventurous moves. The one I liked the most was LG Optimus 3D, which provided a naked-eye 3D display similar to that of Nintendo 3DS. The most recent LG Wing, I was hopeful.

But LG also left a bad taste in my mouth. The last LG phone I used, Nexus 5X, died all of a sudden, but after months of despair, I could revive it using a freaking hair dryer.[1] Yeah, some of you who are well versed to soldering may not be surprised by this, but the fact that such a huge company makes such a minor mistake completely turned me down. My reaction might be irrational, but after the incident I could not get close to newer LG phones anymore.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/Nexus6P/comments/66wsvq/this_might_...


My iPhone 4S had broken WiFi chip which I revived with hair dryer as well. Should I draw conclusions about Apple? Every device has a possibility of defects.


Well the thing is that Apple gave me an on the spot replacement for a broken Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip.

LG requires a shipment from Australia to Asia and a 3-4 week turn-around time.

Yeah nah...


If it was a car you would have just taken it to the local repair shop and hopefully it's an affordable repair but phones don't have that and so when they die, and they all do, it's quite harrowing (unless you are super rich).


You definitely can repair your phone. There are repair masters who can replace chips on the board. This is common in Kazakhstan and Russia at least.


>Kazakhstan

What's the typical income in this country, in America if you're talking about a $700 phone, and you make $70,000 a year it's not completely unreasonable to replace it every year.

But if you're making $15,000 a year, spending $30 to repair your $700 phone makes much more sense.


Average salary is $6,000 a year. But those numbers are according to the official statistics and I don't think those are true because of huge gray economy sector. I think that it's more like $3,000-$4,000 a year for most people (but those numbers are after all taxes, we usually don't pay taxes from our salaries, our employer takes care of that).

I agree that's one of the reasons that repair is more common. Very few people would darn torn socks, because those are cheap enough just to buy them.


This is actually a bit fascinating to me, so do people tend to buy much cheaper phones to begin with. I know in many parts of Eastern Europe iPhones aren't nearly as popular due to the expense.

I've had to replace a battery once ( on a Nexus 4)and I will never go through that again.


Generally people tend to buy cheaper phones. But iPhones are kind of exception, some people are so obsessed with iPhones that they're trying to get loan to buy iPhone. It's not really logical decision, they just want to look more wealthy than they are, it's kind of luxury item.


People take out loans for IPhones in the US too.

You also have bizzario phone deals where if you pay 2 to 3x as much for service you can get a free IPhone. I personally buy a phone for 300$ or so every year or 2. Right now I pay about 30$ a month for 2 lines, but you can definitely spend 150$ a month for 2 lines plus financed phones.

Americans love ZERO down deals, so you can get you and your partner IPhones and worry about paying em next month.


The LG G4 (which I had) was also plagued by a similar issue, you could put the logic board into an oven for half an hour and if you were lucky that would resolve the issue. For me, it only helped for 5 minutes or so, then it broke again. The support did not help at all because I had unlocked the bootloader, even though it was an hardware issue (I was in Spain back then).


Yeah similar experience my nexus 5X, and G4, both failed fairly quickly and I wasn't game to try LG after 2 in a row with issues.


My G3: SIM card reader error. I had inserted the SIM card once, at the AT&T store when I bought it. It was days out of the one year warranty and LG wouldn't help at all.

Wife's G3: Video chip error. Same source as the above failure: solder fails. Broken solder joints on BGA chips and card readers. Hers was just within warranty, but they had no G3s to offer, so she was given a G4. Guess what happened to the G4? Same failure. No further help.

In contrast, my Samsung Galaxy Victory from 2012 still works fine (carried it for two years). My Samsung S8+ works fine after carrying it nearly four years. My Moto G3 works fine after five years and having carried it for two.

The problem is LG. Good riddance.


What I find most sad about this is that LG appears to be the only manufacturer who makes phones with both wireless charging and a headphone jack. Somehow these features seem to contradict themselfs for other manufacturers. Wireless charging is seen as a premium feature, while headphone jack is seen as a budget feature. I unfortunately have gotten so used to both that I don't want to give them up. I love my wired headphones and my phone is pretty much always at 80% (Battery limiter) since it always charges when I'm at my desk. Right now I don't see a reason to upgrade my V30 but when that time comes I hope someone makes a similar phone (my biggest hope is Sony as they at least appear to be interested in headphones, now they just need to add wireless charging)


Yeah, I unfortunately finally gave up the headphone jack. My phone broke and I couldn't find a good phone that had wireless charging, a headphone jack and a micro SD card slot. I went with the S20 FE since it had 2 of them. The budget galaxys seem have headphone and mcicro sd but not wireless charging. I almost bought an old S10 since that's the last galaxy with all three, but figured since it'd be losing update support soon I had better pick which feature to lose.

I'm kind of regretting it already. I don't have portable bluetooth headphones right now, had to order some and I kept wanting headphones over the weekend since they haven't arrived yet.

I was kind of leaning towards and LG, but everyone online was saying this was going to happen soon.


I use a NextDrive SpectraX USB-C DAC/AMP with my Android phones, and am pretty satisfied.

(I still demand and sometimes use the built-in headphone jack, mind you. The SpectraX obviously sounds better than that, though.)


I recommend getting an es100 to pair with wired headphones


Genuine question: isn't a "Bluetooth" "DAC" an oxymoron? The only way I can imagine I'm getting the quality level I'd expect for $100-$200 is if I were sending it uncompressed audio. Which Bluetooth definitely doesn't have the bitrate for.


These, the higher quality DAC, and the lack of software bloat are killer features for me. I'm not looking forward to replacing my G7.


I just got a G7 as well and I love it. really don't want to replace it either.


You can use GSM Arena's Phone Finder tool to search for phones with specific feature sets. In this case released 2019 or newer, 3.5 mm jack, and wireless charging[0]. As of now there are 26 phones that match those criteria and 10 of them are from LG. Three are from Huawei which means they are basically useless outside of China. Looking at high end devices you are left with the 3 year old Samsung S10[+], the Motorola Edge+ from last year, and Sony's Xperia 1 II. Sony has an announcement on the 14th where they will likely announce the Xperia 1 III[1]. I would look forward to that to see if it retains the headphone jack.

[0] https://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?nYearMin=2019&chk35mm=...

[1] https://www.techradar.com/news/sony-xperia-1-iii-gets-possib...


I'm currently in the research phase of switching back to a smartphone and have been using GSM Arena a lot for comparing specs, but didn't realize their search tool could be used like that. This is exactly what I needed to see right now, thank you!


> only manufacturer who makes phones with both wireless charging and a headphone jack

May be the you should mention "flagship" because there are many android mid-rangers with both headphone jack and wireless charging, but this too is not true because sony's flagship xperia 1 mark 2 still have both headphone jack and wireless charging + sd card support that the others have abandoned.


Samsung S10e has both. Best smartphone I ever owned (once you got rid of all the crapware using ADB).


Are there any services that will strip off bloatware using ADB for you? Would be happy to pay $100 for it to just reliably work out of the box then spend a bunch of time reading forums and worrying that something will break.


I have a list of packages that can be safely removed from modern Samsung phones (I'm not missing anything at least, updates still work). Email me at <my_profile_name>@imap.cc if you're interested


Just pick and choose from the list of bloatware: https://github.com/khlam/debloat-samsung-android


Honestly you don't need to remove anything. You can just hold the icon and uninstall virtually anything nowadays. There may be a few megabytes of shim left behind but that doesn't really matter and will never affect your life.


Agree, still typing with a V30 and rocking.

Amazing pictures and nice and slim look, working with no problems for years now.


I can only think of a few reasons that LG couldn't make it, and none of them are enough to sink a brand:

* Lack of updates * Occasionally non-flagship hardware * That Nexus issue many years ago

Their UI is better than Samsung. They're less intrusive than samsung. Their flagships are usually pretty good and come at good discounts soon after release.

I have an S21 now, and the number of bloatware samsung apps has me wanting to move back to Oneplus or even Apple, maybe. I only bought it because I wanted a flagship high-refresh phone under 6.5".

I'll miss LG a bit, it isn't as if we need fewer competitors in the Android space. It's Chinese brands, Samsung, and Google now pretty much, no?


> Their UI is better than Samsung.

Is there any UI that is *worse* than samsung?

They have ads in the menus now. And their UI layer adds significant touch latency.


Oppo is much, much worse than Samsung ui.


The Samsung boatware is outrageous, but LG's was also pretty bad. The reason I got an LG, which I've been mostly happy with, is that they offered an Android One certified model (the LG G7 One) that came with nearly stock Android.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_One


Sadly, the Android One program looks to be nearly dead. G7 One owner, don’t want a larger phone, so looks like the Pixel line is the only remaining option for my next phone.


I ended up with a Nokia 7.2. It worked fine until an Android OS update.

Now it works mostly fine but some minor issues regarding Adaptive Brightness, Bluetooth laziness and camera not saving pictures when running from locked screen. Maybe these can be fixed with app-data wipe or permissions fiddling, but I can't be bothered as they impact me little.

But Nokia seems to keep going with Android One. I will end up buying another at this rate.


Yes, this is my exact situation too, and if I want a headphone jack then I'm stuck with the Pixel 4a which has only 128GB of storage and other deficiencies :(


If you want minimal bloatware with Android, why not get a Pixel? I've the Pixel 3a for 2 years now. It's the longest-lasting smart phone I've ever had, and there are no indications that it is falling over.

The 4a is 6" and has a headphone jack.


Because Pixel is not available in most countries, including more than half of Europe. I had the Nexus 5x, I wanted a Pixel and the only option was the gray market at double the price.


Wow. I'm genuinely curious as to why.


It is Google's decision. I guess it may be related to consumer protection laws in Europe that sets the minimum warranty to 2 years; I had 2 defective Nexus 5X (boot loop), fixing or replacing it is costly for Google. I replaced one on warranty, it was bought locally, the other one was bought from USA and I could not RMA it.


Ah. I learn something new today


> I'll miss LG a bit, it isn't as if we need fewer competitors in the Android space. It's Chinese brands, Samsung, and Google now pretty much, no?

Does this means that Motorola is now considered a fully Chinese brand?


Yeah I think the only thing it shares with the historical company is the name and the patents they got along with it. I would consider it owned by the CCP at this point and act accordingly to what you consider acceptable as far as security if you have one of their phones (remember software update backdoors can be nearly as bad as hardware backdoors)


Of course. Just like Alcatel isn't french anymore, but a brand of TCL China...


The missing updates was enough to kill the brand for me.


I have Nokia, where does that fit in the brand spaces?


Wondering if the Android phone market can be still considered a Google-led mobile "ecosystem" when Samsung is the only big player left with competitors dropping out or struggling, and the big Chinese manufacturers being forced out.

Not meant as a snark (owned HTC phones in their heyday and also Samsung S5 and S8); just wondering if Samsung shouldn't aim for a larger influence on Android or even fork, for better or worse.


This appears to be an american centric view. In the rest of the world samsung is really far from the only big player. And i dont see the chinese flag ship sellers dropping at all either. Oppo is growing faster than an other phone company right now. Huawai is dominant for years now too.


Even when you look worldwide, Samsung has ~1/3 of the market, triple the market share of any other competitor.

https://gs.statcounter.com/vendor-market-share/mobile

https://www.appbrain.com/stats/top-manufacturers


Can't say I blame them. Phones are really close to being commodities. Samsung and Apple have the top end on lockdown. Xiaomi will obliterate you on the low and mid range. So your only real option is to dump huge amounts of cash into top photo and app folks and try to fight with the big two.


Samsung has a decent mid range A/M series and you can replace Xiaomi with 'Chinese companies' but comment otherwise stands true.


I read somewhere that the Galaxy A51 was the biggest selling mid-range phone globally. It's about 30% of the price of a flagship, but there aren't huge compromises on performance and camera quality like there is on the A20, A10 series.


I wouldn't discard Huawei, they are on par with Samsung.


Huawei is basically dead as a consumer brand after USA and EU went after them [0]. They've re-branded most of their consumer stuff as Xiaomi.

[0] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-telecommunications-co...


Huawei has nothing to do with Xiaomi as far as I am aware. Yes same country of origin but that's all. Perhaps you can cite a reliable source to back up your claim?


In Europe, Huawei is still the third largest by market share, at ~15% [0]

[0] https://gs.statcounter.com/vendor-market-share/mobile/europe


Wait, what? Are you trying to say Xiaomi is rebranded subset of Huawei?


I'm not the parent author but they're both state sponsored enterprise.

I can't speak about wherever they're rebrands though, you'd have to take all their phones apart to figure that out.


Shouldn't the government own the majority of the shares for it to be a state sponsored enterprise? Or does it just have to offer tax breaks and subsidies?


> Or does it just have to offer tax breaks and subsidies?

I wish the definition included this, there are so many shitty corporations which depend on subsidies and tax breaks but happily privatise every penny they can.


Did you mean their Honor brand instead of Xiaomi, which is an entirely different manufacturer?


I don't think EU ever targeted Huawei's consumer business. It's only the US for this exact one.


That's because the EU does not see China as a threat to its geopolitical and economic hegemony the way the US does.


Can manufacturers do a wedge like design with a thicker top & tapered bottom edge? That way there is no camera bump & the device sits flat on a desk & a bit raised towards you as well.

Bonus camera points coz the lenses are along the same axis horizontally & closer to the centre of the device than in one corner, likewise for the front facing camera too, which could just be shoved into one corner without leaving a hole-punch or notch at all.


I don't mind a camera bump if it is symmetric horizontally. But most of the ones I've seen have the bump on one corner, which ruins the use case you mentioned of setting the device flat on a desk or table.

My Note 8 and a friend's Note 9 don't really have a camera bump at all, other than a barely raised ridge around the camera section. But unlike many other phones, this ridge is symmetric: it extends equally to the left and right. Even if this were a raised camera bump, it would still work for setting the phone on a table.

The iPhone I got from work is quite different: it has a rather thick camera bump on one corner. So when it sits on a table, if I tap on the display the whole phone wobbles.

That is very poor design, but now Samsung seems to have copied it! The newer Samsung phone have bumps in one corner just like the iPhone, so they would be just as annoying to use on a table.

For the moment I am hanging on to the Note 8 for dear life, until I find a newer phone with a good camera and either no bump or a symmetric bump. Are there any high end phones like this any more?

(Regarding a sibling comment about cases, that is one solution, but I don't use one and don't plan to.)


> But most of the ones I've seen have the bump on one corner, which ruins the use case you mentioned of setting the device flat on a desk or table.

Unfortunately I don’t think this is a high priority because most people use a case, which means the camera is either flush or even slightly recessed depending on thickness.

I don’t use a case on my phone so this annoys me just as much as it does you, but for 99% of people I doubt they even think about it.


The original Pixel had that exact design, although the later designs went in the opposite direction.


I don't remember them being wedge shaped?


Camera bumps are all cancelled out by cases anyways. What you are describing sounds uncomfortable to carry around in the pocket.


Both are cuboidal & I don't think it would make any difference without the case in a pocket


That will be a beautiful and practical design


The mobile phone ecosystem is sick, and I don't see it getting better.

The fact that there is not a third choice is maddening. Even in the worst parts of the Microsoft era we had Apple as the underdog. Apple products had issues, but Apple die-hards at least could rest easy knowing that they were buying into a company who stood for something.

In the mobile space the underdog is Google; a company who sees dealing with people as an unfortunately necessity on the way to get to gobbling up more data.

I can't but feel that Android has sucked the oxygen of the space. I can't go out and buy a Tizen or Windows phone in large part because of Google's pathological Android licensing. Google force carriers to choose between their, supposedly open, ecosystem and shipping alternative OSes.


You are blaming the wrong company. Qualcomm is the company that makes it hard to do alternative software platforms for mobile. Even apple still licenses their solutions (they are working on their own modem but have not shipped that yet). The issue is to get your hardware + software solution certified for use on mobile networks. That's very hard and it's not a very fair game. It requires a nod of approval from operators and intellectual property from Qualcomm.

Apple simply plays the FOMO factor. They do deals with operators. And the deal is typically "take it or leave it and watch your customers jump to your competitors". When they first did that, a few operators were smart enough to say yes. The rest has since learned to do as Apple says. But even so, Apple pays the Qualcomm tax.

The rest of the phone industry plays this game by just sharing a lot of components (Google's Android, Qualcomm's hardware, Samsung screens, Sony camera sensors, etc.). Google has tried to get into that market directly by buying Motorola at some point and by doing their Nexus and Pixel phones. But they never really became a dominant manufacturer. Google is a supplier of mostly software in this space.

Out of all that stuff, Qualcomm is the one that has the keys to the ecosystem. You need 4G/5G compatibility, which they provide via their hardware and software. And you need to get your solution certified. Without that you have an interesting device that does not talk to a mobile network. Even if you manage to build your own version of that (which is hard, but e.g. Apple is doing it), you still need to get it certified and then after you succeed with that, you need to license a lot of patents from Qualcomm to actually ship it. The price of entry to the market is very high. Long story short, there are not a lot of alternatives in the market and a few that have issues being allowed in mainstream markets like the US for IP licensing reasons.


>>“I can't go out and buy a Tizen or Windows phone in large part because of Google's pathological Android licensing. Google force carriers to choose between their, supposedly open, ecosystem and shipping alternative OSes.”

I don’t understand how such a licence can be legal. Surely it is monopolistic practices? Yes, Apple exists at a consumer level, but at the level of phone manufacturers google has a monopoly on licensing mobile OS to manufacturers. This is abuse of their dominance to prevent competition from android forks.


Could the difficulty be around the duopoly? We mostly have laws about monopolies, there can be some push-back against monopolies, but with a duopoly everything "seems" right.

I see so many discussions on the internet, also on HN, following the same ritual. Apple does something bad, and people say "Just choose something from the competition, like Google". Then Google does something bad and people say "Just choose something from the competition, like Apple".

Even intelligent people get fooled by this.


Writing legislation is hard enough for a monopoly, it’s probably near impossible for a duopoly. Especially when the consumers want to use what everyone else is using and network effects come in play.


I actually meant ignoring the consumer level and look at the manufactures as the customer. If you are looking for an OS to put on your new phone you are manufacturing, what choice do you have? Apple doesn’t license iOS. Linux isn’t a feasible product yet, Windows is out. That means surely Android is a monopoly at this level no?


> I don’t understand how such a licence can be legal.

It wasn't in the EU, which is why they had to change it.


>In the mobile space the underdog is Google

Doesn't Android have 70% market share? I don't follow how they're the underdog, surely they're more like Microsoft in this comparison.


Depends on how you slice the market. Android powers 70% of the phones on the market, but iOS makes 50%+ of the profit.


I've seen this bandied around quite a lot (iOS being more profitable).

The only source I've seen cited for this comes from 2012 (https://www.pcworld.com/article/253335/ios_more_profitable_f...) and relates to Google getting more profit from iOS device users than Android device users.

Do you have anything from the last year or two? Or are you basing your comment on the article from 2012?


It is hard to make 50%+ profit from zero customers, as there are plenty of countries where it has hardly any presence.


> The fact that there is not a third choice is maddening

Even more so because Windows Phone was actually a pretty nice OS with some really interesting ideas. It just came far too late.


And locked to one manufacturer really.

You would have thought they'd learn from how they won the desktop space...


How much is Google still investing in Android? The Android ecosystem feels stagnant since at least 2 years. It seems Google is content with Apple taking most of the hardware profits and them taking the ad dollars.

I wonder if this will backfire soon. Wasn't LG the OEM for some of their Pixels? Who is replacing them?

What about Apple's mobile processors outclassing Android?


> I wonder if this will backfire soon. Wasn't LG the OEM for some of their Pixels? Who is replacing them?

Google makes their own phones now with the part of HTC they bought.


> The fact that there is not a third choice is maddening.

Actually, there is: https://puri.sm/products/librem-5. It's expensive though, since it does not benefit from economies of scale and targeted ads.


From a mass end user perspective what part of the phone ecosystem is sick?


Ugh, no followup to the Stylo 5, then. Got mine in 2019 shortly after it was released, and it's been rock-solid. Aside from the inevitable non-removable battery, I've had no complaints, and to be fair to the battery, I still get outstanding life from it.

I really don't want a phone that's all-glass. I know it's trendy, but, hard pass for me. The aluminum frame and plastic back are things LG got very right with the Stylo 5. Please put enough of a bezel on it that I can actually grab it without triggering something inadvertently.

And, yes, that 3.5 mm jack is important. Music-making apps are basically impossible to work with when your audio path includes Bluetooth delay.


> And, yes, that 3.5 mm jack is important

I thought the USB-C -> 3.5mm adaptors are just mechanical, or have no delay?


If they are mechanical, they are probably some special sauce not quite USB-C ports. USB is digital, TRS is analog. (Yes that means standardized adapters have to include a DAC). The delay should be minimal, though.


There is a mode that's called "Audio Adapter Accessory Mode" that makes use of the USB 2.0 data lines and a few others as analog audio lines for the headphones.


That is good to hear! Hopefully smart phones are supporting that standard, because it does appear to be an extension of USB.


My understanding is that many USB-C adapters limit voltage, which screws over good headphones. Also from experience of using a DAC via USB-C everyday for many years, they're really really unreliable.

3.5mm on the other hand just works and is (was? ) ubiquitous.


There are passive and active dongles. With a passive dongle, the DAC is built into the phone and the analog signal is simply passed through the connector. Active dongles are essentialy tiny USB DACs, they communicate with the phone digitally via USB.


same here, I always liked the LG phones I have had. Very solid and works great. Sad to see this happening.


LG had good phones. But while most other phones allowed some minor cracks in their glass, the earlier LGs did not. One minor crack and the touch UI would stop working (they fused the touch sensor to the glass or something). They insisted on this "feature" for longer than most competitors I believe, and for every customer that experienced it we would 1) Never by an LG again, and 2) Bitch about it to others. I'm sure this was a factor to their downfall as well.


Maybe it's a statement about how difficult it is to be profitable in the industry, and how much support/development effort it takes to keep up.

If this is true, I might suggest that people who wonder "can't we just make our own open source phone" inject some realism into their estimates about how much work is needed to make an alternative that people actually want to use.


> can't we just make our own open source phone

This seems have nothing to do with LG's move.

On the contrary, what drives LG to leave smart phone also enables the open source smartphone: the lowering of manufacturing puts more emphasis on software reconfigurability to the targeted audience of open source smartphone.

LG cannot sustain because they don't have a strong software product to make their smartphone profitable.

And open source smartphone is about open source anyway. It should not be compared to mass market products anyway.


This is sad because LG was the one of the last 2 android phone makers with both headphone jack and SD card support in their "flagship" the other being Sony.


I can't really blame them. Ever since the LG G4, they haven't really been relevant, which is unfortunate. They have the capability to experiment outside of the box, like the Wing, but a business is a business.

RIP LG Mobile.


I'm still amazed at how well the LG G3 holds up today (with custom roms). That era of LG phones was great.

It's too bad that they started to concentrate all their efforts on coming up with the dumbest gimmicks possible (like that ridiculous second screen on the V20)

Sometimes it seems like Apple owes much of its success to the bizarre fact that all their competitors are completely incompetent.


I think you and the GP are disagreeing with each other. You are criticizing LG's gimmicky adventurous choices, which are the exact reasons why the GP liked LG.


This is actually very very bad. Google's lack of focus/vision w.r.t Pixel all but guarantees that Samsung can eat up the whole high end android phone market. Samsung's desire to stuff so much garbage unto their phones that they are molasses-slow even with the fastest mobile SoCs available to them all but guarantees that for most users, android will remain a huge mess.

As an android user, this saddens me.


I dunno. I think Google's new focus on the mid range is where it is at. Got a Pixel 4a 5G and it's a great phone (after the major missteps of the 3 and 4 with their hopeless battery life).

To me, I don't see what I'm missing going up from the 4a to a high end Samsung at twice the cost. Maybe a 90Hz display and a slightly faster CPU/GPU, which seem very marginal.

I think if Google doubles down on its mid range strategy (again) it's on to a winner.

Fwiw I feel similar about the iPhone SE, especially if apple refresh it at some point without a home button and better res OLED screen. Feels we are reaching the end of the S curve on smartphones.


I had a Pixel 3. Great phone - no battery life issues until 2 years (which was very annoying).

Pixel 4a and 5 were very disappointing to me. I could accept the mid-range hardware, but the lack of a camera update and especially better zoom camera options made me abandon them.


I believe why Google choose mid SoC in 2020 is because of Snapdragon 865 doesn't have integrated modem but requires external 5G modem. It makes phone design difficult and bad for battery life.


While their mid range offerings may be quite good Google still needs a cutting edge flagship to build the brand.


Pixel is basically irrelevant.


pixel market share is tiny


Tiny as a pixel?


What is Sony doing these days?


Making excellent phones that are ignored, like LG was doing.


Exactly this! I find it bewildering -- they're by far the best in every respect that matters to me, and yet most people I meet are surprised to hear that Sony even makes phones, even when they express interest in mine. SD card, excellent camera, waterproof, durable, excellent battery life, headphone jack, quick, mostly vanilla Android OS, and most of all, the smallest form factor that I can still find in a phone.

Their branding is terrible though. Their naming scheme is without any pattern, making it hard to tell which phones are their budget/flagship/new/old models, and so on. And they're hard to even get at all in Canada.


Like most thing Sony the Hardware is good but the Software (and its support) is very crappy though. It looks flashy on the comparison table but falls short in real usage and support, and probably why with more exposure than LG (afaik) they seem to not catch on.

I've only ever owned 2 smartphones in my life: Samsung Note2 and my current Sony Xperia XZ. Until now I've never experienced the touch screen go broke after an Software update, and that the temperature limit of the camera set so weird that 10min continuous usage leads to a warning popup (that can be removed without hardware damange, if you root the phone).

Their lack of customer support is also not doing it any favour for getting respect.


What has your experience been with the Laredo service center (that I think gets broken PlayStations shipped to it too)?


are you sure? https://www.androidheadlines.com/2019/05/sony-mobile-strateg... (headline says "Sony Mobile Has Now Officially Left Most Of The Global Market" from 5/2019)

I guess that I will have to give Google phone or Huawei a try, for my next phone. (once tried xiaomi, didn't like them)


The story you linked is a bit more complex than the headline. It's kind of appropriate for the deeply confusing and paradoxical experience of shopping for a Sony phone.

And it confirms the GP's thesis that Sony is committed to keep making excellent phones while redoubling its efforts to ensure they're ignored.

What the article really says is that Sony is going to stop marketing and selling their phones in many regions, which means if you want one you might have to order it online from a reseller in Hong Kong or something. And then it may or may not be compatible with your local wireless spectrum. If it is, you'll have an excellent phone, and if it's not, you'll have an expensive pocket camera.

Probably what they've found is that outside of Japan, they can't compete against Apple's and Google-Pixel's mindshare (despite having far superior hardware than the latter, in my opinion).

> Xperia is by no means dead to the world and the company is actually redoubling its efforts with that brand in a bid to grow amid the spending cuts in regions where it will now be appointing its focus. The Sony Xperia 1 marked the start of that and is actually the result of those cost-cutting measures.


The Sony designs seem pretty interesting and divergent from the rest of the market. I don't know why they're not getting more attention, but I assume it has to do with carrier deals.


I think it’s more likely we will see Microsoft and Google taking substantial share of the US Android market over the next 5+ years


Yes, I think a Microsoft Android phone could do extremely well. The Surface hardware is good.

As someone else pointed out, the real problem with the Android ecosystem isn't so much the hardware imo it is the absolutely appalling software everyone but Google seems to ship (I definitely include Samsung in this). Microsoft could do a good job of this and has the $$$ to throw at marketing (plus could leverage the cloud streaming Xbox stuff).


Agreed. I think leveraging Xbox brand as a gaming service with some kind of gaming enhanced hardware could get them in the door. Partnering with other big US names might be required. Comcast TV over 5g live package is what I am thinking. I just don’t think MS or Google can sit back and watch Apple build out a full ecosystem that pretty much rocks in most measurable ways. Too much on the line for these guys in the US market


Isn't OnePlus starting to eat the share that LG, HTC & Motorola once served? They seem to be the only ones that reliably update their software, don't have horrendous hardware issues and consistently have good LineageOS support.


I am sure they will. I just mean over time MS and Google will cut deep into this as well. Portable gaming and TV over 5g will be a bit part of their hardware lineup. This is longer term 5+ years thinking though


Why are google brands[0] featured so prominently on Microsoft's phone. Is it a requirement for phone Android phone vendors to keep google on the homescreen?

[0]https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/devices/surface-duo?...


Samsung's software design feels like an analogy of Korean corporate structure.


Samsung's software is really not bad these days. I feel like there's a hint of Western arrogance in the dismissals they get now.


"Better" would be a fair summary [0].

The original quip was an application of Conway's law, in that if you have a rigid, hierarchical organization with lots of bureaucracy, you're probably not going to get great software out the other side.

At least for consumer devices. You might make exemplary software for other rigid, hierarchical enterprises.

It's nothing against Koreans. It's everything against how Korea has organized its corporate culture, even if it's making efforts to change that.

[0] https://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-One-UI-3.0-android-1...


And what is Korean corporate structure?



I wish I could be more sad about this. LG lost a lot of trust during their bootloop era, around the time of the G4. They had some interesting ideas with their V series, but I just couldn't bring myself to trust them after my G4 died in less than 18 months.


I have two nexus 4's with bootloop, Nexus6P faced bootloop too but that's because Qualcomm messed up S810,S808 so bad that it had physical core separation. Both LG & Google had to face settlements for it. There were reports of Pixel devices facing bootloops too. I've decided not to buy flagships until it's at least a year in the market.

Btw, Nexus6P bootloop can be fixed in most devices by disabling the 4 Big. Cores and the phone can be used for less-demanding tasks with the 4 Little Cores. My Nexus6P has been resurrected this way[1].

[1] https://abishekmuthian.com/resurrecting-nexus-6p-from-bootlo...


I don't know what model of phone it was, but I had an LG phone lockup after a system update. I called support and they said it was out of warranty and I could send it in for repair at my cost. I never bought an LG phone after that.

It's just not possible for a company to push out a software update that bricks your phone and refuse to fix it in a competitive market.


> after my G4 died in less than 18 months

The whole G4 bootloop fiasco is why i'll never buy a LG phone again.

Went through 4 G4's in 12 months because of it.


That's unfortunate. The LG G series has consistently been among the best Android phones, especially for the price.


I never understood why Samsung phones were constantly receiving praise by tech reviewers while LG got crapped on.

Samsung always wanted to do things their way -- different (shitty) UI, Samsung versions of all the core Google apps (but worse), reorganizing preferences for no reason, the stupid bottom button placement, non-remappable Bixby button, aggressively killing apps for power management and breaking widgets, etc.

LG always seemed a lot closer to stock Android, and was good at staying out of your way.

I had a Samsung Galaxy S4, then an LG G5, and now an LG V35. I hated the S4 and loved the G5 and V35. My fiance had an LG V20, and now has a Samsung Galaxy S20+ and feels similarly -- loved the V20, is super annoyed by stupid Samsung software quirks, even on this latest model.

Do people actually like all those Samsung annoyances? Why is Samsung considered the flagship of flagships? Build quality beyond the V30 is basically identical.


Because at large people don't select their phone based on what you mention. What does matter I believe is marketing.

I think most importantly is Samsung's image presence vs LG. Can't remember the last time I've seen a TV advert for LG. Or a billboard in the city center, or youtube hype from influencers, etc. While Samsung is everywhere.

Second is the cool factor. LG has none while Samsung have this as a priority. From the design of the phones to their special physical presence in malls.

People often ask me (as an IT guy) to recommend a phone. But they always have their mind made up by the time they ask and Samsung is the choice. The other options don't look as good, are considered a risk vs a known, and are also seen as a budget choice for those who can't afford a Samsung. Sometimes I feel they would be even ashamed of having people see them with anything "less".


My nephew asked me what my phone was. I said a OnePlus 7 Pro. He said "is that a Samsung?" My anecdote suggests there is only iPhone and Samsung that people choose between. Of course many know there are other options, but that seems like the mindset of the masses.


+1 for OnePlus. I started years back on the 2, upgraded more recently to the 6T. Will take a lot of convincing for me to even think about anyone else.

Same experience though, people have either heard of it and rave about it, or ask who makes it.


serious q: OnePlus looks *great* but I'm concerned about the Chinese government and the de facto cyberwar with the US.

Example: I have security sensitive US clients, and I'd be concerned that (in the future, let alone present) I'd be labeled a security risk for carrying a "chinese cellphone."

How do you mitigate this concern? (serious replies only please)


Most people don't recognise what cell phone someone has, and I've never had a conversation organically turn to phone models unless someone is buying a new one.

I think if you put a case on it, the make/model of your phone will be brought up exactly 0 times in life.

Small aside: I used a Oneplus X for more than 5 years, but these days I'm not sure what positives OP have over other manufacturers. Early phones were great value but the recent releases just seem like other flagships. And the Nord for my usage is just a Pixel 4a but worse.


If this is a real concern then why not pay attention to it? I believe Apple has the best track record in security and not embedding Chinese gov spyware.


This is the exact same reason I can't go for a OnePlus myself. I would look elsewhere.

edit: even if you flash the phone with open-source ROMs and firmware, the closed-nature of cellphones in general make it nigh impossible to know what hardware backdoors the manufacturers are forced to put in.


I don't care for a flagship phone. I ended up with a Nokia.

While I assume they have it manufactured in China like Apple and the rest of the world it seems, I hope their quality assurance is Europe based.

Honestly though, I will watch the answers here.


OnePlus seems to have same kind of marketing aura as Samsung. I remember when they first came out and my co-workers were bragging about the great features OnePlus had. It turned out that Nexus 5 had all the same stuff.


OnePlus was great when they hit the market because their phones had all the same stuff... but for cheaper to significantly cheaper.

They were never really sold as competing with a Nexus 5, and most people weren't buying a Nexus 5. (Even so, it was still ~20% cheaper.) People were looking at a OPO against a Galaxy S4/S5 and the other flagships that were all more than twice the price.

It was "marketing aura" in the sense that they took a phone that would have normally only appealed to developers/phone geeks and managed to market it to the masses to some extent.

But it wasn't _just_ marketing aura just because there was one other phone on the market that could compete with it. It was a legitimately good offering at the time when a Samsung cost twice as much and their offerings in that price range had seen so little care and attention as to be barely functional in many ways.


Oneplus just isn't the same anymore in my opinion. My two year old OnePlus 6 launched at $530 with flagship specs and a headphone jack. The 9 starts at $730 for the same screen resolution, same storage, and it even loses the headphone jack and OIS.


I'm still using my OnePlus One. Damn thing won't die.


Unfortunately OnePlus hasn't been releasing software updates for their new phones


My understanding is that OxygenOS 11 took longer than expected but has been announced as far back as the 7. It was available for the 8/8T a month ago.

Still I am holding off on it as there are too many issues on various forums. I don't think there's anything I'm missing from Android 11 (yet.)


They've actually promised OxygenOS 11 all the way back to the 6. That said, rumors are that we won't get even a BETA until August meaning it will be more than a year after AOSP release and be out of date before it even ships :(


that's wrong. They've just made their latest release - 10.3.9 - and it's supported on all models back to the 6.


Hello fellow 6T owner. I got it just about three years back, the battery is in perfect shape and the phone doesn't have a scratch on it. If I take off the protection, it can genuinely pass off as new.

I'm never getting a phone without an armor again. That thing has fallen so many times on hard concrete and is completely untouched.


I loved my OnePlus One. But then when I went to replace it years later they'd scraped the headphone jack.


if seems like all collection of social structures eventually coalesce into a duopoly.


It is a legit concern of mine. I've been asked for phone recommendations from family as well, but they only focus on the main brands with a strong preference for Apple as the status symbol and Samsung as the slightly less pricey option for people who want a phone they can do a bit more with (which is to say they see Samsung as the phone I like because it isn't locked down). Even after explaining there is more to Android than just Samsung they don't seem to care because their view seems to be based on what advertisements they watch.

I'm afraid too much critical thinking has been off loaded to corporations through advertisement. Sure, it is just a phone, but for many of these people the $1k price tag is a major part of their disposable income and I don't think enough thought is being given to the far cheaper alternatives.

Not only has it been reduced to two options, the two options have become two of the most expensive options. I don't think this was by chance.


> Even after explaining there is more to Android than just Samsung they don't seem to care because their view seems to be based on what advertisements they watch.

Fashionistas see you the same way when it comes to clothes. Car people see you this way about cars. Furniture people about furniture. Photography nuts about photo gear, knife people about kitchen knives, restaurant critics about restaurants, and the list goes on. Let’s not even get into what audiophiles think of most of our speaker and headphone choices ...

Life is too short to be an expert at everything. Too short to even care about most purchases when good enough is plenty.

Look up satisficing vs maximizing.


that's fine, but why bother asking someone knowledgeable if you're just going to ignore their advice? an audiophile will be disappointed if you ask for a headphone recommendation and say your budget is only $50, but they will probably still suggest a good model for the price.


Sometimes all you need is a little validation from your friend that you made a decent decision.


Most non-technical people I know opt for iPhones because they know they can use them for 5-6 years with 1-2 battery swaps (that costs 30 EUR where I live). And for display quality.

I keep hearing this adage of "iPhone as a status symbol" and I have legitimately never in my life seen it. Only ever saw people on the internet talking about it.

An anecdotal data point for you, if it's useful.


Let me give you some perspective.

It might not be a status symbol in the US and Europe but in the rest of the world it definitely is. I’ve lived in the uk for a while and no one cared that was wearing an iPhone. But as soon as I moved back to my home country everyone thinks I’m rich. And they’re right to think this way as the price of iPhones in my country is completely absurd.

Everyone thinks an 800 pounds phone is expensive?

Imagine if you had to pay almost double of that. In a country that receives less than 200 hundred pounds of monthly minimum wage.

I would never buy an iPhone while living here. It makes no sense unless you really want it as a status symbol.


I work remotely so to me the local average wage bears zero relevance.

I buy an iPhone for a number of reasons. I recognize it's expensive but it's usually at least a 3-year investment and to be fair, the cost per annum is basically the same for most Android flagships, only that Apple users switch devices less often.

This can likely be endlessly contested by the frugal folk but I am not here for that.

My reasons actually are highly irrelevant. I shared an anecdote about very regular non-tech people. They keep telling me the same stories after they switch from Android to iPhone and that's not accidental.

But again, cost of living in the country of residence doesn't mean much if you work remotely.

> It makes no sense unless you really want it as a status symbol.

You could have just said: "I am an Apple hater" and it would have saved us both time and keystrokes. :)


Which country are you talking about?


I used my $80 Android phone for four years. (Blu R1 hd). You you paid more for battery swaps than my phone.


And I likely used mine for much more activities than you used yours.

But if you’re convinced that your choice is superior then you do you. I’m not here to argue, only to provide info of what I did and what many others I know did as well.


You clearly got lucky on that dice roll.


One of the best phones I ever had was a $500 Sony Xperia (amazing battery life). The other best phone was a Nokia 920 (?) Windows phone (zero cognitive load). Tech superiority and user experience are not market defining factors, clearly. I think both Samsung and Apple are trainwrecks compared to their earlier offerings. This because of a lack of competition now.


speaking of "Tech superiority," IMHO... I still think that the Palm OS Centro that I used so many years ago was simply the best. The Nokias of that era just didn't compete. I don't remember the cost but I really don't think it was at all expensive. I do remember that I could anything and everything with little gem. Sometimes I say I'd buy it again in a heartbeat if it had today's processing power. Ah, the good ol' days....


that seems to be the case:

- two-party government,

- two major desktop OSs (macOS and Windows),

- two main mobile OSs (android and iOS),

- two major phone manufacturers (Apple and Samsung),

- two main internet browsers (Chrome and Firefox),

- two mainstream cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum),

- two major home internet providers (Verizon and Comcast)

- two ...

There are exceptions of course, esp. in the retail market and fast food industry, but I'm afraid the good-ol' times choices in many areas are mostly gone.


Ha I wish your point about browsers was correct. Sorry, Safari is (a very distant) number 2.

https://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share


Except for Safari's mandatory monopoly on iPhone/iPad, unfortunately.


That should get fixed soon(ish) when Apple is forced to allow other app stores on their devices. Real firefox / real Chrome / emulators / etc!


Actually only one broadband ISP choice for many households


Ah yes, it was so much better before...


Samsung absolutely decimated the other manufacturers in marketing - including Google.

I remember seeing GQ articles that were interviews with celebrities that was kind of a "30 questions" thing where each celebrity was asked the same set of questions.

One of them was: "iPhone or Samsung?"

It didn't matter that the answer to every single one (in that issue) was iPhone. It didn't surprise me that celebrities would be 100% iPhone users.

But as a discerning high-end android buyer gravitating between flagship Google Nexus devices, HTC, and LG, the implication that the alternative to iPhone was "Samsung" was BEWILDERING to me.


When 6-year-olds use Samsung as a synonym for Android, you know that Samsung's marketing is crushing it. Which is a shame considering how poor their overall software quality is.


FWIW I've had good experiences with recent Samsung devices. The OS is fast and stable and adds some useful things to stock Android. Their bundled apps aren't terrible either. I use their mail & notes apps. At this point I'd rather have a flagship Galaxy phone than a Pixel since Android doesn't bring that much in terms of new features with major releases these days.


They should hire at least one UX-Designer and listen occasionally to it.


I'm sorry but how a 6 years old know anything about phone brands?


its election time in my home state in India and my 6+ year old asks me who will win the election? I was surprised at the question and the fact that she is able to articulate the political party names. At her age i didn't even know what a political party is. I then realized she sees lots of Television now ever since she moved to her grandama's house during covid.

She goes and names three top parties herself and predicts that one particular party will win. I was surprised.. Asked her why she think so and says she sees more ads of that particular party more than others.. i was beyond words.


You should teach your children, and those in your extended family, how to, and to, avoid ads.

We should all also do our part to end the political ad insanity. This can't be healthy for anyone.


I have stricter no screen policy at my home. But since she is staying with her grand parents now (due to reasons beyond my control) and they are used to watching TV, she ends up watching it too. And its really difficult to avoid ads, you get that in all the channels.


Parent has a point. Even if it's difficult, teach her to mute and ignore them. Seriously, my parents taught me some disgust against ads, and it's one thing they did right.


Sorry to hear.

I remember when we went to my grandmas house, and the media was talking about a ‘major crisis’ in the White House, like they do every day.

Our seven-year-old suddenly got concerned and has to be calmed down, because she is so rarely exposed to American media.

I feel bad for this generation, and I’m not surprised that almost half of our senior high school girls (at least on one sports team) are on anti-anxiety medication.


6 year olds watch a lot of TV/YouTube, and see a ton of advertising


That really depends on the parents I would say. My kids watch about zero linear ad riddled TV and YouTube, because we don't have a TV. They do get to watch Netflix, NextTube and Disney+. And various educational programs that are streamed ad free online. That at least limits their exposure to advertising, though some shows are basically advertisements for cheap plastic toys (paw patrol, fireman sam) and we disagree if they are allowed.


It is a demonstration of how well advertising works since they (presumably) don't have much knowledge about mobile devices or branding. Calling everything an iPhone is the telling part. If branding wasn't a thing, they would simply call it a phone.


Youtube, TikTok and countless other apps. They will literally create videos asking each other to rate phone brands and what not.


Advertising.


[flagged]


Not sure why this is getting down voted, I think one can articulate why giving children unfettered access to advertising content is probably bad parenting advice.

Advertising is almost always a thread of a lie, so reducing exposure to that until children are more mature is probably a good idea.


My guess is the Venn diagram of parents letting advertisers raise their children and HN users is not two disparate circles...


I think it stemmed from their dominance in quality TVs for a while. These days I see no reason to pay Samsung's rediculous TV prices and they do puy out some real garbage screens now but for a while it was Samsung or some peasant trash.


It's not bewildering if it's literally always been true.

A few points:

Samsung is not cool. Or rather, maybe a little bit among some very middle/lower class people.

Selling mobiles is done primarily through carriers - this is not about Samsung direct advertising mostly, by and large, it's through the deals made with carriers.

Google has never taken their phone and it's manufacturing/distribution as seriously as Samsung.

Carriers may have also specifically not wanted Google to win, because it gives G too much power, they hate Apple and don't want to have to be told what to do.

Samsung has always had a huge variety of phones, a much bigger and broader approach.

They have always led with a kind of crappy, thrown-together feature, but it was enough to put some wrap a bad campaign around good enough for a bulk of the Android community.


Outside of US, carrier bundling is rarely seen, people buy phones and carrier plans often prepaid separately.


The US is a pretty large market, plus carrier bundling is quite common in Europe too. You are usually free to choose a non-bundled phone as well, but I have no ideas what the numbers are.

Within the bundled packages, my impression is that Samsung is very dominant as well among the Android phones.


China and India are the two largest smartphone markets in the world, and I am thinking in these big markets carrier bundling isn't a thing at all.


New Zealand is outside the US and it's not unusual for people to buy their phones from their carrier alongside signing up to a plan especially if they are spending a lot of money. Phones purchased directly from the carrier are guaranteed to have the correct LTE bands which makes it easier to be sure you will get the best performance. Also carriers offer sweet interest-free deals with free stuff throw in which makes it more appealing than buying a phone outright. It's usually people buying cheaper phones that may just pair up an cheap phone from an independent store with a cheap plan often from a virtual operator.


It's the same in the UK as well.


Read somewhere "Good product with great marketing beats amazing product with no marketing."


Galaxy S2 was a pretty bgreat phone and Samsung capitalised on that success by releasing slightly improved versions every year .

LG on the other hand was up and down. I think LG was the one that needed marketing since they always lost their fans and had to bring in new people


This is so underrated as a comment, but so true. Samsung just kept at it with incremental updates to a single series and an occasional separate model if they wanted to try something new.

LG was constantly shifting markets. I had a G2 and really liked it. I would have bought other devices from them, but the things that appealed to me about the G2 disappeared in most future products.

Constant shifts in focus gained share but also lost share at the same time. They really needed a cohesive line.


Replacable modules - gone in the next version Self-healing body- gone after 2 version Vein sensor - gone in next version

At that point, any feature LG introduce are gonna be labeled as gimmicky, because they never develop it further for their next phone


That's great insight. It kind of matches with that saying "people don't like change".


I can't agree with this enough. LG failed to create a marketing worthy "series" like Samsung did with "galaxy" series.


the lg g2 was the best android phone i ever had. unfortunately the series ended there for me. lg was just making it huger and huger.


I saw it as part of a Tweet thread: https://twitter.com/awilkinson/status/1376986007711711245


This is what I tell my family who keep saying they have fantastic ideas for products. No advertising budget means hardly anyone is going to use their Facebook clone.


The exception is if the products are directly & trivially comparable, such that it takes anyone all of two seconds to identify the amazing product.


There seems to be large regional variance. I live in South Korea, LG definitely advertised a lot. I recommended LG phones to a lot of people who asked me, and no one complained.

Edit: For example, people love LG's KnockON feature.


Here in New Zealand, I see Samsung advertising everywhere. TV, billboards, in store, digital, etc. Whereas LG has very little advertising and usually not for their mobile phones. LG is a South Korean company so I guess they advertised heaps domestically but not internationally?


In Kazakhstan both companies advertise a lot. But people buying Xiaomi, because they are cheaper and better.


Xiaomi's battery management (aggressively killing apps) is horrendous.


Here's a guide how to fix it:

https://dontkillmyapp.com/xiaomi


I appreciate what dkma does--but the steps are still a major annoyance for customers who typically blame the app developer.


For others wondering about KnockON

> With Knock ON you can set the phone to turn the screen on by quickly double-tapping the screen. Double-tap an empty area in the Home screen, Status Bar, or Lock screen to turn the screen off.

-- https://www.lg.com/us/support/help-library/lg-android-knock-...


Huh I thought that was a stock android thing since mi UI (xiaomi) also has it.


LG was one of the first to add the feature back around 2013. Now it's more commonly known as dt2w (double-tap to wake) and is a feature on a lot of stock roms, as well as pretty much any custom rom.


I believe it is, it's just never activated. My guess is they are saving that for a later upgrade when they can't add more cameras. I loved my LG with knock on, would still use it if it could handle today's apps...


I loved that feature back on the LG G2. I think I never stopped expecting phones to behave like this, and it seems even Apple agrees somewhat, the iPhone 11 Pro I now use turns its display on when tapped once.


Samsungs S10+ and Google Pixel phones have a double tap to wake up too.

[1] https://www.samsung.com/sg/support/mobile-devices/how-to-qui...

[2] https://support.google.com/pixelphone/answer/7443425


My LG G3 had it in like 2014 or whatever year I bought it.


Introduced by Nokia in Symbian but I forgot when, maybe around 2008? I have to assume Nokia patented the feature as it's super useful but was missing from all non-Nokia phones for the longest time.


g2 was the first to have it, because the buttons migrated to the back and there had to be a way to wake it while lying on the table


I think for Samsung the key was to build a loyal customer base by copying the iPhone at a lower price point. Thier designs have now departed significantly from those of Apple but the core customers have stuck around.


Except Samsung's prices now rival the iPhone. The Samsung S21+ without a trade in is $1199. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is actually $100 cheaper at $1099.

Flagship prices seem completely ridiculous these days for minor improvements over the previous year's models or even their second-tier offerings. But consumers put such a premium on having the newest shiniest thing that the previous year's model can frequently be had for less than half the price.

Looking at unlocked iPhone retail prices for the iPhone 4 in 2011, flagship pricing has increased 3-4x the inflation rate for the same period of time.


You may be on to something here. The comparison isn’t in 2020, but in 2010-ish. I’d say the distinction then was much more pronounced, and Samsung gained a lot of good will in that era.


I think it's simply that people that buy LG don't buy a lot of phones. Samsung so shit you need to buy the new model to get rid of the annoyances of the last. S3 and note were really their only winners. LG hits it out of the park at every price point almost every generation.

Same goes for HTC. Buy once, cry once, hodl that shit for half a decade on the short side.


Is that feasible when the device is only supported for 3 years max? This is a serious question. Just bought a new pixel 5, because the pixel 3 I had bought refurbished 2 years ago will lose support in October. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the pixel 3, it's literally the same phone with slightly older innards and no wide angle camera.


My guess is it is a self fulfilling prophecy. If a lot of people have older devices, application developers have to support the older API levels.

For example, a store called Safeway decided to cut out an older version of Android. However, they reversed less than a month later.

Speaking of marketing, I think LG does market quite a bit inside the Republic of Korea. I saw a show called oh my ghost and everyone had an LG phone in the show.


I really don't care about apps, I've barely ever ran into app compatibility issues on older devices. What I care about is security updates.


Nobody I know who isn't seriously into tech even realizes that phones need security updates.

The problem is compounded by the fact that every manufacturer has their own schedule for security updates. Just because Android got a widely publicized security patch doesn't mean that their phones will get it any time soon. By the time they do, nobody remembers what it's for.


I'm not sure there's any phone provider that has security updates available the same day that Google releases them, or very quickly at all. I remember the last Samsung phone I had, S7 edge, I went months without updates. Unfortunately, if security is a top priority, your best choice at 1st party phones like Google's Pixel or the iPhone.

I used to use Xiaomi's flagship and it seemed to have fairly regular updates, but every time I installed one it would replace all of my preferences and default to using their own replacements apps instead of stock Android apps that I preferred. I finally had to get rid of it way before the end of its useful lifespan because there there seemed to be a whole lot of issues surrounding its customization of Android. The deal breaker was after an update when I stopped receiving text messages reliably. Sometimes they'd come through immediately, sometimes a few minutes late, and a few days a week they wouldn't come in at all until either 1) I rebooted 2) I lost and then regained cell signal 3) I airplane mode on then off.

I tried all sorts of work arounds, suggested fixes from browsing forums, etc., nothing worked. I liked the phone, but it just got too stressful for work: My boss is respectful of normal business hours, but during the day still relies heavily on text messaging for requests, urgent issues, etc.

I was pissed off at having to put out money for a new phone so early, so I went with the budget Pixel 4a, and honestly I don't see much of a performance hit at all, even though it's about 25% worse on CPU specs. And even though the camera specs are much lower, it takes much better photos. At this point, I'm a convert to 2nd tier Pixel phones.


I am sure you'll end up retiring your pixel 4a far sooner than it will become unusable due to wear and tear due to Google's ridiculously short support term :/

I believe my next phone will be a glorious fruit device, probably a second hand one.


It's good for a minimum of 3 years of updates and tech support, or 18 months after it is last sold by Google, whichever is longer. That's plenty for me, I usually flip my old phone on eBay and use that towards a new one ever 1-2 years.


It may be plenty for you, sure. But you're flipping the phones. I take it there's a market for people who want phones without security updates. That's certainly not me though. I find it despicable that the phone I bought almost 2 years ago (Pixel 3) will not receive any updates after October, and as such, I will no longer use it. But there's literally nothing wrong with the phone, cosmetically it's in near perfect condition, all the hardware works, and it's still plenty fast. As it stands, to get the max 3 years of support, you literally have to buy the phone on day 1. This is pathetic. My next phone will be an iPhone.


Even in Korea, everyone knows what the latest Samsung phones are, but few people keep track of LG's product cycle.

Here, LG is best known for household appliances and the Gram line of ultralight laptops. It's a running joke that even Samsung stores use LG air conditioners. Samsung appliances are for people who can't afford LG. When it comes to phones, though, it's the other way around just like in the rest of the world.


> I saw a show called oh my ghost and everyone had an LG phone in the show.

That's product placement?


If that’s how LG decided to spend their phone marketing budget then someone deserves to be fired.


Few people care about it, especially since the devices don't make noise about but just stop getting updates at some point. Apps tend to be conservative about axing support for old versions too, so little pressure from there.

(And given how little many people actually install new apps etc, I wonder how large the attack surface really is - but I have no data on that)


Samsung was also much more aggressive regarding incentives/commission for salespeople. At a Verizon store an employee might make $50-100 on selling a Samsung flagship vs $5 for an iPhone.


I'm pretty amazed Samsung can pull this off. Anyone who is the least bit brand conscious is buying Apple everything. Android's big appeal to me is power features and value and Samsung is the worst on those facets. I've had a few LGs and they were really nice.


This doesn't answer OP's question. Tech reviewers have extended access to phones to see if they live up to the hype.


What does matter I believe is marketing.

"It's just marketing" is an age old refrain from tech people. As a group, we still haven't figured out that marketing works and matters. Nor have we figured out the kinds of features that lead successful products.


Oh, we’ve figured it out, we just don’t like it.


there's a lot of tradeoff in samsung phones, from thermal envelop to installed crapware, but their success is not just marketing, they usually come with top of their price class camera, and that is something a lot of people care about.

especially mid range a lot of phone produces washed, sad mockery of pictures unless you're under the sunniest day conditions, and even then skin and faces get garbled by the ai-thingy lot of them sports. this does matter to a lot of consumers.


I mean honestly looking at the Linux or alternative phone offerings, I'd love to jump on it, but the cameras are ages behind. And my phone has become my main camera.


all the downvotes only show how much detached from reality the hn cohort has become.


On a global level,

1. LG are crap at discovery ( Sales and Marketing ) and distribution. Something which despite HN is a forum from VC and Startup, pays very little attention to.

2. LG's phone QA were never really as good. This has been the case since pre-Smartphone era.

3. LG WOLED, something they tried to get it work on Smartphone but never worked and their AMOLED panel were inferior, which sort of have a knock on effect on their brand.

4. They were just never as aggressive as Samsung, I dont mean Samsung Electronics and LG electronics, I mean the whole Samsung vs LG. I guess someone from Korea can chime in on that because I know LG is competitive in South Korea.

5. Samsung are great at making Smartphone. Their whole Business Model. If you think you know Flywheel because you know Amazon. Take a look at Samsung.

6. On a Hardware level, Samsung is way ahead of LG on Spec. Which is what nerds and Tech reviewers likes to focus on. UI and Software tends be subjective. And stock Android is like the year of Linux on Desktop.

7. You would have thought they could built some synergy with LG OLED from TV. Nope.


> LG's phone QA were never really as good.

They are still abysmal to work with. I'm working on a webOS TV app and some of the updates require their certification, and their QA team is unbelievable...


I had an idea for one of those but absolutely bailed when I saw the joke of an “approval process” they had. I remember something like having to fill in a presentation (!)... The only item missing from the list was “fly to Korea and take the team out for dinner”.


Yeah! We have to create the app presentation each time we submit for certification, and if even one of the text elements from presentation differs from the app it's cert failure... I mean, what the hell LG?!

One time they've sent us cert feedback for another (big) application, instead for our app. All that with their presentation file, login details, and other stuff.


Wow. If you can share, what particular aspects require their certification?


> 5. Samsung are great at making Smartphone. Their whole Business Model.

The same Samsung that earned way more with everything but phones? (Probably changed meanwhile, but it wasnt the case for a long time)


I had an S4 then a G4 and then a S8 and never looked back. I'm now on the S20+. The jump from the S4/G4 to the S8 was such a massive one it felt like it was a whole new experience. The only thing that would convince me to switch from Samsung is if Google got its act together and built a real flagship complete with all the bells and whistles.

Samsung, for me, just works. It's a bit obnoxious to have doubles of apps, but otherwise I don't have a lot of problems. It's funny you mention Bixby key because none of those phones you listed have one - I supposed you could argue the S20 does, but the first thing I did was remap (using Samsung's built in controls) it back to the power button and I was on my way. I'm only reminded that Bixby is a thing when people complain about it.


This mirrors my experience. I had an S3, and my experiences with that and having to deal with the S4 for work turned me off of Samsung entirely.

Later on I ended up upgrading from my HTC One M8 to a refurbished S8 (it was one of the only phones on the market that was small enough for my tastes), and honestly I love it. All the flashy aesthetic stuff I had scoffed at Samsung for (curved screen edges, etc) ended up feeling really great once I was using the phones, ignoring Bixby gives me a free extra hardware button, the Samsung apps stack up pretty nicely against the stock Android ones, UI themeing works better than it ever did for me on other phones, and accessory availability is excellent due to their popularity.

Honestly, more phones should start adding extra remappable hardware buttons.


I've had an S8 for two years. For a phone that's four years old, it's by far the best and most performant one I've had. Past phones I've had seemed to slow down noticeably, but with the S8 you barely notice it at all. I'm hoping to hold onto it for a few more years, and after that I'd love to continue down the Galaxy line.


I've also had an S8 for the past 2-3 years. I remapped Bixby button (home button, or double click+hold for flashlight, even when locked). I also use almost none of the Samsung apps. I use Novalauncher which is better than any other launcher I've tried: lets me hide everything I can't otherwise uninstall, and with ability to set grid spacing/sizing lets me have a single (non-scrolling) page of "all apps I care about" I can swipe up to get to.

Totally happy with it.


I'm not especially pro-Samsung, and I'm just one consumer and I'm sure that for every unhappy one, there's someone who loves LG or loathes Samsung, but I will never buy any LG product at all if there's something else available which is about equivalent.

They sold me their top-end phone, years ago, for a top-end price, on the basis that they would update Android in the next three months. It was a nice phone, but three became six, which became a few years - three or four or five.

Eventually they did offer the option, of course by then I was not using the phone, but I tried to upgrade anyway, and my phone would not upgrade. There was no support when I asked apart from 'download it and it should work'.

So in answer to your question, it's not about Samsung, it's about LG for me - and they destroyed all credibility with me - I don't believe claims on build quality, I don't believe claims about support, I don't believe any of their advertising. And I actively advise friends not to buy their products, when asked.


I have a Samsung phone that used to be their top of the line. I have never updated it because I know the next update disables call recording. I believe any subsequent phone has non-working (probably not in every region) call recording so that is a deal breaker for me. It seems like they got lobbied by insurance companies who scam people over the phone (they promise options that turn out to be a lie) and you can't really prove it unless you record them. Call recording saved me few times from losing money. You can also record calls with your parents, so you can listen to them forever.


>It seems like they got lobbied by insurance companies who scam people over the phone (they promise options that turn out to be a lie) and you can't really prove it unless you record them.

Seems like a weird conspiracy theory to me. What leverage do insurance companies have over google? Moreover, isn't it trivial to record with a second phone?


> It seems like they got lobbied by insurance companies who scam people over the phone

I always wondered why Android disabled call recording.


Could also be because recording calls without telling is highly illegal in a lot if not all of europe. There are still apps that can do that afaik


In most of the customer support calls I make, I speak up right after connecting that I'm recording the call for legal purposes while the IVR plays. It's a bit tricky for marketing calls received, but I try nonetheless.


In my country (UK) it is legal, so there is no reason for them really to disable that.


IIRC Google claimed something along the lines of "for your own privacy and security".


And yet they don't disable cameras that you can use to secretly record someone...


>You can also record calls with your parents, so you can listen to them forever

I highly recommend recording your parents.


By the way, there is a great call recorder in F-Droid. If your phone doesn't have built-in support, you can always get it there.


Can you please name the app? I've tried all I could find on Oneplus 2 & 6 but couldn't get the call recording working.


The one I've tried is called "Call Recorder".


yup, basically what you described is what has been an issue with LG android phones from the start - support, especially SW upgrades.


LG G6 is my favorite phone ever. I like it physically, it’s waterproof, it has a headphone jack, it has a fingerprint reader, it has NFC, it does NOT have a notched camera, and Spigen made an awesome inexpensive case for it.

And I bought mine for $360 CAD (about $240 USD) at the end of its cycle. That’s hard to beat. Samsung makes crappier, more expensive phones IMO.

It’s a sad day for the phone ecosystem :-(


I have a Spigen case too, but for my iPhone. It's this really simple black case, and I haven't been able to discover a single disadvantage. It's sturdy but not too thick, it wraps tight but not overly, etc.

I'd like to get a new case, just for variety's sake, but they're bound to be worse -- so I don't.


LG has arguably the best design in the Android pact, it's elegant and slick, while Samsung looks like things cobbled together to the sole purpose of avoiding patent wars with Apple, and Huawei is just Frankenstein.


I was one of those with G6's broken sim tray issue.

I think that was the only manufacturer issue I ever had with an LG phone.


I saw a video about that by one of those tech youtubers, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW3wNsTLCEw. Many good points imho:

1. LG did not have one thing they stood for. At a time it was repairability (the LG G5 and LG V20 is one of the best older Android phones with an exchangeable battery), sound quality, supporting modules to extend the phone (but almost never releasing any), one release had a great camera, last year they released one with a cross display. There is no common theme, no follow up on their experiments. Quick, what's the newish LG Velvet about? Even I don't know, and I read the reviews (checking again: There is nothing special).

2. Product names suck, with them all colliding together over time. Samsung also does that a little bit, but not as much with their S line.

3. Repeatedly releasing phones at high prices, putting them in direct competition with almost flagship phones, and cutting them a week after release by several hundred dollars. Instead of cutting the price immediately and getting better reviews by thus being in competition with cheaper and worse other phones.

4. Not supplying reviewers with review models, at least in the US.

No surprise really. I would have loved a modern G5 at some point in the future. But now LG is gone, and the phones they released in between had nothing to do with what made the G5 and V20 good anyway.


This is part that is aggravating to me. I know you are right, but why does it have to one thing. A discerning consumer should be able to determine if a given product works for its use case.


I thought that argument was strong. If a brand or at least a product line has one characteristic, it can find customers that value it and it becomes their goto choice. Without that, the product has to find new customers each time. Gets ridiculous with cult-like followings as with Apple, but in essence it does not have to be a bad mechanism.


I am a s10+ user and recently I ditched all the different google version of my phone apps. I decided to use samsung's version of the calculator, calendar, files and contacts apps.

They seem solid enough for me and some of them present better integration with the Samsung ecosystem . Those apps are also integrated with different third party providers including google .

I still despise bixby but I'm very satisfied with the rest of the phone.


At least the Samsung Gallery app works just fine if you block the network access with a firewall. The Google Gallery app does strange things and is not usable at all behind a firewall.


> I am a s10+

> very satisfied with the rest of the phone.

The plastic glass of the back camera in my Samsung s10 cracked in the first 2 months of using the phone, it cracked from laying it on flat surfaces.


Mine has remained intact even without a case (with the usual wear of course, but no cracks).


Google Keyboard is the worst. It is so laggy and there is no way to adjust the keyboard keys for fat finger people.


Recommend another keyboard that will let me switch quickly between the five languages that I have installed, supports swipe in all those languages, has cursor navigation, and does not promote the use of emojis in conversation, has rich set of characters including diacritic marks for Hebrew and Arabic. If it pops up my selected text as an autocomplete selection that would be nice too.

I would be willing to pay for such a keyboard. Alas the free Google keyboard does all that. For me, the only feature missing is language selection when attaching a hardware bluetooth keyboard. I have to switch to the default Samsung keyboard to be able to switch languages from the hardware keyboard.


IMO, Samsung drastically improved their phones from S5 -> S7. (I have an S10e)

The S7 onwards, Samsung phones have been superior to all other traditional android competitors at providing a fully rounded flagship experience. (vs Sony, Htc, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, Pixel).

The new OneUi 2.0+ experience has dramatically improved my impression of Samsung devices. Samsung phones now allow you to hide all the bloat away and the unremovable parts are quite pleasing. My phone hasn't lagged once in my 2 years of owning it and the basics (Screen, Camera, Battery, Smoothness, Updates) remain near the top of the line, despite its age. There is no reason for stock android to be considered superior to OEM skins. It just so happened that for majority of its iterations, OEM skins ruined more than their improved. However, when done well, an OEM skin can absolutely be superior to stock android. (HTC & Sony back in the early days of Android). I believe, One UI 3.1 is currently superior stock android. (As long as I can swap out the bearably terrible app drawer and remap the unbearably terrible bixby to google)

Now the S20 devices are 3rd in line on Samsung's flagship ladder. Fold > Note > S20. So, if you are really craving top of the line, then the S20 ain't it. Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on the Z-fold-3 whenever it comes out.


Yes, because I don't find Samsung annoying. Back in the Nexus days and a few years after, stock Android was king. Since then, Samsung cleaned up TouchWiz and then made OneUI with an even better accessible UX.

I say this with the caveat that no phone UX is perfect. I can see flaws in all of them. But right now, I prefer OneUI and it's level of out-of-the-box customization over stock. (Ex: You could hide the on-screen navbar and make all apps immersive with/without gestures)

I'd even argue Samsung has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting of adding new features to Android. Google frequently adds features that were previously only available on Samsung (and sometime other vendors) for generations. I've noticed when Google adds the same features, I find the UX to be a downgrade from what I was used to. This is because Samsung then adds the Google flavor (more taps!) and removes their own. I'm still annoyed at the latest camera UX and multi-window.

Then there's Samsung's hardware. The Wacom EMR S-Pen has become a must have for me. Also I've come to rely on Samsung Pay, which WAS the best mobile payment app (more on that later). Samsung has hardware in their devices that allows them to write to any magnetic strip reader on any POS system. This works everywhere NFC/Google Pay/Apple pay aren't available.

All that being said, I like Samsung a lot less than I used to. As of last year, ads have suddenly clogged up their software. (Want to pay for groceries using your phone? Look at this ad first!) Also Samsung Pay is being removed from newer devices, probably to make room for 10 more camera lenses. Sorry, NFC is still not everywhere.

Between the ads, removal of Samsung Pay, removal of features in general, and the lower screen resolutions of S20/S21s, I won't be upgrading to a new Samsung any time soon. There's also this homogenization of Android becoming more Apple-like and Apple becoming Android-like. At this point I'm seriously considering Apple, especially if they make a smaller Apple pencil to be used on phones.


> Between the ads, removal of Samsung Pay

This was so painful. Samsung Pay was genius. A perfect app at what it did.

This is the same time Google released incomplete two feature god-awful google-pay apps. Now I'm hurting to find something as good as the old Samsung pay.


Generally I felt LG was stuck between Samsung and cheaper Chinese brands. Samsung flagships had slightly better specs for people that wanted the latest and greatest. Also they were well known so had purchase inertia. While people wanted budget and willing to try something new went the Chinese brands where for a little less phone, or not sometimes, it's cheaper. Also LG would release at high prices and then drop not too long later chasing volume. I always felt they needed to sacrifice margin for a few cycles to get volume and release at the soon to be markdown price. Kinda how pixel phones have shifted on their last release. Same goes for Sony who have some decent phones too.

G5 was a great phone though wasn't it.


I'm kind of surprized that the Pixel line isn't considered the "flasgship of flagships" by more people given that it's literally the flagship first-party manufactured device by the OS creator. It's the closest thing to the iphone experience with android. If you use Fi, messages mimics imessages (in that you can use it online) and your service, device, and OS all come from the same company and you get the most out of the box google-intended Android experience.


> If you use Fi, messages mimics imessages (in that you can use it online) and your service, device, and OS all come from the same company and you get the most out of the box google-intended Android experience.

That only has appeal to purists. Why would Joe Schmoe care that their phone is made by the same people who make the OS? And why would someone buy Android for the iPhone experience?

To be clear that appeals to me, but I'm not the average consumer. And despite that appeal I have a S20+ because when it came time to upgrade Pixel was still stepping all over itself with poor battery life and weird features that I didn't need. The 5's now offers no "flagship" option, which are the phones that appeal to me. I hope that they can get things sorted for the next time I want to upgrade.

Samsung has marketed well and makes high quality phones. It hit the ground running with Android and hasn't been afraid to reinvent itself (OneUI was a greatly improved experience).


>If you use Fi, messages mimics imessages (in that you can use it online)

To be fair that is available for all US carriers at this time. I've had RCS working on Mint(T-mobile) and now Visible(Verizon) for years.


> Samsung versions of all the core Google apps

Because everyone wants to own as much of the stack as possible: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/09/owning-the-s...

Samsung doesn't want to become a yet another interchangeable and disposable phone body manufacturer for Google.


> tech reviewers while LG got crapped on.

Samsung bought more ads, maybe?


Ding ding


LG phones have often suffered from a number of issues: really poor displays (bad calibration and/or poor power profiles due to LG's in-house displays lagging far behind); poor camera hardware and software (Samsung has definitely made a number of missteps in this area, but LG blew it generation after generation); and bad battery life. I agree that Samsung has the upper hand (and gets the benefit of the doubt) through massive mindshare, but it's not as if LG has been churning out better quality phones year after year and not getting any traction.


+1. It was over a decade ago, but my mom bought an LG „smartphone” back around 2009.

It had a touch screen so bad that you could barely hit proper numbers on the number keyboard.

For me, the reputation of them as a phone manufacturers was gone from then on. How can you sell a product to people that essentially doesn’t work?

Ditto with their laser projector recently - movies stuttering on a $2500 machine, and speakers worse than on my laptop :/

Their TVs are still good though :)


My anecdotal experience: My wife and I both had LG phones, Nexus 5x, for about 9 months before they stopped being usable. Dealing with poorly made equipment and terrible warranty service was more than enough to ensure I wouldn't be buying any more LG products.

While I don't like a lot of their software, my experience with Samsung's hardware, and their warranty service for that matter, have been much more pleasant.

edit: On a somewhat related note, I recently bought a new Samsung TV. True to Samsung form, the software is terrible but the hardware has been very solid.


Samsung is very aggressive in marketing and penetrating markets. If you make a very good phone, it won't sell without 1. letting people know your phone exist and 2. making it possible for people to buy your phone.

Samsung aggressively installed itself in even the most remote places. When you go through a small city (my parent's home) and find that Samsung has an official office with actual Koreans in it, it makes sense that people from that place will conduct business with Samsung.

Same can be said with Apple. For example, Apple is aggressive when it comes to international warranty. In my opinion, they understand that a good size of their products are sold/smuggled in the black market. When you offer international warranties, it gives you an advantage over other brands since now the Apple product is as cheap as Samsung's. Where I live, the official-partner Apple store is basically a warranty repair shop. Most people buy their products off-market.


Yeah, I like the Samsung UI. I think it's brilliant to have the scroll area in the below half of the screen initially, to make it easy to touch the first few items of the list.

I even like some of their apps. Samsung Health is, in my opinion, infinitely better than Google Fit. The latter doesn't even let me delete mistakenly input data. I'm not sure what Google's strategy on this app is.


This. AOSP feels so annoying to use, while OneUI is incredibly comfortable, especially showing its advantages on large screens. I swear, I often wish more apps would follow OneUI in their design, that's how comfortable in use it is.

I'm using a mix of Samsung's navbar gestures and "One Hand Operation" GoodLock module gestures and my thumb barely ever needs to reach outside of my "comfortable grip" reach area on my 6.4" Galaxy A50, even when accessing notifications/quick settings drawer.

And I could go on and on about how good their hardware is in the midrange shelf, though it seems to me flagship pricetags usually don't seem to bother HN users.

Also: if you use a Samsung, try out GoodLock apps, they're great. I don't think any other manufacturer supports completely changing things like the recents tab or sound controls without rooting or installing custom ROMs.


At least in the places I've been in Asia distribution is a huge part of it. Samsung phones are available in every shop and they have their own dedicated stores in the bigger shopping malls.


The asia ive seen was at least 50% oppo shops and 30% fake apple shops and only like 20% for everything else. Thailand, cambodia and malaysia about 5 years ago that is.


I've noticed the same here in New Zealand. My local mall is not a particularly large/important mall but it still has a Samsung store. Even if that wasn't there, all the carrier stores sell Samsung. All the electronics stores sell Samsung. Hardly any LG mobiles to be seen!


I disagree with your take on the Samsung. While it's not perfect, it's the best (and sometimes only) option for most people who want an top end Android phone. Google sells it's phones in only a handful of countries, same with Oneplus, LG and Sony and all of them have their own compromises. So in many parts of the world, its either Samsung or a Chinese manufacturer like Xiaomi.

I find Samsung apps to be much better than their Google counterparts. Samsung Health, Internet, Calculator and Notes are examples. Besides, they fit the UI really well along with the menus and other things. And whatever annoyances you've experienced can be tweaked since the UI is highly customisable (bar none).

In terms of long-term support, Samsung also provides 3 years of upgrades and 4 years of security updates. That's the best from any company bar Apple and it extends to their midrange devices too.


I would love to buy a Sony, because my previous phones were Sony, but a year ago when I needed a new on no Sony phones were available, and now they are only making 21:9 phones, which I think is just absurd. They look so tall, that I would be afraid of putting them in my pocket, fearing they will snap in half. Where is a man supposed to carry these phones, which are so tall that they don't seem to fit in jeans pockets? I wish they would stop with that sillyness.


> I never understood why Samsung phones were constantly receiving praise by tech reviewers while LG got crapped on.

> LG always seemed a lot closer to stock Android, and was good at staying out of your way.

> Do people actually like all those Samsung annoyances? Why is Samsung considered the flagship of flagships? Build quality beyond the V30 is basically identical.

Well, knowing them only through my purchases of a Nexus S, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5:

The Nexus S is still around.

The Nexus 4 suffered from battery inflation.

The Nexus 5 suffered from a catastrophic failure that caused me to lose a year's worth of message history.

So all I can say in response to the news "LG is getting out of the mobile phone business" is "good riddance, they should never have been there in the first place".

Which one is "closer to stock Android" is a non-issue if you run stock Android anyway.


I had two Motorola phones back to back and really liked them, hardly any bloatware, performed well and the second one had a impact resistant screen that wasn't glass, didn't need a case and tooke some awful banks but never cracked even though it had some dents.


I've always had Android phones since my first smart phone, and they have always been Motorola. Totally happy with them.


> the stupid bottom button placement

Are you talking about the home button? I actually love that and it's the reason I got the S4 and then S7. I've been putting off buying a new phone because all the new phones are digital buttons and I really like having the physical ones.


I love it too and that's also the reason I am sticking with the S7. Its fast. It's popular enough so that if it ever becomes obsolete, I'll easily switch to LineageOS. And I never had to buy an expensive new phone, second hand cheap s7 are everywhere.

Disparition of physical buttons is a good example of "backwards progress" : another area where it drives me crazy is all those induction hobs that have touch buttons that never work properly when wet (which happens all the time it's a kitchen ffs). I get it, it's easy to clean, but it's a pitn to use.


> I never understood why Samsung phones were constantly receiving praise by tech reviewers while LG got crapped on.

Samsung phones work well, they have one of the best cameras, the best screens, the best batteries, usually the most features. LG phones are famous for boot-looping.

> different (shitty) UI

It is a matter of opinion. I much prefer Samsung's UI over the garbage that is google's, and even slightly better than iphone.

> Samsung versions of all the core Google apps (but worse)

Every Samsung app that replaces a google app is 2x better. The browser is faster, better than chrome. The contacts app is so much better. The dialer is like 10 years ahead. Gallery is at least 10x faster and less buggier than google photos. I always try to delete as much google bloatware from my phone as possible, and use the samsung apps.

> the stupid bottom button placement

What button? There are no buttons on Samsung phones for the past 3-4 years. The navbar is fully customizable (unlike google), and hidable.

> non-remappable Bixby button

Similar to the non-remappable squeeze button on pixels and siri button on iphones?? And the bixby button is remappable with an app nowadays.

> aggressively killing apps for power management

Samsung is hardly the worst offender here. And I can't blame them for trying to fix the clusterfuck that google has created with android.

> Do people actually like all those Samsung annoyances?

I can't speak for others, but your "annoyances" are useful features for me. The alarm app turns on my bedroom lights in the morning automatically. Bixby routines automatically cranks the brightness and enables auto rotate when I play a video. Samsung health auto-tracks my sleeping schedule and tells me which apps are keeping me awake. Samsung browser blocks all ads and has an automatic dark mode for every website. Samsung pay lets me pay with my phone at any credit card terminal, not just the ones with NFC.


Apple has never had a dedicated Siri button.

Also, it's a phone dialer - like the functionality of a phone dialer has been well defined since the early 2000's (also having used PalmOS, webOS, Windows Mobile 6 and 7, Early Android, and iOS from 2012 on I've never desired additional functionality here), so like what makes a phone dialer "like 10 years ahead"? - I'm not trying to snark, it's a genuine question.


For a long time stock android didn't have T9 contact searching from the dialer (and, astonishingly, iOS still doesn't), something present since the Galaxy S1.


This is the first time I've heard of T9 being used since we moved on from the old Nokia phones that pioneered T9! Bring back fond memories of my Nokia 3310 and 8210. But yeah it's odd to see T9 in the context of a touchscreen phone...


I think it's a pity it's gone. I've developed https://typenineapp.com for iPhone, since I couldn't get used to the small buttons on the qwerty keyboard. I would dare to say I type almost twice as fast as regular qwerty phone users, and even without the tactile feedback I can do so without looking.

I've had about 60.000 downloads, and I almost never see a bad review, so I'd say T9 on a touchscreen has a place.


I love the T9 dialing on my galaxy phone. It's amazing. It saves so much time searching for contacts. Blows my mind that iphone doesn't have it.


Why would you need T9 on a touch screen? You can just display a full keyboard. That was the defining aspect of the keynote that launched the first iPhone, even.

There's nothing "astonishing" about it.


Because the T9 keyboard is already displayed, and the full keyboard isn't. It is a very fast way to search through your contacts directly from the dialier when I want to call someone, which is the primary use case of the dialer (calling someone already in my contacts).


For many people T9 is faster than QWERTY keyboard.


> Apple has never had a dedicated Siri button.

Sure it does. Right side button, hold it and it triggers siri. Single click locks unlocks the phone. This is identical to how the unlock/Bixby button works on Samsung.


That’s optional, and opt-in -- it asks you during phone setup whether to enable Siri.

It does try to nudge you into enabling it, but if someone kept pressing that button and invoking Siri accidentally, they could open Settings and search for “siri” to disable it, which I think is reasonably discoverable.


Bixby is also optional. You can disable the key trigger from the settings, exactly like iphone.


Depends what phone. S8 for example had a Bixby button that could not be disabled.


On my S10, there is a seperate Bixby button on the left side, so it's not shared with the unlock button. The best thing about the Bixby button is that I can freely remap it with third party applications, meaning I have a dedicated, customizable, physical button, something all phones should have.


I’ve owned 5 iPhones so far and never seen this Siri button.


I don’t think he ever owned an iPhone. Lol


It's on the right side. Hold it and it will start siri.


The on off button? Doesn’t do anything when I hold it down.


You can enable it in Accessibility > Side Button > Press and Hold. It appears to be enabled by default for me — Siri shows up in less than one second of holding the power button.


Hmmm I have Siri enabled, but this button is off for me. Didn't even know I could enable this.


It triggers siri on iPhone 11. Single click locks, unlocks. Hold triggers siri. And this is identical to how the lock/Bixby button works in Samsung.

Read about it on apples website: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203017


I have the iPhone 11 Pro Max, since launch, with Siri enabled since launch. It's only ever worked with 'hey siri', and apparently my button is off. I didn't even know the button existed until the other reply to my comment!


Even if it did that is an extremely deliberate press, it’s not a button you randomly push.


Well Samsung has the exact same setup. So why blame them when you give a pass to apple?


Samsung users makes it sound like they are activating Bixby constantly, while Siri can’t be activate when not enabled. So is Samsung allowing users to disable Bixby? It sounds like they’re not.


Samsung lets you disable Bixby fully. Users complain more about Samsung because Android users are not used to being forced by the device they paid $1000 for, it's a new experience for them, unlike Apple users.


I have the s20+ and tried to disable bixby as much as possible, but it cant be uninstalled (short of adb hacks that can get lost with updates), and even after disabling everything i could it kept popping up asking to update, though that thankfully stopped after a month or so of regular annoying popups. Probably going stock android next time


I don’t understand the complaint then, what is Samsung forcing users to do?

Just disable Bixby or buy a phone from another brand.


I agree.


Samsung does not have the same setup. They added a separate button mapped exclusively to this feature. The iphone has an alternate mapping most aren't even aware of for a multifunctional button


You are misinformed. It works exactly identically as it does on iPhone.


Samsung added a separate hardware button for Bixby, Apple did not. That is not identical. The only buttons on the iPhone are power, volume, and the silent switch. There is no separate Siri button. I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with here?


There is no separate Bixby button either on Samsung phones. It is a side button that locks unlocks the phone and activates Bixby when held. It is identical to how it works on iPhones.


> There is no separate Bixby button either on Samsung phones.

Huh. As a longtime Samsung owner, I’m surprised that the dedicated Bixby Button added alongside the existing power and volume buttons with the S8 generation is an illusion.


Yeah, that's a shortcut for not having to say «Hey Siri» - not a dedicated button for starting Siri.


> Do people actually like all those Samsung annoyances?

Switched to a Samsung A71 after having an Apple 7+. Gave my 7+ to my daughter who previously had a 6+.

I'm about six months in and I'm going back to Apple or OnePlus. My iphone had a few quirks that I could deal with. Nothing major. The A71? OMFG every single day I'm dealing with constant issues with the phone:

- finger print scanner is the worst I've ever had bar none.

- All the Samsung apps continually turn on and fight with the Google apps for preference, even after I've turned them off

- The Samsung apps constantly run and drain my battery. A brand new phone, with a non-power user and it can't make a full day on a full charge? Unreal.

- I had to turn off all the notifications. It seemed like every 5 minutes a new system notification would pop up. Like: "Your wifi is unprotected! Use Samsung VPN to protect it!" Even when I'm already running a VPN??

There's a ton more that happen less frequently, but dealing with these every day has soured me completely to Samsung products. I had a OnePlus before my iPhone and loved it. Stock Android, no frills, battery lasted forever, no bloatware.

I just can't use Samsung phones ever again - no matter how good their marketing is.


For the most part I like the Samsung software. At least the bits that I do use. DeX in particular is a nice option to have. I had a Pixel 2 and replaced it with an S20. I actually prefer the Samsung software over Google's customized Android. I may be the minority online but given the relative sales figures I suspect people like me may be more common than you think.


You’re missing something. Samsung has a large enterprise customer base. Apart from Google’s semi-working enterprise stuff, theirs is probably the only successful Android enterprise solution to date. Samsung Knox is not to be underestimated. They really did a marvelous job there and Google borrowed a lot of ideas from the Knox standard.

I agree about the UI stuff though.


Counterpoint: I have a rather good experience with Samsung. I bought flagships devices some time after their releases (I had S2, S4, S8 and now a S10e from work) and they lasted me a long time (S2 and S4 both lasted for four years).

The big advantage is that they were powerful devices with a removable battery and a SD-card slot.

Downside was a tendency to overheat a bit (this was particularly bad on the S2 at some point, though I recall subsequent software updates helped a lot).

In all cases, the devices kept being updated to the latest android while I was using them.

The Samsung Android additions are pretty much useless except maybe one or two good ideas, but they also don't get in the way. I just spend 30 minutes to disable things when I get my phone.

Also I don't know if you've looked at real stock android (e.g. fire an emulator from Android studio for instance) but that stuff is real ugly (shouldn't be a big consideration - it can be themed quite easily, but I felt I needed to make this point).


I genuinely enjoyed my S2 ( I9100 ) and I only given it away to my sister since she kinda annexed it during my trip to the old country. It was a solid device for the time. Since then I also used asus zenfone ( interesting features there ) and now LG v20 ( prolly last android phone with changable battery ).

I honestly don't get why people are so addicted to a brand. I used to drive Acura when 2004 models were still good. I wouldn't buy one today.

Still, LG failing does seem like a marketing loss. My experience with their hardware was not bad.


I don't have much experience with LG phones, but my experience is exactly the same as you mention with Samsung vs. HTC, Samsung vs. Sony, and more recently, Samsung vs. Huawei. All of these four brands are or have been prevalent in my family and close friends and I have tried at least 4 or 5 of each.

To me, Samsung's UI has always been the clunkiest and worst of all I tried, plus their phones have a tendency to degrade fast in terms of battery consumption and lag (I don't know if due to hardware or software updates). And yet, the press has always praised every Samsung flagship while often lambasting the competition.

Honestly my hypothesis is that they just devote a lot of money to buy reviews.


Consistent stylus support ( they call it S-pen) for one thing! Comming from PalmOS and N900 the lack of stylus support was the biggestregression to me on modern smartphones.

Being able to take notes, draw simple pictures, use denser UIs again is just so refreshing! Also new stuff like on-hover translation overlay or stylus button actions.

Really, Samsung is preatty much the only vendor that cares about stylus support these days andvthat's sad. Also if you want to draw on the go, the only usable mobile drawing tablets come from Samsung, unless you want to lock yourself into the overpriced dumbed down closed nightmare that is the Apple ecosystem.


My LG G3 was a decent phone but I never once received any Android update.


The G3 did receive multiple Android updates. See here: https://www.gsmarena.com/lg_g3-6294.php - they updated it from 4.4.2 to 6.0. If that did not arrive for your phone it might have been your carrier blocking it.

The G3 can also run Android 10 via LineageOS 17.1, it is an officially supported device, see https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/#lg. I don't know whether it will get 18.1/Android 11 though. LineageOS 17.1 worked well with the G3, I did test that recently.


My 4 year old Samsung J2 is still going strong (for me).Received an update in Jan 2021, Its still on Android 9


I hated my S3 back in the day and loved the S6, S7 and S10E (my current phone). The UI has been de-bloated significantly over the years in my opinion and is actually sleek and pleasant to use.

To each their own.


> Do people actually like all those Samsung annoyances?

No.

> Why is Samsung considered the flagship of flagships?

Because hardware is reasonably good in a scorched earth kept by and endless race to the bottom that is the android landscape.


Since getting my first LG I have not gone back. I just picked up an almost new LG v40 for 125 bucks on ebay and there is no need for nything faster in my opinion. It will be sad to see them go. I mean in a month or two you can get the v60 for 259 I bet. Probably not after they stop making their phones. I have two LG televisions in my home that are over ten years each and they still work perfectly also. In fact, I m using one for a monitor I am typing to right now.


There's a lot to love about LG phones. They're way better on features than Samsung, and friendlier to people who want to use a custom ROM or root their phone.

Their POLED screens killed it for me, though. I haven't seen a single phone that didn't have horrifically uneven colors, usually with the bottom half of the screen shifting to green. I kept hoping they'd fix it, and I bought and subsequently returned a V30, a V35, and a V40 before giving up on them.


Samsung always had better screens and cameras than anyone else. That's all they needed.

They still have the best screens today. They still have the best cameras besides apple today.


You should see the RealMe cameras. The marco mode is fine enough to photograph the hairs on a spider's legs. I've not used an iPhone to compare it too, but the device costs about 1/5 the price of an iPhone locally.


Sharp has very nice screens but beyond that it's HMD garbage and bricks easily if you root it. Good hardware is worthless if the software sucks or even if the phone is obscure (meaning no support, no mods).


OLED screens are the single most important reason I've chosen Samsung since 2011. They were the first manufacturer adopting and developing them, and they maintained a consistent edge over the competition.


It sort of depends on the bubble you live in. In the US, things might be very different, but in rest of the world, Samsung isn't the only known Android phone manufacturer.

Xiaomi is a well-known and rising (now the #3). Huawei was the a big player but losing ground. Oppo is well known: https://gs.statcounter.com/vendor-market-share/mobile


This. Samsung always was only one of many options here in central europe. Never appeared to be the “main choice“ either, except from people who look for the cheapest phone replacemt with their carrier and end up with a galaxy light product


> I never understood why Samsung phones were constantly receiving praise by tech reviewers while LG got crapped on.

Samsung pays for reviews [0] and engages in other scummy behavior that is given a pass anti-Applers see it as the sole champion against the Tall Poppy:

[0] https://www.google.com/search?q=Samsung+paid+students+for+re...


I dont like my LG G8 ThinQ... the fingerprint sensor stops working constantly until I reboot and I had to send it twice for repair because the USB-C plug was defective... and although I dont use it very much, the 1/8 audio port is also defective (too loose and the wire falls out very easily). And in addition to that, I cant install LineageOS.


I don't like Samsung's UI compared to LG, but in terms of hardware quality I've had bad luck with LG, with two phones (LG Nexus 4, LG G3) bootlooping before they reached two years. Never had that issue with Samsung (S5, S7).

I switched to Motorola since, the UI is quite close to the Pixel and the price range is reasonable.


Knox and Dex are why I'm locked into Samsung. I like LG's new Wing and want it, but I'm too used to having my Knox security features (like secure folder) and Dex to lose them. Do I like everything Samsung does? Not really, but the things they got right, or closer to right, have me hooked.


For a couple years LG phones commonly had issues that bricked them. That kind of reputations sticks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_smartphone_bootloop_issues


I personally found samsung software to be very feature rich and reliable.

I never considered LG because they do not offer software support. You might get 1 year worth of OS updates and MAYBE 2 years of security. Meanwhile samsung offers 3 years of OS updates and 4-5 of security updates.


The samsung of today is pretty far from the S4 days. They toned down the crap a lot starting on the S7 I think and personally I love a ton of Samsung-only additions. Some of the quirks are annoying but the amazing hardware+great additions balances it out.


Could this be an mostly american thing? I only ever witness this sentiment online. IRL most people i know dislike samsung because of their shitty android modifcations and mediocre hardware. Even oppo seems way more popular right now here in switzerland


LG was the best Android option. Glad I switched to Apple. I still miss the back button though, yikes. Samsung is particularly bad. I swear folks buy their phones because they oversaturate the colors on their screens.


Because tech reviewers don't know how to review software. They just measure camera megapixels and dynamic range, screen nits, processor speed, etc, then say it they like it or not.


I switched from Samsung to Pixel for the same reasons. Samsung's additional bloatware and their penchant for installing new things I didn't ask for drove me nuts.


I wonder the same thing about Apple....

Does believing you're the last sane man on the planet make you crazy? 'Cause if that's the case, maybe I am.


I had a Samsung smartphone a few years ago and it was a terrible experience! After that I had phones by ASUS and Motorola, both good experiences.


Samsung phones always had problems and shiny screens. Don't know why people raved about such silly gadgets. LG phones were darn good.


The type of person who cares about stock Android is probably rare and anyway is just going to buy a Pixel or maybe an iPhone.


I personally can't stand most Samsung phones. I've had a few, going back as far as an old white Samsung flip phone. They come with so much built in crap, they've by and large lasted less time than any other brand of phone I've bought and the price is always higher than equivalent phones from other brand.

>LG always seemed a lot closer to stock Android, and was good at staying out of your way.

Motorola was always my go to for that, but I picked up an LG for the first time since my very first cell phone back in 2005 and so far, I've been pretty damn impressed.

It did come with a bit of extra prebuiltin crap, but it was actually possible to uninstall it, not just disable it like on Samsung phones. The unreprogrammable hardware button that does nothing but open Google assistant is kind of annoying, but I don't think that's an lg specific thing? Or maybe it is? I couldn't really tell when I was looking up if it could be changed to do something different.

Fun fact just because:

Samsung and LG also both make engineered stone for countertops, by and large the LG stone outsold the Samsung stone at the shop I worked at by a large margin.

LG Cirrus was like the third most popular engineered stone we sold after caesarstone and silestone.

We occasionally had some Samsung stone jobs, but they were pretty rare.


I greatly preferred TouchWiz to stock Android UI. It's a matter of preference.


TouchWiz bears minimal resemblance to Samsung's newer UIs, to be fair. Most seem to find the newer OneUI iterations to be significant improvements because they make for a far more full-featured device than stock Android with a more consistent UI experience and without the slowdowns that people complained about with TouchWiz. I'm curious how you'd find it as someone who preferred TouchWiz.


I loved the UI on my 2012 Samsung Note 3, cannot stand the UI on my 2019 Samsung A50. Which of the two would have been TouchWiz?


Quirks like this?

Set up you Samsung account ...ding!

Set up you Samsung account ...ding!

Set up you Samsung account ...ding!


Do you recall what you hated about the S4?


Google Apps aren't gold standard. I own a Samsung phone I have replaced launcher (MS launcher) /SMS (SMS organizer). Contacts and Phone app maybe Samsung's but they never troubled me. Only Settings search is unexplicably slow which annoys sometimes.

In terms of hardware/updates Samsung is good enough. Only Chinese phones may give better value for money but they come with too many software quirks, which I don't like.


Years ago I used to use the MS Launcher, however I noticed strange behaviour when in low 2g signal areas...Apps would take longer starting up. I'd tap on an icon, nothing would happen and the launcher would appear frozen, few seconds later the app would open.

I noticed the launcher was sending traffic whenever I started an app and it was affecting app start times when in low and slow signal areas.

I didn't dig in to it, but I suspected it was sending app usage analytics and the launcher was blocking until its usage data was transferred.

Another MS app "Your phone companion" is also sus. Preinstalled on my S10, it uses 20mb of data a month and I don't use it at all. Receives very frequent updates, its changelog is "Not provided by developer", and it has many permissions.


Recently I wanted to try out a new launcher on my phone. I've installed 3-4 different launchers and they all had a huge privacy policy page about the large amount of data they would exfiltrate from the phone.

So your experience definitely doesn't come as a surprise.


All of you complaining about trafic caused by launcers and privacy concern should just try an open source launcher from fDroid. I settled for Lawnchair2. It does it job well enough.


Thanks for the suggestion. I usually roll with the default LineageOS Trebuchet launcher. However the last time I upgraded there wasn't a large enough warning that installing the micro gapps would overwrite the Trebuchet launcher, and also make it unavailable for switching.

I'll give your suggestion a try, takes less time than reinstalling LineageOS :)


Lawnchair does a great job but at the time of use development slowed and when I switched phones I stuck to using the stock launcher.

But its great to see an alpha for Android 11 was out a week ago. So I'll be jumping back on that bandwagon.


If you want a lightweight launcher with few features and an atypical UI, try https://kisslauncher.com/ (available in the Play Store and in F-Droid). It shows your apps in a "frecency"-ordered, scrollable and searchable list.


OnePlus has decent value and while being Chinese it doesn't have a lot of quirks and is geared towards western markets.

Motorola also has some decent phones in the budget category. Pixel a series are also great value.

I got a Samsung last generation and gave Samsung ecosystem a go (smart watch, buds, TV). They do great hardware but they should just leave software alone - tizen os is a major PITA on TV and Watch (lacks apps, Bixby is retarded).

I had one plus before this and I'll probably go back if I stay on Android - software is just much better


Honestly, the Samsung OneUI on phones has little, if nothing, to do with Tizen. Have you tried a newer Samsung Galaxy phone?

As someone who now has a Pixel, newer Samsung devices come across as far more full-featured (I think this might be objectively true?) with a more consistent and pleasant UI (IMO) than stock Android. I don't use it because of bootloader/ROM support, but if that didn't exist I'd probably prefer the device that takes stock Android and adds some polish and thoughtful features along with better quality hardware.

There's a reason why Google has often integrated Samsung features into stock Android with a delay of a year or two. Obviously, the reverse is true and Samsung benefits from Google development, but I think that's already a given when Samsung advertises an update to a new Android version. OneUI also seems to avoid the general slowdowns of older Samsung UI experiences such as TouchWiz.


Yep - I'm using an S10 right now and have been for the last 2 years.

Some problems I have with it :

Bixby is garbage and I don't know why they haven't killed it yet - there is 0 chance they will ever develop anything usable let alone competitive.

It comes preloaded with bloatware I cannot uninstall, custom app store it uses to update it's own system apps, it's own apps are spamming me with notifications constantly.

Supposedly it has good integration with it's ecosystem devices, but unlike Apple - nothing actually works well, SmartThings craps out, Health keeps spamming me when I stopped using the watch, the watch doesn't have Google assistant or Maps out of the box.

Overall the hardware is quite good, base OS is decent (I replace the launcher with Nova), but the apps and software ecosystem is garbage. Apple is miles ahead it's not even funny. I really don't want to get an iPhone because the iOS is so locked down and I want to go back to a Windows machine after the disappointments with MBP thermals for years and outdated design at this point. But Apple ecosystem just works 95% of the time.

I mention Tizen as an example of Samsung trying to pull off their own thing in software and sucking at it (like Bixby). All Samsung devices would be better if they used a competing OS stack. One UI is the shining example of something that works but frankly I don't see the value add over stock.


Thanks for the reply. That's definitely very fair criticism that I generally agree with.

I suppose I personally don't mind the inconsistent and lackluster device ecosystem support because I currently prefer an outdoor watch over a "true" smartwatch. The OneUI additions were therefore what stuck out to me the most, especially from the perspective of a Pixel user. While I would appreciate the privacy and consistency aspects of iOS, I really don't like the often confusingly obscured UI elements, and the limited feature-set is the deal-killer for me as I at least occasionally depend on having decent file management, FTP/SSH, etc.


Yeah Oneplus is a good option, but their pricing is now ~flagship, while I stick with low-mid end. Right now I'll go with A52 if I have to replace my phone. I don't use Bixby/Google and have ungoogled my life by lot, maybe one of the reason


I mean, the 9 starts at £629 which is actually really cheap for the specs. The only way to get the Snapdragon 888 any cheaper is to go for something like Oppo or Xiaomi, which are not available everywhere.

And yes, their prices have been increasing over the years, but 3 years ago I paid £550 for the 5T, so now paying £629 for the 9 doesn't seem like such a huge leap.


OnePlus has a Nord line which is in line with A52 I think ?


RealMe phones also seem decently build and value for money.


My daughter just bought one, and it is amazing. Responsive, great looking screen, and by far the best camera of any non-[D]SLR device I've ever seen.

She actually bought it for the camera, nevermind that it was half the price of the other phones that she was looking at.


My personal phone is a Nokia and I just received a Samsung for work. I use MS Launcher on both.

I did try the Samsung phone app but didn't like it and have installed the Google one. I've only done one settings search and it was really slow too.


Sony phones too seem to be quite underappreciated.

The Xperia X line came with amazing built-in noise-cancellation, which only required a special purpose made $20 NC31E earphone with a 5-pole connector.

The performance of this combo to my surprise was amazing! It matched WH-1000XM4 and Bose QC20 in home-office environments. Not having to carry around yet another earphone that needs charging was radical.

Sadly, the whole line failed, and the feature was removed in the following series.

People think that "survival" is proof of aesthetic and functional superiority (we've seen this in all sorts of things - from programming languages/OSs to philosophies to races to religions).

It is not.


I love this combo! Since the NC31E were pack-in earbuds, they were dirt cheap on the grey market. I purchased my pair for ~20CAD just before Covid. They work well with my XZ1 compact. After the XZ1, they removed the special 5 pole jack so new Xperias lack the feature.

The implementation is clever too. The wired-noise cancelling doesn't require extra chips. Sony used the built in noise-cancelling feature on the Qualcomm audio chips. The chips also support a "transparency mode" like feature, but there is no convenient way to use it in software.

> Sony phones too seem to be quite underappreciated.

Their phones are excellent, but their not available at all in many marks (they left Canada recently). Xperias are very expensive. For example, the Xperia 10ii costs twice as much as the Moto G8. Both phones have the same SDM665 SoC and budget eMMC storage. On paper, many people would cross shop them.

Since I've owned my XZ1c, I've come to appreciate the durability of Sony phones. I've dropped it, caked it in grease and batter, and generally abused it with no case. It works fine, just some chips in the paint. Based on this I would recommend Sony. They use thick Gorilla Glass 6 and even the cheaper models are IP68 rated. Cell phone durability doesn't translate well to a spec sheet or tv ad very well though.


Sony also doesn't quite catch on in Thailand, and they (somewhat) exited this market for years now. When I need to get a replacement for XA1+, I have to chase around some carrier retailers known to have one, cause it's just won't be around ordinary phone retailers anymore.

Sony was quite a justified spec of its time (though the low battery capacity is my biggest complaint), but more players have emerged with a more competitive spec, and I also have to switch accordingly.


I had the Sony 6.3 inch phone with common glass cracking problem, and mine cracked. Sony denied it was an issue, but it was endemic on that model. In that case it was designed to fail which is the very opposite of durability.

I do find many Sony items to be durable, but clearly not all - do your research first. Also Sony Australia store are bandits but that's another story!


Often it is not just about the products.

Sony as a company has shown so many times what their perspective on customers is (installing root kits on customer devices, the whole PS3 + Linux debacle, etc.), that I try to avoid Sony products as much as I can.


Thank you for mentioning this. It is also the reason why I avoid Sony phones and at the time, their e-ink devices. I'll buy their dumb headphones, but nothing with a microprocessor from that company.


This. I bought a Sony smart TV because it had much, much better picture than competition at the same price level. In the first firmware update they added SambaTV. Now it's best to just keep it disconnected.


Because using stock Android is like the phone version of year of Linux Desktop.

It is so ugly from UI/UX perspective, that almost everyone ends up installing a theme anyway.

Then Google only does the minimum in features, and their software is crap.

For many years, if you wanted proper music software, Samsung phones with their custom real time audio SDK were the only option on Android ecosystem.

Same applies to the quality of Vulkan drivers.


I may be in a minority here but that simple UI/UX design is the one of the main features that gravitate me towards stock android. I like the simplicity of that UI and all other themes look like chaos on my screen (that's just me). One point that I agree on is Google should definitely add useful features in their stock android. The sweet point is something like Oneplus's OxygenOS. It is close to stock android with added features and some UI tweaks (though they're going off that route lately). But, from UI perspective I think it is atleast top 2 for me (other one being OxygenOS).


I don't think you're in minority. Parent is one of the few people I've heard to prefer something else over stock.


I guess you need to spend more time away from FOSS friendly bubble.


Stock Android UI is ugly? Now that's a first.

I've harbored the suspicion those who prefer "theming" their phones are not detail oriented. That or they're fine with the trade-offs.

For example I've always noticed inconsistencies and jankiness with anything that's not close to stock Android. Be it Samsung's TouchWiz or others, all are like a cheap veneer of dross over stock Android. They all just feel so tacky.


Samsung TouchWiz has been dead for several years now, their OneUI is in what, third iteration now? From aesthetic and usability point, it is indeed nicer than stock android.


i suppose thats a matter of taste .. i moved from stock android to s20+, and i agree its not as bad as previous samsung touchwiz era :)

but then i declined most of the samsung apps - google already has all my data and i dont want to share it with samsung on top of that, and then samsung also included third party services such as a dialer app which i didn't use because of the (lack of) privacy policy

overall i'm looking forward to getting back to stock android!


I prefer Samsung apps over Google's for the simple reason that they do not insist on uploading my stuff anywhere.

E.g. Google Photos had two choices for the cloud service: start uploading now or upload later (and nagging meanwhile). There's no option for not interested, don't bother me anymore. Samsung Gallery asks for OneDrive once, but is fine with declining and not bothering me anymore.

Yes, the dialer does use third party service for screening the calls; it asked you about it, and when you declined, it respected your choice (I've declined as well).


Yes, quite ugly full of eye burning white


There's a dark mode in the last 2? 3? versions? The main problem with Android wrt visual jank is now that lockscreen doesn't respect the night light, that night light fades in after unlock instead of being on immediately and that the automatic brightness has feedback loops that make brightness spike when display turns on or changes to white content (sensor detects phone light as ambient and turns up the brightness, over and over).


> It is so ugly from UI/UX perspective, that almost everyone ends up installing a theme anyway.

Sources? Because I see no substantial difference and I deliberately bought phone with stock Android as it has just Google garbage, rather than both Google garbage and phone manufacturer garbage.


The anecdote data of everyone I know that keeps buying devices like Samsung, Huawei and Xiomi.


Xiaomi sells also devices with stock Android, the same goes likely for other mentioned companies


Do you seriously belive a xiaomi phone isn't siphoning off your data to other servers than the usual google servers?

So it's probably more accurately described as stock-appearing Android ..


They do sell such devices yeah, yet what most people buy make use of MIUI, likewise for the other vendors.


Most "tech" youtube reviewers often say that an Android customization is good because it is minimalist and is close to stock Android. It is often praised also because it adds only a few features that stock Android doesn´t have. But over the years these missing features have often been integrated.


I use an iPhone, but in my opinion the stock Android looks and feels much better than the launchers that manufacturers put on. Especially the latest versions of Android look great.


What does Samsung audio do better than other phones? I still own a mp3 player because not even those shitty beats phones did a close to clear sound experience.

Ps: i never used a theme. All i want is stock android o.O


Samsung Pro Audio used to be the only low-latency audio API on Android devices. AFAIK it was a very thin wrapper over JACK. Of course, using it often crashed the app, and then Samsung first declared it deprecated and then didn't port it to 64-bit runtime.


Because eventually AAudio was created, by the time 64 bit Android started to matter.


Is AAudio really low latency, or "low latency" in the same sense as low latency modes in Android Audio and OpenSL ES? It's surprisingly difficult to find actual numbers that would compare between these three.


In the sense that OpenSL is out of the game, and AAudio is good enough for Samsung to drop their Audio SDK.

Now if you compare it with iOS, it still isn't going to win the race, neither in ms nor in tooling.

https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2021/03/high-perfo...


"Good enough for Samsung" is very, very low bar.

It could have been removed too because app developers didn't use it, because they couldn't make it stable or because they couldn't make it work together with mic permissions.

Anyway, I'm interested in numbers, and specifically whether switching from Android Audio or OpenSL to AAudio brings any significant improvement.


What the hell is Android Audio?

I suggest you to educate yourself in Android audio subsytems.


It's a name that's sometimes used for AudioTrack, AudioRecord and related classes under android.media. Does that collection have an official name? I would also suggest that you learn some manners.


Well, as someone with Android development experience I never saw it mentioned like that anywhere.


I guess this means you don't have any idea about the actual latency difference. It's okay to not know things, you don't have to be a jerk about it.


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