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.
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...
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 went with the V30 next because I needed the extra horsepower. I'm mostly happy - except for the headphone jack on top.
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. 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.
LG requires a shipment from Australia to Asia and a 3-4 week turn-around time.
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 $700 phone makes much more sense.
I agree that's one of the reasons that repair is more common. Very few people would darn torn socks, because those are cheap enough just to buy them.
I've had to replace a battery once ( on a Nexus 4)and I will never go through that again.
You also have bizzario phone deals where if you pay 2 to 3x as much for service you can get a free IPhone. I personally buy a phone for 300$ 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.
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.
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 still demand and sometimes use the built-in headphone jack, mind you. The SpectraX obviously sounds better than that, though.)
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.
Amazing pictures and nice and slim look, working with no problems for years now.
* 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?
Is there any UI that is *worse* than samsung?
They have ads in the menus now. And their UI layer adds significant touch latency.
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.
The 4a is 6" and has a headphone jack.
Does this means that Motorola is now considered a fully Chinese brand?
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.
I can't speak about wherever they're rebrands though, you'd have to take all their phones apart to figure that out.
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.
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.
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.)
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 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.
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 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.
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.
It wasn't in the EU, which is why they had to change it.
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.
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?
Even more so because Windows Phone was actually a pretty nice OS with some really interesting ideas. It just came far too late.
You would have thought they'd learn from how they won the desktop space...
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?
Google makes their own phones now with the part of HTC they bought.
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.
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.
I thought the USB-C -> 3.5mm adaptors are just mechanical, or have no delay?
3.5mm on the other hand just works and is (was? ) ubiquitous.
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.
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.
RIP LG Mobile.
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.
As an android user, this saddens me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Same experience though, people have either heard of it and rave about it, or ask who makes it.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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'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.
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.
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.
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 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. :)
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
We should all also do our part to end the political ad insanity. This can't be healthy for anyone.
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.
Advertising is almost always a thread of a lie, so reducing exposure to that until children are more mature is probably a good idea.
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.
Within the bundled packages, my impression is that Samsung is very dominant as well among the Android phones.
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
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.
At that point, any feature LG introduce are gonna be labeled as gimmicky, because they never develop it further for their next phone
Edit: For example, people love LG's KnockON feature.
> 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.
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.
Same goes for HTC. Buy once, cry once, hodl that shit for half a decade on the short side.
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.
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 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 believe my next phone will be a glorious fruit device, probably a second hand one.
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.
That's product placement?
(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)
"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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
The same Samsung that earned way more with everything but phones? (Probably changed meanwhile, but it wasnt the case for a long time)
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.
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.
Totally happy with it.
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.
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?
I always wondered why Android disabled call recording.
I highly recommend recording your parents.
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'd like to get a new case, just for variety's sake, but they're bound to be worse -- so I don't.
I think that was the only manufacturer issue I ever had with an LG phone.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
G5 was a great phone though wasn't it.
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).
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.
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.
Samsung bought more ads, maybe?
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 :)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's nothing "astonishing" about it.
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.
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.
Read about it on apples website:
Just disable Bixby or buy a phone from another brand.
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.
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.
I agree about the UI stuff though.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
To each their own.
> 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.
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.
They still have the best screens today. They still have the best cameras besides apple today.
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
Samsung pays for reviews  and engages in other scummy behavior that is given a pass anti-Applers see it as the sole champion against the Tall Poppy:
I switched to Motorola since, the UI is quite close to the Pixel and the price range is reasonable.
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.
Does believing you're the last sane man on the planet make you crazy? 'Cause if that's the case, maybe I am.
>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.
Set up you Samsung account ...ding!
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.
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.
So your experience definitely doesn't come as a surprise.
I'll give your suggestion a try, takes less time than reinstalling LineageOS :)
But its great to see an alpha for Android 11 was out a week ago. So I'll be jumping back on that bandwagon.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
She actually bought it for the camera, nevermind that it was half the price of the other phones that she was looking at.
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.
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.
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 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 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!
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.
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'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.
overall i'm looking forward to getting back to stock android!
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).
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.
So it's probably more accurately described as stock-appearing Android ..
Ps: i never used a theme. All i want is stock android o.O
Now if you compare it with iOS, it still isn't going to win the race, neither in ms nor in tooling.
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.
I suggest you to educate yourself in Android audio subsytems.