It's looking like 2017 is going to be an interesting year for smartphones, as this is the year many manufacturers are going to try to attract new users and win back those they had lost. With the release of the Galaxy S8, Samsung is trying to reassure its users about its devices after the Note 7 fiasco. LG, after the failure of the modular G5, is now seeking to both win back its fan base and secure the company's future. Will they be able to achieve their objectives?
LG G6: a promising start
During MWC 2017 the LG G6 received several media awards (including the AndroidPIT award) for best smartphone in Barcelona. Admittedly, with its metal and glass unibody (no modular phones here), the G6 looks pretty slick.
Its IPS LCD screen has a diagonal of 5.7-inches, resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 ppi QHD+, which is somewhat longer than a normal QHD. This means the format is 18:9. The main camera of the G6 is dual, just like the G5, but in this case, the two 13 MP sensors capture an angle of up to 125 degrees. For the front camera is 5 MP and it enjoys an angle of up to 100 degrees, making it perfect for group selfies. As a result, the G6 shows a lot of promise.
In the absence of the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG has been in prime position to showcase its new jewel in the LG crown. The nudge must be working as even after just four days there has been over 40,000 units pre-ordered in South Korea alone - that's 10,000 orders a day! The public appears to have been very responsive to LG's latest smartphone efforts, but we should put off on the celebrations to see how the pre-ordering translates into sales of the device.
The G6 will be available in South Korea from the March 10 and will be released to other international market by around mid-April. The absence of the Snapdragon 835 processor and wireless charging doesn't seem to really matter to South Korean users, so who knows if people in other countries will think in the same way. I imagine that many will enjoy the full functionality of the device, and the brand will use this to their advantage in their effort to compete in bigger international markets such as the US.
Yes, the pre-orders do make everything look promising, but we would be wrong to underestimate the other major players in the field, such as Huawei with the P10 and P10 Plus. Sony also seems to have accepted the challenge with its Xperia XZ Premium, so there are a lot of new incentives for those smartphone users who are in the market for an upgrade. And then there's Samsung ...
Samsung: trying to win back its fans
Samsung is a well known brand which over the years has strengthened its position in the market and created millions of users happy all around the world. The Note 7 incident was a major blow to the company, contributing to a loss of around $15.3 billion and a significant blemish on the Samsung brand's reputation.
The Note 7 incident was a major blow to the company, contributing to a loss of around $15.3 billion and a significant blemish on the Samsung brand's reputation.
Accidents do happen, that's apparent. Even with the final withdrawal of the phablet this left a number of unresolved issues with Samsung's batteries, all of which would need to be comprehensively addressed before it could even begin to speculate about releasing a new flagship device. Now Samsung is ready to launch the Galaxy S8, its most highly anticipated device to date. This is not only due to its overall potential, as the rumors are indicating it will include an iris scanner, dual-edge display QHD, Snapdragon 835, Bixby and IP68 certification, but also whether this will be enough to override users' lurking insecurities since the Note 7 debacle.
I think this is what you've been waiting for. pic.twitter.com/FvYfsLOy0R— Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 01, 2017
We're expecting great things from Samsung and the Galaxy S8, maybe even too many. I have no doubts about the company's ability to produce a great looking device which is an excellent performer, just as we have seen with all of the Galaxy S models produced to date. Perhaps we will not see anything which makes the S8 standout more in terms of design or features than what we have seen in recent years. If what Samsung users are really looking for is reassurance about the safety and quality of the S8, then I'm sure they will come away more than satisfied.
In 2017 LG must be able to sell the G6. The release of the smartphone has been supported by concentrated energy within the company and an aggressive marketing campaign (which comes with up to $390 worth of free smartphone services and amenities) for its release. Samsung, on the other hand, is releasing the S8 without revealing many surprises. Samsung may be in a better position to meet these challenges, as LG will need to deal with some pretty tough rivals in the smartphone market.
Do you think the LG G6 will be a success? Will other new smartphones released in 2017 be overshadowed by the Galaxy S8? Let us know in the comments below.