Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 is by far one of the best devices I’ve used this year (and I’ve used most of them), but it’s currently in a hot mess. After discovering an issue with the battery that was causing devices to explode spontaneously, Samsung was forced to issue a worldwide recall of the Note 7. While the company is in the process of replacing units, that’s not going to fully solve the problem. Customers have seen what’s been going on, and some of them are really scared about it…
Nomad case for Pixel 3
Samsung has done a great job responding to customers, replacing units quickly, and trying to ensure everyone is safe, but the damage to its brand is not going away anytime soon. I can’t even count the number of people I’ve seen, not just online, who have said they’ll never buy another Samsung product after this. And there are still others who will, but say they won’t buy another Note 7. That’s understandable, considering people are even claiming that the phone is burning down houses and cars.
On the other hand, we’ve got to talk about the iPhone 7. Just yesterday Apple finally revealed its latest smartphone and let’s be honest, it’s nice. With better specs, water resistance, some gorgeous new colors, and more, Apple has a great phone this year. That said, there are a couple of things people might not like. The obvious, near deal-breaker for many is the lack of a headphone jack. We all knew it was coming, but it still stings. For a lot of people, this absolutely counts out the iPhone 7 as their next phone.
So, with customers skipping the Note 7, and others skipping the iPhone 7, who can win in this scenario? With potentially millions of customers displaced, I really LG has a great shot at picking up the slack with the LG V20. From what we’ve seen so far, LG has a real winner with this phone. Let’s look a little closer.
LG V20 vs. Note 7
LG’s main competition, whether the G series or V series, has always been Samsung. Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices have always far outsold LG’s devices, but right now LG has a chance to close that gap just a bit. Why? On paper, the Note 7 and LG V20 are nearly identical. Both pack top of the line specifications, great features, and more. Even better, LG has a more durable design, better audio specs, and the latest version of Android out of the box, probably a few months ahead of when Samsung will get around to it.
The problem here is advertising. Samsung is incredibly good at marketing its smartphones. LG, well, not so much (read: Jason Statham). If LG can make ads for the V20 that make sense, grab attention, and really sell customers on the phone, I think it will be successful, at least for the techie crowd. Consumers might have a harder time adopting the device, but again, I think if LG’s marketing does its job well, consumers may seriously consider it.
LG V20 vs. iPhone 7
Samsung’s fanbase isn’t the only one LG can go after. Apple has made some major moves with the iPhone 7, and it’s going to turn off some customers for the headphone jack alone. The LG V20, on the other hand, does have a headphone jack. Even better, the V20 has an enhanced headphone jack with a Quad DAC for improved quality, and this is just part of a bigger area where the V20 takes the lead.
If you go back to Apple’s advertising for the iPhone 6, you might recall that a lot of it promoted how great the phone was for content creation. With the iPhone 7 the phone’s capabilities haven’t changed much, but Apple isn’t stressing it as much as it once was. With the V20, LG has gone all out for creatives, adding enhanced video modes, improved audio recording, and much more. What’s great is that these features don’t just benefit content creators, they also help the average person to better capture memories through their smartphones.
There are two big places where LG is going to struggle with grabbing iPhone users, though. The first is water resistance. iPhone users have cried out for this for a long time, and now its finally here on the iPhone 7. The LG V20, well, it’s just not. The bigger challenge though will be the operating system. Even though Android Nougat can help iOS users switch to an extent, it’s daunting to think about changing platforms since it means buying new apps, adjusting to new features and functionality, and disconnecting from a lot of proprietary Apple services.
And then there’s the release date…
So as you can see, LG has a shot to make a best-selling smartphone here. That said, a lot of this hinges on one thing: the release date. LG may have announced the V20, but it has yet to reveal when the device will actually go on sale. All we know now is “in the fall”, but if it’s at the tail end of that time period, it’ll be too late. If LG wants to take advantage of the current situation, it needs to get this phone on the market as soon as possible, and I really hope it can. LG deserves to win one following the G5 flop.