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Exclusive: This is how LG plans to compete against the Galaxy S8

by Brandon Russell | April 25, 2017

The LG G6 was only just announced in February, but its fifteen minutes of fame may have already passed. Not because it isn’t a great device. But because the Galaxy S8, a device people are praising far and wide, has launched.

When LG knows it’s outmatched and overpowered, how does it expect to compete? And how does it convince consumers to choose the G6? After all, the Galaxy S8 features better specs, an incredible camera, three different biometric options, and a promising AI assistant (which admittedly isn’t very good at the moment).

We got an opportunity to peek behind the curtain and see an LG presentation, which is meant to be circulated within the company, that outlines a strategy to take down the Galaxy S8, exploring the difference steps it plans to take in an effort to convince consumers that the G6 is a “trendy phone” that offers “differentiated value.”

We won’t be publishing the internal presentation to protect our source.

In the document, LG compares the G6 with the S8 in a number of different categories, from design to usability and ergonomics. The company highlights the G6’s “stylish, minimalist” design, and its “strong heritage in wide angle cameras.” All in the hopes of grabbing the attention of millennials who “value experiences over owning things,” according to the document.

LG uses these comparisons in an attempt to “reframe the competition to secure form factor leadership with usability + reliability.” With last year’s Note 7 recall still on everyone’s mind, LG is clearly hoping to capitalize by trumpeting its own commitment to quality assurance.

In addition to framing its device as safe, LG argues the G6’s merits, highlighting the device’s ergonomics, 18:9 FullVision display, and “solidity and reliability.”

But the company also acknowledges the G6 is inferior in many ways. For example, it doesn’t feature the latest chipset, nor does it offer anything comparable to Samsung Pay. It also doesn’t feature the same biometric options or wireless charging—all things you’ll get with the Galaxy S8.

From that viewpoint, it’s difficult to recommend any Android phone against the Galaxy S8, which is the market’s most technologically advanced device. To compensate, the document hopes to “shift the frame” by saying specs don’t matter, “consumer value” does.

That’s a tough narrative to push, especially when the same document acknowledges there are many affordable mid-range phones on the market.

What the document fails to mention is that the Galaxy S8 and G6 are roughly the same price. Despite being first in the world to offer an 18:9 screen, something the document repeatedly highlights, it’s easy to see the Galaxy S8 offers a better value because the handset is much more future-proof. (Read this post for a more thorough breakdown of why the S8 is such a powerhouse.)

It was always going to be an uphill battle for LG going up against the Galaxy S8, even with last year’s unfortunate Note 7 recall. And, by all accounts, it’s looking like the S8 will go on to be Samsung’s most popular device ever.

It’s like seeing a DC movie. There are moments of brilliance. But Marvel movies are superior, end of story.

No doubt, the LG G6 has a lot to offer consumers, but if it’s value consumers want, the S8 simply offers more of it.

It’s enlightening to see an internal document acknowledging a competitor’s device, especially when you get the sense that LG knows it’s outmatched.

Therein also lies the problem: When an internal document struggles to argue its device is superior to a competitor’s, it’s hard to convince consumers to buy your product.

But the Galaxy S8 (and Galaxy S8 Plus) offers the latest chipset, a ton of tech, great software, a fantastic camera, and a beautiful design. The G6 is a great phone, no question. But, even by the document’s own admission, it’s clear which one is superior.


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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...


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