It's not often that we have a consensus on things around here. That's by design, actually. Dissent and argument are important in this line of work. Nobody's ever always right about something. Nobody's ever always wrong. But it's been fun this past week to see our internal reaction to the new LG G4. As I wrote a week ago, it's foolish to go into the launch of a phone — even one as highly publicized as the G4 — thinking you already know everything. And while we had a pretty good idea of what this phone would be on paper, getting into our hands was the truly important part.
And not to spoil the review — Alex is working on it, but we'll all have a hand in parts of it — but I think it's safe to say we've nearly echoed our level of excitement for the GS6 with this phone.
That's not to say there aren't some frustrating parts. We're all running pre-release software with some obviously broken components. But the important stuff — performance and battery life, namely — seems pretty sound. The camera is excellent. The UX ... is better. (Damning with faint praise, I know.)
It's clear in talking with LG that they think the G4 can directly compete with the GS6 — and I think they're right. What's really going to be interesting is the marketing. LG put a pretty big push behind the G3. Nowhere near Samsung levels, but still an impressive TV and print strategy in its own right. And these days, that's nearly as important (if not more so) than having a winning product in the first place.
For us, though, the prospect of two excellent phones duking it out is a very exciting thing.
A few other thoughts on the week that was:
- Seriously, though. The leather is great. Never mind what anyone else says. (And all that babble above about dissenting opinions.)
- I'd love to see a public postmortem from Google on the Android 5.x struggles over the past six months. This stuff ain't easy, for sure. (And the more you learn about how all the pieces work — and have to work together — the more amazing any one of these toys becomes.) Here's to hoping 5.1.1 fixes things.
- How crazy is it that two of the first public Android 5.1.1 releases are for a gaming/video console, and for a watch?
- Speaking of the Urbane, I like it. It's in a weird space between "display on your wrist" and high-fashion timepiece, but it's definitely a looker.
- But I'm pretty sure I don't have all of the new features. I'm not seeing any way to draw emoji (and I'm OK with that), and the LG Call app doesn't seem to work either.
- We're currently in the mockup phase for a redesign of our app. Yes, finally.
- We're also breaking in a new app developer. That's part of the reason things have taken a while. But we're testing a new build in our beta group that mostly just fixes that nagging comments crash. If all goes well we'll push it out to everyone early this week.
- The Amazon Echo keeps getting better. Where is Google?
- I'll be at the U.S. launch of the ASUS Zenfone 2 in New York City on May 18. If you're in the area, be sure to enter our contest to join us there!
- For you podcast listeners out there — and not just of ours, I mean — here's a cool look at how the advertising works. (Scroll down to the bottom if you want to hear the audio version, naturally.)
- (Full disclosure: The company Midroll mentioned there is the same one we — and so many other shows — use for our podcast advertising.)
- If you're not listening to the Nerdist Podcast, you're absolutely missing out. It's just about replaced Howard Stern for me in the car.
- And I'm still enjoying Android Auto — I just need a longer commute. Twenty minutes each way goes by so fast.
That's it for this week. Lots to do, and only so much time in which to do it. See y'all Monday.