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You can now buy an unlocked LG G6 in the U.S., but should you?

I have to admit something: even though I've had a Galaxy S8 in my pocket for a couple weeks now, I keep thinking of going back to the LG G6. It's not just that the fingerprint sensor is in a better position, or that it's a little easier to use with one hand, but because the dual camera setup is just so enticing, especially as I'm about to leave for Google I/O and its sweeping Northern California vistas.

Well, if you're looking to pick up an LG G6 but don't want a carrier variant (and all the bloatware it entails), you can now buy an unlocked version from Amazon (opens in new tab), B&H (opens in new tab) or Best Buy (opens in new tab).

The phone, model number US997, is compatible with all four major U.S. carriers, and comes with no pre-loaded carrier software. And while it may not be specifically optimized for one particular network — you'll lose some T-Mobile or Verizon-specific enhancements — in exchange you get one of the leanest ways to run an LG phone.

It's also considerably cheaper, at $599, than the equivalent unlocked Galaxy S8, which begins at $725, though for that you get an extra 32GB of storage and a faster processor, but who's counting? The LG G6 stands up in many ways to the Galaxy S8 where it counts: overall user experience.

If you're interested in the unlocked LG G6, let us know in the comments below!

Where to buy the LG G6 in the U.S.

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

60 Comments
  • I got the 360$ deal from atnt. Can't beat that price.
  • You and me both. I vowed to never buy from carrier again...then that deal came out. I'm a sucker for bill credits...
  • I said I wouldn't either but then Verizon ran all of those holiday discounts at the end of last year. Ended up with a $240 Verizon Pixel and a $120 Moto Z. Couldn't resist.
  • I too got the $360 deal. I also vowed not to get a carrier phone but the deal was just too good. On top of that, I got the free Google Home; another $115.00. So essentially the phone was $245! Not bad at all... I'm pleased...
  • How do bill credits work?? I've been asking around and can't get a good answer.
  • You sign up for the Next plan and make monthly payments. I think for the G6 the payments are either $25 or $30 a month depending if you want to upgrade every year or 2 years. AT&T will give you a credit of either $12.50 or $15 every month for the duration of your Next Plan.
  • They charge you for the phone like normal, but add a credit to your bill to reduce the cost of the total bill essentially making the phone much cheaper. It may vary by carrier and deal, but usually this means you still owe the regular price of the phone if you wanted to pay it off early, as you would no longer get the credits. Great deal but in a sense it is a contract.
  • Thank you, I understand now. It sounds like that would work perfectly for me then
  • Good price and great with the watch combo or if you pre-ordered in time for the Google Home offer. Samsung bloat is too much for me. S8 camera may have a slight edge, but the dual and wide front look pretty useful.
  • Not a Samsung fanboy comment here, but they really have trimmed alot of the bloat. Or at minimum made it easy to disable duplicate apps. It is a decent user experience now.
  • It does look better, but I still prefer Google's version and not sure I will even care for the G6. I may be eyeing a new Pixel in the fall. The original Galaxy Note was one of my all time favorites, but the later SW updates on it were headed down the Touchwiz road and I was headed down the Nexus path. I also don't like the curved edges; just my preference. I do like the larger G6 side feel.
  • I can't argue your opinions at all. I just want a water proof Pixel.
  • ...with no weird and ugly half glass back, no giant empty bezels (unless front speakers), and wireless charging would be great... and OIS front and rear would be a huge plus
  • I haven't missed OIS at all on the Pixel.
  • Not saying it isn't comparable or even better in some situations. But in low light the detail is a little grainier than would be with OIS allowing for longer exposure (even with multiple shots in HDR+). Compare low light to other similar sensors with OIS and it definitely can be better. In good light it definitely gives great results. Only other problem is lens flare, which is still often a giveaway to identify Pixel photos.
  • I might if my Nexus 5x dies. 😂😂. Im kinda wishing it would
  • What enhancements is it missing on T-Mobile?
  • Probably WiFi calling, at a minimum.
  • Band 66 support probably as well.
  • I doubt that
  • According to the specs band 66 is missing but I also can't find any info as to where band 66 has been deployed.
  • I was going to until I saw that they don't have band 30 for AT&T. How can they leave out any bands from a major network? I've had crappy reception since they started rolling it out and my S6 doesn't have that band.
  • No you shouldn't buy the US unlocked Samsung and LG models because they both suck and in bed with the useless carries. So we have to be happy with the crappy carrier models if we want updates of any kind. Shame on you Korean companies, everyone else pushes updates to the unlocked models first.
  • If I'm buying an unlocked G6, I'm importing one with the Quad DAC.
  • That's what I did, quad dac and 64GB of storage, I'm quite happy with it and I've had no issues with it for the last two weeks (other than changing the language from Chinese as mine came already set up).
  • Hell no.
  • I pre-ordered it from b&h with the LG watch. I'll see if I keep it
  • How's that update situation? I read the unlocked G5 was abhorrent. Sucks, nougat was awesome on that phone.
  • Unlocked G6 here in the UK and on April update. So far so good
  • I prefer the T-Mobile BOGO -- two LG G6 phones for $500 is hard to beat.
  • What Verizon things is it lacking?
  • Probably wifi calling and maybe VoLTE
  • The updates on my GS7, in the US, sucked. They only sent security patches every 3 months and just got Nougat a week or so ago. I will never buy an unlocked version of any Android phone again, maybe just a Pixel.
  • It's usually pointed out that Samsung has treated their US unlocked models poorly when it comes to updates, but LG G5 owners had it worse with the RS988 model. It only recently got nougat and only had one other update since the 2016 July security patch.
  • Since when did the RS988 get nougat? Mines still sitting on MM and showing up available updates...
  • FYI the unlocked model US997 is NOT compatible with Sprint. I've been trying to get my US997 activated with Sprint and have been told that even though the radio supports one of the LTE bands it's still not compatible with the Sprint network. If someone knows a work around I'll be eternally grateful!
  • If you've already got an active Sprint SIM you should try putting it in the phone. I worked for a Verizon indirect store for years, most unlocked phones were never officially supported, nor were phones branded by another carrier. Even when the phone had compatible bands/radios my system would just flag the IMEI as a non Verizon device and wouldn't let me submit it for activation. However if we had an active SIM from another device, moving it to the unsupported phone usually worked.
  • Given that the S7 and G5 US unlocked variants both received pretty poor software support, I wonder if it's even worth considering the same versions for their respective 2017 successors.....
  • I know on AT&T if it is not a carrier supplied phone they won't provision it for Advanced Services such at VOLTE, WiFi Calling and HD Voice. I am assuming same would hold true for Verizon. T-Mobile is a little more lenient - I read somewhere they allowed WiFi Calling on the new MotoG.
  • Is there any good reason to buy the LG instead of the cheaper and less bloatware laden OnePlus 5?
  • No
  • No. The OnePlus​ 3T is better than the LG G6. The OnePlus 5 will be even better.
  • One Plus 3T?....LOL!
  • You are correct! The OnePlus 3 and 3T stomp the G6. The G6 is the worst phone out right now. I just picked up a Moto Z Play at Best Buy for $399 and it is also better than the G6. LG dropped the ball with this phone. But hey, if you like laggy phones that suck, the G6 is for you. If you want a lag free phone that is close to stock Android, the Google Pixel, OnePlus 3T or Moto Z/Z Play are great choices.
  • Please stop...you're just making yourself look really foolish now
  • Yeah the G6 sucks, I know. I don't understand​ why LG can't make a decent phone on their own. They need Google to hold their hand. I agree with you that the Nexus phones that LG made were great, but you are correct when you say LG looks foolish now. I agree.
  • My god you actually argue like an 8yr old. Grow up dude
  • I'm glad someone agrees with me that the G6 is a terrible device. I feel sorry for anyone who bought this phone. It's already lost half it's value on Swappa. I know you feel the same way as me , and that ma ma makes me happy.
  • Urm... You bought it already?.... Supposedly! Then again I smell bullsh**t regarding most of your posts and comments
  • Yeah I fell for the half off deal at AT&T. I tried it for 3 days and returned it. Even at half price, the G6 is a no go. I hope you are still able to return it too! You sure will take a huge loss selling it later.
  • Don't feed the trolls
  • I try not to. There is always one though.
  • For some, the wide angle camera, but for most it's not an important enough feature.
  • There have been some good carrier deals lately. I have been tempted myself. The s8 BOGO deal has been calling my name and j don't even need it.
  • BOGO deals require a new service contract, right? No thank you.
  • Some may, but the current T-Mobile BOGO does not. Unless you consider a 24 month installment plan a contract. The promotion will send you a prepaid Mastercard with $750 loaded onto it, and then you can just pay off the device entirely or use it for anything else. You do, obviously, have to have an account... but that's it.
  • So I get 2 phones outright and can use them with any 2 T-Mobile SIM cards and service plans that my family already owns? When I first checked, there were too many restrictions to make the "deal" usable. Has this changed?
  • So wanted to get the g6 at half price, but I'm really happy with my g5 till i can upgrade in December. Then I'll be picking up a v30
  • Smart move
  • Actually, it is now down to $449 unlocked. At that price it is a bargain compared to S8, V30, etc. While it ONLY has a 821 processor it gives nothing away on the display or camera front and I could make a case that the wide angle camera (which started on the G5) is far more useful than any of the other dual camera setups. Also, I still don't like the usability of the curved edge on the S8 or S8+ and the fingerprint scanner location sucks - especially since fingerprint sensors are so accurate right now. Even if it's only $30/$40/month for the other flagships you're still paying $700-$900 dollars for a PHONE. Unless you've got money to burn that is a lot of money for something you might only use for a couple of years. And, you leave out the fact that you pay taxes on these phones up front (they won't finance the tax and you pay that on the Free phone) and in my state that's an extra 8.15% which works out to an extra $57 - $73 for the more expensive phones. The G6 is still tax free from places like BH Photo.