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As the Galaxy S9 approaches, you’d be forgiven for thinking smartphones in 2018 will be a battle between Samsung and Apple. Don’t count LG out of the game quite yet, mind. Even though the rumors around the Galaxy S9 have been far more plentiful than those detailing next year’s LG G7, that’s not to say 2018 won’t give “the other” South Korean phone-maker a rare opportunity to differentiate itself.
By all reports, Samsung is playing it safe with the Galaxy S9. Flush with the success of the Galaxy S8 in 2017, the phone-maker is apparently looking to make its successor more an evolution of the same, rather than a revolution. A slightly bigger display squeezed into the same form-factor, together with an upgraded processor, are the key differentiators, according to the rumor machine.
That arguably makes a lot of sense, given how well the Galaxy S8 has been performing. Even in a year with a bumper crop of smartphone offerings, the phone has nonetheless held its own on both style and performance. Rationally, tweaks and refinements are absolutely the most sensible way to go.
Yet, Samsung’s incremental upgrades could open the door of possibility to other Android smartphone manufacturers, who have perhaps found themselves overshadowed by their deep-pocketed rival in recent years. LG’s 2017 hasn’t been quite so vibrant: despite generally positive reviews of the LG G6 and LG V30, they simply haven’t made the splash many had hoped they might. So, how could Samsung’s strategy pay dividends for the LG G7 of 2018?
DOUBLE-DOWN ON HIGH-END FEATURES
Glance at the smartphone segment right now, and you’d be forgiven for thinking pretty much every device was cut from exactly the same cloth. The prevalence of Qualcomm chipsets like the Snapdragon 835 this year – and the Snapdragon 845 come 2018 – has meant core hardware specs have been much the same across the board. However, LG did something a little different. That was focus on audio quality. Its Quad DAC is widely considered the best way to listen to music on a smartphone this year, delivering noticeably better audio quality than rivals. Now, for 2018, it needs to double-down on that, taking advantage of every opportunity chipsets like the Snapdragon 845 offer. If it can’t beat Samsung in sheer sales numbers, positioning its devices as the smartphones “those in the know” prefer is a good alternative.