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You can’t buy a fully-specced LG G6 because of dumb reasons

Published Feb 28th, 2017 9:34PM EST
LG G6: Wireless Charging Storage
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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LG was the first company to unveil a brand new flagship Android handset at MWC. The G6 that we saw in various leaks and rumors, and which LG teased in various announcements ahead of the show, finally became official.

But on stage, something strange happened. LG’s entire presentation focused on the stunning FullVision display. LG elaborated on the brand new design it adopted for the handset and the new user interface elements. It showed us the new camera powers and the phone’s safety features meant to prevent overheating accident.

LG left out some important details during the event. It didn’t share certain specs, and it said nothing about the phone’s availability or price. It turns out that LG has been hiding a few things about the phone. The bottom line is that even if you wanted one, you can’t get the best possible LG G6 version out there because they’re going to be a lot more different than we’d have hoped.

Want wireless charging? You’ll have to go to America for that, as international versions won’t have it on board.

Want that cool quad DAC audio amp that LG announced a few weeks ago? Then better travel to Korea and purchase that phone version.

You want maximum onboard storage — that’s 64GB of UFS 2.0 memory? Then you’re going to have to purchase an LG G6 from Asia.

But if you want an LG G6 that has all of these three particular features, that kind of device won’t be available to you. Or it’ll be pretty hard to find.

After some confusion at LG’s booth about which features will be available in what markets, I finally met a PR person that was able to elaborate on the matter. Apparently, LG devised a different policy for its flagship phone this year. The phone’s design and screen are the main features, but not all G6 models will be equal.

LG determined that certain features appeal to certain markets, that’s why wireless charging comes to America, and better sound is going to be a Korea-only affair. That means the handsets will have different internal components to support that particular feature, whether it’s wireless charging or better sound.

But I’m sure that most people would want to get as much built-in storage as possible on an Android phone, even on one that can support fast microSD cards of up to 256GB.

In case you were wondering, the G6 will get you 20.54GB of free memory out-of-the-box, on a 32GB version, with 11.46 used by the preinstalled system. That’s on a brand new G6 handset.

LG isn’t the only company doing this with a brand new device, and you’ll see others customizing their handsets to meet certain requirements in local markets. However, the G6 is a flagship handset that’s going to cost a pretty penny, so you’d expect the phone would offer the same set of features to all customers.

Imagine the backlash if Apple or Samsung would do the same thing with their flagship. Sure, Samsung usually uses two processors for the same Galaxy S7 phone, and Apple did the same thing. For the iPhone 7 series, Apple got LTE modems from two different providers. And there may be LTE band differences when looking at distinct international versions of the same handset.

But all Galaxy S7 phones have wireless charging regardless of market and whether people actually use them. Apple sells iPhones in the same three storage capacities around the world, regardless of which model is the more popular one.

Speaking of prices and release dates for the G6, LG reps said they were not decided. That’s even though LG’s mobile chief already confirmed these details in an interview on Monday, at least for the Korean market. It appears that LG will wait to see how MWC goes, before deciding what to ask for the phone, and when to launch it in other markets. Furthermore, the wireless charger accessory for the phone is not on display at this time.

No matter when the G6 arrives or how much it’ll cost, you won’t get to purchase the best G6 phone possible this year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.