Julie’s gadget diary – I returned the LG G6 and even I’m surprised by the phone I’m using now


Are you confused by the title of this post because you remember that I just purchased an LG G6 a few weeks ago? It’s true, I did buy one and I enjoyed using it… for awhile. Then a few bugs crawled in that annoyed me enough that I decided to return the phone while I was still within my 30-day return window with B&H Photo. The problem is that I had already sold my Nexus 6P. So I didn’t have another phone to use while I figured out what to get next. 

I tried putting my Verizon SIM into my ancient LG G3 and it complained that I had no service. So I tried an even older iPhone 4S and had the same result. I came to find out later that older phones like the LG G3 and iPhone 4S will not work with the newer SIM cards due to not being able to work with 4G LTE.

Not having a working smartphone would normally not have caused me to panic had it been a few weeks prior, but I had also recently disconnected my landline phone at home meaning that without a smartphone, no one could contact me.

First I thought about the higher end Android phones currently on the market that I might want to buy. The main ones I considered were the Samsung Galaxy 8, and the Pixel XL. Since I’m not a fan of the S8’s curved screen, I put an X through that choice. Then I gave some thought to the Pixel XL and although that would be the best choice for an Android fan like myself, I just couldn’t get excited about buying one.

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So what did I do? I bought an iPhone 7 Plus and I’m as surprised by that as you probably are considering my last attempt to switch from Android to iOS failed 9 months ago with an iPhone 7. But this time is different for two reasons.

First of all, I don’t have any other Android phones to fall back on right now. So that means that I am forced to give the switch a better effort than I did the last time.

Secondly, I am ready for something different. Even though I always harp on the fact that Apple won’t let you customize your home screens like Android does, and that they lock down certain features like NFC, and their phones don’t have Qi wireless charging, I have to be honest with myself that I’ve been living without Qi charging for the past year with the Nexus 6P and I don’t use NFC at all these days. I do like to customize my home screens by moving around icons and adding widgets, but I rarely pay attention to the widgets I use. So my arguments for not liking iOS limited customization features are weak.

This past Saturday, I walked into my local Verizon store and walked out a few minutes later with a black 128GB iPhone 7 Plus. I’ve been using the phone for 3 days now and I have almost zero buyer’s regret. I say almost zero because the price of the iPhone is stupidly expensive, which makes me feel guilty for buying something so pricey for myself.

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After 3 days do I miss Android? So far the only thing I miss is being able to arrange the icons exactly the way I want on the screen with black spaces here and there. But other than that one thing, I’m actually really enjoying the iPhone which surprises the heck out of me.

I’m especially impressed by how well all my other devices like my Kevo lock are working with the iPhone. With Android, it would take minutes to lock or unlock the door using the app on the phone, but with the iPhone, it only takes about 15 seconds. I also noticed that my Flic wireless smart buttons react faster with the iPhone than with my past Android phones.

Am I going to stick with the iPhone this time? It’s still really early in the switch, but so far it’s looking good!

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42 comments… add one
  • DStaal July 4, 2017, 5:37 pm

    Rumors are the next version of the iPhone will have Qi. (Or some sort of wireless charging at least – Qi is the top of the rumor list.)

  • Bill Henderson July 4, 2017, 5:43 pm

    Welcome back to the Apple Borg! Just wait until iOS 11 comes out.

    • John Kes July 5, 2017, 4:17 pm

      Resistance was futile – she was assimilated.

  • Matt Penning July 4, 2017, 8:01 pm

    I’ve been waiting to upgrade my wife’s iPhone 5. I look forward to hearing your experiences with the 7 Plus.

  • 1000Acres July 4, 2017, 8:09 pm

    Nooo!!! 😲

  • Funkright July 4, 2017, 8:56 pm

    Both platforms are pretty good and pretty mature, all depends on the flavour you prefer when it’s time to upgrade. I use both on a regular basis and find the interoperability of their feature sets are relatively similar in everyday usage. Enjoy the view 🙂

  • Smythe Richbourg July 5, 2017, 12:48 am

    OK, now you need to get an Apple Watch before you back down! You’ll never go back!

    :steeples fingers, mutters “My plan is working! Excellent!”::

  • Senioral July 5, 2017, 6:02 am

    I agree flagship phones are stupidly expensive that’s why I got the ZTE Max Pro for $40 plus tax after porting my number to Metro then later moved to Mint service. I also have another ZTE Max Pro as a back up and still kept my iPhone 4S to check my iCloud email.

  • Lex July 5, 2017, 6:17 am
    • Lex July 5, 2017, 6:18 am

      Well that didn’t work. Assume you can see Darth Vader saying, ‘Come to the Dark Side…’ (insert heavy breathing audio here…)

  • Jim July 5, 2017, 8:42 am

    Jailbreak it and you’ll really luv it…

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 5, 2017, 8:55 am

      It’s been a long time since I jailbroke an iOS device. Does it degrade speed and cause other problems? I remember having glitches when I did it back in the iPhone 4 days. Glitches are something I’m trying to get away from at this point 🙂

      • Pam T. July 5, 2017, 9:27 am

        I haven’t jailbraked (jailbroke?) an iOS phone in years; right now I can’t figure out a good reason to do it.

        I’ll give a shout out to the app Pimp My Screen for gorgeous lock and wallpapers, though.

      • Jim July 5, 2017, 10:00 am

        No, it doesn’t slow down any that I can detect and it brings so many options to the phone. For instance, all your settings in the control center, open and unlock the phone by just touching the fingerprint sensor, lock the phone by just double tapping the sensor, no more pushing buttons, except to turn it on, all the homescreen themes you want. Download music from Pandora, YouTube and others. Tether your phone without the carrier knowing and so on. I could go on and on. I wouldn’t own it if I can’t jailbreak it.
        As long as you’re aware, don’t upgrade the iOS system unless there’s a new jailbreak for it. There’s a lot Apple should use from the jailbreak community and Cydia that would improve their phones tremendously. IMO.

        • Julie Strietelmeier July 5, 2017, 11:10 am

          Thanks for the info Jim! I’m going to use the phone as is for awhile, but I’ll have to consider jailbreaking at some point. Is it easy to unjailbreak?

          • Alan Claver July 5, 2017, 4:13 pm

            Jail breaking is a dying fad. Not a whole lot of useful stuff in the JB world these days.

            That being said it’s easy to restore. You of course have turned on iCloud Backup so your phone settings and info are safe. You’ll need a computer with iTunes and you can just Restore the iPhone to the current version of iOS. Once done, the phone will get your previous settings from either a backup on iTunes or iCloud and restore everything.

          • Jim July 5, 2017, 6:39 pm

            Very easy to un-jailbreak also. If you need help, google it or mention it here and I’ll help…

    • Aphoid July 5, 2017, 4:32 pm

      I used to Jailbreak, but since the Control Center/Notification Center features got added (iOS 7 in 2013) and the fast JavaScript/browser was enabled for third-party apps (iOS 8 in 2014), there is only one Jailbreak tweak I miss. There was a tweak that let you put five icons/apps in the Dock part of the home screen. I still wish I had that as an option, especially now that I have a bigger phone (6S+).

      • Julie Strietelmeier July 5, 2017, 4:40 pm

        At the moment, the only things I’d like to do would be to put a widget one the home screen and move icons around with space between them. I don’t think it’s worth it to jailbreak just for those two tweaks.

        This is ok for now.

        • Aphoid July 5, 2017, 6:01 pm

          Coming from Android, the lack of home screen widgets could seem pretty limiting. You can put widgets in the always-available pull-down notification screen or see the same ones by swiping to the right on the leftmost home screen.

        • Jim July 5, 2017, 6:46 pm

          How can I post a picture here Julie ?

          • Julie Strietelmeier July 5, 2017, 7:02 pm

            I don’t have it set up so readers can upload images. but if the image is on the web, you can use HTML code to embed it in your comment. If you want me to add an image to one of your comments, just paste in the link and I’ll fix it for you.

        • Treodoc July 8, 2017, 3:14 pm

          Julie, there is a website that allows you to create blank icons (essentially spacers) that you can use on your home screen to space out the icons as you wish (without jailbreaking). My teenage son did this extensively a couple of iPhones ago. The site is http://iempty.tooliphone.net/; you would need to access it from your iPhone, and then you can add spaces to your heart’s content. Hope that helps. 🙂

          • Julie Strietelmeier July 8, 2017, 3:18 pm

            Thanks for the link. I’ve seen that method before. It seems like too much of a hassle though. I’m learning to live with the restrictions with iOS (for now).

      • P51D007 July 7, 2017, 4:36 pm

        I use to root every android phone I got, along with flashing pretty much any new rom. The older I get, the less I fiddle with my phone. Other than out of the box setup, once it’s how I want, I usually leave it alone. The last 2 android phones I’ve purchased, although unlocked, have never been rooted or super user mode available. I guess the lack of bloat in the last two, and how stable android 5,6,7 have been, might be part of it. That, and when I get home from work, technology is one of the last things I want to play around with, after dealing with it all day.
        Kind of akin to working in a pizza place, then eating pizza when you get home from work I guess.

  • David Ferreira July 5, 2017, 10:59 am

    I have the S8 Plus and have turned off all of the edge features. I agree that it is a silly and pointless feature that exists for marketing purposes only. Once it is off, the phone is just a normal phone that kind of tapers off to the sides, and it has so little an impact that I don’t even notice it.

    Wish I could say the same for Bixby. I have turned off notifications and yet multiple times per day Bixby reminds me to check my alarms before going to sleep. Cause, you know, without Bixby I would have trouble with all the little things in life like being on time anywhere.

    The killer thing for me on the S8 is Samsung Pay. There is a mag swipe technology built in to this that allows me to use the payment method no matter where I go. It really fulfills the dream of “it just works”. Other than places like a restaurant or gas station, I almost never reach for my wallet anymore. Now if the points I am accumulating as part of this program were applicable anywhere other than in Samsung’s store, I would be ecstatic…

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 5, 2017, 11:08 am

      Yes, I agree about Samsung Pay. When I’ve used it, it’s fantastic and I wish Apple Pay would work everywhere too…

      • Alan Claver July 5, 2017, 4:17 pm

        The “mag stripe” emulation of Samsung Pay will not be useful in the future. There won’t be any mag stripe readers eventually (2 years or so) since those transaction won’t (and aren’t) covered by the CC company fraud repayment.

        It’s really only the US that behind in contactless transactions – I was in Canada last month and 95% of every place had contactless terminals.

  • Aphoid July 5, 2017, 4:16 pm

    Since you’re a Mac user, you might appreciate the iMessage integration and Continuity support: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204681

    I note above that you said you didn’t want an Apple Watch. One often overlooked feature is that you can set up your watch so that if it’s unlocked and you sit down at your Mac, it’ll automatically unlock without using your password or TouchID. (I upgraded the WiFi card in my MacBookPro to get it to support that: Remember when computers could be upgraded?)

  • Douglas Forrester July 5, 2017, 6:07 pm

    I tried to go back to Android, but my car (2014 Camry) seems to like iPhone better. “Hey Siri!” works whether or not the phone is locked, but “OK Google” required me to unlock the phone first.

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 5, 2017, 7:00 pm

      There’s a setting in Android that will let you say OK Google even when the screen is off and the phone is locked.

  • Daniel July 6, 2017, 8:13 am

    Julie – What were some of the issues that drove you from the G6?

    I’m in 2.75 years with my current phone (Droid Turbo) and was considering the G6. Not interested in Samsung (I know I’m in the minority, but I find the design ugly) -. too fragile, bad fingerprint placement, and Bixby and its location. Pixel doesn’t have wireless charging (I also feel it is ugly and also EOL). HTC U11 – squeeze gimmick; not fond of its look.

    I am waiting to see how the new Moto Zs come out, but curious about the G6 from your perspective.

    Thanks

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 6, 2017, 8:17 am

      I had issues with Bluetooth. In my MINI Cooper, I like to listen to music through Spotify or Amazon music and it would sometimes sound like there was static in the background. Also, the display on the G6 would sometimes show the name of one of my Bluetooth connections on the screen instead of the Always On time. The only way to get it off the screen was to reboot. I was doing this at least once a day. And last but not least, I use a magnetic mount in my car and it would cause the screen to turn off on the phone as soon as I put it on the mount.

      • Daniel July 6, 2017, 8:21 am

        Good reasons. Especially Bluetooth listening. I do a lot of that in my car too.

        Thanks.

  • poqeteer July 7, 2017, 1:07 pm

    Jill, I have a nice Nexus 6 you can buy, lol… It’s still my main driver 🙂

    The Moto Z2 is coming “exclusively” to Verizon (you are on Verizon right?). Looks pretty cool, but only if you are interested in the mod’s I guess.

  • Cornelis Steinitz July 9, 2017, 6:25 am

    Hey Julie, I feel with you. I keep switching from IOS and Android and back. Always testing the best of both worlds and just can’t decide. I agree with you on the moveability of the icons available on Android, it’s something that I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t allow it (jb shows it’s safely possible)!
    The other thing that is wildly easy with Android is the possibility to drag and drop documents, pictures et al on windows machines into the phone without hassles. I am doing this with my current iPhone 7 via an app called AirUSB. Works well via wifi – although not as intuitive.
    I recently bought a Lenovo G5 Plus. The big thing about this one is that it is a dual SIM phone with an SD card slot. BOTH SIM cards are active AND the SD card can be used all at the same time. Almost NO phones can do this anymore. It is essential when you are traveling in Europe – for cheaper price plans and/or work and private phoning – especially when you are based in Switzerland like me (non EU country) and all other countries around you are EU countries (no more roaming charges as of 01.07.2017 in the EU).
    It’s a sturdy phone but it does have lags and quirks.
    Of course I mentioned I switch, so I do carry an iPhone 7 with me as my main phone. Too bad Apple is missing this features. I would also guess they will be dropping behind the more people want these features. I never did understand why phone manufacturers don’t really listen to their users…they could easily make THE killer phone for all of us. Technically it is possible nowadays….
    The positive side of Apple is that, through the extensive software testing and the rigorous guidelines, the software that you use just works! Plain and simple. Android is years behind with lot’s of unstable software.
    I understand your switch, but I am guessing you’ll get bored again with something that just mysteriously and unobstrusively works 😉
    Just one more thing: how in the world do you manage a big phone like that in your daily life?? I’d like to love it, but is so darn BIG!!

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 9, 2017, 12:50 pm

      I’m still enjoying the iPhone 7 Plus. I don’t know if I’m imagining things, but it feels a lot snappier than the LG G6 or my Nexus 6P. I’ve been able to ignore the desire to customize the homescreens, but I’m running into a couple of other limitations that I hope to find a solution for. One is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to automate sending an SMS message. With Android and a Flic button, I was able to have a pre-written text message that I could send at the press of a button. I use it to send Jeanne a quick text when I get home from work. Hopefully, I can find an equally easy way to do this on the iPhone.

  • SCOTT SMITH July 10, 2017, 10:26 am

    Hey Julie, how are you liking notifications on the iPhone compared to Android? I tried an iPhone for about 2 hours and was going crazy from tons of individual notifications instead of bundling them together by app on the lock screen. It seemed like a headache since I get a lot of emails throughout the day for work. Also, not having the notifications at the top of the screen when you’re already in an app and can’t see your home icon’s badges. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seemed once you get used to it?

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 10, 2017, 12:46 pm

      At first, I couldn’t stand the way iOS does notifications, but now I like them. I get a LOT of emails too, so I turned off my Gmail notifications sounds and only have them set to pop up on the lock screen and then disappear.

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