Some of you may recall that LG G4 review I posted earlier, where I recommended the G4 due to its camera, overall performance and flexibility. Well, shortly after the review was published, that particular unit featured in the review fell victim to the now-pretty-significant bootloop issue that has been affecting many G4 units, predominantly those manufactured before September or October. While hardware issues with some batches of devices aren’t uncommon (Samsung had an issue with the eMMC chip on some Galaxy S3 batches, for example and Apple had some cloudy cameras on some iPhone 6 Plus units), LG’s issue is far more serious and complex because it affects multiple batches and can fail at any time without any prior warning in most cases.
It isn’t at all surprising that LG has been lax on communication for some time. Clearly, they are trying to identify the issue and thinking of what is the best thing to say to customers. My thoughts on this, however, is that perhaps LG should come out with a preliminary statement, like “We are aware of a serious malfunction involving the LG G4 smartphone that may cause the phone to be completely inoperable. We are attempting to diagnose the issue and will update if any are available. In the meantime, do backup your data and contact LG Support if you have any questions“.
Some G4 owners have started a petition that went past the 1000 signatures mark after a short period of time. Due to the petition (or media pressure, or maybe both), LG has admitted that the G4’s sudden failure was due to a hardware fault and customers who have an affected unit will have it repaired under warranty without hesitation. The statement says;
“LG Electronics has been made aware of a booting issue with the LG G4 smartphone that has now been identified as resulting from a loose contact between components. Customers who are experiencing booting issues with their LG G4s should contact their local carrier from where the G4 was purchased or a nearby LG Service Center () for repair under full warranty.
Customers who purchased their G4 devices from non-carrier retailers should contact an LG Service Center with the understanding that warranty conditions will differ. LG Electronics is committed to providing the highest standards of product quality and customer service and apologizes for the inconvenience caused to some of our customers who initially received incorrect diagnoses.”
Given that LG has now come forth with the issue and has identified the culprit, repairs should be final and the problem should be solved once and for all. But some feel that LG hasn’t done enough.
Given how there’s a fairly significant number of G4s failing out there, it would perhaps make sense for LG to launch some sort of “replacement program” where customers who have suspect devices can go to an authorized service center or retail store to have their potentially defective device replaced with a newer, non-defective one under warranty. Sure, it might put a dent in LG’s reputation, but some feel that allowing customers to replace their unit with ample time to spare before it occurs will leave a better impression of the company than if it fails before a replacement can be acquired.
As for me, my G4 failed shortly after the review. Thankfully, as some friends have notified me of the potential issue when it wasn’t so serious, I have made not one but two full system backups onto my SD card just in case the worst should occur, although at the time, I thought it was an isolated issue. Got it to the store where I purchased it from and they would repair it under warranty. 1.5-weeks later without an ETA and I went back to the same store asking if I could replace it with a brand-new phone. I could (as long as it’s the same model as the phone I’m replacing it with). So I currently have a new LG G4, manufactured much later in December, runs Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box, and after a restore using LG Backup, is back at where my old G4 was before it died a death it did not deserve.
For closing thoughts, the LG G4’s bootloop issue shows that while LG seems to have taken care of the issue at first glance, some of us felt that the issue could have been better managed. And this issue would have undoubtedly dealt a blow to LG’s image and reputation in terms of quality control, as some buyers and customers are now weary of future products and whether a similar issue would occur in the new future (hence, why I thought of acquiring an XPERIA Z5 as I was afraid that the replacement G4 would fail in the future). With the launch of the LG G5 on February 21st incoming, let’s hope LG has learnt their lesson with the G4’s issues and ensured that the G5 doesn’t suffer from (as many) issues as the G4 (and whatever issues it might have, let’s just hope they’re minor nitpicks).