Why the LG V10 is still in my gear bag two years later
Great audio chops and being built to withstand the apocalypse makes the V10 the one phone I'm holding on to.
I've never used a phone more than a year. Before I came to work for Mobile Nations I got a new BlackBerry every year (except for a miserable affair with a Palm Pre) and nowadays I seem to change phones at least two or three times a year. But the LG V10 is still charged and in my carrying-around bag.
Changing phones stops being fun after the first 20 or so times.
And I still use it quite a bit. I love the way it's built with the rubber textured back and solid steel frame but that's not why I keep it around. Neither is the woefully old software the reason. I just love the way it sounds.
I carry three phones counting the V10, and even I think that's a bit ridiculous. But like everyone ever in the history of consumer electronics, I can't find the one thing that's perfect for everything. The Pixel 2 is what I use for any work stuff. We need to know what happens with Android from Google and how things work before another company gets in there and changes, fixes, or breaks things. It's also a really damn good phone and would be my choice if I had to pick just one.
I also carry my BlackBerry KEYone in case I actually have to do anything more than type out a short and typo-filled message. Any BlackBerry fan will tell you that the right keyboard can be a lifesaver if you need to do a lot of work with your phone, and now that a great BlackBerry keyboard phone is part of the Android ecosystem it's pretty damn wonderful.
But neither of these phones nor any other new phone I have here plays my music the way the V10 plays my music. The HTC 10 did, but because it's not built like a weapon of mass destruction it didn't survive as long as the V10 has. And the V10 sounds even better now than it did when I first got it. Like many music players or stereo parts, it got even better with a little age after the parts burned in a bit. I'm not exactly sure why that works the way it does, so I chalk it up to dust being magical. But it works like that. But I do know that the V10 is the best music player and fun device I've ever had and neither of its successors nor any other phone since comes close.
The V10 is the best music player I've ever had. And my wife would be quick to mention that I've had too many of them.
Besides playing the tunes the way I like them to be played, the V10 has a great camera, records sound better than any other phone I've tried, and is as connected as every other Android device. I often think that some company (looking at you, Samsung) needs to make a good music player that has Google Play support but doesn't need to be imported from Japan for $1,000. But really, that's exactly what my V10 is. Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest of the apps we love are there along with every streaming service and premium audio support. It's better than a good PMP because it can double as a phone if I wanted it to.
I know it's not going to last forever. If I get lucky and never meet Mr. Bootloop I reckon I can get a couple more years out of it. I just hope someone makes a replacement that I like as well between now and then.
I can't be the only one hanging on to some old phone because it makes a great second-duty device. At least I hope I'm not. Holler at me if you're doing something similar and keeping an old phone around because it's so damn good at a few things.