Take a guess about what a BlackBerry Priv, Galaxy S7 edge, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Alcatel Idol 4S, a Huawei P9, Honor 8, and an HTC 10 have in common? There an obvious answer that they all are android phones of course, but they all are missing a common feature which is ‘OK Google’ hotword recognition while the screen is off. In fact, this feature is so rarely found on Android devices that you can almost call it a Nexus exclusive. Even then, not all Nexus devices seem to be able to do it. This feature is properly known as “always on.”
The reasons for ‘always on’ being disabled on so many other devices are seemingly myriad - some OEMs claim security issues, others have conflicting products with similar functionality, and some may be limited by the capabilities of their chipsets or a perceived potential for power drain. LG, though, has attempted to follow Google’s lead on this rather handy feature (it worked on the G5 as well).
With Google Assistant and Home on the horizon, the importance of voice commands on your Android phone will likely be going up, not down, in the near future. As such, being able to activate those voice commands while the display is off is certainly going to be a feature that everybody wants. Sure, not everybody uses voice commands, but a lot of people regularly do, especially for alarms, timers, and reminders. It makes your phone feel more like a futuristic personal assistant and less like a handheld internet microphone.
Not many people point it out about the G5 earlier this year, and so when it was still implemented on the V20 (running Nougat, a considerably feather in this phone’s cap), it was a good time for a reminder. So, it seems to be pretty good for LG for doing what so many other manufacturers seem unable - or unwilling - to.