I Played the Amazon Grey Market Smartphone Lottery (and lost)

Big fan of Amazon Prime over here… The free shipping is fantastic, but what seals the deal for yours truly time and time again is the almost-unbelievably generous return policy on every order. I’ve sent back memory cards that I’ve used, cameras that I’ve taken on trips abroad, even shoes that I’ve worn outside. And now, it seems, that I’m about to return this LG G6.

Because I’m a Prime Member I honestly didn’t put a lot of thought into this purchase—in fact, I bought the phone from my phone while wandering around a mall in Vancouver, a pit stop on the way home from Sri Lanka. I was still considering a smartphone purchase for 2017 and this particular G6 seemed to be compatible with Lineage OS, a good sign that it was a modding-friendly device. I dig the “scared robot” look on the back and, more importantly, prefer the idea of a wide-angle second camera over a telephoto one.

The phone arrived in Toronto shortly after I did. It was only then I started paying attention to its specific model number: H870DS, a phone intended for sale in Hong Kong. This revelation brought with it some good news:

This specific phone supports dual SIMs;
There’s 64 GB of storage, an extra 32 GB over North American models;
It’ll work in Asia (obviously), but there’s also Band 7 LTE for my carrier here.

… And unfortunately, a few deal-breakers as well:

There’s no option for an app drawer on LG’s Hong Kong ROM;
I can’t actually unlock the bootloader, let alone install Lineage OS.

I took some photos with it earlier this week, but there’s not much more I can do with the phone beyond that; no unlockable bootloader, no deal. Kind of a shame, really, as there’s a lot to like about the G6.

Has anyone else played the grey market smartphone lottery on Amazon? Feel free to share your experience below…

Link: LG G6 Dual SIM on Amazon Canada

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