LG G6 Official review
Despite several attempts to shake things up over the years, LG has arguably yet to find its groove. While the company has produced a number of unique flagship designs, none of them have ever really managed to win the hearts of the masses. The LG G3 introduced quad-HD displays, the G4 shipped with quirky leather backs, and last year’s G5 went with a modular design. For the G6, LG is focusing on cramming a large display in a small body.
The LG G6 still retains some elements of last year’s design language especially when it comes to rear camera and fingerprint placement but the company has brought a ton of refinements to the design, including a swap in materials, going from metal to a glass and metal clad design. This time LG is less interested in attempting to push new ideas and more about refining its design and hardware. Specifically, the LG G6 really pushes things forward in the audio and display game.
Features of LG G6 Official review
LG G6 design and build
The LG G5 saw a major change in direction from the LG G4 and its predecessors, ditching the company’s strategy of cramming all the keys on the back in favor a more conventional side button layout. The G6 boasts an 18:9 screen, expanding the display from the traditional confines of 16:9. This leaves it with a 5.7in Quad HD display. It looks seriously good. The refined design is simpler and more elegant, with the dual rear cameras and fingerprint sensor that acts as the power/lock button sitting flush with the body. The bottom edge houses the USB-C port, single speaker and mic. The standby switch, with a fingerprint pad tucked inside, can still be found on the rear of the handset. However, unlike many phones that use capacitive pads, this switch actually depresses and offers decent feedback. The black, white and silvery-blue colours lack imagination, and the glass-backed design with metal sides has become almost cliche.
LG G6 Display
The display is a 5.7in Quad HD display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 it’s stunning. The extra pixels on that first figure are to account for the 18:9 aspect ratio, which you will get used to much quicker than you might think. The display’s colours are accurate, details are sharp and viewing angles are good too. Even the contrast is impressive for an LCD panel which, while still not as inky black as AMOLED, is enough to offer plenty of depth to video. It’s a brilliant display. This is to positive effect, and we found that everything from homescreen swipes to typing long messages was a joy on the larger display. There was a lot of room for error here, but in terms of pure presentation, LG has absolutely nailed it.
LG G6 Performance
Considering my review unit is a pre-production unit, I’ll benchmark the G6’s performance in more detail once I’ve had a play with a European retain unit. As was heavily rumoured, the LG G6 uses last year’s Snapdragon 821 CPU looks like Samsung did snap up those initial runs of the 835 with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of basic storage. There’s a microSD slot, but I’d have much preferred to see 64GB as the starting point.
LG G6 Cameras
The LG G5 impressed us with its dual camera setup that enabled wide-angle shots. The G6 retains this, with two 13Mp rear facing cameras. The wide-angle lens offers a 125-degree angle and the standard has optical image stabilisation. The latter offers that GoPro-like wide-angle shot that looks great. LG has worked with Qualcomm to pluck some of the dual-camera smarts from the 835 CPU to implement them here in the 821. These cameras can record up to 60fps at full HD quality, and in ultra HD at 30fps. HDR support is only for still images, not video, but this is quite usual for smartphones even the high-end ones. Low-light images are free of noise, however, and if the light is bright you can get some really fantastic shots. There’s a fairly standard 5-megapixel camera for selfies and, of course, 4K video recording is supported as well.
LG G6 software
The updated user interface features a refreshing new look with natural and vivid colors which can be seen throughout many of the apps and the included set of wallpapers. Due to the unique screen size, LG found it could basically divide the interface into two grid squares that come together seamlessly, and so you’ll notice this ‘grid-like’ setup in a lot of LG’s apps. This is another one of LG’s apps that have been updated to take advantage of the 2:1 aspect ratio. LG has used the extra horizontal space available to offer previews of multiple shots that you’ve taken, instead of the single latest one that is available with most other camera apps.
LG G6 Battery life and Sound
Also likely to annoy is the fact that the battery is no longer removable. Instead, it’s a fixed 3,300mAh cell stuck behind the glass. There’s no wireless charging that’s exclusive to the US and nor will Quad Hi-Fi DAC feature for improved sound quality. Sadly, the latter is available only on the Korean model. My review unit is of US origin, so has the wireless charging support and it matches the S7 for recharge speed when docked without wires.