The last year LG debuted G5 – a module smartphone, which should have rocked the world, but, unfortunately, wasn’t destined for success. This failure resulted in losing a big part of market in 2016. Samsung has grown stronger, and Huawei has overtaken LG.
This year sees the rise of a new flagship – LG G6. Unlike before, the Koreans completely abandoned the old ways and started afresh. Before LG wanted to stand out, but in 2017 they are as “normal” as possible. No leather back of LG G4, no modality of LG G5: G6 is as calm and inconspicuous as possibly.
Which doesn’t mean it can’t surprise you, though! I totally can. 5,6 inch screen with unique 18:9 (2:1) ratio is striking and just begs you to take a closer look. This format can become a new standard, but for now G6 has only one competitor – a recently released Samsung S8.
We tested “Ice Platinum” colored G6 with 64 GB of memory, of which we could use about 52 GB.
So, LG G6
The phone was unveiled in the end of this February at MWC 2016 exhibition in Barcelona. It is a high-end phone. On paper, specs look great, but let’s take a closer look.
|SIM-cards number||2 х microSIM|
|OS||Google Android 7.0 + UX 6.0|
|Card slot||microSD up to 2 TB|
|Dimensions||148,9 x 71,9 x 7,9 mm|
|Dust/water proof||Yes (IP68)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 + GPU Adreno 530|
|Primary||13 MP (125 wide angle, f2.4) +13 (standard angle 71degree, f1.8)|
|Frontal camera||5 (f1.8)|
In the box
Unfortunately, we weren’t supplied with the full box, only a test sample. Still, if leading online retailers are to be trusted, in the box you will find:
- A smartphone
- Fast Charge
- Type-C cable
- Clip for inserting Sim
Design and ergonomics
The design here is fairly simple: a sturdy metallic body coupled with different Gorilla Glass types. In front we have Gorilla Glass 3 (same as main camera in the back). Back plate is made of Gorilla Glass 5. The glass nature of the phone means it is a dust and fingerprint magnet, but we’ve grown to accept it as a necessary evil. There are three colors available: cosmic black, ice platinum and mystic white. The white color makes fingerprints almost indistinguishable while on the black model the marks are clearly visible. The “platinum” model is somewhere in the middle.
Unlike previous phones from the G series, LG G6 has a solid body without detachable battery. It’s a small compromise. This new flagship is dust and water proof (PS68) and can be submerged in up to 1 meters of water for more than 30 minutes.
The frontal panel is completely flat. The back panel has some curves which helps its ergonomics – the phone feels great in hand. The phone size is 148,9 x 71,9 x 7,9 mm.
The main difference here is in the width. LG has made the phone longer, but the width remained the same – 72 mm. As a result, holding it is nicer, which is important with 5,7 screen device.
On top there’s an 3,5 mm jack, which isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Below is a USB Type-C port and one speaker. The speaker is quiet – a payback for dust and water protection.
On the right there’s a slot for SIM-card. It accepts 2 nanoSIM cards or one nanoSIM card + microSD. Volume button is on the left. It’s soft and large.
On the back we have dual cameras and power/block-unblock button which also works as a fingerprint scanner. The scanner is not particularly fast; I’d say the speed is adequate. The block of cameras consists of wide angle and standard camera. Between is a LED flash.
Overall, the phone looks good. It feels right at home in your palm and you can be sure it won’t slip out. Not once did I drop it.
Now to the best thing about this smartphone. The screen is 5,7 inch (64,5 x 129 mm); the upper bezel is 11 mm, the left and right – 3,5 mm. The QuadHD+ (1440×2880) display has anti-reflective coating. It boasts 564 pixel per inch and 18:9 (2:1) ratio with IPS matrix. The maximum brightness of white is 400 cd/m2; of black – 0,22 cd/m2. The contrast is 1800:1.
G6 is the first LG smartphone with Dolby Vision and HDR10 technologies for wide dynamic range. The Korean company insists that Dolby Vision and HDR10 are new standards for mobile video and realistic picture thanks to bright backlighting, sharp contrasts and juicy colors. Maybe they’re right, there’s no way of knowing: the content of such quality is rare.
There’s no missed events indicator, and Always-On display is used constantly (but it can be turned off for the night). The battery is hardly drained by this function. You probably won’t even notice.
The screen is peculiar in terms of ratio. 18:9 ratio allows more space for any kind of information, but most third party apps do not support it. Luckily, LG allow us to modify any app, including those downloaded from Google Play.
Normally apps open with black bars on both sides, but it’s easily remedied with couple of swipes.
LG G6 has a separate musical Sabre ESS ES9218 chip. It is a 32 bit two-channel digital to analog converter, which allows for some fantastic sound. A truly impressive sound is clear and crisp.
The pre-installed player doesn’t disappoint, either. It supports FLAC format and aptX HD for transferring lossless music via Bluetooth.
LG G6 has a slot for two nanoSIM. Both support 3G/4G.
Types of networks:
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100;|
|4G bands||LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 20(800), 28(700), 38(2600), 40(2300)|
Otherwise it’s nothing special: Wi-Fi: ac and b/g/n (2,4 GHz / 5 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2 (A2DP, LE, aptX HD), DLNA, hotspot, NFC, GPS and GLONASS.
LG G6 has a dual camera block. The first camera has a standard focus distance, while the second one is wide angle. The left 13MP camera has a wide angle of 125 degrees and f=2.4 diaphragm. The left 13 MP camera has 71 degrees and f=1.8 diaphragm. Both are Sony IMX258 modules. The main camera has optical stabilization and phase autofocus. Unfortunately, no trendy laser focus.
The frontal camera has 5MP sensor and 100° angle of view with f/2.2 diaphragm and fixed focus. No flash. There is, however, the ability to control the shooting with voice and gestures, automatic face recognition and portrait mode. The camera works quite good – detalization, sharpness and color reproduction are spot on.
Now onto the main camera. The quality is outstanding: the balance of white, the color reproduction, there’s little to no noise. The wide angle camera warrants special attention. During the testing I asked myself why would I use it in everyday life, but after some time I found out that it was this mode that I was using the most. Running children, sceneries, large groups of people, buildings and other scenes are all better with wide angle camera. The only problem: the quality is much worse in bad lighting.
Photos during the day
Photos shot indoors
The stretched out screen is also used in the camera app. In LG G6 there’s a special “Square” mode which allows to split the screen into two parts; one part for already made pictures, another for viewfinder. I don’t actually know why would I ever need it; maybe, with due fantasy and dedication, for fun collages.
In terms of video LG G6 is also great. It’s possible to shot in 4K. Also, there’s a manual mode. It’s possible to choose a lot of things: not only ISO and exposure, but also mic sensitivity (the sound is in lossless FLAC stereo). In addition, there’s a wind filter, LCF (Low Cut Filter), LMT settings. The whole set of features is great for recording concerts and avoiding mic stutters.
Performance and OS
LG G6 has Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 with 64 bit Kryo architecture (2 with 2,34 gHZ and 2 with 2 gHZ). Graphics are handled by Adreno 530 accelerator. While most of the new flagships use Snapdragon 835, G6 uses the older processor. It’s more than enough for its tasks – the games run on highest of settings. Still, there are some problems with energy consumption: technological process in Snapdragon 821 is 14 nm while in new Snapdragon 835 it’s 10 nm. The body heats up when the phone is using its power to the max, but not too much.
The OS here is Android 7.0 with LG UX 6.0 shell with the new version of the user interface. The new UX 6.0 is great for customization. It’s possible to change everything from themes to icons and the grid size.
Among curious features are the pre-installed junk cleaner, the tool for recording calls and a trashcan for reviving the previously deleted data. The system supports widgets, different animation modes and desktops.
LG G6 has a non-detachable 3300 mAh battery. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. With active use the phone will live from morning till evening. In normal use G6 will live until the next day’s lunch.
In HD mode (while watching movies) the battery will work for 8 hours. You can play games uninterrupted for 4 hours and play music on maximum volume for 45 hours.
Quick Charge 3.0 is supported. 5V, 2A will charge the phone in 2,5 hours. With Quick Charge it’s possible to charge G6 in 1 hour 10 minutes.
The last years were not successful for LG. They desperately needed G6. Finally, they are back to the basics, focused on how to create a durable universal device. I think they succeeded.
LG F6 is a powerful smartphone with exceptional camera, nice battery and great features. The 18:9 display is in the center of the new visual image which helps to create a novel user experience. With all that, the smartphone is on a completely new level. And what’s most important, LG have proved that big display doesn’t mean big phone.
The only thing that bugs me is a fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. It’s slow and suffers from false response. It’s a problem in an otherwise great phone.
The LG G6’s direct competition is Samsung Galaxy S8, which is a bit newer. Galaxy S8 has better specs, but it’s also a lot more expensive.
Recommended: Samsung Galaxy S8 review
2017 is a great year for Android smartphones. Samsung and LG showed us the best they’ve got. The new models are a new standard for phones to come. Now everyone will look at these phones and try to do one better. It will be very interesting to look at new developments on mobile market. Now it’s Apple’s turn…
• Materials’ quality
• Quiet speaker