Much of the world has been anticipating the LG G6, especially after the company promised to ditch modules and create something truly innovative. Despite all the hype LG has been building around the G6, it still doesn’t quite feel up to par. Aside from a design refresh, it’s much of the same we’ve been seeing for years from the company. It’s unfortunate but true. Though, that doesn’t make the G6 a ‘bad’ choice.
So, what’s the LG G6 all about? Find out below.
In the mobile industry, competition is fierce. There’s so many companies and brands all fighting to get into consumers’ hands. LG is, of course, one of those companies and was doing great ever since they really got competitive with the LG G2. But, with the G4, innovation slowed and got even worse with the G5. Since then, the company has been missing sales goals and facing internal struggles. The LG G5 was a good phone, but the modularity didn’t catch on with consumers.
Now, LG is back with the G6, focusing on a premium design and usability. They really are focusing on making this a premium phone, too. It’s got a glass body, aluminum frame and curved edges. Putting all that together, the LG G6 is a looker. The hope is that this will catch on much better with consumers than the G5 did, and with launching before the Galaxy S8, the company was hoping to beat Samsung to the game with a head start.
Let’s see how the LG G6 fairs, shall we?
It goes without saying, the LG G6 is one of the most beautiful devices you’ll ever hold. The company did something extremely right here. The review unit we received came in a platinum color. It really stands out, and the glass back truly makes it shine. LG is actually using Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 for it’s glass back, which makes some seriously bold claims:
“Corning Gorilla Glass 5 raises the bar for protection against drops higher than ever, surviving 1.6-meter drops onto rough surfaces up to 80% of the time. Plus, even though it’s our toughest cover glass yet, it still delivers the damage resistance, optical clarity, and touch sensitivity Gorilla® Glass is famous for.”
It might be some seriously tough glass, but there’s a huge downside to this glass design, and that’s all the imperfections it’s going to receive. Let me tell you: it’s very easily scratched. Even with just laying the phone on its back on a desk, the phone has quite a few little imperfections on the back. And really, that’s just the nature of glass — it looks beautiful, it’s a solid material, but it scratches easily. They’re probably less noticeable on the black variant of the phone but most noticeable with the white.
Beside that, the LG G6 sports an aluminum frame as well as curved corners. Cosmetically, they look great on the phone, but they serve a practical use, too — better protection against drops. Normally, when you have a sharp edge, when you drop the device, all that force is focused on that point, thus increasing your chances of breaking the screen. But, with the curved edges, when you drop the phone, the force is spread across a larger area, reducing your chances of breaking and damaging the display.
Around the back of the device, there’s a fingerprint scanner, which also doubles as the power button. Directly above that is your dual-camera setup with the LED flash. At the bottom of the phone, you have your speaker and USB-C port. And, despite the trend of getting rid of the 3.5mm audio jack, the LG G6 retains it; however, it’s sitting at the very top of the phone.
On the sides of the device, all you have is your SIM card tray and up/down volume buttons.
The LG G6 actually feels good in the hand. It is slippery, but still comfortable. Comfort in the hand was a worry for some, since the device is a lot taller than most; however, it feels perfect, even with one-handed use. It’s not the lightest device you’ll hold either, and that’s a good thing — it’s a very quality construction, it doesn’t feel cheap at all. As for button placement, it all feels very natural. You have your usual volume buttons on the side, which are easy to access without too much work. The fingerprint scanner/power button is also in a nice spot, as that’s the area where your index finger rests when holding the phone, so that’s also easy to access as well — it’s all a very comfortable experience.
|Announced||February 26, 2017|
|Display||5.7-inch (2880x1440) FullVision|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|Rear Camera||13MP + 13MP w/ wide-angle lens|
|Charging||USB-C with Quick Charge 3.0 and wireless charging|
|Software||Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC|
|Sensors||Ambient, proximity, accelerometer, gyro, compass, barometer, fingerprint|
|Measurements||148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm|
|Colors||Astro Black, Mysitc White, Ice Platinum|
The LG G6 has a 5.7-inch Quad HD+ (2880×1440) IPS LCD display with 564 pixels per inch. It does have an interesting aspect ratio — 18:9. It’s something we haven’t seen on a device like this before. Obviously it makes the device a little taller, but as we already mentioned, it still feels comfortable in the hand. The design is actually quite incredible — there’s a lot of screen on this already fairly slim and low profile device. It’s not nearly as much as the Samsung Galaxy S8, but you still get an impressive 78.6% screen-to-body ratio.
The LG G6’s display is one of the best in the industry right now. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Viewing angles are great on the phone, and with adjusting brightness levels, you can see and use the phone just fine in direct sunlight. Text is sharp and easy-to-read and media looks as crisp as can be. It’d be a challenge to go back to a lesser quality display after using the LG G6.
The LG G6’s performance package is fairly impressive as far as performance goes. You get a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM and storage options of either 32GB or 64GB. If you need more storage, there’s a microSD card to expand the stock storage up to 256GB. The phone works well with multitasking. It’s able to handle anything you throw at it. You’re getting more than enough power out of the Snapdragon 821.
The performance package is kind of disappointing from an expectation standpoint. For a flagship, you’d expect to see the latest and greatest hardware packed inside. Instead of using the latest Snapdragon 835 processor for the phone, the LG G6 uses last year’s technology. It’s not too much of a complaint — the Snapdagon 821 performs just fine — but when you consider that the Galaxy S8, a phone the LG G6 is directly competing against, has the latest Snapdragon 825, it’s a little disappointing and might be a deciding factor for some consumers.
There’s plenty of sensors and accessories that come with the phone, too — Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 (not Bluetooth 5.0, mind you), GPS, NFC, and then your accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass and barometer sensors.
One of the more unfortunate areas of the LG G6 is the sound. In the US, you don’t get the higher quality quad-DAC setup — that’s an exclusive to LG’s home country, Korea. We didn’t have a Korean model to test, but supposedly, it’s leagues better than the sound packed in the LG G6 in the US; however, the sound in the US model isn’t too bad, but the primary complaint is that it doesn’t get very loud, so it can be a struggle to hear certain dialog or lyrics, depending on what type of media you’re watching or listening to.
The battery is pretty standard. You get a 3300mAh non-removable battery and, just like any other phone, you’ll get about a day’s use out of it. But, when it comes down to it, depends on how much you use the phone. During my personal use, I still had a substantial amount of battery life left in the evening, but I’m no power user. Battery is always one of those things where your mileage may vary.
On a WiFi connection, I left it playing video at 720p until it died. It lasted about four hours, so you can expect to get around that with straight media, although it still depends on your media quality and other things going on in the background of your phone. There is a number of battery saving features that will help keep your phone going until you can put it on the wire.
I’ve always felt that LG has nailed their software. There’s always been some parts where they could’ve improved, but for the most part, LG UX is a great interface. With the LG G6, there’s some serious improvement with the interface, although you may not notice if you’ve used the LG G5 or even the LG V20. The company has also made some good improvements to bloatware — many of the apps actually feel useful now. One app LG has added to the G6 is an app that lets you adjust how other apps fit and scale with the 18:9 display — there’s quite a bit you can adjust to get the most natural looking experience; however, I didn’t feel a need to use it at all. Apps already look great on the screen, and that might be because Google has already been encouraging developers to offer support for 18:9 displays.
It’s worth noting that, depending on whether you get a carrier model or not, there’s going to be a lot of carrier bloatware included. So, there is that to think of when deciding to buy from a carrier or somewhere else. Still, the software itself is extremely fast and responsive. There’s little to no sluggishness here.
A good portion of the changes come in design, primarily when it comes to wallpapers and icons. Some of the new wallpapers actually look gorgeous, as they’re designed to take advantage of the new 18:9 display on the LG G6.
What is nice is that the phone ships with Android 7.0 Nougat, the latest Android version. You won’t be waiting around to get Nougat like much of the phones out there still are. A huge benefit as well is that the LG G6 is one of the few phones to integrate Google Assistant as well. Google has rolled out Assistant to compatible devices, but it works like a dream on the LG G6.
The LG G6 comes with two 13MP cameras on the rear. If you’ve used the LG G5 or LG V20, it’s much of the same we’ve already seen. There is a megapixel difference between the LG G5 — it had a 16MP primary camera and an 8MP wide angle lens. The G6 has a 13MP primary camera and 13MP wide angle sensor, but quality wise, it’s the same situation.
Quality is extremely disappointing. Unless you have absolutely perfect lighting, photos look blurry/fuzzy and they almost have a grainy look to them. The front-facing camera is even worse. It’s a 5MP sensor, but it’s extremely fuzzy.
There’s many that say the camera is excellent — but my experience has been different. Photos do come out fuzzy and under exposed, even in perfect lighting. This is before and after trying to adjust settings to make the camera quality better, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t get any better.
There’s quite an array of Camera features that come with it — the usual that you’d expect: panorama, filter options, options for the wide-angle camera and so on.
All in all, for a flagship, it’s extremely disappointing and not acceptable. This phone should be absolutely perfect or close to it, but there’s still tons of room for improvement.
LG gets some things right with the G6 — you get an absolutely stunning display and a masterful design, but they drop the ball in many other areas. This is supposed to be LG’s flagship phone for the year, but it feels like it’s just LG playing catch up. We get the same low-quality camera setup that dates back all the way to the LG G5. There’s some serious quality problems with it, none of which LG has even addressed yet. You also don’t get the latest Snapdragon 835 processor or the latest Bluetooth version. Not only that, but the front-facing camera is just awful — there’s no excuse for it.
These might seem like small things to pick at, but when you look at the LG G6’s biggest competitor — the Galaxy S8 — LG dropped the ball in a lot of areas.. The Galaxy S8 gets all of these things right, even if it took them a little while longer to launch this year.
So, should you pick up an G6 this year? It’s totally up to your preferences, but there’s a lot of areas where the Galaxy S8 already bests the LG G6. You are getting one of the most beautiful displays on the market, but that’s the same story for the Galaxy S8.
All in all, LG took one step forward by getting rid of the modules but two steps back by not putting out the best it could. Once again, it’s a year of LG playing catch up.