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LG G6 Review – LG Makes a Modern Smartphone

As LG’s flagship phone for 2017, the LG G6 leaves the modular attachments behind in favor of a traditional smartphone form. In short, no more gimmicks. On top of that, we also get a solid dual camera setup for the rear shooter. But will this be enough to solidify LG as a serious player in the market of 2017?

What’s inside the LG G6 box?

  • LG G6 unit (1 pc.)
  • Travel Charger (1 pc.)
  • USB-C cord (1 pc.)
  • SIM card port opener (1 pc.)

Design and Construction

The first notable difference with the G6 lies in how it abandoned the modular design of the G5. I for one, think of it as a good thing, especially since LG can now design phones based on what’s trending and popular for the season.

Nowadays, phones are getting thinner and thinner, and the G6 follows suit.  However, when comparing it to its direct flagship competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S8, it’s actually thicker. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that if the Galaxy S8 will set the standard for thickness and weight for future phones, the LG G6 misses the bar. Comparatively, the G6 feels heavier than the Galaxy S8. All in all though, the G6 is just fine in my eyes.

Comparing it to the LG G5, the G6 truly looks like a premier flagship. The premium feel is undeniable, from the clean shimmer of its glass-like build, to the button placement choices and general aesthetic. Additionally, the screen on the G6 got larger, thanks to smaller, thinner bezels, allowing for a 5.7-inch screen without actually making the phone bigger. By comparison, the G5 only had a 5.3-inch display due to thicker bezels. Overall, the G6 benefits from having the freedom to pursue a slightly modified design like the larger screen size, because it no longer has to worry about modular attachments.

In terms of button placement, the LG G6 goes for choices that feel familiar. Firstly, it carries over the back power/lock button that stems all the way from the G3, while also adding a fingerprint sensor. Users on the go should find this helpful. Now, they can unlock their phone by simply moving their finger to the sensor. My only gripe is that the fingerprint sensor acts a little too sensitively, which can cause some accidental unlocks every now and then.

Alongside this fingerprint sensor/power button would be the two rear cameras. One, 13-megapixels, and the other, a 13-megapixel wide angle lens, and together they form the main camera. This is a marked improvement from the G5, which had a 16-megapixel camera, plus an 8-megapixel wide angle lens.

Secondly, the volume buttons go on the left side of the phone, versus devices that place them either on the right, or on the back.  Not a bad choice overall, as right-handed people may find it more comfortable to adjust volume using their pointer finger instead of their thumb. Meanwhile, the right side of the phone has the SIM card holder, the top has the headphone jack, and the bottom has the USB-C port and the speaker grill.

OS, UI, Apps

I have to say that the UI feels smooth and you barely have to wait for apps to load. In addition, the UI and icons look lively, with colors that pop. The 18:9 quad HD display adds to this by allowing app icons and on-screen text to be readable and distinguishable no matter how small it is. Honestly, I didn’t always need to pick up the G6 to see what exactly was on the screen. The fonts and images remained crisp and clear even from a certain distance.

When the device is locked, LG also adds a nice touch by letting you still see the battery life, time, and date even if the screen is asleep. This eliminates the need to open the phone’s display just to check the time. In its own way, this makes the G6 just a little more convenient to use than other phones.

It’s also worth noting that the LG G6 software lays its foundations on Android 7 Nougat.  However, LG doesn’t really bring anything completely different to the base Nougat experience. We get some nice tidbits like Smart Bulletin and a universal search feature, but for the most part it doesn’t stray away from the Nougat experience. Overall, nothing overly impressive and nothing totally horrible.

Camera

The cameras have improved since the G5, with additional changes to make sure that the camera setup truly catches the eye of the everyday consumer. LG keeps the dual camera setup for the G6, with both cameras clocking in at 13-megapixels. On top of that, the G6 adds optical image stabilisation, a f/1.8 aperture, and a wider field of view.

Interested buyers will be glad to hear that the G6 rear cameras produce images with rich detail and a decent range of colors. There’s a small problem with changes in color temperature when switching between the camera sensors, but I’d say most consumers either won’t notice or won’t care.  Speaking of switching between sensors, I’m impressed by the smooth transition between the two, making it feel like there’s been one sensor the entire time.

For pictures taken in low light, the f/1.8 aperture might save you from taking a low-quality pic. The LG G6 does its best to keep image noise as low as possible, and to produce as much detail as it can within darker settings. For the front snapper, we get a simple 5-megapixel selfie-taker. Obviously, not a phone meant for social media, but rather, a phone that might attract budding photographers. The LG G6 just has enough power in its main camera to match other modern flagships.

LG G6 sample photos:

100% cropped

Performance and Benchmarks

The lightning-fast transition between apps can be attributed to the  Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 2.35 GHz and 1.6 GHz Quad-Core Custom 64-bit Qualcomm Kryo processors that run the device. In totality, it’s a step up from the G5’s Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Quad-core (2.15 GHz Kryo & 1.6 GHz Kryo). While 2.35 GHz sounds like a small upgrade from the 2.15 GHz, the actual experience feels like it’s leagues better. For the internal memory, on the other hand, the G6 sticks to 4GB RAM, same as the G5. Not a bad choice overall as 4GB RAM still proves to be a contender in the 2017 market.

When compared to competing flagships, however, the G6 feels like a slight step down.  For example, the Samsung Galaxy S8 runs on the Snapdragon 835. Don’t get me wrong though, an 821 should be more than enough for almost any user. However, some smartphone fanatics might not feel justified having a PHP 30,000-plus phone with an 821 instead of an 835.

Here are some benchmark numbers for the LG G6:

  • AnTuTu – 129870
  • 3DMark (Slingshot Extreme) – 1895
  • Quadrant Standard –

To sum it up, with the benchmark scores, specs, and actual performance in mind, the LG G6 can hold up a candle to its competitors, but it doesn’t necessarily blow them away. Still, it gets a plus from me for being an improvement over the G5.

Battery Life

What excites me most, surprisingly, is the increased battery life. At 3,300mAh, the G6 theoretically should last longer than the 2,800mAh G5 battery. This time, its IP68 design works against the G6, as it now has to rely on a non-removable battery. Now, theoretically, this shouldn’t be a problem as the larger battery should leave users satisfied.

In practice, I can confidently say that it does deliver.  At 100% brightness with Wi-Fi on, it lasted quite a long time, over ten hours at most with moderate use. Interestingly, streaming video continuously yields similar results, with the G6 lasting me around 10 hours as well, albeit with the brightness at half.

The G6 takes USB Type-C cords and is pre-packed with its own charger.  It supports Quick Charge 3, and in reality, this means you can go from 0 to 100% in little over an hour (1 hour, 15 minutes to be exact). If you’re used to having devices that charge normally, the LG G6 should feel like something from the future.

Conclusion

The worst thing you could say about the G6 is that it brings only incremental upgrades to a device that runs on guts that might be outdated.  In my opinion, though, you’d be wrong.  I’m looking at the G6 in comparison to its older sibling the G5, and I have to say, LG knows how to make a flagship phone now. While the specs are decent at best, LG banks on a great dual-lens rear camera, a fast-charging battery, and a gorgeous design to win over new fans.

The price point vis-a-vis the hardware might be a dealbreaker for some, but those who’ve been waiting for LG to rise again  will find that the G6 truly deserves to be called an LG flagship. In my opinion, this is a great choice if you’re in the market for a flagship with a good main camera and a clear display.

POSITIVES

+ Great dual-lens rear camera setup
+ Beautiful outer design
+ Departure from modular design a great choice
+ Long battery life
+ Good UI design in general
+ Smallest bezels on an LG phone, ever
+ Display ratio allows for larger screen size on a smaller phone

NEGATIVES

– High price point for older hardware specs
– Sensitive fingerprint sensor
– Front camera is a bit underwhelming
– Thicker in size than certain competitors (ex. the Galaxy S8)

 

LG G6 Specs

OSAndroid 7.0 (Nougat)
Processor2.35GHz Snapdragon 821 with Adreno 530 GPU
Memory4GB
Display5.7-inch display with a 2880u00d71440-pixel resolution at 564ppi
StorageExpandable 32GB on-board storage up to 2TB
Camera13-megapixel and 13-megapixel wide rear cameras + 5-megapixel front camera
SIMDual-SIM
Battery3,300mAh
Weight162g
Dimensions148.9 x 71.97 .x 7.9 mm
Others18:9 screen ratio, wireless charging, IP68
Resolution2880 x 1440

More photos of the LG G6:

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