Kunal KhullarApr 24, 2017 18:47:53 IST
After facing a tough time selling its modular smartphone concept with the G5 last year, LG dropped the idea of making another modular flagship smartphone. Instead it chose to look at what the consumers want, or at least that's what the company says. The new LG G6 is a complete redesign and more on the lines of the V20 from last year. It offers a glossy uni-body design, a large display and super thin bezels.
The G6 is officially here in India and I got my hands on the new flagship. Here is what I think.
Build and design
Like most flagship smartphones, LG has gone with a glass and metal combination for the G6. Notably the smartphone offers Gorilla Glass 5 on the back, Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and a Gorilla Glass 4 covering the camera. The handset is also IP68 certified and according to LG it has gone through 14 military grade tests. I have to admit, it does feel really solid. But that doesn't guarantee the fact that the handset can't shatter if you drop it on a hard surface.
The most prominent design feature of the LG G6 is how the company has implemented the display. LG has cut corners (bezels) to accommodate a 5.7-inch display on a body that feels as big as a 5.2-incher. The overall design is appealing, but the handset is a bit thick at 7.9 mm and is not the lightest flagship either. The finish is glossy but even with my sweaty hands I could use the handset comfortably without having it slip through my fingers.
There is a fingerprint scanner at the back which doubles up as the power button, which I somehow like. The USB Type-C port, the loudspeaker and the microphone sit at the bottom edge. The headphone jack sits on the top while the volume rocker keys are on the left. A hybrid SIM tray has been placed on the right side.
The LG G6 offers a solid design and way better than its predecessor. Even though every other smartphone maker is implementing a glass and metal construction, the G6 seems to stand out with its super slim bezels and that tall display.
Measuring at 5.7-inches, the display panel is an IPS LCD with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels. This isn't a conventional QHD resolution thus you get a screen ratio of 18:9 and a high pixel density of 561 ppi. Like I mentioned above, the bezels are really thin and according to LG the display covers almost 80 percent of the front. Even with that size, it is somewhat possible to use the handset with just one hand. Also, like the Samsung Galaxy S8, it allows for better use of real estate especially when using the split screen mode.
The always-on display feature makes a comeback and LG has incorporated Dolby Vision technology making it the first handset to come with this feature. Basically the overall contrast and color gamut are boosted for a more vivid and sharper picture. It is also HDR10 compliant so content from Amazon Prime, Netflix and others is expected to arrive soon.
Colours and brightness on the display felt pretty good and honestly, the implementation of that display gets a thumbs up from my side.
Chipset, Storage and RAM
The G6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset with a quad-core processor (two 2.35 GHz and two 1.6 GHz Kryo cores). This is a flagship SoC from last year, which means either LG didn't get their hands on the new Snapdragon 835 or just couldn't wait for Samsung to launch the Galaxy S8. The chipset also features an Adreno 530 GPU and 4 GB of RAM.
The smartphone is being offered with 64 GB of inbuilt storage which can be further expanded using the hybrid SIM card tray allowing to add microSD card of up to 2 TB.
OS and Software
The handset runs on Android 7.0 Nougat layered with LG's UX 6.0 UI. This is a bump up from last year's user interface although it looks typical LG. You get colorful icons, a customised settings menu and a lot more. LG didn't say much about the UI during the launch event and I only managed to skim through it for a few minutes. It felt stable and smooth. The OS also comes with Google Assistant on-board making it one of the few handsets apart from the Pixel and Pixel XL to get the new virtual assistant.
LG boarded the dual-camera bandwagon last year with its G5 and then improved that on the V20. The LG G6 yet again uses the same camera implementation. At the back there are two 13 MP cameras, one with an f/1.8 aperture, OIS, phase detection auto focus and the other with 13 MP f/2.4 aperture. One of the lenses is wide angled offering a 125-degree field of view. There is also a dual-LED flash. On the front there is a 5 MP sensor again with a 100-degree field of view.
The cameras are quite good especially when it comes to area coverage. As for the quality, it didn't feel as good as a Pixel or the iPhone 7 Plus, but it is definitely has the flagship potential. LG has also added a variety of features in the camera app which needs thorough testing to see if they are actually any good.
Battery and connectivity
To juice up the G6, there is a 3,300 mAh battery inside and with support for Quick Charge 3.0, one can charge the battery from zero to 50 percent in 30 minutes. LG hasn't mentioned the battery backup, but there is something called a game battery saver feature. LG also claims that the Dolby Vision mode saves up to 15 percent more battery.
As for connectivity, you get support for 4G LTE with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with DLNA and hotspot, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, USB Type-C with OTG support, and of course a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The G6 seems to be a promising handset. LG has taken the right step by going for a conventional design. The display with those slim bezels is gorgeous, maybe not as slick as the Galaxy S8, but certainly one of the best 'flat' display on a smartphone. There are updates in the camera department as well especially the software, which could attract photography enthusiasts.
As for the performance and overall experience, I need more than just a couple of hours with the handset. However LG has managed to impress me. The smartphone is priced at Rs 51,999 and is being offered with some really interesting offers including a cashback of Rs 10,000 on Amazon.in.
Stay tuned for our full review.
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