LG G6 Review : An Underrated 2017 Flagship

LG G6LG’s flagship G Series handsets haven’t been performing well, especially for the last 3 years. I personally didn’t find any good smartphone from LG after the G2. LG G4 was reaching out for it, but it somehow couldn’t perform as a package. The modular design adoption in the LG G5 was not precepted well by the public and as a result its wide-angle smartphone camera was left underrated because there was nothing else to appreciate. This year LG launched its next iteration called the LG G6. Though it looks like LG learnt from its mistakes in the past but with not so impressive specs for 2017, do you think G6 will be able to compete in the flagship league? Let’s find out.

Design

LG G6
The biggest change I believe LG has done this year has been with the design. Comparing with the predecessors with modular fail and faux rear, this time the design is very traditional. Its a rectangular slab of 7.9mm thickness with curved glass back and a flat front. Sealed from all ends which means non-removable battery and unibody design, the handset is made of glass and metal all around. Between two glass layers, Gorilla Glass 5 at the back and Gorilla Glass 3 on the front there is a metal frame adjusted between which gives a rigid structure to the smartphone. This also allows the smartphone to be IP68 certified which proofs its water and shock resistance.

LG G6
The rear has a curved glass finish with a robotic face arrangement with the cameras and fingerprint sensor which doubles as a power button. The back is otherwise clean but the platinum color which we have as a review unit has a brushed texture to it.

The front is very neatly done. 18:9 5.7-inch display is adjusted in the middle with very narrow bezels on the top and bottom. The front-top also houses a 5MP front-facing camera along with the proximity sensor and earpiece.

LG G6
The bottom edge has speaker grille, microphone and USB Type C port whereas the top houses the 3.5mm audio jack with a secondary microphone. Left has a pair of tactile volume buttons and the right edge is clean.

LG G6
All in all, the design this time is a lot more ergonomic and we believe people would love to use it.

LG G6 Specifications

LG G6
LG G6 is this year’s flagship handset though it still gets powered by early 2017 specifications. This totally looks like an immature step by LG but if we hear what they have to say in defence it somehow looks OKAY. Its specifications are listed below.

  • Dimensions: 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm; Weight: 163g
  • 5.7-inch (1440 × 2880 pixels) QHD+ LCD display | 564 PPI
  • Quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor | Adreno 530 GPU
  • 4GB RAM | 32GB / 64GB internal memory (expandable memory up to 2TB with microSD)
  • Android 7.0 (Nougat) | LG UX 6.0
  • 13MP dual rear cameras with dual-tone LED Flash | OIS 2.0 | Secondary rear camera with 125-degree lens
  • 5MP front camera | 100-degree wide-angle lens
  • Fingerprint sensor | IP68 certified
  • 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC | Dolby Vision
  • WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz) | Bluetooth 4.2 LE | NFC
  • 3300mAh battery | Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 | USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)

The G6 is powered by a 2016 Snapdragon 821 SoC and not the latest 835. LG’s reason for not opting for it was because they didn’t wanted to play blindfolded as they couldn’t test out the new chipset to its potential.

Display

LG G6
The display on the G6 has been developed in-house by the LG Display team responsible for putting the spectacular screens on their televisions. No, the G6 doesn’t rock an OLED panel but instead they have a very good and bright LCD display. This on the other hand makes it incompatible for Google’s Day Dream which is disappointing and you got to live with it. Basically, No VR for G6.

The display can get very bright up to 600 nits even in bright sunlight. The color reproduction is good and since its a LCD display you will find the colors very natural instead of bright pop-outs in AMOLED.

Camera

The G6 comes with a 13MP dual rear sensors one with f/1.8 aperture with OIS and one with f/2.4 aperture without OIS. On paper, if we compare it with its predecessor it looks like a downgrade and we couldn’t make out why LG did so until we used it ourselves. The rear camera setup makes the best wide-angle from a smartphone and I guess other smartphone vendors would probably try to include this very soon. The regular to wide-angle switch is instant unlike last time with the G5, and it works for the front-camera as well. The front has a 125 degree wide 5MP sensor which as per our tests didn’t perform that well.

The results from rear camera are good in daylight, some of them really surprised us. Thanks to the software enhancements working in place. Low-light shots were grainy and lost details at times just as we thought when we read the sensor config.

Software

LG G6
LG G6 runs on its UX 6.0 skin based on top of Android. Comparing with V20 or even G5 it might not look like a big upgrade but now it runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. Unfortunately, the retail units are still running on 7.0 and not 7.1 but I hope LG to break the agony of not updating their handsets. Other than that, the round edged square icons with a drawer-less launcher works well. The apps scale to fit the 18:9 aspect ratio without a sweat which is skill-fully done by the team behind it. Also the camera app UI has been made to adjust a longer length. You might find videos to have black bar on the sides because they were shot in 16:9 and that rescaling still needs to be worked upon.

LG G6
Battery life on the smartphone allowed us to survive a day on single charge. We could run out sometimes when the day was busy watching videos, playing games but otherwise it had enough juice for the day. The Indian retail unit has a high quality audio DAC which we think should have been available across different markets.

LG G6
Overall, if we rate the performance of the handset it turns out to be good. In our review period of two weeks, we enjoyed using the handset. The fact that I also use an iPhone 7 Plus and both have a 5.7-inch display makes me appreciate the design even more. The handset feels quite sturdy in hands and trust us it is. We haven’t shot any videos on this, but we tried dipping it in water and performed multiple drop tests and it survived ’em all.

Our Verdict

LG G6

If we look back at LG’s history with smartphones, this year’s G6 definitely looks like a solid contendor with good display, solid design and high performance capability. The battery life on the smartphone is also good for a daily usage and it too comes with fast charging. We agree its not as good as Samsung Galaxy S8 and its camera but this is a choice for those who prefer durability, who know they are going to drop their handset one day. The camera results on the smartphone sometimes astonish you while at times they leave you disheartened with grains. But still it is a pretty solid phone that I can absolutely recommend.

The smartphone was launched at ₹51,990 which was way too absurd to be honest. Right now it has been dropped at ₹41,990 at the time of writing this review which makes sense and we believe it should be considered dropping even further. Thumbs up for nailing the wide-angle implementation again LG and I hope this can be improved further in future.

Pros:

  • Design
  • Display
  • Solid build

Cons:

  • Price
  • Old Spec Sheet
Install or Not Scorecard
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