LG has never been shy of making bold decisions for its flagships. While this has often resulted in valuable innovation, the last year’s modular flagship LG G5 didn’t do well in Indian market. This year, LG has worked from the ground up and has rewritten its flagship rulebook, once again, with the G6.
The only focus here is to pass on an out of the world experience to the end users rather than including the latest and greatest of the available technology. We have been testing LG G6 for a while to ascertain if this is the flagship phone that you should be buying in 2017. Let’s elaborate further in our full review.
LG G6 Specifications
- 18:9 5.7-inch IPS LCD, 2,880x1440px resolution, 565ppi; HDR 10 and Dolby Vision
- Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (2xKryo@2.35GHz + 2xKryo@1.6GHz), Adreno 530 GPU
- 13MP f/1.8 primary camera, OIS + 13MP f/2.4 wide-angle camera with 125° field of view
- 5MP selfie camera, 100° field of view; 1080p/30fps video recording.
- Android 7.0 Nougat.
- 4GB RAM and 64GB Storage, 2TB MicroSD support (Hybrid slot)
- 3,300mAh non-removable; QuickCharge 3.0 fast charging
- Dual SIM (Hybrid), 4G VoLTE, USB Type-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS; Bluetooth 4.2; FM Radio
- Fingerprint reader; Hi-Fi Quad DAC
- Price: Approx. 41,490 INR
Design and Build
The LG G6 is a very manageable phone measuring 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm. The odd 18:9 form factor of the handset makes it narrower than most phones, which also makes it a tad easier to wield. The modest weight of 163 grams helps too.
Unlike the G5 that felt plastic, the LG G6 feels extremely premium. It has Gorilla Glass 5 on the rear and Gorilla Glass 3 on the front with a layer of solid, thick Aluminum frame in the middle. Though we have seen a number of glass and metal phones over the last couple of years, the LG G6 still manages to look and feel unique.
The bezels around the display are extremely narrow. The USB port and speaker are placed on the bottom edge and the 3.5mm audio jack is placed on the top edge. The phone is water resistant and as LG mentioned in the launch presentation, you can also dip it in sea water.
The handset has a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with rounded corners that LG says will protect it from damage in case of accidental drops when your phone lands on its corners. Quality wise, it’s a 2k panel (2,880 x 1,440) with very high contrast and vivid colors. LG excels at making IPS LCD panels and the G6 further exemplifies its expertise.
The display is also compliant with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision and there are several movies and series that you can stream from Netflix and Amazon videos that are compatible with either of the two or both. However, since this is not an AMOLED panel, the phone won’t support Google’s DayDream VR standard.
LG G6’s display counts as its biggest strength. This is perhaps most people will consider buying it in the immediate future.
Camera and Imaging
LG G6 is equipped with two rear cameras, each with Sony IMX258 sensor that’s 1/3.06-inch in size. The primary 13MP regular sensor with f/1.8 aperture lens, OIS and Phase detection autofocus. The second sensor, which helps with wide-angle shots, has f/2.4 aperture and is missing OIS and AF, so the wide angle shots clicked in low light aren’t perfectly crisp. Also, LG has worked with Qualcomm to integrate some camera smarts of Snapdragon 835 in Snapdragon 821 that it has used on G6.
In broad daylight and indoors, the LG G6 performance is at par with what you’d expect of flagships. The color reproduction is accurate and the software is smart enough to handle tricky exposures. The camera also locks focus very quickly.
The video quality is pretty awesome and the HDR mode works well. The camera app integrates a few features to take advantage of the tall display. A film strip runs next to viewfinder and shows your recent shots, You can also use the Square camera to capture consequent shots in 1:1 aspect ratio while keeping the first click on the viewfinder. These can then be shared directly on Instagram.
Overall, LG G6 comes with an impressive set of cameras. Both the rear and front camera can capture good quality images.
Performance and Software
The LG G6 is powered by Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor, which is what powers extremely fast phones like OnePlus 3T and Google Pixel. But it isn’t the more power efficient and faster Snapdragon 835 which is more suited to a flagship phone in 2017 and is also running a relatively heavier software skin.
The chipset shouldn’t be a deal-breaker at all. And the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage space feel perfectly adequate too. We didn’t face any issue while multitasking or while playing heavy games like Asphalt 8. The way most people use their phone, performance won’t be a problem.
The software on LG G6 is based on Android 7.0 Nougat. There are plenty of customization options available – you can add more buttons to the navigation bar, download themes, change fonts, and tinker with a lot more.
There are many preloaded apps on the phone, many of which you won’t need. There is no app drawer either but you can swipe down to search for whatever you are looking for and that makes life simpler. The software felt quite intuitive and we got used to it in no time.
The audio output is excellent. The LG G6 variant that’s being sold in India also has Quad DAC for high fidelity and more immersive audio output. Call quality in our area was also awesome.
Battery life, Price, and Verdict
The 3300mAh battery on the phone lasts fairly long. It can comfortably take us through a day of moderate usage, but on particularly heavy usage days you might need to resort to mid-day charging. The fast charging support enables it to refill to 50 percent charge in about half an hour. Wireless charging is exclusive to the US variant only.
Now available at 41,500 INR, the LG G6 is the flagship phone you buy if you are looking for something one rung below the Galaxy S8. The overall experience we are getting out of the G6 certainly justifies the price tag.
The LG G6 looks the part and is ergonomic to handle, the camera is flagship grade and performance doesn’t falter that easy. But at the same time, the advent of Snapdragon 835 phones (like, perhaps, OnePlus 5 and Pixel 2) as we move through 2017 might weigh heavily on the G6. You can buy it you are looking for a good 18:9 display phone but don’t want to stretch your budget by another 18,000 INR for Galaxy S8 and S8+.