After the rather disappointing G5 last year,LG is trying again with the G6.
This time round, LG is taking a simpler, saferapproach, and going back to basics.
Let’s start with the new design.
There’s no fancy leather back cover or amodular design here.
Just a simple and understated design withglass and metal.
The slightly curved edges on the back, andthe chunkier metal frame, all adds to a phone that feels really nicein the hand.
Some folks might be a bit upset because thebattery is no longer removable, but LG has made the phone water and dust resistant, which is a small price to pay for added durabilityin my opinion.
While the materials have changed, the fingerprintsensor and power button is still in the same position as before.
It’s a physical button, but just restingmy finger on top unlocks the phone.
It works reliably and is fairly quick to unlock,so no complaints from me here.
The biggest change you’ll find on the phone this year, is the new Full Vision display from LG.
It’s a 5.
7-inch QHD+ LCD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and tiny bezels.
It’s a really nice looking display withnice colours, contrast, outdoor visibility, and viewing angles.
Because of the tiny bezels and the tallerscreen, this is actually still a really manageablesize compared to a typical 5.
So I have no problems using it one-handedmost of the time.
It supports HDR video playback as well, butuntil we have more HDR content, it seems pointless to talk about it.
But there are two interesting things hereworth talking about.
The first one being the completely flat glass,something we actually don’t see that often on high end phones these days.
The other being the rounded corners on thedisplay which matches the corners of the phone nicely.
LG says that they’re both there to makethe screen more durable against corner impact, which is great of course, but for me I likeit mostly because of how it looks.
This new Full Vision display, the flat glass,and the rounded corners, gives the LG G6 its distinctive look, makingit stand out from other flagship devices.
Just one thing to note here.
If you look closely, you’ll find that therounded corners are not perfectly rounded.
But to me, it doesn’t really detract muchfrom the gorgeous looking screen.
LG’s software has always been their weakest link.
Especially when it comes to design and performance.
While they have been improving over the years,and scaling back on their customisations, they’re still not quite there yet.
You get all these little tweaks around theinterface just to emphasise that 2:1 aspect ratio and the rounded corners, but none of them really enhances the experience.
When it comes down to it, the most usefulaspect of that taller screen, is just having more room to run two apps atthe same time, and the ability to see a bit more content.
While not all apps can take advantage of thisaspect ratio yet, LG does provide an app scaling feature toease the transition, but just don’t expect everything to workperfectly.
For video content, while there is a buttonto resize your videos to fit the screen, it doesn’t work on online content just yet.
So there will be a bit of letterboxing whenwatching YouTube.
But it’s not a big deal to me since thebezels are pretty thin here.
Then there are little things around the interfacethat kind of messes up the look a little too.
Take the navigation buttons.
The square button should be slightly smallerto counterbalance its bigger surface area compared the other buttons to make thingslook more balanced.
This is something Google already accountedfor in stock android, but LG decided to just make them all the same size.
By the way, it’s been like this since thefirst Marshmallow software from LG.
Then you get two network icon saying the samething, and you have this ugly looking effect thathas been around for years.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
But this is just me nitpicking on the design,because in terms of usability, LG does get a lot of software features right.
Always on display is always nice to have aroundsince my phone is on my desk all the time.
Double tap to wake or sleep, makes it reallyeasy to access the notifications.
Being able to tap the screen in a patternto unlock the phone is super convenient too when the phone is on my desk.
Being able to add a button to pull down thenotification shade is super convenient as well, and is a great feature to have on a phonethis tall.
So while I don’t love the way the softwarelooks, I think it still provides a pretty nice user experience overall.
Especially after I turned off, disabled, orreplaced anything that I don’t like.
But something that I can’t change wouldbe the performance.
I’m not saying that it’s slow, but havingused a phone like the Google Pixel, it feels like there are minor split secondpauses every now and then.
Not a big deal, but just thought I would mentionit here.
The phone is powered by Snapdragon 821 with4GB of RAM which might disappoint some folks who wants the latest chipset.
But it’s still more than enough for everythingI need the phone to do.
It’s also paired with a 3,300mAh batterywhich gives me a day of normal use easily.
You can also clearly see Android Doze in actionthroughout the night.
For heavier usage, I can just do a quick topup using fast charging and I’m good to go.
The G6 actually supports wireless chargingas well, but that’s exclusive to the US variant.
But at least in Singapore, we get more storageat 64GB, as well as Quad-DAC for a better audio experience.
So that’s not too bad.
But it’s still kind of insane that LG isdoing all these region specific exclusives.
While some folks will probably love the Quad-DAC,I use bluetooth earbuds primarily so it’s not a big deal for me.
I do wish the phone has stereo speakers though.
The single speaker sounds pretty decent, but it’s quite easy to cover it up whilegaming.
The camera experience is probably going tobe one of the main selling points of the LG G6.
The main camera is a 13MP sensor with f/1.
8aperture and optical image stabilisation.
The second camera is the same 13MP sensorwith a wide-angle lens, and f/2.
By the way, the second camera lacks autofocusand optical image stabilisation.
LG also switched from laser auto focus tophase detection autofocus which seems to work well enough too.
The main camera is able to capture some reallygood looking shots with nice contrast.
Same goes for low light performance too withthe optical stabilisation doing a good job here.
But overall, I find the images a bit over-processed,especially with the sharpening.
I also find that it has the tendency to overexposea little in auto mode, but that can be easily adjusted.
It may not be my choice for the best smartphonecamera, but it does offer a lot of flexibility withthe wide angle camera.
It’s not exactly a deal breaker featurefor me, but it sure as hell is fun to play aroundwith.
Something worth mentioning too is that theG6 has a manual video recording mode.
Recently I tried shooting an entire videousing the iPhone SE’s default camera app, and it made me appreciate the camera modehere a bit more.
The 5MP camera joins in the fun too with awide angle lens and an f/2.
It allows me to toggle into wide angle modewith the press of a button, which is great for a group shot.
But the main thing is, it produces very averagelooking results, and falls apart very quickly in low light conditions.
There are a few camera specific features thatmakes use of the taller display here.
Like having the camera roll on the side topreview images, shooting a square photo with an instant preview, take two shots side by side, take 4 shotsin a grid, and use a guide to match the composition of another photo.
The last two features are the most interestingones to have around, because it makes it really easy to createinteresting looking content for social media.
I initially thought it was kind of gimmicky,but it’s actually quite fun to use.
So let’s wrap this up.
The LG G6 is a great effort from LG.
It’s a solid, well-built phone, that comeswith most of the things that one would expect from a flagship smartphone today.
By giving up the gimmicks and focusing ongetting the basics right, LG has created a phone that is actually worth considering.
Sure, it’s not as impressive as the GalaxyS8 on paper, but it is priced lower to reflect that difference.
And you still get a similarly futuristic lookingdisplay with tiny bezels, which looks to be the trend going forward.
Plus, LG Singapore is also providing two yearswarranty on the G6 for an additional peace of mind.
I do wish LG would find some ways to improveon their software, but other than that, it’s a phone that Ireally enjoyed using.
If you give it a chance, maybe you’ll like it too.
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