Device reviews
    03 April 2017


    Hands on with the LG G6

    It's a big screen phone in a compact body, and it's big on features too. Be impressed by the LG G6.

    Last year, Korean electronics company LG unveiled its G5 flagship handset just hours before rival Samsung showed off the S7 and S7 Edge. This year, it didn’t have to worry about Samsung at all. Instead of presenting its new devices at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Samsung opted to host its own even in New York at the end of March. Which means LG’s G6 announcement was one of the hottest out of MWC 2017.

    Fans of the modular design introduced with the G5 – it had a removable bottom that allowed for battery swaps or the addition of two accessories, a digital amplifier and a camera grip – might be surprised to see that LG’s moved away from it in favour of a unibody design as seen in, well, just about every other phone on the market.

    Big screen dreams

    But this isn’t just any unibody, Android-powered smartphone. Even though the G6’s dimensions are almost identical to those of the G5, LG’s managed to make the screen bigger by making the bezels that surround it smaller. The G6 includes a 5.7-inch FullVision display that’s taller than not just the screen found on its predecessor, but than any other phone on the market.

    With a resolution of 2880x1440 pixels, the G6’s screen has an aspect ratio of 18:9 (as opposed to the 16:9 found on most phones). During the press conference where it announced the device LG suggested it expects 18:9 to become the new standard for video content.

    Whether or not that turns out to be the case, the extra screen real estate will be ideal not just for video consumption, but for looking at documents, emails or other text-heavy applications, and for displaying on-screen camera controls without obscuring the image of what’s being captured.

    Go wide at full-res

    And capturing images and video in a way no other phone does is one of the G6’s key features. Like the G5, the G6 has two cameras, one with a regular field of view, the other a wide-angle shooter. However, this time around both cameras are backed by a high-quality 13MP sensor (the G5 downgraded the wide-angle camera to 8MP).

    That means detailed, crisp shots whether you choose to use the regular camera or the wide-angle one. And it could make the G6 a favourite with mobile photographers who prefer their second camera to go wide, rather than long (as in the case of a certain, fruity manufacturers’ dual-camera setup).

    Stacking the chips

    From a number crunching perspective, all of the G6’s specifications look the part for a top-end device. A quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor does the heavy lifting, alongside 4GB of RAM an Adreno 530 graphics processing unit (GPU), and an IP68 water and dust resistance rating means it should survive accidental spills and shallow swims (though we’d still avoid subjecting it to either deliberately).

    LG standards like the always-on display and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor make an appearance, and buyers can choose from a 32GB or 64GB version, both of which support microSD cards up to 256GB.

    While the removable battery found on the G5 and G4 before it is gone, LG’s sandwiched a 3,300mAh battery into the G6, which should see even heavy users through a full day with breathing room. And, as you’d expect of a 2017 flagship device, it ships with the latest version of Google Android (v7.0).