BARCELONA: LG, that Korean company that is probably best known for its washing machines and TVs, has been having a crack at the smartphone market for quite a number of years now, despite most mainstream users giving absolutely zero frigs whatsoever.
This year, the company looks to change all that with the LG G6, the sixth model in the G series of phones that we are hoping has not taken inspiration from the song “Like a G6”, which was largely about being fly like a Gulfstream G650 jet.
Thanks to the number of leaks building up to the MWC reveal, the LG G6 doesn’t have many surprises in store, but that hasn’t stopped us going hands-on with the flagship device.
The first thing you’ll notice about the LG G6 is its unconventional display. It might even make you cry “finally, someone has executed common sense” like we did, in sheer rapture that a phone manufactory has, at last, created a smartphone screen that stretches to nearly every corner of the device.
That’s right, LG’s newest smartphone has dropped the stupid modular design of the LG G5 and instead features an almost bezel-less screen. It therefore sports an 18:9 ratio display as opposed to the more standard 16:9 aspect ratio almost every smartphone has had since the birth of the almighty iPhone. This gives you more way screen in a smaller body, and it’s bloody glorious.
LG might not have been the first to do this. Xiaomi’s MiMix – a China-only phone released in late 2016 – had a similar display. But who the hell has ever heard of them? Exactly
This tiny bezel also makes the LG G6 a pleasure to hold, and the phone’s brushed metal finish makes it look and feel pretty premium in hand. As you can tell, we are big fans of its design.
While the standout feature of the LG G6 is its near bezel-less screen design, the display itself is rather impressive, too. The edge to edge screen design means the Korena company has wedged a 5.7in QHD+ FullVision display in the G6’s chassis, which is a sizeable increase from the 5.2in panel used for the G5 while retaining the same footprint.
LG therefore claims the G6 is unlike other phablet devices because it is able to fit comfortably in one hand. And we have to agree, it does. The screen looks huge but the phone feels like any other to hold, being noticeably smaller than the 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Processor and software
Let’s shut up about the screen for just a moment and tell you that the LG G6 is powered by a Snapdragon 821 CPU alongside 4GB RAM. In terms of speed, the handset proved as fast as any flagship we’ve used during our hands-on time. Apps were lightning fast to open and multitasking was smooth, but we’ve of course yet to put the processor fully through its paces.
The LG G6 comes loaded with Google’s latest Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. However, it comes skinned in the company’s barely-there LG UX 6.0 skin, which upon first glance could fool some into thinking it’s a vanilla Android phone. LG has, of course, made some tweaks here and there though, adding its own homescreen animations and design touches to the Notification Bar, for example.
Like the G5 before it, the LG G6 features two rear cameras, however these have been upped to two 13MP sensors, from the 16MP and 8MP sensors in the G5 for an even wider angle when taking snaps.
Even during our brief hands-on time with the handset at MWC we were able to appreciate the wider capture, with the dual camera sensor capable of capturing almost panoramic still images. Images looked sharp and colourful, too, and the front-facing camera appeared vibrant and responsive during our tests.
Opening the camera app was quick, as was the shutter, and thanks to the long display you can have a constant view of your photo library when shooting your pictures.
Storage, battery and connectivity
In terms of storage, the LG G6 comes with 32GB built-in. However, there is a microSD slot onboard, which means you can expand this onboard storage as far as a MicroSD card can take you. There’s also a 3300mAh battery, and USB-C connectivity.
The LG G6 finally offers something smartphones should have been offering for a long time: an edge-to-edge display, so it’s hard to argue with LG when it claims it’s the best screen on a handset right now. Prices are yet to be confirmed but we can expect it to be in the £500-600 region. µ
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