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Tested: the LG G6

by PhilippeDid you know...17/04/2017

Tested: the LG G6
Last year, LG created quite a stir with its G5. It was a ‘modular’ telephone that could be expanded to include special modules giving it additional functions. A very inventive idea but not one that met with commercial success. And so for the new G6, they have gone back to a familiar formula: the modules have been dumped and the emphasis is once again on good old reliable top specifications

Design

You see straight away that the G6 is the Koreans’ new top model. The glass back lends the device a luxury appearance and the sides are in brushed metal. The two camera lenses at the back don’t protrude. It also helps that the screen covers almost all the front of the phone. So the side edges are very thin, barely a few millimeters. There are no buttons at the front, either, so the clean lines remain unspoiled. There is, of course, a fingerprint reader, but it is on the back.

Another striking feature is that the screen has an unorthodox ratio compared with other smartphones: it is somewhat longer and narrower than usual. Most smartphones have a screen ratio of 16 x 9 (like widescreen televisions). With the G6, the ratio is 18 x 9. Which means that although it has a very large screen, it feels slightly smaller than it actually is. 

Screen

The LCD screen on the G6 has a diagonal of no less than 5.7 inches with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 pixels. But as we said, because the screen is long and not so wide, the phone feels very handy and smaller than it is. This 18 x 9 screen ratio also makes it easier to use two apps side by side. In fact, this function is a standard feature in Android Nougat, the latest version of Android with which the G6 is equipped. One highly innovative feature is that the G6 screen supports HDR or High Dynamic Range.

This is an image technique until now used mainly for televisions screens. It makes the color reproduction far richer and significantly enhances the screen’s contrast value. The Netflix app, among others, supports HDR reproduction, so films immediately look a lot better. 

Camera

Just like the Huawei P10 among others, the LG G6 has two cameras at the back, both equipped with a 13-megapixel image sensor. One has a wide-angle lens of 125 degrees, the other a 71-degree angle of view. The apertures differ as well (F2.4 and F1.8) and only the camera with the smaller angle has an optical stabilization function. Unlike the Huawei, the pictures from the two sensors are not combined. So you have to switch manually between the two cameras, although it’s very easy to do.

In any case, the image quality is excellent, with lots of detail. According to LG, many people even prefer to use the wide-angle camera. The front camera also covers a wider angle than normal (100 degrees), so you don’t really need a selfie stick any longer. In fact, LG talks about “wefies” rather than “selfies”, because the wider lens means that more people fit in one photo. 

Battery

LG has equipped the G6 with a 3,300 mAh battery charged via a USB-C port. Unlike the G5, the battery cannot be replaced, but that means that LG was able to make the phone waterproof: you can keep it underwater for half an hour at a depth of a meter and a half without any problem. Wireless charging is not available in Europe (although it is on the American version), but there is a fast-charge function that will give you five hours of chat time in five minutes. Your battery is 50 % full in half an hour.

Multimedia and Games

The LG G6 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, which does not exactly hang back when it comes to speed. It also has 4 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of storage memory. If that is not enough, you can plug in a microSD card of no less than two terabytes.

The Snapdragon 821 is a lightning-fast processor, but Qualcomm has now announced the brand-new 835. Rumor has it, however, that Samsung has bought the entire production of this chip for the next few months for its Galaxy S8 to be introduced shortly.

The 835 will apparently not be available to Samsung competitors until the summer. A pity, but LG probably didn’t want to wait that long to introduce the G6 and in that case, the 821 is a perfectly understandable choice.

In short…

The LG G6’s unusual design and relatively small footprint despite a large screen makes it a good choice for those who want a top-of-the-range mobile that nevertheless fits easily in their pocket. Its innovative widescreen camera and great design appealed to us, too. The G6 may not be equipped with the very latest processor, but we don’t think there is much chance that the average user will ever notice.  

LG G6

"Although the G6 has a very large screen, it feels a lot smaller than it actually is."

8/10

Pros:
  • Luxury appearance
  • Sits comfortably in the hand
  • Screen format suitable to have two apps running at the same time
  • Rich color reproduction
  • Watertight
Cons:
  • Not the very latest operating system
  • Wireless charging only possible with the American version

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