Last year LG pushed the boundaries of what a smartphone could do with the modular design of the G5, geeks everywhere loved the pure innovation it brought to the table, but it was kind of a gimmick and not very durable. LG has dropped the modular component with on the G6 but stayed true to it’s roots by trying something new with a 18:9 screen ratio.
With a 5.7 inch display, narrow bezels with svelt curved corners, and a glass back that can be understated or stand out a big, it’s the design details give the G6 some swagger. The 18:9 ratio is a first and it’s one that we expect to see in a few flagship devices later this year. It’s longer still quite narrow so it’s fairly easy to grip with one hand.
Unboxing & Detailed Walk Through
Rounded Corners Do More Than just look good
The Rounded corners on the G6 do more than just look good, the provide added durability to your handset. Traditionally display corners are sharp but LG has cut the corners which means when you drop your phone on its edge the force is distributed more evenly and won’t end up being concentrated at a single point. The angle on the metal frame has been considered greatly to decrease the chances of your glass front for back cracking. However, the most obvious benefit is that it is stunning, the face of the phone is elegant. We love it more than the curved glass on Samsung’s line of phones, not because it looks better but because I’m a little clumsy so I couldn’t own a phone which has an exposed glass edge. Though the klutz in me does with that LG had not made the back of the handset Gorilla Glass 5 and the front only Gorilla Glass 3.
There is one minor issue that I need to raise about the curved corners, it doesn’t bother me one bit, but it might bother some. The curves on the corners aren’t absolutely prefect, there is a slight difference in consistency in pixels. I really had to look to see it and once I knew it was there it doesn’t bother me one bit. There are some that it might grate on so I thought it worth mentioning.
Under the hood we’ve got a Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB or RAM and 32GB of storage, unless you’re in Asia and 64GB will be standard. Yes, we did say it’ss the same processor as previous generations, LG claims that they’ve had time to really get to know that processor so they’ve worked out a lot of the heat sync issues and they’ve worked with Qualcomm on integrating in some of the features from the 835 into G6, these improvements appear in the Camera. There is a slight glitch when you switch cameras, now when you switch it’s seamless. The dual cameras are now equals both are 13MP, it’s a step down from the G5’s 16MP shooter but they went with 13 to get rid of the camera bump. The dual lenses offer the same great wide and narrow angle with 125 and 71 degrees. On the front we have a 5MP camera with a 100 degree field of view.
The camera interface is the first place that we really noticed LG taking advantage of all that extra screen real estate. camera roll and you can preview all the photos that you just took and Square is a camera feature that splits the display into two perfect squares, grid shot put 4 photos into one, guide shot give you examples of shots for you to frame against, and match shot lets you take one photo and line it up with the other one, I tried really hard to have a photo of me looking at myself.
Low light sample photos, we did notice that between the wide angle lens and the standard that the narrower view has less noise, this is because the wide angle doesn’t have OIS. For a wide angle this is very normal since you just want everything to be in focus. This also means that it is not as solid in low light.
When taking square photos, the display is split into two perfect halves: one reserved for the viewfinder, the other, for previewing the photo that you just took. This allows you to simultaneously shoot photos and see the results without leaving the camera app making sure that you’re getting the perfect snap for Instagram.
The camera interface is the first place that we really noticed LG taking advantage of all that extra screen real estate. camera roll and you can preview all the photos that you just took and Square is a camera feature that splits the display into two perfect squares, grid shot put 4 photos into one, guide shot give you examples of shots for you to frame against, and match shot lets you take one photo and line it up with the other one.
I think this match feature is cool, but I can’t wait to see what people who are actually creative can do with it.
The Full screen UX gives you a lot more room, the contact page fills out and gives you more photo, messages are longer, the music player and weather also take advantage of the added pixels.
My biggest complaint with the G5 was that it was a very durable smartphone, LG listened and they’ve put a lot of thought into decreasing the llikely hoodof your screen (or back of the phone) cracking, on the front we’ve got gorilla glass 3 and a tiny lip so the glass isn’t fully exposed and the back boasts gorilla glass 5. The curved edges in display do more than jut look good, a traditional display has a sharp edge inside the phone, LG has cut the corner which spreads the force from the impact and moved the antenna line further from the corner. The G6 is also IP68 which means you can submerge it in water to 1.5m for 30min and the battery is competitive at 3300mah and in the US you’ll have the option for wireless charging. This isn’t the only local variation Asia is getting 64GB vs everyone else 32 and they’re also getting HiFi Quad DAC sound. So if you’re in Europe you’ve got no bells and whistles.
Reliability, Durability & Battery Testing
We went tot he Pyeongtaek Factory where LG makes its Smartphones, we got to see the V20 in production and they expect the G6 will take its place shortly after the launch. It’s also where the reliability and durability test occur. We saw a variety of tests including the famous sit test where the butt exerts a force on to the Smartphone. The battery test was very interesting we saw very cool things like batteries in resin where they got to take cross sections to analyses the molecular composition of o the battery. Videos were shown of failing batteries, none of which were from LG and the tests themselves were anticlimactic because a non-failing battery simply falls with no consequence. The head of Lgs battery testing lab founded the lab 10 years ago and has since enjoyed a new spotlight of intense importance with Samsung’s fiasco with the Note 7.
The reliability and durability lab seems very standard as far as these kinds of lab go, drops on different types of surfaces, tumble test, and temperature variations are all go for par. We found it interesting that LG has such a strong focus on making their phone incredibly reliable. They moved the antenna line 18mm from the corner where as a company like Apple or Samsung have had theirs at around 7-8mm from the corner. The antenna line being so close to the corner means that it can crack damaging the performance of the phone or even resulting in a cracked display. In their tests, a smartphone drops on its corner an average of about 48%, the front 26%, back 20% slide 1% and right on its vertical side 5%. The new angle and antennae line position have proven to be more reliable during internal tests against some Californian products. During screen stress tests on corner drops with the internal standard being 100% the G6 was only stressed out to 84% while a competitor reached 109%.
At first glance the G6 is just another smartphone, dropping the removable battery that the line was famous for was a big change. But LG is targeting the G6 at the masses and the masses want solid performance, durable build and a camera that won’t quite! If you’re after the highest end phone money can buy, from LG you’re going to have to wait for the V30.
What do you think about the G6? Should LG have stuck to the midding modular design and committed to innovation for the sake of being different? Or are you happy with the thoughtful solid tank they’ve released with the G6?