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The specs aren’t perfect on paper though, such as the older Snapdragon 821 processor and region-specific features (weird). But, does the phone make for a great purchase? We look at some of the initial reviews.
Design and display
The LG G6 makes for a drastic difference compared to the G5, featuring IP68 water resistance and a gorgeous Galaxy-style design. Then there’s the 2:1 display, making for an extremely unique smartphone.
Pocket-Lint praised the phone’s design and screen in its review, pointing out the curved corners, lack of protrusions and “gorgeous” back. It did however note that the back was prone to fingerprints and bemoaned the power button location.
“Add all of this together and you have a phone that not only fits easily in one hand, but is durable enough to survive the daily grind. The fit and finish is a much needed and massive improvement over the G5,” the outlet wrote.
The publication said that the display’s contrast was impressive for the LCD technology, but criticised the lack of automatic app scaling for the 18:9 screen (this needs to be manually done).
Early reviews for the LG G6 note that the phone is well-designed and that the display is a standout feature
Prominent publication Phone Arena also praised the design and display, saying that “it feel like you’re not so much holding a phone with a screen on it, but that you’re just holding a screen”.
The website praised LG’s “easy to use” app scaling feature (allowing you to manually scale almost any app to the screen), but pointed out that preinstalled Google apps weren’t compatible with the feature. It also praised the split-screen multitasking functionality on the G6, saying that the aspect ratio meant two apps could be perfectly split.
Otherwise, the company said that height can be an issue on the new handset.
Android Authority noted that the design was simple but necessary in light of last year’s flagship design.
“Rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel, LG has gone back to basics. Opting for a metal/glass construction is a safe choice that’s proven to work, and that’s why LG went with it. After last year, LG needed safe to appeal to the masses, and the G6 does just this,” it explained.
What about the screen though? Well, Android Authority had more to say…
“The standout feature on the LG G6 is the new 18:9 2:1-aspect ratio screen, which, coupled with some excellent design choices, means LG has managed to fit a 5.7-inch display in a body that’s not much larger than a regular 5.2-inch phone. Compared to the iPhone 7 Plus or Google Pixel XL, the LG G6 is significantly smaller. It’s truly a feat of engineering that is much easier to appreciate when you hold and use the phone.”
It adds that the LCD screen is “by far” the best they’ve seen on an LG phone, praising the colour and contrast.
Software and performance
LG’s take on Android has never been as heavy-handed as Samsung at its peak, or Huawei, it can be argued. So what do reviewers think of the G6’s skin?
Android Authority praised the implementation of Google Assistant, the split-view multitasking and smooth experience overall.
“Some people may be disappointed that the LG G6 isn’t powered by the Snapdragon 835, but we’ve really had no issues with performance; the handset handles everything you can throw at it,” it adds.
Phone Arena noted that the interface didn’t feel “heavy” and that customisation was a key feature. What about performance though, given its use of the Snapdragon 821?
“Using the phone, everything felt appropriately smooth, whether stretching an app to fill the G6’s extra-tall screen, or running a pair of them side-by-side,” it wrote, but expressing concerns about lower than expected benchmark tests on early software. It mused whether the screen resolution/shape could result in a performance hit.
In their initial review, Forbes has noted that the phone felt “super smooth” despite using the older chip. The reviewer also noted that there was some truth to LG’s “marketing speak” that specs don’t matter as much anymore.
“I don’t see how the Snapdragon 835 can improve much on the 821 in terms of basic day to day Facebooking or email writing. Plus Huawei’s Kirin 960 trumps everybody.”
The camera department
The LG G6 packs a 13MP f/1.8 main camera and ups the ante with a 13MP wide-angle shooter (albeit with a smaller aperture). So then, does the megapixel increase for the wide-angle shooter and decrease for the normal camera make a difference?
Pocket-Lint wrote that the wide-angle solution was “arguably more useful” than the dual camera solution touted by the iPhone 7 Plus.
“Results from the camera are generally sharp, natural and noise-free. Of course, you do get some image noise creeping in when the light levels drop, but that’s the same of every camera on the planet. It may not give you contrasty instant HDR shots like the Google Pixel, but the photos from the G6 are super.”
Android Authority praised the guide shot mode in the preinstalled Square Camera, letting you use a template or previous photo as a framing reference for a new photo. It also praised the manual video mode, coming from the LG V20.
“Compared to manual video controls on other smartphones, the LG G6 is miles ahead, with features like focus peaking, hi-fi audio recording and a wind noise filter all making it on-board. For vloggers, video lovers or those who want a little more control over their video, the LG G6’s video recording capabilities definitely deliver.”
Meanwhile, Forbes used the real-world example of a visit to Roman ruins, with people being unable to step back far enough to take photos of statues.
“But with the G6’s wide-angle lens, I was able to capture both statues head on…” the reviewer wrote, adding that the resolution bump for the wide-angle camera helped “tremendously”. It was noted that the normal camera saw a resolution drop, but that it made for a “fair” tradeoff.
Battery life was also tackled by the reviewers, but aside from the lack of a removable pack, this department was generally praised.
“During (reviewer) Lanh’s testing, he found that even with a heavy usage day — such as using the camera lot with a few hours of gaming — the phone still has 20 to 25 percent battery life left at the end of the day. Personally, I’ve been very impressed by the battery life. On more than one occasion, the G6 has lasted me a full day and almost all of the second. Even on days with heavy usage, I’ve not had to top the battery up at all,” Android Authority wrote.
Meanwhile, Pocket-Lint paired a smartwatch to the device and endured a relatively busy day.
“Even connected to a smart watch and battling through a relatively busy day, we still made it to 10pm with over 25 per cent battery remaining. On a moderate day with no smartwatch the battery level was between 35-40 per cent by bedtime.”
Phone Arena expressed concerns about the battery though, but noted that early software could be the cause of rapid drain.
“Maybe the big screen is eating all that juice, or we’re really just dealing with a need for further optimization, but it’s a situation that warrants more investigation.”