Silicon takes a hands-on look at LG’s modular-free flagship smartphone
LG has revealed the LG G6, its new flagship that abandons the modular aspects of its predecessor and embraces slick design.
The G6 comes sporting a 5.7 inch QHD+ FullVision display with a resolution of 2880×1440 to rival flagships from other Android smartphones.
Squeezed into a slim chassis, LG enthused that it is a big screen smartphone that can actually fits a user’s hand, yet offers 11.3 percent more viewable information than other handsets with the same screen size.
What may seem like marketing bluster actually has some credence, as when we tried out the G6 at MWC 2017, against our Google Pixel XL, we noted that despite the larger display on the G6 it actually had a smaller overall design than Google’s flagship phone and felt very easy to navigate with one hand.
LG G6: Goodbye to modular design
Rather than introduce swappable batteries and the add-on modules of its predecessor the G6 appears to have taken a leaf out of Apple’s design handbook. It now sports a rounded rectangular design made out of aluminium and glass that certainly offers more of a premium design over the G5, and at 163g it’s light as well. In black the phone look rather nice, but in the white and silver colour options, the curved design and a thickness of 7,9mm looks a little less premium, but not unattractive by any means.
Running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, the G6 features a new user interface design dubbed UX 6.0, built on top of Google’s mobile operating system that sports icons with a rounded square design to compliment the hardware’s appearance and sit neatly within the near bezel-free screen.
Under the hood is a relatively speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 831 system-on-a-chip, the same found in Google’s Pixel XL phone, which is matched with 4GB of RAM. Storage starts at a standard 32GB and goes up to 64GB, with the option to add 2TB of SSD memory via a microSD slot.
We’d need more time to really test out its user interface, but at first glance it is slick and runs smoothly thanks to the powerful Snapdragon 831.
On its rear, the G6 features a dual camera configuration comprising of a 13MP lens paired with another 13MP wide-angle lens, which LG claims will allow for a myriad of impressive smartphone photography. Optical stabilisation is available to prevent distortion when capturing wide-angle and zoomed in shots. The front-facing camera also sports a wide-angle lens only with a 5 megapixel sensor, perfectly decent for video calls.
We had a quick play with the cameras and found them to be suitable for a flagship smartphone, with the wide-angle abilities being suitably impressive, though an aperture of f/2.4 puts into doubt how well the camera array will work in low light environments, as opposed to a well-lit hall.
To keep up and running the G6 has a 3,300mAh battery that aims to offer a day’s worth of heavy use. However, the battery is not removable, but fast charging comes courtesy of the phones USB Type-C connection.
Taking care of security is a rear-mounted finger print scanner, while waterproofing completes the hardware feature set of the G6.
LG’s new flagship phone is also the first non-Google phone to feature the Google Assistant, one of the smartest artificial intelligence (AI) powered virtual assistants available on the smartphone market.
But really the selling point of the G6 is its display; the resolution might not be hitting anything that puts other flagship phones to shame, but a sharp 564ppi density, strong colours and contrast, and an aspect ratio of 18:9, means the G6 is being presented as the phone to view videos and movies as the way they were intended on a smartphone. Support for video standards normally reserved for high-end TVs, Dolby Vision and HDR 10, are included to back up LG’s vision.
Pricing and a release date has yet to be revealed, but the LG G6 will come in three colours, Ice Platinum, Astro Black and Mystic White.
So far, the G6 is an impressive smartphone, but certainly seems more suitable for consumers rather than business users. However, we wail have to take a closer look at LG’s new flagship before we pass judgement any further.