Big screen in a small body
The first thing you’ll notice about the G6 is its massive 5.7-inch display. The display has a stretched 18:9 aspect ratio, making it taller and thinner than the 16:9 aspect ratio displays found on most other phones, but also keeps the G6 compact and easy to use one-handed.
Design-wise, the G6 is fairly blocky, with a slab-like form factor that makes the phone feel quite chunky. In terms of overall size, the G6 is quite similar in size to last year’s G5 (it’s actually slightly shorter and narrower, but 0.2mm thicker). It’s also the first LG phone with an IP68 rating, which means it can withstand up to 1.5 meters of water submersion for up to 30 minutes at a time.
On the rear, the dual camera setup from the LG G5 and V20 returns, with just a few minor tweaks. Both normal and wide-angle camera lens are now the same 13 megapixels, which means there’ll be less of a drop in quality when switching between the normal and wide-angle lenses. Having said that, the main camera is still better, thanks to its optical image stabilization and faster f/1.8 aperture. The wide-angle lens still lacks OIS and is hampered by a pretty slow f/2.4 aperture, which often results in less sharp images, especially in weak light. As a result, you’re better off using the main camera whenever possible.
The G6’s 5.7-inch QHD display has a 2,880 × 1,440 pixels resolution (564ppi) with an 18:9 ratio. The unusual stretched aspect ratio means that the 5.7-inch display isn’t actually as large
as a traditional 5.7-inch display with a 16:9 ratio. In fact, if you open a website and put the G6 side-by-side with a 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 7 Plus will display more text than the G6. The unusual screen ratio also poses a problem with app and content compatibility. Most apps and the majority of content is made for 16:9 ratio, so you often have to deal with content that is either cropped at the sides, or has black bars at the edges. It’s still a big screen experience, and with the right content it looks glorious, but it’s not as big as you may anticipate based on that '5.7-inch' spec.
The display itself is excellent, with vivid colors and crisp text. Additionally, the G6 is the only smartphone with a Dolby Vision-compatible display, which means it’s the only phone you can watch HDR content from Netflix on.
LG is one of the few brands that really focuses on audio quality and the G6 is no exception, with a high-end Sabre 32-bit Quad DAC inside it. This DAC features a parallel sub-DAC configuration to improve noise performance and reduce total harmonic distortion and the G6 supports nearly every file format out there, including ultra high-end DSD512 32-bit files.
Rather than wait for Qualcomm’s new flagship Snapdragon 835 processor, LG has opted for last year’s Snapdragon 821. The 821 still has plenty of power today, but is no longer cutting edge, for a flagship. As expected, benchmark performance on the G6 wasn’t as good as the Galaxy S8 or iPhone 7, but it still
CONCLUSION Good big screen experience hampered by poor battery life and processor.
performed reasonably well.
Unlike LG’s previous flagship phones, the G6 has a non-removable 3,300mAh battery. Unfortunately, its performance wasn’t that great, with the G6 lasting just seven hours and 42 minutes in our video looping benchmark, almost half the battery life of the similarly Snapdragon 821-powered OnePlus 3T.
After years of gimmicky features like curved form factors, rear buttons, and modular designs, LG’s newest smartphone seems downright minimalist in comparison. But sometimes simple designs work best and the G6’s attractive metal and glass build and huge display work really well.
Unfortunately, despite being unveiled a month earlier, a big part of the G6’s wow factor was quickly stolen by Samsung, who took the bezel-less design idea to the next level with its dual-curved Infinity Display S8. Additionally, it’s always going to be a tough sell to ask people to pay RM2,999 for a last-gen processor, plus not too many improvements in other areas either. The dual camera setup, for example, isn’t much better than last year’s model, and the wide-angle camera, though useful, could use more work.
Ultimately, the LG G6 is a phone that will interest two groups of people: audiophiles who really want a 32-bit Quad DAC in their phone, and people who like the S8’s bezel-less design, but don’t want to pay quite as much. That’s a pretty niche audience.
On the rear of the phone, there’s a power button that doubles up as a fingerprint scanner.
The G6 is the only smartphone that supports Dolby Vision HDR.