Back to ba­sics

With the G6, LG is fo­cus­ing on the things that re­ally mat­ter to users.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology - By LEE KAH LENG bytz@thes­tar.com.my

LG’S de­ci­sion to adopt a mo­du­lar de­sign for its flag­ship last year was one of the most ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ments in the smart­phone scene but it didn’t quite catch on.

Fast for­ward a year later and the South Korean elec­tron­ics gi­ant has gone back to ba­sics with its lat­est flag­ship phone, the G6.

It’s a sleek smart­phone with sturdy Go­rilla Glass on the front and rear and a smooth alu­minium frame that is a plea­sure to hold onto as our daily com­pan­ion.

Go­ing long

The big­gest change this time around is the screen, which de­parts from the stan­dard 16:9 dis­play ra­tio that is used in most phones and TVs to­day.

The screen is now ver­ti­cally stretched with a 18:9 ra­tio. This means that the 5.7in dis­play, which has a res­o­lu­tion of 2,880 x 1,440 pix­els, has more screen es­tate on both the bot­tom and top.

The longer dis­play might look pretty to some users, but it caused some games – es­pe­cially Poke­mon Go – to freeze and crash un­ex­pect­edly as not all apps are cur­rently op­ti­mised for the screen. Hav­ing said that, Poke­mon Go has been very buggy lately.

The dis­play, which the com­pany sim­ply calls QHD+, is also the first phone to sup­port Dolby Vi­sion HDR (high dy­namic range).

We tested the fea­ture on Net­flix with shows such as Marco Polo, Okja, Riverdale and Dare­devil.

There were no­tice­able dif­fer­ences in pic­ture qual­ity – the colours were more vivid and punchy, for ex­am­ple – when com­pared with phones with reg­u­lar dis­plays.

How­ever, when com­pared with a smart­phone with an Amoled screen, we found it hard to tell the dif­fer­ence.

Dual shooter

The G6 sports two 13-megapixel sen­sors – the first for tak­ing reg­u­lar shots and the sec­ond for wide-an­gle shots.

The main sen­sor tends to fo­cus faster and is more sta­ble thanks to phase de­tect aut­o­fo­cus and op­ti­cal im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion. The shots in low-light con­di­tion turned out bet­ter than on the sec­ond sen­sor, with more de­tails thanks to the larger f/1.8 aper­ture.

Whereas the sec­ond sen­sor has an f/2.4 aper­ture and doesn’t have aut­o­fo­cus, mak­ing it less de­sir­able un­less there is suf­fi­cient light­ing.

LG has also built-in a num­ber of in­ter­est­ing fea­tures into the cam­era such as Snap­shot where one can pre­view the pre­vi­ous shot while shoot­ing a new one; Grid Shot for tak­ing up to four pho­tos and cre­at­ing a col­lage; and Guide Shot which al­lows you to use an im­age as a guide so you can shoot a new photo with the same com­po­si­tion.

The com­pany doesn’t let the ex­tra space gained from the longer dis­play go to waste, as users can turn on the cam­era roll pre­view fea­ture which dis­plays the most re­cent pho­tos and videos on a scrol­lable bar at the bot­tom.

Se­cured ac­cess

The G6 runs on An­droid Nougat out-of-the-box, with the com­pany’s cus­tom user in­ter­face called UX 6.0.

Users can choose to keep the app drawer which stores all the apps on the phone while dis­play­ing only se­lected apps, or sim­ply get rid of it for an iOS-like look.

LG has also added a new layer of se­cu­rity called Knock Code. In­stead of us­ing the con­ven­tional PIN, pass­word or pat­tern op­tions to lock the phone, users can use a pat­tern of “knocks” on the screen.

Once reg­is­tered, users can eas­ily tap the screen ac­cord­ing to the “knock pat­tern” to turn on the phone – it’s nice to have an­other handy se­cu­rity fea­ture that can be cho­sen along with the fin­ger­print bio­met­ric op­tion.

To keep the elon­gated de­sign clean, the Home but­ton has now been in­te­grated with the rear fin­ger­print sen­sor – you will prob­a­bly take some time to get used to it, es­pe­cially to per­form a screen­shot.

Snappy smart­phone

The phone didn’t strug­gle with graph­ics in­ten­sive games, breez­ing through ti­tles such as Dy­nasty War­riors: Un­leashed, Tokaido and Ban­ner Saga.

Not sur­pris­ing given that it uses the flag­ship-grade Snap­dragon 821, which is still pretty pow­er­ful de­spite be­ing last year’s model. It also has 4GB of RAM.

As it has a large 64GB in­ter­nal stor­age, in­stalling games and apps, and stor­ing thou­sands of pho­tos will not be an is­sue with the G6.

Based on our daily us­age pat­tern con­sist­ing of heavy so­cial me­dia us­age (Face­book, Twit­ter, In­sta­gram and LinkedIn) with casual gaming ses­sions through­out the day, the 3,300mAh bat­tery lasted an en­tire day.

When gaming ses­sions were on the heav­ier side, the bat­tery drain was slightly more no­tice­able and the phone usu­ally lasted till about 8pm to 9pm.

Con­clu­sion

If you are look­ing for a flag­ship smart­phone that has the looks, func­tion­al­ity and per­for­mance, the G6 is a good choice to con­sider.

The hefty price tag might be a de­ter­rent to some but you are pretty much get­ting what you pay for. The smart­phone is es­pe­cially great for those who like watch­ing movies on the go, as it sup­ports HDR.

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