£699 inc VAT • lg.com/uk
As Mobile World Congress (MWC) got underway in Barcelona, Spain, there were thousands of companies vying for your attention. One that tries to do so every year is LG, and this year it has gone big – literally – with its latest high-end handset, the LG G6.
LG has lagged behind the popularity of fellow South Korean rival Samsung in recent years, and with no Galaxy S8 in Barcelona, LG is desperate to make sure the G6 takes all the headlines, thought it faces stiff competition from Sony and even Nokia this year.
The design has been overhauled again following the leather-clad G4 and the modular G5 to a
debatably more uniform metal and glass affair. LG’s Friends didn’t last long, did they? But the G6 looks stunning and performs just as well as the best smartphones on the market after our initial tests.
MobileFun has revealed the UK price of the LG G6: £699. You can pre-order the LG G6 from its site now. The release date is unconfirmed, though we expect it to be in April or May, and we expect it to be available on all four major UK networks.
So LG has gone big, but it’s the screen, not the handset itself, that’s grown. The G6 has an 18:9 screen, expanding the display from the traditional confines of 16:9. This leaves it with a 5.7in Quad HD display. It looks seriously good.
Alongside that wonderful display is a design that conforms, unlike the modular G5 and the leather-clad G4. The G6 takes a leaf out of the iPhone 4’s book with a solid aluminium frame and Gorilla Glass on the front and back. It comes in white, platinum and black, with only the latter being a true fingerprint magnet.
The refined design is simpler and more elegant, with the dual rear cameras and fingerprint sensor that acts as the power/lock button sitting flush with the body. The bottom edge houses the USB-C port (fully waterproof), single speaker and mic. The right edge is smooth and clear save for the SIM tray, while the left edge has the two volume keys. The top edge has that very welcome 3.5mm headphone jack.
Even though the metal and glass frame isn’t entirely original, the rounded design is made all the more striking thanks to the rounded corners of the actual display as well. It’s a clever detail that doesn’t negatively affect use while accentuating the handset’s thin bezels and unusually tall screen. It works really well.
LG said that its goal with the G6, after extensive customer research, was to make a phone with a huge screen but that you could still comfortable use with one hand. The problem here is that this is basically impossible, even for those with large hands. Where the company has succeeded though is by making the G6 perfectly pocket friendly while packing in a screen that it’s easy to scroll through and hold with a single paw.
This might sound easy to achieve, but it can be rare to find on phablets like the LG G6. The iPhone 7 Plus, for example, is a through and through two-handed device, and the LG succeeds in fitting a larger screen than that phone into a smaller overall body.
Processor One point of contention among the tech community is LG’s decision to go with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor rather than its latest 835 that we expect to see in the Galaxy S8.
The 821 is in its third generation, and LG told us in an interview that it therefore has more expertise in how to optimise the user experience (UX) and implied the 835 wouldn’t have brought any more noticeable advantages.
We hope that the as yet unannounced price will reflect this. LG needs to undercut its rivals somewhere, something HTC failed to do with its overpriced HTC U Ultra, another phone with the 821 processor. We aren’t too worried about performance, though.
Display The display is a 5.7in Quad HD display with a resolution of 2880x1440 – it’s stunning. Aside from the 564ppi, the extra height of the 18:9 aspect means the whole experience of using the G6 is improved from the G5. If that sounds a bit too vague, it’s because you really need to get your hands on it to see what we mean. This impression is also intrinsically linked with the changes to the software, which we’ll come on to. The screen also retains the always-on functionality from the G5, with a slightly altered setup lower down on the screen with a new default