When LG first unveiled the G6 back in February at the Mobile World Congress 2017, a new concept of fitting a large display in a small shell sounded extremely fascinating. However, Samsung recently launched its Galaxy S8 and S8+ which took the same concept and added the curved edges on both sides. While the Galaxy S8 will retail for Rs 57,900, the LG G6 goes on sale tomorrow morning for a price tag Rs 51,990 and you get Rs 10,000 back if you buy it tomorrow and via HDFC or SBI debit/credit cards. LG G6 is probably the closest we can get to its Samsung counterpart and it will be interesting to see as to how it shapes up in the Indian smartphone market. But before, we were at the launch event and got the chance to play with the LG G6 for a while and here is our first impression.
Big Display, Small Shell
Hitting the design aspect first, LG G6 though having a 5.7-inch display, doesn’t feel big at all. We have glass both at the front and back with Gorilla Glass 5 protection with a metal frame on the sides. The glass at the back gives it a glossy finish at the back which does take a bunch of fingerprints but it still feels a lot premium. The back has a very slight curve on the edges which does help in gripping the device even though it doesn’t feel that slippery although you should not take it for granted as it is still glass. We have the power button which is also a fingerprint scanner, at the back along with that interesting looking dual-camera setup at the back. On the top, we have the secondary microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack while on the left sits the volume rockers. On the right side, we just have our SIM tray and at the bottom, we have a USB Type-C port, the primary microphone and the speaker grill. At the front, the device comes with a 5.7-inch Quad HD+ (1440 x 2880 pixels) IPS LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and a unique aspect ratio of 18:9 coupled with Dolby Vision technology embedded on board.The display curves on each corner which is unique and can give a tough fight to Samsung’s bezel-less curved display. In our brief testing period, the LG G6 display was sharp, accurate on colours and also bright enough to make our eyes hurt indoors. For our final thoughts on the design, the G6 is much more compact than you think and if you like using devices with a screen size of 5.2-5.5-inches, the G6 will be a swift adjust to your hands.
Camera and Audio, The top priority
While most of the flagship OEMs these days tend to focus a lot on the camera, LG has also taken care of audio as well. The G6 comes with a Hi-Fi Quad DAC, which may sound familiar to you, but the South Korean company claims that it should give you extremely high-quality audio output even with your regular pair of headphones. We are yet to test the audio segment so you might want to wait for our detailed review of the device.
For the optics, the LG G6 banks heavily on wide-angle photography. At the back, we get a Dual 13-megapixel camera setup of which one is a regular sensor with f/1.8 aperture paired with OIS and PDAF while the other one is a 125-degree wide angle sensor with f/2.4 aperture. To put this in simple terms, while one sensor will get you the normal shots, the other one will let you more in a single frame if you are too near to your object. Jumping to the front, we get a 5-megapixel camera with a wide viewing angle of 100 degrees and an aperture of f/2.2.
Now, giving a verdict on the camera performance of the LG G6 might be a little unfair as we are yet to test the device thoroughly. For the initial impressions, the rear camera looked impressive. We have a tonne of options in the camera interface such as a manual mode, food mode and various modes for shooting which include a snapshot, match shot, guide shot, grid shot and 360-degree panorama which will detail out more in our full review. The front camera, however, might be not up to industry standards for the price range.
Processor might bother some but not the Performance
Unlike previous years, LG launched its G6 at the Mobile World Congress mainly because it wanted to win a good chunk of sales before Samsung launches its Galaxy S8. As a result, the company went in for last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset which is an Octa-Core processor clocked at 2.35GHz along with Adreno 530 GPU. Now, it’s true the performance will be inferior to Snapdragon 835 but 95 percent of users will hardly notice it. The device packs in 4GB of RAM along with 64GB of internal storage which is expandable via microSD card slot which sits in a dual Hybrid SIM slot.
On the downside, Snapdragon 821 will surely age faster than Snapdragon 835 so if you want a device which should last at least 2-3 years, the LG G6 might not be the best option right now.
For the software, the device comes with Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX 6.0 on top. LG UX hasn’t been the most popular skins but the company has surely worked upon it. For the time we had the device, we didn’t notice any major hiccups. The device does have a bunch of apps pre-installed but that might be exclusive to demo units. On the good side, the LG UX 6.0 comes with a tonne of customisation options including Always on display, a night mode, it’s own theme store, the ability to edit navigation buttons etc. We also tested out the fingerprint scanner and it worked like a charm. It was quick and accurate and is placed perfectly below the camera module at the back, unlike some competition.
Battery, Water Resistance and Others
The G6 packs a 3300 mAh a battery which is non-removable, unlike what we saw last year with the G5 and LG V20. No words on the battery life but we assume to get through a rough day easily. The company has taken some important lessons from the whole Note 7 battery fiasco and has made sure that its battery is safe. For this, the company has installed heat pipes, which is made from the thermal conductor for transferring heat away from the processor. The company also added that they have kept some space between the LCD driver and battery and has added some air gap, which will give some breathing space for the battery, hence making it less prone to exploding.
Apart from this, LG G6 is fully water resistant and dustproof with IP68 certification so it can easily take in that sudden rain but surely not a dive in a swimming pool as IP68 translates into a water resistant in 1-meter deep water for 30 minutes. For the connectivity, the device offers Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, NFC, and USB Type-C 2.0.