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LG G6 | Review | BrightTitan
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LG G6 | Review

LG G6 | Review

LG has been looking for something different each year for the G series smartphones, which are described as the company’s “flagship” devices. One year metallic looking plastic body, one year leather looking back cover, another year modular design. The South Korean company is looking for a totally different search this year and wants to get ahead in the competition. This year’s flagship model LG G6 comes with a combination of glass and metal, which seems to capture the soul of time. LG is trying to support it with powerful hardware, great cameras and a handy interface. However, are those enough?

 

Design

 

As we mentioned at the beginning, the LG G series has been constantly changing. Since the first G-series phone came out in 2012, we have seen that the South Korean company has a different design approach every year. This year, a combination of glass and metal is preferred, and LG seems to have finally found the right path. The glass-metal structure that Samsung has featured on its smartphones for the past two years has been shown to be at a high level both in terms of appearance and feeling of use. LG is doing the same thing.

 




 

This year’s phone could be considered a brand new beginning, with minor footprints in the design of the G5. While the metal frame is wrapped around the edges of the phone, Gorilla Glass 3 is used both on the front and Gorilla Glass 5, which is designed to prevent scratches at a higher level than the normal glasses. However, when we hold the G6 in bright light, we saw that both the front and back surfaces begin to fill with scratches. The G6 is also very generous about keeping a fingerprint. However, the coefficient of friction of the glass surfaces is not kept low, which basically means the phone can slip when you are holding it. The slightly curved structure of the rear glass surface to the edges makes it easier to recognize the G6 though. The slightly rounded corners of the phone soften the phone look a little. As a matter of fact, the LG G6, with a somewhat casual design, has a screen that covers a large part of the front side, with a curved corner on its edges not like the Samsung Galaxy though.

 

This new design leads to LG’s habit of giving up from somethings, which is now the removable battery. The common feature of LG phones up to now was that the battery could be changed by the users. Even on the last year’s phone, G5, LG has made it possible for users to change the battery thanks to the modular structure, even though it was not from the back cover. However, with the transition to the glass-metal structure, a removable cover or piece of the phone is not included. LG is trying to shut down this incapacity with the fast charging feature offered through the USB-C port, which we’ll cover in the following sections.

 

One of the new features of the G6 that was already available in its rival is the water resistance. In fact, this phone with IP68 certification is resistant to both water and dust, so you can use your phone in heavy rains and in the summer months. You can also take photos and videos underwater, but manufacturers often do not really recommend it. If you like, you can wash the G6 under water, so you can clean the phone’s body.

 

The LG G6 has a screen as big as 5.7 inches, but LG preferred a screen ratio of 18: 9, in other words using a 2: 1 aspect ratio, goes beyond the 16: 9 format we have used to on our smartphones. The screen is slim and has a long structure, making it possible to hold the phone a little more comfortably with one hand. LG has also narrowed the frame area surrounding the G6’s screen. With a 78.6 percent screen-to-surface ratio, the G6 is able to outperform the average. As a result, we have a relatively low surface area despite a big screen. When we bring the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus and the 5.7-inch LG G6 side by side, we see that the G6 is smaller although it has a larger screen. As a result, although the LG G6 is a big screen phone, it is relatively easy to use with one hand. Your fingers will still not reach the top of the screen, but it seems a bit more comfortable to move the phone in the palm of your hand and take your finger to the point where you can not reach it. When the front screen covers a large area, the remaining elements do not have much space left. LG has a 5 megapixel camera, a handset speaker and sensors in a very tight space at the top of the screen. At the lower side is the USB-C port, speaker and microphone, while the opposite upper side has a second microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the left side we see the volume keys and on the right side we see the nanoSIM and microSD card tray. The antenna lines are cut off at the four corners of a certain point of the metal frame. The back of the phone reminds me a bit more about the G5. There are two cameras with 13 megapixel resolution, with double LED flash in the center. Below these is the power button integrated into the fingerprint reader. The G6 logo is aligned horizontally to a point near the bottom.

 

Hardware and Performance

 

One of the biggest innovations that the LG G6 brings to its predecessors is that it has a screen with a different aspect ratio. This phone, like 18: 9, has the image rate out of our habit. It is possible to simplify it to 2: 1, but it is underlined that the screen is longer than the 16: 9 aspect ratio screen with 18: 9. With this different aspect ratio, LG keeps the width of the G6 at the limit to allow it to hold comfortably in the palm of the hand, with a 5.7-inch corner-to-corner large screen experience. In the previous part, we talked a bit about the screen, saying that the corners were rounded. Thanks to this look, the LG G6’s air differs from being an ordinary phone. When you look carefully at the corners, you will see that the corners have slight irregularities at the points they meet with the edges. However, this has no negative effect on the overall visual experience. Just a detail that you can notice when you look very carefully. The 5.7-inch screen of the G6 has a bit more pixels thanks to its odd screen ratio. We see a resolution of 1440 x 2880. That means more space is being created thanks to the extended screen. As a result, we still see a pixel density in the level we generally encounter with screens with large and QHD resolutions, such as 564 ppi. The screen is exceedingly satisfactory in terms of sharpness. This screen with IPS technology offers a wide viewing angle, allowing easy use under sunlight. In addition, you can even see the screen with sunglasses, which was one of the problems of the LG flagship phone in the past. The color temperature of the screen and the black color depth are also at a good level. Mobile HDR support is also available, if you can actually find a content. It also features a blue light filter like iPhone Night Shift and color temperature profiles on the screen.

 

During the introduction of the LG G6, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor was not ready yet. However, it was mentioned that the processor was the first to be marketed primarily with Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8. As a result, the LG G6 is running on the Snapdragon 821 chipset, which we saw on smartphones from the second half of last year. This eight-core processor is accompanied by Adreno 530 GPU and 4 GB RAM. While the 32GB internal memory is available in the version sold in Europe, it is possible to upgrade the storage space further with the microSD card slot.

 

 

This hardware package, which the G6 has, offers top class smartphone performance we expect from the phone. In the Benchmark tests, the LG G6 is performing close to the top line. Apart from that, when we look at the practical situation, we can see that the phone is very fast and it is possible to navigate smoothly in the user interface. Game performance is also above average, but if we were to mention a special case, we occasionally observe small hangings while playing SimCity BuildIt, which we do not experience on an iPad or Galaxy S8. This may also be a game-specific situation. As for warming, let’s not forget that the LG G6 remains in its normal temperature range and does not suffer from overheating.

 

If it comes to the battery side, you are no longer able to remove the battery as you were with the previous LG phones. Nevertheless, a battery with an above-average capacity of 3300 mAh is included in this phone. LG is trying to overcome the lack of a removable battery with a quick charge feature. This phone, which houses Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, can store energy for a few hours in a short time with the help of a quick-charge adapter coming out of its box. With the LG G6, it is possible to comfortably take two days in normal intensity use. We can say that the phone will take a day off comfortably even with the games or video recording.

 

The headphone jack is included, but we do not know if there is a specific problem with our test product. The earbuds are not fully seated in this slot as it seems to stay a little short. We checked whether there was a problem with an object that escaped, but there was no such problem. In the tests that we made after putting the earphone entrance in the socket well by pressing it with our fingers, we found the LG G6’s headphone output intensity at a good level. The bass and treble are balanced. The bottom speaker also provides a higher-intensity and ear-popping sound output than a normal smartphone’s speaker. However, it is highly likely that you are holding the phone horizontally and blocking the loudspeaker while watching something or playing games.

 

Software

 

The LG G6, which comes with Android 7.0 Nougat, is running the latest version of LG’s customized user UX. The overall design of the user interface continues to be preserved as in the previous generations, with the application icon style based on squares with curved corners, the color palette of pastel colors, and the default main screen without the application drawer. Instead of presenting something new visually, LG seems to have struggled to remove the dislocation of older generations and provide a more regular user experience.

 

With a 2: 1 aspect ratio, it is possible to divide the screen into two even squares, which makes use of this advantage in the design of the LG user interface. In applications such as Contacts, Music, Calendar, we see that the screen is divided into two parts, the upper side is filled with rich visuals and the lower side is filled with more relevant information. In addition to this, the Nougat’s built-in multi-window feature makes it easier to use, and it is possible to divide one screen into two different applications in two squares of equal size. Due to the different aspect ratio of the screen, the display of mobile applications is also different. Most Android apps or games are set to 16: 9 format, so black bands at the top and bottom are visible on the LG G6 when they are turned on. You can enable applications to spread to the screen using screen compatibility mode. Although this situation causes the display area to be rimmed and the edges to be lost, it makes the display look better. On YouTube, we see black spaces on the left and right of the video. If you are using a black LG G6, we can say that these gaps will not be a problem. Netflix offers a viewing experience that adapts to the 18: 9 screen, which is displayed to fully extend to the border of the video screen.

 

On the other hand, the LG UX 6.0 uses Google’s Material Design language while it puts its own style on the one hand. In many places, such as quick set-ups, visual components screen, phone application and so on, we see simplicity close to Google’s pure Android. The Settings application has been categorized under four basic headings. As a result, in combination with the LG G6, users are expected to have a simple, yet pleasant user interface to use. Features such as KnockOn (wake up by double-clicking on the closed screen) and KnockCode (turn on the screen by clicking on a certain knob on the screen) are now also available in the G6. In addition, thanks to the Always on screen feature, things such as time, date, notifications are displayed on the screen even when the screen is turned off. Also, fingerprint reader is offering an alternative security method. The location of the fingerprint reader is chosen to be the point at which the index finger touches at the back of the phone in normal use, and the reader’s sensitivity and speed are fine.

 

There is not much difference from the G5 or V20 in terms of the applications. Google apps are installed on every certified Android phone. Apart from that, LG has tools like SmartWorld, RemoteCall Service, Smart Doctor, LG Mobile Switch. We also see LG Friends Manager installed, so if you bought one of the 360-degree cameras or VR glasses that were among the friends of the G5 last year, you can also use it with the G6. In the meantime, there are also Removed Apps features that allow you to restore apps that have been removed from the phone in the last 24 hours, without having to go back to Google Play. In addition to this, the LG VH20 Sound Recorder, LG Health application, QuickMemo + and other classic LG applications are also available to G6 users.

 

Camera

 

LG’s flagship phones have always been ambitious about cameras. The LG G6 is continuing its assertion. We see that the two-lens rear camera system, which was introduced last year with the LG G5 and allows shooting in wide-angle photographs, is a little better. One of the two lens in the back is used for normal photographs, the other for wide-angle shots with a 125-degree viewing angle. The resolution of both lenses is 13 megapixels, but the features such as aperture, auto focus, and optical image stabilization are different. The last two features are only available in the standard lens, with a diaphragm aperture of f / 1.8 higher than the other one. Switching between the two cameras can be done quickly, while taking advantage of the dual camera system when zooming in on video with less loss of quality. In wide-angle shooting, a slight curve arises naturally around the edges of the view, so we prefer to use more normal mode in the shots we made with the LG G6. Wide-angle shots are very useful for group shots. The camera application is also very similar to the last generation, but there are also some attachments. On one side of the screen are controls that you will always like to access quickly, such as flash, camera change, effects, mode, settings. On the other side, we see photo and video capture buttons. There is also a shortcut that opens the gallery. While in Basic mode, all settings are made automatically by the camera. Manual mode allows you to manually control parameters such as white balance, focus and ISO.

 

There is also a Square mode. Located on the main screen, this mode also provides quick access through the Frame Camera shortcut, utilizing the G6’s 18: 9 screen, dividing the screen into two equal squares. You can use one frame as a viewfinder to preview the other frame as well. Inside the Frame, the camera also features different shooting modes such as snapshot shooting, guided shooting and grate shooting.

 

The picture quality of the LG G6 is at a level that will please most users. The low light performance is also not bad, especially the main camera’s wide aperture and optical image stabilization system helps to take good pictures outdoors in dim or at night. The wide-angle lens does not have an optical image stabilization system, and at the same time the low aperture limits the wide angle of the landscape. In well-lit indoor environments, or in bright sunlight outside, you can take photos with excellent dynamic range and natural colors.

 

At 5 megapixels on the front, it does not go too high in terms of resolution, but on the other hand there is a 100 degree camera which is very convenient for selfies. Thanks to the wide angle of the camera, it is possible to fit more than one person to the camera. When you switch to the front camera, you will see the tone, brightness settings and various filters on the screen. With these you can make your selfie photos more beautiful.

 

On the video side we see the 4K video record, which is now the standard for flagship phones. In addition, you can also shoot Full HD in 18: 9 format to fill the screen completely. If you do not think watching the videos on TV, but you think you will watch more on the LG G6, you can choose this video resolution to fit the screen completely. The video footage is generally satisfactory, but despite the presence of the optical image stabilization system, motion-dependent vibrations are felt. Voice recording is quite good quality. In the meantime, if you select manual video capture mode, you have the possibility to adjust the sound.

 

Result

 

In LG G6, LG, which adopted different ideas such as the leather back cover option on the LG G4, the modular design on the G5, and the dual display on the V10 and V20 models,  chose not to move in line with the trends of the industry. This choice is not wrong, because the LG G6 is the most deserving phone among the LG flagship flagship we have seen so far. The body, which is made of metal and glass, has a sense of durability and quality. Though it looks like a regular phone, the slim screen frame and curved screen lifts the boredom of this phone. At the same time, thanks to the 18: 9 aspect ratio, a single-handed phone has emerged, despite the big screen. Let us once again state that we use the LG G6 comfortably in one hand, in most cases, without much trouble. Apart from that, design and ergonomics make it very enjoyable to use the G6.

 




 

We actually didn’t liked the LG’s user interface since old phones. Thanks to the simplifications and arrangements made with the LG G6, this experience has been made a little more compact and useful though. In addition, the adoption of two equal-sized square approaches in different applications also makes it possible to use applications more conveniently and efficiently. Although we do not have the most up-to-date processor, we see Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor delivering the expected performance from a smartphone. The battery life of up to two days is one of the pleasures of the G6.

 

On the camera side the LG G6 continues from the line of the previous generation G series phones. Maybe it is not the best camera phone on the market, but the camera of the G6 will be more than enough for many users.In terms of multimedia, the LG G6 also responds to needs.

 

The LG G6 has an advantage in terms of price compared to competitors in its own segment. This price difference can contribute to making LG the right choice for the flagship.

Jack Goodman

Founder & CEO of BrightTitan

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