A week after the launch of Samsung Galaxy S8 in India, LG has today launched the G6. Currently the closest competitor to Samsung’s flagship device, the LG G6 is priced at Rs 51,990. With its new smartphone, it is clear from the get go that LG’s focus is on overcoming the failure of the LG G5. After spending some time with the LG G6, here are my first impressions.
As soon as you lay your hands on the new LG G6, you can’t help but marvel at how good the smartphone looks and feels. While the smartphone is built using metal, what you really touch is glass — with Gorilla Glass 3 at the front, and a Gorilla Glass 5 at the back. As you can see from the photos, under the glass is a layer of brushed aluminum, which gives you an impression of this being a metal unibody design, until you hold it.
The front is truly dominated by the display with nearly invisible bezels, and just enough space for the LG logo, earpiece, selfie camera and sensors. LG’s idea behind the design was to create a smartphone that flaunts a big display, but which easily fits into one’s hands. And we must admit, the company has managed to do just that.
The LG G6 flaunts a 5.7-inch LCD ‘FullVision’ display with a resolution of 2880×1440 pixels, giving it an unusual 18:9 aspect ratio — which essentially means it is exactly twice as tall as it is wide. By increasing the height of the display, LG has managed to keep the width in check, which in turn helps someone with small palms like mine hold the device with ease. To put this into context, the G6 is actually narrower and shorter than the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. ALSO READ: LG G6: From 18:9 FullVision display, Google Assistant to dual-rear cameras, here are top 8 features
Adding to the strong build quality is an IP68 certification, which makes the LG G6 resistant to water and dust. In other words, you can submerge the phone in up to one-and-a-half meters of water for up to 30 minutes without damaging the internals.
LG’s recent smartphones have featured decent set of cameras, and this year is no different. Just like last year, LG’s new flagship smartphone again boasts a dual-camera setup at the back, but the implementation is a little different this time around. Both are 13-megapixel sensors — a wide-angle lens with field of view of 125 degrees, and a standard lens with field of view of 71 degrees, aperture f/1.8 and support for OIS. Though I didn’t get to extensively use the camera, it did manage to get some good shots under ambient lighting.
LG has also added some interesting camera modes, including a food mode that is aimed at users who love to capture and share what they are about to eat, timelapse, slo-mo, panorama, and a 360-degree panorama mode.
There’s also an interesting Square camera that clicks photos in 1:1 ratio, which is perfect for Instagram junkies like me. This mode also makes use of the G6’s unique aspect ratio and lets you preview a photo as you click them in real-time. For selfie lovers, there’s a 5-megapixel front-facing snapper with f/2.2 aperture, which performed well in the short time that I spent with the smartphone.
Where the LG G6 disappoints is its processor. Being a flagship device, there’s no excuse for the G6 featuring last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. This will no doubt be a deal breaker for many. As for rumors about Samsung hoarding the chipsets, Sony and ZTE have already announced the Xperia XZ Premium and Gigabit smartphones with Qualcomm’s latest SoC. The processor is paired with 4GB of RAM.
On the software front, the LG G6 runs on Android Nougat out-of-the-box, and it is also among the first smartphone apart from Pixel to have Google Assistant onboard. It is not pure Android that you get, but LG’s UI — dubbed GUI — doesn’t really feel to heavy. Additionally, the UI is optimized to make the most of the unique 18:9 aspect ratio and many apps have been adjusted to divide the screen into those shapes. For example, in the contact list, the top half of the screen is taken up by the person’s photo, while the bottom half contains the details. The perfect symmetry is oddly satisfying to look at. However, it remains to be seen if all apps will work flawlessly on the odd display aspect ratio. We are okay with having a black band on top and bottom, but it will be a deal breaker if major apps turn out to be incompatible with the display.
With a price tag lower than the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG seems to have hit the bull’s eye in at least one critical aspect. The LG G6 has lot going for it like the beautiful display, dual-camera and durability. But there’s no hiding the fact that the smartphone is powered by last year’s chipset. We will be taking a much closer look at the LG G6, and put it through the paces in our detailed review. Stay tuned.