Review

Published on July 5th, 2017 | by Varuna Singh

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LG G6 Review

I’ve been using the LG G6 for the past 2 months. My general conclusion is that I can recommend this phone but it highly depends on what phone you have today. Let me get straight to the various aspects of the phone.

The LG G6 is powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor and that isn’t the latest 835. That does sound odd, but in my usage, the 820 is a very capable processor that does almost everything with ease. Neck to neck it isn’t as fast as the Samsung Galaxy S8 in numbers and benchmarks but its to an extent that you don’t really notice unless you’re doing a lot of things at once. LG says the 821 is more stable than the 835 however its pretty evident that the 835 is stable as well. The LG G6 has 4GB of RAM with either a 32GB or 64GB internal storage option. Its a dual nano-SIM phone where the second slot can either be a microSD card or another nano SIM.

The G6 has a great camera, and in my G5 review, I applauded the wide angle camera. The same wide angle camera on the G6 is improved with similar exposure settings and switching between the normal and wide angle camera is now smooth and feels more natural. The front facing camera is also slightly wide angled and it looks good but it could be better in clarity. Its not as good as the iPhone 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S8. The resolution on the back two cameras is the same but it is a tad less than other phones out there at 13 MP rear and 5MP front. That means you’re going to loose a bit of resolution if you zoom in however its perfectly large for online.

The camera takes some great pictures and the camera app has an exposure slider in the UI that makes a lot of sense since a lot of times the G6 can over expose shots. I’ve gotten better quality and more natural looking images by sliding the exposure a bit lower. Once that is done, the G6 takes some good shots and while it may look brighter in low light, the images are more natural with lesser exposure. On White balance and overall camera performance, this has been improved from the G5. The phone does get hot when you operate the camera for a long time, and overall performance of the phone and the camera is largely impacted because of that. That’s a big negative.

The screen on the G6 is a looker. Its a long 18:9 display with curved corners that look natural. The G6 came out before the S8 however the edges of the screen do not curve completely to the sides. That does give the S8 a design advantage however I would like to point out the G6 feels more solid in the hand and overall the build quality is superb. In comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the LG G6 feels more solid in the hand. It also has an advantage over the S8 in ergonomics because of this.

Military spec build and battery

LG claims military spec in terms of the build quality. The G6 has gone through vigorous testing from drop tests to dust and humidity and water tests. It even lists out all the tests the LG G6 has passed. That in its own makes the LG G6 a more durable phone than the S8 and many other phones. LG also made a point to test the battery in extreme conditions. They have tried to over charge it, puncture it and put the phone in very hot and very cold temperatures. LG assures you that the G6 can handle day to day tasks with ease and maybe even some extreme cases as well.

Out with modular – in with a proven housing

The LG G6 has a 3000mAh battery that’s bigger than the G5. The G5 was all about modular design where it had a removable battery. With that concept scrapped, the G6 is able to fit in a larger battery that gives about 10-20% more battery life in my testing. That does make all the difference. I was able to push the G6 until its last breathe at the end of the day. Its nothing remarkable but its expected from a flagship phone today.

However, I do wish LG put a larger battery like other smartphone manufacturers. In comparison to the Samsung Galaxy S8, the LG G6 has the same battery capacity. However in my testing, the LG G6 consumed a lot more power making it not last as much as the S8. In some extreme cases it did not last a full day for me. Quick charge does help to fix that temporarily.

Battery life is improved from the G5 but isn’t as impressive as the S8

There is a USB Type C port with Qualcomm Quick Charge technology that LG calls Fast Charging. It charges the phone completely in 2 hours and is a life saver. Right next to this port is the external mono speaker that won’t really fill a noisy room or get you anywhere. Its average. There is no headphone jack at the bottom- it lies at the top. Some might find that weird, but there is a headphone jack and sound output had no issues.

Poor Snapchat experience – Camera APIs to blame

There are microphones at the top and bottom of the phone that help the G6 record in HD. That means better fidelity in audio recording and LG even has a pro Voice recording application that is able to do multi level audio filtering. It works well but is isn’t integrated very much with Android’s Audio APIs. That is actually an annoyance. LG’s camera app and Audio recording app is able to take advantage of this setup, however 3rd party applications like Snapchat or Skype are unable to use a lot of that.

LG’s audio and camera improvements work only if you use LG’s apps

In my Skype usage, the microphone worked fine but it didn’t do a good job in blocking external noise or enhancing mine. The inability to tie with Android APIs for audio is also prevalent on the cameras. While the dual camera setup is impressive, apps like Instagram and Snapchat fail to make use of it. This is where the iPhone takes a better advantage of hardware.

The LG G6 has the latest Android 7.0 Nougat. the G6 is heavily skinned on top of android from the launcher to the settings menu. I’ve come to be okay with the settings UI in the LG G series and kind of like it as well. Searching within LG’s launcher isn’t seamless and feels complicated. If I were you, I’d put Google’s Google Now launcher and stick to that. The G6 has Google’s Assistant built in with “OK Google” key word support. It works well and is one of the first Android phones to support it.

You either hate the LG’s Android skin, or you don’t really care

Overall the Android experience on the G6 isn’t ideal or stock but if you are a fan of LG’s UI, you will find yourself at home with the G6. Android still has its notification overload problem but that’s something to worry about only if you are switching from iOS. LG doesn’t have its own assistant and isn’t trying to compete in that sphere like Samsung is with Bixby. That also gives the exterior of the phone with just enough buttons. There is the volume up down buttons on the left and a Standby/Power button cum Fingerprint reader at the back.

No additional button makes for a clean phone that looks beautiful

The fingerprint reader and standby button is very much improved and positioned than the G5. It actually works every time I tried to trigger it. I remember in the G5 this was annoying. Its great to see that the G6 has no issues in that regard.

The fingerprint reader/power button finally works well

There are several reasons why I’d recommend the G6 over the Samsung Galaxy S8 that’s undoubtedly the Android flagship that everyone has their minds on. The G6 does a better job in overall build quality and rugged feel of the device. If you aren’t sold on the edge displays and way the S8 feels with its curves, LG gets really close in perfecting the solid smartphone form factor.

Its curved screen covers almost every side of the chassis but doesn’t change the solid outline of the traditional phone. In fact it’s the only phone you can buy today that has the benefit of a 18:9 screen with HDR with the curved corners. LG also has an LCD screen instead of an OLED so that would technically last longer and wouldn’t have bleeding light issues that OLED screen has.

The G6 is the only phone with a curved 18:9 screen that rugged

In my recommendation, if you have an LG phone, the G6 is LG’s best. It looks modern and even looks like a good competitor to the S8. There are durability reasons to prefer the G6 over the S8, however when it comes to design, id say its a personal preference that you will have to make for yourself. The S8 has some ergonomic flaws that gives the G6 an advantage. The cameras are another reason I would recommend the G6 that does a great job in outdoor video recording.

The LG G6 is already in the market and you can grab one for as low as AED2000 for the 4GB RAM 32GB version. It also has a microSD card slot for expansion.

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About the Author

I work with technology in Education. I also write stuff. I love design and people. @varunasingh



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