LG’S decision to adopt a modular design for its flagship last year was one of the most exciting developments in the smartphone scene but it didn’t quite catch on.
Fast forward a year later and the South Korean electronics giant has gone back to basics with its latest flagship phone, the G6.
It’s a sleek smartphone with sturdy Gorilla Glass on the front and rear and a smooth aluminium frame that is a pleasure to hold onto as our daily companion.
The biggest change this time around is the screen, which departs from the standard 16:9 display ratio that is used in most phones and TVs today.
The screen is now vertically stretched with a 18:9 ratio. This means that the 5.7in display, which has a resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 pixels, has more screen estate on both the bottom and top.
The longer display might look pretty to some users, but it caused some games – especially Pokemon Go – to freeze and crash unexpectedly as not all apps are currently optimised for the screen. Having said that, Pokemon Go has been very buggy lately.
The display, which the company simply calls QHD+, is also the first phone to support Dolby Vision HDR (high dynamic range).
We tested the feature on Netflix with shows such as Marco Polo, Okja, Riverdale and Daredevil.
There were noticeable differences in picture quality – the colours were more vivid and punchy, for example – when compared with phones with regular displays.
However, when compared with a smartphone with an Amoled screen, we found it hard to tell the difference.
The G6 sports two 13-megapixel sensors – the first for taking regular shots and the second for wide-angle shots.
The main sensor tends to focus faster and is more stable thanks to phase detect autofocus and optical image stabilisation. The shots in low-light condition turned out better than on the second sensor, with more details thanks to the larger f/1.8 aperture.
Whereas the second sensor has an f/2.4 aperture and doesn’t have autofocus, making it less desirable unless there is sufficient lighting.
LG has also built-in a number of interesting features into the camera such as Snapshot where one can preview the previous shot while shooting a new one; Grid Shot for taking up to four photos and creating a collage; and Guide Shot which allows you to use an image as a guide so you can shoot a new photo with the same composition.
The company doesn’t let the extra space gained from the longer display go to waste, as users can turn on the camera roll preview feature which displays the most recent photos and videos on a scrollable bar at the bottom.
The G6 runs on Android Nougat out-of-the-box, with the company’s custom user interface called UX 6.0.
Users can choose to keep the app drawer which stores all the apps on the phone while displaying only selected apps, or simply get rid of it for an iOS-like look.
LG has also added a new layer of security called Knock Code. Instead of using the conventional PIN, password or pattern options to lock the phone, users can use a pattern of “knocks” on the screen.
Once registered, users can easily tap the screen according to the “knock pattern” to turn on the phone – it’s nice to have another handy security feature that can be chosen along with the fingerprint biometric option.
To keep the elongated design clean, the Home button has now been integrated with the rear fingerprint sensor – you will probably take some time to get used to it, especially to perform a screenshot.
The phone didn’t struggle with graphics intensive games, breezing through titles such as Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed, Tokaido and Banner Saga.
Not surprising given that it uses the flagship-grade Snapdragon 821, which is still pretty powerful despite being last year’s model. It also has 4GB of RAM.
As it has a large 64GB internal storage, installing games and apps, and storing thousands of photos will not be an issue with the G6.
Based on our daily usage pattern consisting of heavy social media usage (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) with casual gaming sessions throughout the day, the 3,300mAh battery lasted an entire day.
When gaming sessions were on the heavier side, the battery drain was slightly more noticeable and the phone usually lasted till about 8pm to 9pm.
If you are looking for a flagship smartphone that has the looks, functionality and performance, the G6 is a good choice to consider.
The hefty price tag might be a deterrent to some but you are pretty much getting what you pay for. The smartphone is especially great for those who like watching movies on the go, as it supports HDR.
Pros: Handy wide-angle sensor; beautiful display; water and dust resistant.
Cons: Stretched display needs time to get used to; rear glass is a fingerprint magnet; secondary sensor not as good in low light; limited support for Dolby Vision HDR.
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 7.0 Nougat
DISPLAY: 5.7in QHD Plus (1,440 x 2,880 pixels)
CAMERA: Dual 13-megapixel rear cameras; 5-megapixel front camera
CONNECTIVITY: USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi
PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core (2 x 2.35GHz Kryo + 2 x 1.6GHz Kryo)
MEMORY: 64GB internal memory, 4GB RAM
OTHER FEATURES: Water and dust resistant (IP68), supports Dolby Vision/HDR10
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 71.9 x 7.9 x 148.9mm
PRICE: RM2,999 (inclusive of GST)
RATING: Four stars
Review unit courtesy of LG Malaysia