Admit it or not, LG’s 2016 has been also a roller coaster ride. Their LG G5 smartphone was the company’s 1st venture into the modular smartphone, but it didn’t really catch up as it was plagued with problems with aesthetics, body and even channel distribution of their products.

Refocusing their strengths with the LG V20 mid-2016, the company is once again back on the right track of what they needed to bring to customers. This 2017, they started off with the LG G6 and they seem combined all of their strengths by introducing their 1st IP68 water and dust resistant smartphone along with Military Standard 810G durability.

LG G6 Specifications
  • 5.7-inch QHD+ FullVision display @ 2880 x 1440, 565ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 2.4GHz quad-core processor
  • Adreno 530 graphics
  • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • 64GB UFS 2.0 storage expandable via microSD Sim Slot 2 up to 2TB
  • 13MP f/1.8 and 13MP f/2.4 Wide-angle Rear cameras with Dual LED Flash
  • 5MP f/2.2 Wide-angle front camera
  • WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS with aGPS support
  • NFC, Fingerprint Sensor
  • IP68 Dust and Water resistance
  • Military Standard 810G Durability
  • Dolby Vision, HDR Display
  • 32-bit HiFi Quad DAC Chip
  • USB Type-C 2.0
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
  • Android 7 Nougat with LGUX 6.0
  • 3,300mAh Li-Po battery (non-removable)
  • 9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm (dimensions)
  • 163 grams (weight)
  • Colors: Mystic White, Astro Black, Ice Platinum

Design and Build

At one glance the LG G6 looks like an ordinary phone with its metal frame and flat glass finish, but you’ll look twice because of the tall screen real estate and maximized use of the front for the display. Hence it’s the Full Vision technology of LG with Dolby Vision technology.

There isn’t any implementation of any curved screen at the front this time, LG also opted to use a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 at the front and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the back. It seems LG opted to do this as part of their Military 810G standard goal, less fragile areas, and parts can result in a more rugged construction.

At the side is a one-piece metal frame construction that protects the phone from possible bumps and falls. While at the back its a 2.5D curved glass made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 gives it a solid block hold.

We can say that the LG G6 is a delight to hold, it reminds us of premium Sony Xperia phones like the Z5 Premium which has a glass front and back with a solid metal frame. Plus, the screen already has a screen protector included and installed for fewer worries.

Going to the 5.7″ 18:5 ration screen LG’s implementation to maximize this is a bit different. The 2880 x 1440 resolution IPS screen gives bright color production but not that saturated as compared to previous LG phones.

Brightness is great even under direct sunlight, overall display quality is above average. But we suggest LG increase the saturation of colors to give a better vivid viewing experience.

The speakers have a different delivery in sound, it seems the audio chip has to do with this. We tend to head a 5.1 simulation where reverb for the speaker is greater to simulate a bigger area. Loudness isn’t punching either but more of favorable to the high treble side, overall it’s decent but you’ll have to adjust to it in due time.

Performance

The LG G6 is using a 2016 launched Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB Storage.

We don’t blame LG for using an older processor, we think this time it’s Qualcomm’s fault in introducing too fast the advancement of processors with the lack of resources to supply the brands.

Regardless, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor is still very capable processor for today’s demanding generation in the mobile world. To be honest, we have come to the point that the processor isn’t the main concern anymore but more of refinement of each experience.

LTE performance is also good with compatibility for 700MHz and LTE Carrier Aggregation. We got around 40mbps download and 30 upload maximum using the Cherry Prepaid Network.

Camera

Now the LG G6 has the same camera implementation as the LG G5, it has a dual 13MP normal angle and wide angle camera. LG opted to drop the laser auto-focus system which they pioneered, perhaps this is due to the dual-camera can already work hand in hand to bring a better focus.

The main camera is great for focusing, it does stutter in times of low light but its expected for smartphones even today. What’s good about the camera is that the colors are accurate, it’s not over saturated and even has good high dynamic range. Problems will be encountered once you start taking photos in dim low light conditions.

The wide-angle lens at the rear is great for taking sceneries, it shows a better perspective of what you want to take a photo of and even having a go-pro like experience in your smartphone. Since the phone is also IP68 water and dust resistant, we think it’s a nice time to take your this phone into more adventures.

Selfies are also good, it has a wider 100-degree angle lens for selfie mode to take around 5 people easily. But we find the front camera a bit slow and loses focus even with the front screen used as LED flash. So do take note that you need a steady hand when taking selfies.

One major flaw LG did is the decision not to use Sapphire glass on the camera lens, even with our review unit you can see scratches visible and unfortunately no longer repairable unless you replace the glass. It’s a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 based on our research but even with the scratch resistant glass, lines are obviously present even in our duration of the review.

As you can see above, taking photos of light sources will result in glare lines and that are permanent lines, unfortunately. It’s sad that LG’s glass implementation and design didn’t even have a lip to protect the lens, even Huawei P10’s lens glass is made of Sapphire glass.

Special Camera Software

Due to the 18:9 Ratio screen, it means you can take advantage of two square photos in one screen. LG’s Square camera implementation is exactly that, you can take creative shots using the phone’s unique interface such as taking a shot both front and back simultaneously. 

Create a comic-like story with 4 square photos without stitching them afterward. Or even just see your previously taken photo so you can do a continuation about it. The possibilies are good with this new method, but the limitation is that all photos must be square and angles are limiting to some.

User Interface

LG learned and toned down their colorful implementation of their user interface with LGUX 6.0. Everything feels light and less cluttered, and that is good about the revamp of user interface. We don’t see as well anymore LG’s own software implementation to every app of Google, something they think should be user’s own decision.

Battery Life

Despite the refinements in the processor, screen and user interface, it seems LG’s system still has a lot of improvements to do. In average we still need to reach a charger mid-day just to last until we get home. In our test in PC Mark, the benchmark only lasted around 6 hours and 42 mins, quite short and indicates a battery consuming system.

We hope LG can improve this with a software update, though we don’t mind the fast charging via Qualcomm Quick Chare 3.0 or 2.0. Fortunately, accessories today for QC 3.0 are now even widely available for you to have.

Conclusion

Overall the LG G6 is a great jump from the LG G5, personally owning a G5 definitely made me even say that I would like to switch to the G6. But just a reminder that LG isn’t the only brand with an 18:9 aspect ratio, but LG has a better mindset of durability, functionality, and practicality in mind.

For Php37,990 you can get the LG G6 with 64GB of internal storage, a much appreciated save as the initial reports were a 32GB storage for a flagship. It’s a bit steep, to be honest, but we think LG can pull it off with good presence in stores and perhaps marketing.

With that said, the LG G6’s rear dual camera, military standard 810G body and even the better rear fingerprint scanner will be the most appealing features for us. It has an overall package that we can say “flagship” worthy, but still lacking in specific attention to detail. It will boil down if you will really need the wide angle rear camera lens and the IP 68 protection rating.

Sadly the drawbacks of having a mediocre battery life and flawed camera glass made us hesitate to recommend this phone. For urban warriors like us, this is a big no-no and perhaps LG can improve with accessories and software update.

 

 

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