LG G6 is a very different flagship phone from LG and that’s a good thing

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    LG G6

    Note: The LG G6 in this first look feature is a pre-production set and the actual features might defer.

    Over the last few years, LG’s flagship phones have gotten a lot of flak. From the G4 leather backs to last year’s ‘transformer’ modular design, these phones have had their fair share of love and hate from consumers. But it looks like LG pulling all stops for the G6 in order to stay on the radar of its fast dissipating fans.

    LG G6 first impressions

    Upon opening the box, the sleek and minimal profile of the phone resting quietly in a simple matte black box is strikingly eye-catching. The reflective Gorilla Glass 3 framed by a thin metallic rim and ever slight bezel looks like LG finally got the design right this time.

    What surprises me the most is how comfortable it feels on my hand. Unlike the slippery iPhone 7, the slight curvature on the edge of the back of the G6 nests comfortably on the palm, like it fits there.

    Upon hitting the on/off or standby button at the back of the phone which also provides fingerprint recognition, the lit screen looks even better and there is a certain flatness to how the colours renders on the G6. But more on the screen later. For those not used to having the standby button at the back, it does need a little getting used to. Furthermore, the button is ultra sensitive. This is probably the fastest we have seen a fingerprint recognition button work to activate the screen and that causes me to unintentionally fire up the phone simply by holding it.

    LG G6 - Astro Black
    G6 in Astro Black
    LG G6 dual lens camera
    Dual-lens camera and fingerprint recognition button

    5.7-inch display

    The G6 has a rather odd 18:9 display ratio. But that unusual ratio has allowed LG to stretch the screen and achieve an edge-to-edge 5.7-inch display on a smaller body. Even though I have relatively big hands, I still have trouble operating the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus single-handedly, but not with the G6. While the QHD+ 2,880 x 1,440 resolution screen looks amazing, we are very distracted with the rounded corners as oppose to the sharp edges on other smartphones.

    Another thing about such a screen ratio is its compatibility with the ecosystems of apps and video players. Although apps like Facebook and Instagram looks amazing on the phone, some games and apps will have a certain portion of the interface with these bars. Similarly, YouTube videos which uses 16:9 ratio will also have these black bars.

    Phone colours

    LG will release 3 colours for the new flagship–White, Platinum and Astro Black. I feel that the new astro black, with is a very usual colour for LG phones, is the best looking of the lot. The high gloss treatment (similar to Apple’s Jet Black) with matching matte black metal rim gives it a ‘premium’ feel.

    Performance and Storage colours

    For the techies, G6 runs on Snapdragon 821 Processor with 4GB of RAM. The LG G6 will go into production with an ample storage size of 64GB, which in my opinion is the sweet spot (for now) for mobile storage. This will also be the only model for the G6, so if you have gotten used to higher capacity of 128GB, touch luck. However, the microSD slot should solve that issue.

    Camera

    LG seems to be focused on improving both the camera and the software for this phone. Unlike the dual lens setup on the iPhone 7 Plus to capture bokeh-like images in portraits, LG has its money on wide-angle shots. The dual-lens 13 megapixels rear cameras can shoot up to ultra wide 125-degrees field of view and according to LG representatives, it is equivalent to a 10mm wide angle view on a DSLR.

    After testing it for a day on outdoor and indoor environments as well as different lighting conditions, I am very happy with the f/2.4 aperture wide-angle camera lens, which happens to be pretty much what I shot with the entire day. Here are some shots straight out of the camera:

    Like most high-end smartphone cameras, a well-lit shot is always better, but in the case of the G6, the low-light shots are very good as well. Apart from the cameras, LG also introduced new camera modes like the ‘360-panoramic’ as well as ‘food’. I had a lot of fun with both modes but the ‘Auto’ mode is still my favourite.

    Battery life

    The removable battery option on the G5 is gone and what you are getting instead is an embedded 3,300mAh battery block that can power up the phone for an entire day. The added advantage of opting for a fixed battery is that G6 is now officially water-resistant. Just to prove a point, we placed the smartphone under a running tap for a minute, even though that’s an odd thing to do. And sure enough the phone works perfectly fine after. A minor detail, similar to the G5, the unit that we got charges using the USB-C port. USB-C is the emerging industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power, so consider this device to be future-ready as well.

    LG-G6-scaled-1
    So wide it can fit a T-Rex (scaled down).
    LG-G6-scaled-2
    The wide-angle is great for travel shots (scaled down).

    Verdict

    There are a couple of things that I really like about the LG G6. The design, size, how comfortable it fits on my palm and the wide-angle dual-lens camera setup all work together in a nice glossy package. Although LG faces tough competition ahead and it is still early to tell whether it will be a huge success, the G6 is already one of the “top 10 phones of 2017” in our opinion.

    Update:

    LG G6 is now available at all major telcos with the following free gifts:

    • An extended 12-month warranty (24 months).
    • Free flip case worth S$58.
    • Telco Promotions:
      • M1 customers can enjoy up to S$200 off LG G6 when they sign up for selected Fibre broadband and mobile plans at the same time.
      • Singtel customers can get a Free LG 43″ 4K UHD TV worth $1,388* when they complete their Singtel Circle with a LG G6 purchase (Combo 3 and above plans) and re-contract or subscribe to Singtel Fibre Broadband or TV. Simply visit any Singtel Shop or sign up online at www.singtelshop.com
      • StarHub customers who sign up for a 2-year HomeHub Go 1Gbps plan with LG G6 will receive a FREE LG 43” 4K UHD TV worth S$1,388*.

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