LG G6: Out with the modular, in with the svelte

by Goh De No
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The Samsung Galaxy S8 is out, and it is, by a very far mile, the best looking handset money can buy right now. Well, actually make that the second best looking by a mile; the first would be the Porsche-designed (and astonishingly-overpriced) Huawei Mate 9, but you know, anything that’s more expensive than an iPhone is really not a phone anymore.

The S8 of course is feature-packed, and have I mentioned how good it looks yet?

Us being Asians, where HSE (health & safety) is not THAT big of a deal yet, can look pass Samsung’s Note 7 blowing up fiasco. Even more so because none have blown up in Brunei, Malaysia or Singapore, and those three countries are probably what we Bruneians will refer to as “most places”.

But imagine if one did blow up whilst charging on your bed side. I’d be pretty traumatised, I’ll tell you.

So yeah, the Galaxy S8 is out, but I’m going to look at LG’s G6 just for a sec.

The LG G6 looks set to be a strong Galaxy S8 contender, at least for the first half of 2017. Image courtesy of LG.

If you’ve been following The Brunei Times’ Mobile Tech for the past five years, (thank you and welcome to Geekturf. It’s going to be one hell of a ride, hopefully for the long run!) you would know that I have been with LG’s flagship since the G2. I would’ve gotten the Optimus G when it first came out but that was a very young time for Android in Brunei and it was hard to get a phone that wasn’t an HTC or Samsung.

Currently, I am on the LG G5, and I got it about six months after the release. Having not doing so well in the rest of the world, I bought the G5 in Hong Kong for a mere B$480, less than B$500 for a flagship. Yes, I’m that kind of shopper.

With the wide angle and telephoto lenses as well as the ability to one day swap out a bad battery for a good one, I couldn’t see a better replacement than this for my flailing LG G3.

So with the LG G6, which was released about a month ago before the S8 (launched Wednesday), LG has really gone back to basics. Realising that the modular concept wasn’t working as proven by the G5, they’ve quickly adapted.

 

Unlike on most smartphones, the display on LG G6 holds a unique 18:9 aspect ratio, which gives users a larger screen real estate to work on. Image courtesy of LG.

The G6 has a large 5.7-inch display, and is definitely less flambouyant than the Galaxy S8, but brings a Dolby Vision technology along with a unique 18:9 aspect ratio.

Why does the 18:9 aspect ratio matter? Because we need two hands to use our giant-screened smartphones and LG’s focus on its flagships have been largely on the one-handed usability.

My G5 works great with one hand, having been able to reach across the side and to the top, but with the G6, I can probably reach across, though definitely not to the top.

The G6 is finally water- and dust-resistant, a first for an LG flagship, and the phone still looks pretty good, albeit just a step behind Samsung’s Galaxy S8 in terms of prettiness.

Besides that, the G6 has an expandable storage option, which I’m sure you will be able to choose to have SIM card 2 in (that’s a big deal for me), and you get the latest version of Android Nougat.

This gives you the side-by-side app covered with the 18:9 aspect ratio, especially when using your phone on its side.

The signature fingerprint scanner still stays on the back. It’s the best place to have a fingerprint scanner because your index finger naturally rests on that part of the smartphone (just under the lens). The physical keys, like the G5, have been moved to the side – a design change that I like less because keys on the back are much more unique.

Software-wise, this has an LG-skin on it as usual, and the best feature about the LG’s skin is the custom screenshot where you can doodle on (again, this is a major deal breaker for me).

As for the dual camera’s – everyone’s number one concern now – LG has upgraded its dual camera setup on the G6 by having two 13-megapixel lenses. My current G5 has an 8-megapixel wide and a higher 12-megapixel standard lens. So when you shoot wide, in the day there’s not much difference from the standard lens, but in lower-lighted situations, where you may want to shoot with a wide-angle, you lose some quality.

LG has upgraded its dual camera setup on the G6 by having two 13-megapixel lenses. Image courtesy of LG.

As for the front-facing camera, selfie lovers will rejoice at the wide-angle 5-megapixel camera. Although, if and when I do a selfie (never!) I would use the wide angle on the rear and just point the phone backwards at myself. It’s pretty hard to miss when it’s a 120-degree wide lens.

One thing that LG has brilliantly included out of the box is the ability to use Google Assistant, which highlights the beauty of Google’s OS in this version to users. The Assistant is only available on the Google Pixel out of the box prior to the G6’s release.

Sadly, the G6’s battery is no longer removable, and it has never been this way since the G2. To compensate, LG has made a larger capacity 3,300 mAh battery, and has made wireless charging available to this device. It charges wirelessly even while it’s dripping wet!

So if Samsung phones are too mainstream for you, the G6 is a really nice alternative. Although it won’t have all of the fancy features of the Galaxy S8, the G6 is definitely going to be able to do 99.5 per cent of the things you want your smartphone to achieve. It definitely can’t fly like a G6 though (pun intended).

https://youtu.be/841dtKrpz5U

 

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