LG G6 review: A solid flagship Android smartphone with a large screen in a small(er) package

Android / Mobile / Mobile Reviews / Reviews
LG-G6-review

The larger screen resolution in a smaller form factor gives the LG G6 a leg up, and the HDR10 and Dolby Vision support are nice added features as well.

TA-ratings-91Budget, mid-range, flagship smartphones… there are plenty of smartphone options out there these days. We’ve reviewed a number of LG smartphones in the past and our LG G6 review takes a look at one of the company’s latest to see how it stands up to previous models.

Specifications

The LG G6 has the following features and specifications:

  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821 Processor with X12 LTE
  • Storage: 32GB, microSD card slot with support up to 2TB
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Display: 5.7″ QHD+ (2880×1440; 18:9) FullVision Display with Dolby Vision & HDR10 Supported
  • Battery: 3,300 mAh Non-Removable; Quick Charge 3.0
  • Camera
    • Rear: 13MP Normal Angle 71˚ with f/1.8, OIS 2.0 and Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF); 13MP Wide Angle 125˚ with f/2.4
    • Front: 5MP Wide Angle 100˚
    • Video capture: Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
  • Speakers: 1.2W Speaker
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual Band), Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, USB 2.0 Type-C, NFC, GSM, HSPA, LTE
  • Location Sensors: A-GPS, Glonass
  • Sensors: Fingerprint scanner (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Additional Features: IP68 water & dust resistant
  • Operating System: Android 7.0
  • Dimensions: 148.9mm x 71.9mm x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 163g

What’s in the box

  • LG G6
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • USB Power Adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
LG-G6-review-23

What’s in the box…

Design

The first think you’ll probably wonder when seeing the LG G6 knowing it has a 5.7″ screen is how come it looks so small? To that note, LG has done an excellent job with this flagship smartphone to reduce the bezel size and maximize screen real estate in a smaller form factor. The LG G6 is roughly the same size as another 5.2″ device we recently reviewed, and smaller than other 5.5″ and 5.7″ smartphones we’ve reviewed in the past.

Looking at the front of the phone with the screen on, you’ll notice similarly thin side bezels, but the top and bottom bezels are much thinner than most other smartphones on the market today. The LG logo is centered on the bottom bezel while the front facing camera and earpiece are located at the top — the earpiece centered and the camera off to the left side. The display itself has rounded corners which gives it an interesting look when the screen is on which I rather like.

LG-G6-review-11

LG G6 front view.

The outer edge of the phone is a slightly rounded aluminum frame with beveled edges towards the screen and the back of the phone. The USB Type-C port is on the bottom with the speaker to the right of it, while the 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top of the phone on the right-hand side. On the left-hand side of the phone in the upper third area is where you’ll find the volume up and down buttons. The microSD card and SIM tray is located on the right-hand side of the edge of the phone.

LG-G6-review-08

LG G6 bottom view.

The back of the LG G6 features a glass back as well, although it could easily be mistaken for plastic given the feel. Centered near the top is the flush dual camera with LED flash between them. Just below this is the round fingerprint scanner which doubles as the power button. At first, it took a bit of getting used to having the power button on the back, but once you get used to it, it’s a pretty solid design choice when doubled with the fingerprint scanner. The G6 branding is centered near the bottom of the phone under the IEMI sticker.

LG-G6-review-03

The dual-cameras are flush with the fingerprint scanner/power button just below it on the back of the phone.

The device also comes with a full front screen protector to help protect the glass, as well as protective strips on the side, top, and bottom edges of the phone. It’s definitely a nice inclusion if you’re the screen protector type, but it does tend to scratch and show marks rather easily.

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Depending on your taste, the inclusion of a pre-installed screen protector is a nice touch.

Finally, the LG G6 has an IP68 water- and dust resistant rating which means you can submerge it up to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes without damaging the phone.  Of course, it comes with the caveat that you wipe and dry before using and don’t charge it while wet.

Overall, the LG G6 is a pretty solid, yet light, and comfortable smartphone with a fairly simple but aesthetically pleasing and functional design.

Display

To be perfectly honest, the display is where it’s at with the LG G6. As mentioned above, the 5.7″ QHD+ (2880×1440 resolution) was made possible in a smaller form by reducing the top and bottom bezels on the front of the phone. As a result, the aspect ratio is an interesting one being 18:9 (dubbed FullVision by LG). While it’s as wide as other displays, it is taller and the rounded edges mentioned previously add a nice touch to the display.

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The display covers most of the front surface of the phone which is very nice to look at.

The display on the LG G6 has Dolby Vision & HDR10 support, and it definitely makes a difference with the higher dynamic range. As a result, colours are richer, more saturated, have enhanced detail, and increased brightness. The LG G6 Dolby Vision allows you to toggle between Bright Mode, Standard, Cinematic, and Vivid to let you choose the optimal settings to suit your taste. However, you’ll only notice the difference on supported content like HDR programming in the Netflix app. That being said, the display on the LG G6 is bright and vivid without being too saturated.

There are plenty of display options as well for further customization including app scaling, setting the display size of screen items, and three levels of comfort view or black and white to reduce the blue light emitted from the screen to reduce eye strain.

Even though it has a non-standard aspect ratio, the display on the LG G6 is fantastic not only for daily use but also for watching movies — especially those in HDR.

Software/Ecosystem

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The Smart Cleaning app helps you manage and monitor your device use.

The LG G6 features LG’s UX 6 interface. There are three options to use: Home — which shows all apps on the home screen, EasyHome — a simplified layout with larger fonts, and Home & App Drawer, which shows the apps on a separate screen as is typical with stock Android. Speaking of Android, the LG G6 ships with Android 7 installed, and as of the time of this review has received the April security update.

Google Assistant is built into UX 6, as well as some handy features like KnockON (double tap the screen to turn it on or off), a screen saver, and always on display. LG also offers up themes for further customization of the look of your home screen and icons.

Aside from LG’s apps like the Gallery, FM Radio, HD Audio Recorder, Friends Manager, LG Health, SmartWolrd, RemoteCall Service, and Smart Cleaning (which assists you with optimizing your phone), there are quite a number of other apps preinstalled. These include the usual culprits like Evernote, Facebook, and Instagram, and in the case of our review unit, the Telus app for the service provider. Unfortunately (with the exception of the Telus app), these apps can’t be uninstalled from the device but, of course, can be disabled.

Performance

With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Processor and 4GB of RAM, the LG G6 had no issues whatsoever with any apps or games that we ran on it. Everything from web browsing to games like Hearthstone and Need for Speed: No Limits loaded quickly and ran smoothly. Switching between apps was quick, as was expected, and there really were no issues with using the LG G6 for daily tasks.

Speakers/Sound

The LG G6 has a 1.2W speaker. As mentioned before, it is located on the bottom of the phone to the right of the USB Type-C port. Again, as is the case with most devices, it is loud and crisp but lacking bass. It’s definitely good enough for watching a quick video but you’ll definitely want to use Bluetooth or wired headphones for better sound while listening to music or extended movie watching.

Camera

The LG G6 has a solid camera, and both the rear-facing and front-facing camera have wide-angle options to let you capture even more in a single frame. Focusing is quick and you can easily adjust the brightness level of the image before taking it with a slider. From low light to bright sunlight, our sample pictures turned out pretty decent, and in focus with pretty accurate colour representation.

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Sample image, no adjustments, 100% crop.

There are different modes available like the standard Auto, Panorama, 360 Panorama, and Food, as well as Popout, Snap, Slo-mo, and Time-lapse. You can also take selfies using gestures or set the phone to take a picture once it detects a face in the front camera. There is also a Square Mode which lets you preview the image right away, combine two images, use a previously taken image as an overlay to take a similar image, or create 2×2 grids of photos & videos. This is definitely a niche setting, but it will definitely appeal to some.

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Regular (top) and wide-angle (bottom) photo comparison.

A number of built-in filters are also available, and you can also take a photo using specific words including “Whisky” or “Kimchi”  — and other words that help to elicit a smile.

Reception/Call Quality

Reception and call quality on the LG G6 was great, there were no issues using it on the LTE networks in the area.

Battery Life

During testing, I pushed the phone a bit more than I normally do and was able to consistently get over 6 hours of on-screen time on a daily basis with between 10-15% battery life left at the end of the day. The LG G6 also supports Quick Charge 3.0 which allows you to quickly charge the device to get a few more hours out of it in a short time.

Price/Value

In Canada, the LG G6 is available for around $200 on a 2-year contract with your provider or between $900 and $1000 off-contract. It can currently be found on Amazon.ca for around $750 (or from just over $550USD on Amazon.com) which is a much better price to swallow off-contract. This definitely puts it in line with other flagship devices currently available. Given the larger screen in a smaller form factor coupled with HDR and Dolby Vision support, if you’re one who consumes a lot of video on your phone, this is definitely one with added value in that department.

Wrap-up

Like other Android smartphone flagship devices, the LG G6 is a solid choice. The larger screen resolution in a smaller form factor definitely gives it a leg up, and the HDR10 and Dolby Vision support are nice added features as well.

*We were sent a demo unit of the LG G6 for the purposes of this review.

LG G6

$900+ CAD
LG G6
9.1

Design

10/10

    Display

    10/10

      Software/Ecosystem

      8/10

        Performance

        10/10

          Speakers/Sound

          9/10

            Camera

            9/10

              Reception/Call Quality

              10/10

                Battery Life

                9/10

                  Price/Value

                  9/10

                    Nailed it

                    • Premium looking design
                    • Great photo quality
                    • Crisp, clear screen with HDR and Dolby Vision support
                    • microSD card slot
                    • Plenty of display customization
                    • Theme support
                    • IP68 rated
                    • Plenty of camera options

                    Needs work

                    • A few uninstallable pre-installed apps
                    • Not a lot of HDR content currently available
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