Consumer Reports data may suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S8+ (and Galaxy S8) is the top smartphone of the year, but, come to think of it, it’s the LG G6 that you should totally buy this season. Provided you’re in India. This is because LG is now offering its flagship phone, the G6, at a price as low as Rs 38,990 via Amazon India, provided you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. The LG G6, to recall, was launched here at a price of Rs 51,990 in April. With the offer in place, prospective buyers can get their hands on the G6 at Rs 13,000 discount, which is fairly substantial to say the least.
The G6 is LG’s best phone ever. In fact, it’s safe to say, that it’s among the best flagship Android phones in the market right now. It may not look as good as Samsung’s Galaxy S8, but, that’s not really what LG’s phone is going after. For the first time in a very long time, LG is chasing practicality. With the G6 it has achieved most of it. Without compromising on gimmicks.
At Rs 38,990, there’s even more to like about the G6, now more than ever. Take a look at what it brings to the table. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, meanwhile, cost Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,900 respectively.
Design and build quality
The LG G6 is carved out of glass and metal. And it feels solid. While the rear of the G6 is carved out of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, the display on the front has a healthy dose of Gorilla Glass 3. What’s important, at the end of the day, is that the LG G6 is built like a tank. The G6 is built to last long with bending resistant materials and shock-dispersing design, according to LG. It has passed Military-grade MIL-STD 810G tests which include 26 different angle drop tests from chest height, it claims. It’s quite reassuring, the G6.
While its closest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S8 takes great pride in its gorgeous curves, the G6 takes a flat minimalist approach. LG’s phone is as flat as they come, and also it has sharp corners that are a little raised out so the phone could bear accidental drops and come out unscathed. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 doesn’t look like it could take a beating. LG’s phone is a lot more practical in comparison.
Next to Samsung’s phone the G6 feels rather chunky, but, only marginally. It is as slim as Samsung’s phone though. The flat surface and sharp edges ensure it sticks to your hand and stays put, but then, the Galaxy S8 is an ergonomic marvel as well in spite of all those extra curves. It is super-glossy and a fingerprint magnet. But, so is the Galaxy S8. Only it takes me a lot longer to wipe LG’s phone. I really don’t like that, but, that’s a small price you pay for an all-glass and metal design. What really concerns me, however, is that the rear of the G6 is extremely prone to scratches. It may survive a fall or two, but, it will most definitely leave a mark.
The LG G6, in addition, is also IP68-certified for water and dust resistance.
Performance and user experience
The LG G6 is powered by a 2.35GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor clubbed with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. While not exactly next-gen, the Snapdragon 821 inside the G6 when combined with LG’s Android 7.0 Nougat-based UX 6.0 doesn’t leave a lot to be desired unless of course you’re someone who’s hard pressed about paper specs and say, “a Snapdragon 835 would have been nicer.” You’re better off buying the Samsung Galaxy S8 in that case. The LG G6 isn’t the one for you.
But, if you’re willing to give the G6 a chance, well, there’s not a lot really to complain about LG’s new phone as far as all-round performance is concerned. The G6 has absolutely no trouble whatsoever in dealing with tasks, both basic and hard-grinding. Graphical games are handled well, with no lag at all, even at maxed out settings.
LG’s UX software may not be the best looking in the business — in fact it’s ugly and cluttered — but at least it’s well optimised with the available hardware.
LG’s new phone gives you a spring board of apps and widgets spanning multiple home screens much like it is in the iPhone to begin with. There’s a way around LG’s approach to bring back the app drawer for those who like a more stock Android look and feel. That it can be done without deploying any third-party themes is a plus. You can either use the pre-installed EasyHome theme or download and install the Home 4.0 launcher from its app store.
LG’s UX may take some time getting used to initially but once you’re through that phase it’s pretty much a smooth ride. The software also offers a lot of customisation options, which should impress those who like to tailor-make the way their phone looks.The mono speaker setup on the G6 gets very loud, louder than most rival phones with little or no distortion at peak volume. The LG G6 India model also comes with a Hi-Fi quad DAC for enhanced audio via any wired headphones.
The 3,300mAh battery inside the G6 lasts longer than the Samsung Galaxy S8 which frankly speaking has pretty disappointing battery life. Most users with a more generalised usage should get at least one full day of usage on single charge. The G6, needless to say, also supports fast charging. The India model doesn’t support wireless charging though.
The LG G6 comes with a dual camera system on the rear, consisting of two 13-megapixel sensors — offering a 125-degree wide angle — with one working ‘specifically’ to offer the wider field of view. The rear camera system is further assisted with f/1.8 aperture, 3-axis Optical Image Stabilisation, phase detection auto-focus and dual-LED flash. On the front, the G6 sports a 5-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture.
In the LG G6, while one of the rear cameras has what you can call a regular lens, the other one has a wider lens. A wider lens means the phone’s rear snapper can cover a larger area with a distinct fish-eye effect on the edges. It kind of gives you a 3D-like panorama sweep of what you’re clicking without having you to move your phone in a certain manner.
Switching between the two lenses happens seamlessly with just a tap on a toggle that rests comfortably on the screen all the while that you have the camera app up and running. It’s actually quite fast to switch and is as fast to focus and shoot.
As for image quality, it’s fantastic especially in good light. Both the rear cameras boast of excellent dynamic range. Images clicked with them have no visible metering issues so that level of detail stays put on almost all occasions. The image quality of the wider lens toting camera is more or less in the same league as the regular, but it more than compensates for its hit-or-miss performance courtesy its wider scope.
The G6 can stand toe to toe with the best in the business, when it comes to low-light photography. The G6 clicks pretty detailed — if a little over-sharpened — photos in tricky and low light situations making it one of the best flagship camera phones in the market right now.
Full Vision display
The USP of the G6 is its ‘big screen that fits.’ The phone comes with ridiculously slim bezels allowing the display to take up over 80 per cent of its front side: a concept also seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are however a lot more curvier in comparison, and also they offer more screen-to-body ratio — an 83 per cent — than LG’s phone.
The 5.7-inch QHD+ 18:9 Full Vision display of the G6 boasts of a 2,880×1,400 pixel resolution. Although there’s lots of screen it’s no match for the Galaxy S8’s super-punchy Super AMOLED display panel. Colours on-board the G6 appear muted in comparison. But, viewing angels are quite good, so is peak brightness.
The G6, however, has one ace up its sleeve in the display department. It is the world’s first smartphone to support Dolby Vision (and HDR 10) for enhanced videos, a feature which was until now limited to high-end TVs.
Dolby Vision content is less for now, although, Netflix and Amazon Prime do offer a good catalog. But, because the LG G6 has an 18:9 aspect ratio — instead of the regular 16: 9 — a lot of that content (in fact all of it) is going to broadcast in letter-box format which means black bars on either side. Force to fit might result in frame rate issues and content chopping here and there.
Content suitable for the G6’s unusual aspect ratio is even lesser than content that supports Dolby Vision. The same is true for games as well. Web pages should work fine though. LG has a nifty way around the whole thing though. The G6 comes with something called as App Scaling that lets you manually adjust the screen size of downloaded apps. You can chose to run them in standard or full screen format. Then again, every app will respond differently since not all apps support 18:9 yet.
Also Read: LG G6 review: The dark horse