A lot of discussion has taken place since the presentation and the release of the LG G6. In the beginning, the device was criticized for having ‘outdated’ components and I was one of the critics. At first, I was a little skeptical, but with time, the device exceeded almost all the expectations that I had for the LG G6. Here are my good and bad impressions after using the LG G6 for 100 days.
The price of the LG G6 has fallen by 33% in three months
When the LG G6 was released with a price tag around $700, many of us thought it was extortionate for a device with a 2016 processor and only 32GB of RAM. This put it in the same price category as the HTC U11 (the most powerful Android smartphone at the moment) for a similar configuration to the G5. It certainly wasn’t tempting.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the price to drop and, by the end of June, it could be purchased for around $500 - that's around $200 price drop in the space of just three months! I don’t know about you, but this seems like a much more attractive price to me.
The alternatives in this price range are basically the 2016 flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, Huawei P9 or HTC 10 and more recent devices such as the Honor 8 Pro or Huawei P10. Firstly, the advantage that the LG G6 has in comparison to the 2016 top-range devices is that it has 2017 software. Usually, a top-range Android device will receive updates for two years, meaning that 2016 devices will be updated until 2018 and a 2017 device will be updated until 2019.
Other 2017 devices that feature in the same price range as the G6 are the Huawei P10 and the Honor 8 Pro, but the same issue applies with updates. For example, the LG G4 should receive Nougat in the next few months (the LG V10 has already been updated) and for the Huawei P8, users have launched a campaign on Change.org for Huawei to update the device to Nougat.
The LG G6 has a design that your hand will yearn for
The LG G6 has a new screen format that keeps with standards, for example, for games and YouTube content. I thought this was risky at first but LG always manages to surprise us. Remember its button on the back, curved smartphones, devices with leather, dual screen, modularity, etc.? The G6 is no different and the icing on the cake is the 18:9 (2:1) screen ratio.
The 18:9 format provides a huge screen without any compromise from the size of the device.
The first time I picked up the device, my hands fell in love with its shape. This innovative design is a treat to touch, its slim-line shape is fused with the perfect balance of glass and metal. With the 18:9 ratio, the G6 has a wide surface area on a body measuring less than 72 millimeters in width.
In parallel to the LG G6, I have used other devices such as the Galaxy S7 Edge, Moto G5 Plus and HTC U11, and I always found myself going back to the G6, as it gave me a great sense of comfort. This is down to the fact that you can use it with one hand, which I think is a lot less stressful. When I used the other smartphones, most of the time using 5.5-inch devices, I missed being able to easily reach the other side of the device with my thumb.
To get this width on a device with a traditional 16:9 radio, you'd have to reduce the diagonal measurement to less than 5.2-inches. This new ratio on the G6 offers a screen surface area of 76.8 cm2, while on a device with the same width and a diagonal measurement of 5.2 inches, the surface area is reduced considerably to 68.2 cm2.
The LG G6 has more surface area and is longer, meaning that some apps and games (and even more films or videos) aren’t 100% adapted since almost all of them have a 16:9 format (although some areas in the world of cinema also opt for the 2:1 ratio). Regardless, the usability that this design offers is a significant feature.
Another feature that I love, but which might seem inconsequential, is the screen’s curved corners. This "minor" detail makes the whole design just work whereas, until now, it was a bit disjointed. After using the LG G6 for a while, switching to a smartphone with square corners seems like a step backwards. Ultimately, after using the G6, everything seems old-fashioned, apart from the Galaxy S8, of course.
No complaints about the LG G6’s performance
The LG G6’s processor, the Snapdragon 821, was released at the end of 2016 and its amazing performance can be experienced on devices such as the OnePlus 3T. The LG G6 was released in February 2017 and, at the time, the successor to this processor, the new Snapdragon 835, wasn’t available on the market yet. I suppose it would have been hasty of LG to incorporate the new processor so they decided to opt for the most recent processor on the market instead. As well as being a well-known processor, they had time to optimize it, which is common.
In comparison to the HTC U11, the LG G6 falls short in terms of performance but it still makes the grade. In daily use, the LG G6’s hardware copes extremely well and there’s not much to complain about.
In terms of battery, I didn’t have as much peace of mind, but this is a feeling that is experienced with any recent flagship. When you leave the house early in the morning, you don’t know if you’ll come home with a live smartphone, especially if you have a long day ahead of you. The solution is to carry the charger around with you all day, get an external battery or activate energy saving mode early in the morning, which means that you risk missing notifications and messages from some applications.
A highly functional camera
Apart from the LG G6’s camera quality, which I think is undeniable, it has features that will provide constant entertainment. For starters, each sensor for its dual camera has a different lens. For long distance shots, there’s an f / 1.8 aperture and OIS. The other sensor is equipped with a 125º lens without phase detection or optical stabilizer and has an f / 2.4 aperture.
With a wide-angle lens, the angles are fantastic for videos. However, you have to remember that it doesn’t have an optical stabilizer. In addition to that, the G6’s now-traditional manual camera also has a manual option for videos which is about time, in my opinion.
In the automatic camera options, I found some entertaining modes and a special square mode that you can make creative compositions with.
Should you buy the LG G6?
It’s obvious that the G6 has hardware that could have been released in 2016. In fact, it resembles everything that the G5 should have been.
I know there are various alternatives available for the same price, and some with more power. However, let’s be clear that, having used the LG G6 for a while, I think it has some excellent points that go in its favor.
For starters, as I said, its design and screen are extremely innovative. They give the device a new functional dimension. Its dual camera is one of the best on the market right now and has two different lenses as well as many options and modes to play around with.
Its operating system is one of the simplest that you’ll find among the best-known manufacturers, something that is clear in its fluidity. LG will soon be updating the G6’s software, including security improvements and an efficient feature for unlocking the device using facial recognition. It also has battery improvements and the Covered Lens technology feature advises you when your finger is covering the camera lens, for example.
What I like a lot about the LG G6 are the customization options offered by its themes. In general, the LG interface didn’t appeal much to me with its square icons. In addition, it has an FM radio tuner, something that the Pixel devices have since removed.
What it’s missing is Daydream support. It’s a shame that LG is failing to jump on the Android Virtual Reality bandwagon with the great screens that its devices have.
It’s also a shame that the LG G6’s extra components on devices in America or Korea aren’t incorporated into the global versions. I’m referring specifically to the wireless charging, better audio chip and more internal memory.
The big question is: should you get an LG G6 or a 2016 flagship instead? To get your answer, you'll have to evaluate your needs and expectations. In my opinion, the LG G6’s advantage is that it will receive updates for a longer period than a device launched in 2016 with just a year of life left. In addition to that, for the same price, you could confidently use a G6 for a longer period and benefit from new features and probably get the Android P update in 2018.
Does the LG G6 seem like a good option for you now the price has fallen? If not, what would you get instead? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!