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What are the advantages of the LG G6 display's rounded corners and unique ratio?

The LG G6 was announced a few weeks ago and the North American model has already reached our editorial staff. At first glance, what really stands out on this device is its display, mainly its rounded corners and unique 18:9 format. Is it possible that the LG G6 offers something more than just being different from the rest?

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What is the point of LG G6's unique 18:9 ratio?

LG's idea with the display on the G6 was clear during its presentation: put a smartphone on the market that can show more on its display. It's able to do that because the device comes with a longer display, which offers an 18:9 format and not a 16:9 ratio like the majority of smartphones available in stores nowadays. However, this won't always be the case.

AndroidPIT LG G6 9310
Apps that can be used in the 18:9 scale will display this icon. / © AndroidPIT

It's up to more than just LG to make sure the benefits of this unique ratio are fully taken advantage of. Unfortunately, for now, YouTube has decided to stick with the more well-known standard of a 16:9 ratio for their videos.

But, LG already has support from services like Netflix and Amazon, where you can now use an 18:9 aspect ratio. In order to use that format, all G6 users have to do is activate something called "App scaling", shown in the images below. Each time you use an App that supports the 18:9 format, an icon will appear on the screen saying that the service, also called FullVision can be used.

LG G6 ratio BRA
You can configure services to use an 18:9 ratio. / © AndroidPIT

It's not a mystery, however, that the most used standard is a 16:9 ratio. LG G6 owners will only be able to use apps and services native to the manufacturer or from certain partners in order to take advantage of the 18:9 ratio. These advantages include better on-screen content viewing, while using apps and the camera. When using the camera there is a "Square" mode, which lets you use half of the screen to see the image you’re taking and, at the same time, quickly see a preview of the photo or video.

AndroidPIT LG G6 Hands on MWC 2017 7090
The camera in "square" mode divides the image between real time and a preview. / © AndroidPIT

But remember that the 18:9 standard is being used in other areas as well, specifically, cinematography. That means, before long, this scale should be adopted as the new market standard. LG is ahead of the majority of manufacturers but it won't be the only one to offer this type of option. Samsung may opt for a new scale on the display of their Galaxy S8, which could come with a 17:9 format (a pretty strange compromise actually).

I want to see every new smartphone use the 18:9 format from now on!

Finally, my experience with the new display format has been very good. At first, it was a bit difficult to understand the dynamic of the device. But once I understood how the services that used this resource worked, I have to say that I want to see every new smartphone use the 18:9 format from now on.

Why does the LG G6 have rounded display corners?

This article refers to the curved corners of the display, and the fact that it uses an 18:9 ratio has nothing to do with the rounded corners of the display. Then, what's the point?

According to Series G designer, Ian Hwang, the decision was made based on wanting to give the device better drop protection. Internal tests done by LG showed that the majority of a drop's impact is focused on the corners of the screen. So, if the corners are curved, the impact would be lessened, lowering the chance of breaking the glass on your display.

LG's testers confirmed this, after 50 rounds of drop tests done on the device, the G6 was still functional after 70% of them, whereas, square devices suffered cracks on the display in 100% of drops. Obviously, I couldn't test it out to confirm the results, but in my experience, a smartphone's display doesn't always break when it's dropped.

Another advantage raised by our team is the fact that we can get a better grip on the curved corners of the G6's body. This wouldn't be the case if the manufacturers had opted for a dual-edge design, like the Galaxy S7 Edge. So, the effect generated when we’re watching some type of media, like a video, in theory, should be pretty much the same.

Do you think putting rounded display corners on the LG G6 was a good choice? Do you think it could really provide better drop protection?

5 comments

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  • John Kerr 2 months ago Link to comment

    Rounded corners are OK as long as notifications and other content uses rounded corners. I'm more concerned about the width factor with respect to 18:9 on-screen keyboards. For example to keep the keyboard width of a Note 7 one would have to go with the S8+, as the regular S8 screen is almost 6 mm narrower, even though the display is slightly larger.

  • I think the g6 is very well designed. The only thing hurting it is the geographic restrictions. Other than that it's very nice. When you release a new phone you should include all options for consumers. Limiting the toys only hurts it's sales!

  • storm 2 months ago Link to comment

    Rounded corners certainly can help prevent cracks and propogation of cracks. It's not been a problem for me personally and I've dropped my phone plenty of times. When I did get a crack it wasn't from the corners and it was just one time.

    I think other ruggedizations would be as good and less obvious.

    • Dean L. 2 months ago Link to comment

      Agree that curved objects are stronger than straight since a curved object has more surface area to absorb a load placed on it. Many phone screens break when landing flat on their face and for that type of drop curved corners won't help. But I do like the 18:9 ratio of the display since it allows a larger display and at the same time it doesn't mean that the phone size is getting larger. It also is a ratio for multitasking by having two square's for the apps to be open in. And the G6 looks good. It's a nice phone design IMO.

      • Brittany McGhee
        • Admin
        • Staff
        2 months ago Link to comment

        Storm and Dean,

        Thanks for the comments! I agree with you both. It would be really nice if the devices we spend hundreds of dollars on and carry everywhere could actually stand up to daily life and the occasional drop!

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