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LG G6 hands-on review: the best battery life yet from an LG phone

Update: US availability and bonus details updated

The modular concept from last year's LG G5 was definitely innovative, but it did not have much success on the markets, to put it lightly. Now, the South Korean company is starting out fresh in the hopes of a more successful year with the all-new flagship, the LG G6. The company says it checked off the wish list of things that users want to see in a smartphone, bringing us the largest display in the most compact device - and it seems to be paying off in South Korea, where 20,000 units were sold on the first day (the LG G5 sold 15,000 on its launch day). Buyers who pre-order from a special page will get a Google Home for free as an added bonus too. We got our hands on the device at the MWC 2017 press conference, here are our first impressions.

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LG G6 release date and price

The LG G6 was first presented at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. According to Media Markt, one of Europe's biggest electronic retailers, the LG G6 will be sold in Europe at the price of €749, which is equivalent to $797.

Evan Blass suggests there may only be two color variants, black and grey, with the white variant not being made available in the US. There will one option for internal storage, 32 GB expandable up to 2 TB with microSD. Those who buy the G6 will get $200 in Google Play credit for particular games on the Google Play Store.

Blass also suggests that it'll be on sale in the US on April 7, ahead of the anticipated Galaxy S8 launch date. Availability will vary according to country and carrier though. 

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The black and platinum colors both show a lot of fingerprints. / © AndroidPIT

US and Canada availability

Verizon and T-Mobile are both specifying Spring arrival for the G6, but there's no set date to reveal as yet. It's a similar story for AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular too - all have said they'll be ranging the device, but haven't given more specific information yet. 

In Canada, Videotron is the only network to confirm it'll be offering the device so far, but again, hasn't spilled the beans with a date. 

Europe

Vodafone has confirmed that it'll offer the device, but has not said when or in which countries. Others haven't been so quick to offer up information at this stage, but we'd expect to see it offered widely across major networks. 

Rest of world

Meanwhile, it seems that LG Australia is getting a jump on the rest of the world, and will have the phone from March 28, according to some reports

Bonus bits

Meanwhile, TechnoBuffalo reports that anyone that buys an LG G6 from this special pre-order page between midday today (Eastern Time) and April 30 will get a Google Home smart assistant device for free. You'll need to redeem the offer for the free Home before May 15 this year to qualify too. 

LG G6 design and build quality

The G5 was a big change in the style and design of what had been up to that point quite a successful smartphone generation. With the G6, LG is reinventing itself by specifically targeting user priorities and preferences. As a result, the LG G6 has a large screen in a rather small body, and is the first flagship of the brand that is waterproof thanks to an IP68 certificate. The dimensions of the device are 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm, and it weighs 163 g.

AndroidPIT LG G6 MWC 2017 hands on 8
Fits in your hand and your pocket. / © AndroidPIT

What is striking about its appearance is its novel design, which is more elongated and narrower than what the rest of the industry has made us become accustomed to. Its frame is metallic with curved corners. In contact with the screen and the back, the metal has a small bevel to improve the change of curvature. In some respects the frame reminds us quite a lot of the Galaxy S6. The back of the device is brushed metal covered in glass, and it's a fingerprint magnet.

AndroidPIT LG G6 Hands on MWC 2017 5808
Fingerprints all over the back. / © AndroidPIT

The LG G6 says goodbye to the friends of the G5, its famous modules, and has focused instead on developing a well-rounded device any external features. The frames are quite thin, just as they were on the LG G4, and occupy almost the entire screen.

AndroidPIT LG G6 MWC 2017 hands on 11
 Its frame is metallic with curved corners. / © AndroidPIT

On the back we find the manufacturer logo and the power button is still on the back under the fingerprint sensor. On top of this we have the camera module which has two lenses, one on each side and in the center the flash and a laser focus sensor.

AndroidPIT LG G6 Hands on MWC 2017 5820
The volume controls on the left. / © AndroidPIT

The bottom of the frame is very similar to the one we see on the V20, especially the slots for the main speaker. In the center we have a USB Type-C jack and on the other side a microphone. At the top of the frame we find, thankfully, the mini-jack for headphones and a second microphone for noise cancellation. 

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The microSD and SIM card slot on the right. / © AndroidPIT

LG G6 display

The display is one of the most unique points on the LG G6. It has a very special format that we have never seen before. Specifically, its IPS LCD screen has a diagonal of 5.7-inches, resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 ppi QHD+, which is somewhat longer than a normal QHD. This means that the format is 18:9, which provides two perfect 1:1 squares when viewing two apps in multi-window mode side-by-side.

The screen's corners are curved just like the corners of the device, which is a unique touch. The G6 is the first smartphone on Earth to have the Dolby Vision color standard, for which more content is under development. In our hands-on, the colors looked great. At 50 percent screen brightness, it wasn't quite as bright next to the Huawei P9.

LG G6 software

The LG G6 on Android 7.0 Nougat brings a new layer of customization with LG UX 6.0, which is fluid and minimalistic. With this new version of the interface, the screen with this special 18:9 format and the versatility of Nougat, the LG G6 is an ideal multitasking tool. This means square camera modules and more room for split screen apps. The rounded display corners match the rounded corners of the UI icons, which looks neat.

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The icons all have rounded corners. / © AndroidPIT

The G6 has been optimized for Google Assistant as well, just say "Ok Google" or long press the home button. The pre-installed apps leave 21.63 GB left available to use on the device we got our hands on.

LG G6 performance

The processor that was finally chosen for the LG G6 is the Snapdragon 821. We do not know if Samsung has had something to do with this decision, as apparently it has dibs on the production of the new Snapdragon 835 until at least spring. LG hasn't always brought the latest processor for its flagship devices, as we saw with the LG G4 which included Snapdragon 808 instead of 810 (due to its temperature problems) and proved to be an excellent performer.

For the RAM we have 4 GB, and the device comes equipped with 32 GB of internal memory which can also be extended with a microSD card.

 

LG G6 audio

Only the Korean model of the G6 will have a Hi-Fi Quad DAC, which is disappointing for those of us in the US, since we will miss out on the elevated audio quality it offers. Contrary to the global market trend, it's nice to see that the G6 still has a standard headphone jack, which is located at the top.

LG G6 camera

The main camera of the G6 is dual, just like the G5 and V20. In this case, the two 13 MP sensors capture an angle of up to 125 degrees. Square camera snap shots will work perfectly for Instagram, and the special "grid shot" will contain multiple squares to show off more photos at once. There is also 360 degree panorama functionality.

For the front camera is 5 MP and it enjoys an angle of up to 100 degrees, making it perfect for group selfies.

AndroidPIT LG G6 MWC 2017 hands on 50
Here is the LG G6 dual camera in action. / © AndroidPIT

LG G6 battery

Since the release of the LG G2, we haven't seen an LG flagship without a removable battery. The extraction method for the G5 was quite ingenious, but the model didn't measure up in terms of its design when compared to its competitors. LG has finally decided to succumb to the market trend and has eliminated the removable battery, but extended its capacity to up to 3,300 mAh. A quite successful step, seeing as the battery life is what most concerns the users. Battery saver and game battery saver modes are available.

GSMArena have run a battery test on the G6, ranking it the best battery compared to the LG V20 and the LG G5 when looking at talk time, web browsing and video playback time. At 8 hours 31 minutes, the G6 has a similar web browsing time as the OnePlus 3T, while talk time comes in at 22.5 hours, putting it a few hours behind the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (which has a bit over 26 hours) but still ahead of the LG V20. As for video playback, the G6 can last just under 10.5 hours, putting it a few minutes ahead of the LG G5.

Additionally, the G6 also includes a fast charge mode. The US version of the device also gets wireless charging capability.

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The LG G6 has USB Type-C charging. / © AndroidPIT

LG G6 technical specifications

    • Type:
    • Phone
    • Manufacturer:
    • LG
    • Dimensions:
    • 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm
    • Weight:
    • 163 g
    • Battery size:
    • 3300 mAh
    • Screen size:
    • 5.7 in
    • Display technology:
    • LCD
    • Screen:
    • 2880 x 1440 pixels (564 ppi)
    • Front camera:
    • 5 megapixels
    • Rear camera:
    • 13 megapixels
    • Flashlight:
    • LED
    • Android version:
    • 7.0 - Nougat
    • User interface:
    • LG UX
    • RAM:
    • 4 GB
    • Internal storage:
    • 32 GB
    • Removable storage:
    • microSD
    • Chipset:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
    • Number of cores:
    • 4
    • Max. clock speed:
    • 2.4 GHz
    • Connectivity:
    • HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth

Early Verdict

LG has had to withstand two strong blows with its last flagships. As we know the LG G5 has been far from a success, ending the good reputation the company had come to rely on since releasing the G3 or the G4. With the LG G6 its plain to see that the South Korean manufacturer is seeking to regain user confidence, by hopefully delivering everything one would want in a smartphone.

The G6 has a few key points that you can boast about, such as its screen, the audio and its battery. The design and water resistance make it a even more attractive choice. And as for the removable battery, that was an extra that relatively few users felt was really very important.

Do you think LG needs to pull out all the stops to win back user confidence in its devices? Will the LG G6 live up to such high expectations? Let us know in the comments below.

32 comments

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  • Just read a First review of the LG G6 on www.gsmarena.com and o.k the phone might look good,but with a company trying to improve it Status,LG seem to have really let the phone down,and seems to overpricing the phone too much,and can not see the Lg G6 being successful

  • Not a bad phone but the price is too high for me.In the review it seems like this quite a good phone but still the price is too high for my pocket!

    • I agree Koketso in South Africa mobile devices are expensive due to our exchange rate. Do you have a contract with cell c, vodacom, telkom or mtn? Atleast then you can pay off the device monthly?

      • Georg Seebode
        • Admin
        • Staff
        1 week ago Link to comment

        have some pity for the Brazilians - I believe they have one the highest import taxes making every device crazy expensive. The Moto G5 plus retails for about about $229 in the US, while it will cost at least $480 in Brazil. Its even worse for apple products - they tend to be at least 60% more expensive there than in the US

  • Well Verizon did exactly what I figured. They have it 672.00 just like the V20. Plus a free Google home or 200 on a trade! That's a little more reasonable! But I'll still wait for the s8!

  • Mark 1 week ago Link to comment

    Why is everybody going nuts on regional restrictions, every company does it. Samsung- only certain models for different regions. Different processors for different regions. This is not a new tactic by any means.

  • For the life of me I don't understand what LG is doing. I honestly think if they would have priced it in the 550.00 range it would have sold very Well! But the price of 800.00 is definitely out of wack. Regional restrictions is another thing I question. Consumers want all the toys which they did not include. This really opens the door for Samsung for 50 dollars more. Personally I will not purchase or give it a look see! It's just too much money for what's offered!

  • I refuse to support a manufacturer who brings out different specs depending on region/country

  • I just read an article stating LG is dropping the Chinese market due to lack of sales! Now their gonna focus on the US & European market! How are they gonna pull that off when you have regional restrictions with the G6! Does that make any sense to anybody!

    • No body makes money in China except for the phones that they manufactured in china!
      Apple and Samsung sell in china but Apple has the largest share out of the two.
      Samsung has a extremely small share as well, it's just that the market over in china is inundated with all kinds of phone manufactured by them and they buy their own first!

  • Ya know the US market is very big. Why would you put restrictions on the G6. Wireless is fine but not used by everyone. Then you turn around & limit your gb's to 32. I really don't think that makes to much sense! A big reason the V10 was so popular it came with 64gb's standard. I just don't understand their reasoning! I'm dumbfounded. Consumers love the DAC which is not included. Plus how many fans liked the removable battery! LG you really screwed up this time around!

  • Nobody is worried about the G6 with it's 22gb of usable storage and Snapdragon 821 from 2016.

    With 750 to 800 dollar price tag in the United States on all carriers it's definitely not worth the price.

    If you're going to spend this kind of cash for a pretender you midas well just go for the best the industry leading S8 and S8Plus.

    • Very good point, also valid in Europe and without any carrier. There is no killer feature apart maybe from the wide-angle camera, the 2:1 screen ratio actually shrinks 16:9 content to the equivalent of a 5.2" screen, and it costs too much!
      Much better the Huawei P10 Plus or whatever Moto Z iteration.

    • Don't want to be antagonistic here but why is it that this user has 2 accounts? According to the rules only one account per user allowed and I quote from the rules: "User profiles

      Only one account is permitted per user.

      If we discover that a user has multiple accounts we reserve the right to warn the user or delete their accounts." This individual has used another account to attack users (argumentum ad hominem attacks) yet nothing has been done to this user even though he has two accounts or maybe even more. I have reported this a few hours ago and still nothing so now I will state this in the open forum.

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