Despite several attempts to shake things up over the years, LG has arguably yet to find its groove. While the company has produced a number of unique flagship designs, none of them have ever really managed to win the hearts of the masses. Last year’s LG G5 attempted to launch us into a modular future but struggled to really make a dent outside of a small circle of fans. The LG V20 was certainly a bit better received, but even it was far from a runaway success.
Can the LG G6 finally catapult the company into the spotlight? Only time will answer that question, though there is no denying that the LG G6 feels like a pretty big shift in direction from what was started last year.
The LG G6 still retains some elements of last year’s design language – especially when it comes to rear camera and fingerprint placement – but the company has brought a ton of refinements to the design, including a swap in materials, going from metal to a glass-and-metal clad design. The LG G6 also moves away from modules, ending the G series short run with modular tech. This time LG is less interested in attempting to push new ideas and more about refining its design and hardware. Specifically, the LG G6 really pushes things forward in the audio and display game.
So let’s jump in and take a look at everything you need to know about the newly announced LG G6.
LG G6 design and build
The LG G5 saw a major change in direction from the LG G4 and its predecessors, ditching the company’s strategy of cramming all the keys on the back in favor a more conventional side button layout. At the same time, the LG G5 introduced the idea of a removable battery via the bottom, as well as the ability to add on modules. Then the LG V20 arrived, and while it looked similar in design at first glance, it actually made a major about-face by ditching the modular and bottom-removed battery in favor of a removable back that was more akin to what we saw in the LG G4 days.
So here is the LG G6. What does it retain from LG’s past, and where does it innovate? First, the idea of a centered fingerprint scanner and “face-like” camera array remains, something started with the LG G5. That’s about it though, as the G6 changes more than it keeps. Removable batteries and modules aren’t present at all, and on the front LG has changed the display significantly by adopting a unique 18:9 ratio.
Even the material is different, as mentioned above, glass and metal now reign supreme — a trend that Samsung really pushed forward, and one that both LG and HTC have now followed suit on.
The LG G6 is certainly an attractive enough phone, though some would argue that the new design doesn’t necessarily stand out as much as their past choices. In many ways it looks quite similar to what we are seeing from HTC, Samsung, and even others like Honor. The good news is that the switch to metal/glass does allow the LG G6 to gain a few new tricks like water resistance and wireless charging. It’s also worth mentioning that, unlike some of its rivals, LG isn’t ditching the headphone jack anytime soon.
As for color options? LG doesn’t offer much variety in choices, at least for now, opting for pretty standard choices of titan (silver), black and white. In contrast, the LG G5 was offered in two other colors: gold and pink.
LG G6 specs and special features
We’ll be honest, the spec sheet for the LG G6 is far from exciting. It’s not that the G6 doesn’t have good specs, it does. It’s just that the specs are pretty much what we’ve come to expect from every flagship released in the last six months or so. That includes a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB storage.
To be fair, we weren’t expecting anything better than the 821, as we were already made aware that the Galaxy S8 would be the first and no other phone would ship with the chip until around mid-April. Still, with other phones pushing into 8GB RAM territory, the G6 just doesn’t stand out much here — at least at first glance. Looking at bit deeper, the G6’s biggest standout spec is its new tall 18:9 display, which should provide a great viewing experience. There’s also improved audio, camera, and more.
Focusing on the new display, the 18:9 aspect ratio is a big change and allows users to get much more viewing space into an even smaller package than ever before. Obviously this will require some optimizations from app developers in order for the aspect ratio to be fully supported, but considering many smartphone makers seem to be considering this resolution, we don’t expect this to be much of an issue.
Moving on to camera, the LG G6 continues the company’s dual camera approach, though it makes several changes here. First, both cameras on the rear are now the “main camera” with identical 13MP resolutions and camera sensors. One is the main lens, with f/1.8 aperture and 71-degree field of view, the second is a wide-angle lens with 125-degree viewing angle and f/2.4 aperture. For those wondering, there’s no OIS on the wide angle, so software stabilization is used instead. On the front, you’ll find a 100-degree 5MP camera.
|LG G6 specifications|
|Display||5.7-inch 18:9 QHD+ FullVision IPS LCD display
2880 x 1440 resolution
|Processor||Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 2TB|
|Cameras||Rear: Dual 13MP wide-angle sensor (f/2.4 aperture / 125°) / 13MP standard sensor (f/1.8 aperture / 71°), OIS 2.0
Front: 5MP wide-angle sensor (f/2.2 aperture / 100°), 1.12µm pixel size
Quick Charge 3.0
Qi and PMA wireless charging
|Connectivity||LTE-A 3 Band CA
Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac
Bluetooth 4.2 BLE
USB Type-C, NFC
|Software||Android 7.0 Nougat
LG UX 6.0
|Colors||Ice Platinum, Mystic White, Astro Black|
|Dimensions and weight||148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
Sounds continues to be a big part of the LG experience with the G6. The LG G6 will employ a Hi-Fi Quad DAC, but with a catch: It will only come with this in select markets, including Korea. For those wondering, the US and Europe both won’t get this support. Still, even without the quad DAC, we expect the audio experience to be solid here. It seems a bit odd that LG opted only to release this feature in select models/markets, but for LG’s part, they say that “local and global” input went into many decisions with the LG G6 and ultimately it was designed the feature was less requested outside of Korea and other select markets.
As far as battery life goes? With the LG G6 going non-removable, this aspect is going to matter more than ever before. At 3,300 mAh the battery isn’t small but neither is it massive. We can’t judge battery life until we have more hands on time with the phone, but we imagine this size should allow for a full day’s use, or at least pretty close to it.
The good news is that both wireless and quick charging are supported, which should allow you to top off the battery pretty fast, even if swapping batteries is no longer an option. However, it’s important to note that the wireless support is only for the US model. Again, LG decided to keep some bits and pieces for just certain markets.
LG G6 software
The LG G6 is running Android 7.0 Nougat, with the latest version of LG’s UI on top.
The updated user interface features a refreshing new look with natural and vivid colors which can be seen throughout many of the apps and the included set of wallpapers. Due to the unique screen size, LG found it could basically divide the interface into two grid squares (2:1 aspect ratio) that come together seamlessly, and so you’ll notice this ‘grid-like’ setup in a lot of LG’s apps. LG has also updated icons for better uniformity, rounded corners for its background folders, and other small touches that make the UI stand out just a little bit more.
Another standout software addition to the LG G6 is Google Assistant. That’s right, the G6 is the very first non-Pixel device to fully support Assistant out of the box.
Lastly, LG also made quite a few changes to its camera app. This is another one of LG’s apps that have been updated to take advantage of the 2:1 aspect ratio. LG has used the extra horizontal space available to offer previews of multiple shots that you’ve taken, instead of the single latest one that is available with most other camera apps. LG also took the opportunity to throw in a manual mode for video in the camera app this time around.
LG G6 early price and availability details
The LG G6 will first go on sale in South Korea on March 9th, with other regions to follow later. The phone will most likely hit the US (and other markets) sometime in late March or April, but we’ll update this page once we have official confirmation on that end. No information about the price of the LG G6 has been released so far.
Additional availability and pricing information will be announced in the following weeks, so stay tuned to Android Authority for all of the details. Vodafone UK has already confirmed it will carry the G6 without revealing any additional information.
Judging by LG’s pricing history, we’d imagine this will end up somewhere in the $500 – $700 range, but that’s really just guessing at this stage.