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LG G6 "FullVision" display explored and explained: what does the 9:18 aspect ratio entail?

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LG G6 "FullVision" display explored and explained: what does the 9:18 aspect ratio entail?

It's been known for some time now, that the LG G6 will feature a fairly unique display with an aspect ratio of 9:18, instead of the current industry standard of 9:16. What this means, is that the screen will be slightly taller than what you may be used to, and thus, among other things, utilize the phone's front real estate better for smaller bezels and a greater screen-to-body ratio. When we heard of LG's intentions to integrate a 9:18 display into the G6, we discussed the repercussions of this choice in an informative post that explored how the new aspect ratio could affect users. However, LG itself has now spoken on the matter and it's time to hear what the company has to say to persuade us that this is the way to go.

Earlier today, the Korean tech giant took to its official blog to elaborate on the assets of the FullVision 9:18 display and how the user interface of the G6 has been custom tailored around it. Right off the bat, the press release names three advantages of the FullVision display:

  • Differentiated experience for viewing content such as video clips and web surfing
  • Improved camera UX that maximizes the extra real estate provided by the 18:9 format display
  • Smartly designed GUI (Graphical User Interface) that enables the opening of two perfectly square windows side by side, delivering a more productive, better multitasking experience

So, let's take a closer look at each of the points made by LG.


Web browsing & entertainment


As far as the “differentiated” experience of watching videos on an 18:9 screen is concerned, LG says there will be an easy and seamless way to make 9:16 media content fit into the new ratio. In our post on G6's unique display aspect ratio, we explored a couple of ways the new screen ratio could affect the viewing of media content on the new phone, and we were not overly pleased to imagine how vertical black bars may line the sides of every 16:9 YouTube video we watch, but LG has apparently thought of this and developed a way to fit standard media content to the new screen aspect ratio. We don't know what this entails exactly, but there is bound to be some stretching and/or cropping of the image involved in the process.

As for web browsing, the taller FullVision screen could facilitate for an overall better user experience, as more content would be displayed at once when surfing the web with the G6 in portrait mode.

The new aspect ratio may be good for web browsing, as more content would be displayed on the screen at once (in portrait mode), but the scaling of video content to fit in landscape orientation is another story entirely

The new aspect ratio may be good for web browsing, as more content would be displayed on the screen at once (in portrait mode), but the scaling of video content to fit in landscape orientation is another story entirely


Camera UI

A 9/18 screen inside of a standard 9/16 screen

A 9/18 screen inside of a standard 9/16 screen


LG claims the 9:18 screen has been put to good use when developing the camera app interface for the G6. You may be wondering how the camera app could benefit from the taller screen when you'll be shooting in either 16:9 or 4:3 most of the time, but apparently, the real fun starts when you start shooting in 1:1 format.

When taking square photos, the display is split into two perfect halves: one reserved for the viewfinder, the other, for previewing already taken pictures. This allows you to simultaneously shoot photos and see the results without leaving the camera app even for a second.

It is improvements to the user experience like this that could help the transition to the new aspect ratio, but phone makers will have to put significant effort into showcasing what can be done before app developers begin implementing similar conveniences into their apps. It's a safe bet that this will take some time, but slow beginnings are not necessarily a bad thing if they lead to something positive in the end.  

Multitasking


The taller display will also positively impact multitasking, LG claims, as the 9:18 aspect ratio will allow for two apps to be opened side-by-side in two perfectly square windows. Some apps will also use an adaptive interface that will change substantially depending on the orientation of the screen. The stock calendar app, for example, will display the calendar in a square window on the left side of the screen, while the right portion will be occupied by a detailed schedule view.

What opening two apps in split-screen may look like on the G6 in landscape mode. We are on the fence as to whether the square format of the windows alone would improve multitasking by much

What opening two apps in split-screen may look like on the G6 in landscape mode. We are on the fence as to whether the square format of the windows alone would improve multitasking by much



We're still not entirely sure how well the scaling of some content will translate to reality, especially when it comes to watching videos, but LG seems adamant that this is the way to go:

“The LG G6 with FullVision was inspired by the philosophy of experts in the movie industry who believe that an 18:9 ratio screen would be the best solution for viewing both old and new cinematic content in the digital age,” said Juno Cho, president of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.

With Samsung allegedly also prepping a 9:18 display for the Galaxy S8, this may become the next standard for smartphone screen aspect ratios, but it's simply too early to say at this point. We wouldn't really mind taller, narrower phones with smaller bezels and greater screen-to-body ratios, but we also hope that the new setup is put to good use, with user interfaces designed to take advantage of it. It is ultimately the utilization of the new screen ratio, by both phone makers and third-party software developers alike, that will either make or break the transition from 9:16.

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