Introduction


Smartphones are changing. And not in the sort of standard “slightly faster than last year, and with a marginally better camera” way that ends up defining so many popular handsets. With the fresh crop of 2017 flagships just beginning to land, we're seeing the arrival of a new direction for one of the most familiar, fundamental components of a smartphone's hardware makeup: the display. And while it may not turn your day-to-day interactions with your phone on their head, changes are coming that threaten to tweak the way we hold our phones, operate them (especially one-handed), and consume media.

With the LG G6, the manufacturer invites us into the new world of the 18:9 screen. For years now, the standard 16:9 display has dominated smartphone sales – even Apple (reluctantly) joined the party – but this year we're finally seeing the companies that make our favorite phones start trying something new. And while LG may be the first, all the leaks we've been seeing of upcoming hardware certainly suggest it won't be the last.

This new extra-wide (or extra-tall) shape for the G6's screen is a big part of what makes this phone so interesting, but that's far from the only design decision worth paying attention to. We've got a sleek new look with no appreciably camera bump, a premium, glass-encased metal body that trades its removable battery for water-resistance, and built-in wireless charging (for some of you).

Add to that things like a no-compromise, full-resolution wide-angle camera, and Google's latest software and services, and we've got what looks (on paper, at least) like one of the most compelling new smartphones to land so far this year.

Does the LG G6 deliver on all of its potential, or will it follow more in the shoes of the G5 and its modular hardware: a possibly good idea, but one quite thoroughly ruined by some bad decisions about its implementation and marketing? Let's waste no more time before getting deep into what you can expect from one of the year's first big-name flagship phones.

In the box:

  • LG G6
  • USB Type-C to standard-A cable
  • Quick charger
  • SIM tool

Design

LG finds success by being willing to try a bold new look for its flagship

The LG G series has long been one defined by its design. From the G2 (the first to drop the old “Optimus” branding) through the G4, that meant lots of unusual rear-mounted hardware buttons, including the volume rocker. And even though LG returned to more traditional volume controls for the G5, the rear power button remained – while upgrading to pick up an integrated fingerprint scanner.

But with the LG G6, we're looking at a company that has decided “enough with the past.” Sure, we've still got that rear power button, but to a very large extent, LG has decided to tackle the look and feel of the G6 from the ground up. And as it would happen, that's a very good thing.


We're going to pivot back around to LG's crazy-wide-screen display in just a moment, taking a closer look at what it offers (and why), but it's impossible to talk about the design of the G6 without putting the phone's screen front and center. While this isn't a phone that strives to offer a stunning bezelless or otherwise over-the-edge display, it's still one that's particularly eye-catching if only because of the spectacular job that screen does at filling the phone's face.

LG quotes an 80-percent screen-to-body ratio, and while that's not quite the highest we've ever seen (thanks to entries from companies like Xiaomi), it still goes a very long way towards making it feel like you're not so much holding a phone with a screen on it, but that you're just holding a screen. Little details like how the curves at the corners of the display mirror the curves of the phone itself really help sell that that illusion.

The rest of the G6's body is similarly refined. A solid-feeling metal frame helps you get a good grip on the handset, and while the phone's back looks like brushed metal, as soon as you pick it up you'll realize it's protected by a pane of glass. Yet while the G6 is glass front and back, it's not a model that suffers a lot as a result; the phone still feels surprisingly durable, and resists showing off stray fingerprints – helping to keep it looking as premium as possible.

Speaking of durability, LG blesses the G6 with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. That's been a long time coming, and while it's hard to get overly excited about when so many other phones do the same thing, it's still fantastic to see LG step up to join the rest of the pack. We used the G6 in conditions ranging from a light drizzle to a heavier downpour, and while the phone showed some of the expected touchscreen glitches when actively covered in water, it also suffered no permanent damage.
LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Dimensions

5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches

142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

Dimensions

6.09 x 2.98 x 0.34 inches

154.72 x 75.74 x 8.6 mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Dimensions

5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches

142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

Dimensions

6.09 x 2.98 x 0.34 inches

154.72 x 75.74 x 8.6 mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

The G6 feels like it's more screen than phone – and we love it


LG's flagship phones have played around with screen sizes for years, usually bouncing around the low-to-mid 5-inch space. With the G6, though, we step up to a panel that's solidly in phablet territory – though you might not appreciate that to actually use the phone.

The G6 is built around an all-new 5.7-inch LCD screen with a 2K-class (1440 x 2880) resolution, rounded-off corners, and featuring an extra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio.

We could spend this entire review just talking about the unusual new display LG chose to use on the G6 – what's changed, why that matters, and how it all ultimately impacts how you'll use the phone – but because there's a lot more to this smartphone that just its screen, we're going to try and show some restraint.

First, though, we've got to talk about the shape. This 18:9 aspect is arguably more properly called 2:1 – that is, the screen's exactly twice as tall as it is wide. Your typical 16:9 phone screen, by comparison, is a bit too short to have the same said about it.

This means several things for how you use the phone. If you're watching regular 16:9 video on it, you're going to see some black bars on the sides. And while it's easy to associate such bars with a feeling of “I'm watching this content on the wrong screen,” they can actually work the G6. For one, there's enough wiggle-room such that you don't have to jam 16:9 video right up against those rounded corners, losing some pixels in the process. And the screen's also wide enough that you can call up your virtual on-screen Android buttons without them appearing on top of (and blocking) your video.

The situation with apps is a little tricky, as few are explicitly designed to be used on a screen like this. Thankfully, LG includes an easy-to-use settings panel that lets you dictate how apps are scaled to the screen. And if you don't like how one option looks, it's simple to switch to another. Really, though, we didn't run into many issues with how apps use the screen – though it's very nice to know that LG has gotten ahead of the potential problem, all the same. The main downside is that you can only adjust the scaling for downloaded apps – not pre-installed software (like most of your Google titles).

How about those curved corners? Unlike the way most smartphone screens are perfect rectangles, LG rounds-off the corners of the G6's panel. They're not perfect 90-degree arcs, and we have to admit that our first reaction to seeing them was a bit along the lines of, “eww, why?” We even briefly considered the lengths we might go to with custom-ROM hacking in order to try illuminating those missing corner pixels.

But then we sat down and talked to LG about what was going on here, and the story began to make more sense. See, this isn't just some weird software trick to give the G6's screen a (more) interesting look. And you can't turn those curved corners back on in software; the screen really is clipped. But it turns out this is about way more than just aesthetics. By avoiding hard right angles, LG is trying to mitigate screen damage caused by drops and other impacts. While the shock wave from such incidents has a bad habit of traveling along the screen, being concentrated in right-angle corners, and causing breakage, this new design supposedly lessens that risk. And though we're not about to go intentionally dropping our G6, the company's own tests with actual hardware seem to support the idea that this change really is making a difference.

While we're quickly finding ourselves won over by the eccentricities of the LG G6's display, it's still not a screen without its issues. Though our measurements confirm that the display is decently bright, it's still a phone that's dimmer than a number of its peers, and our subjective experience often felt like the handset was on the dimmer side when actually using the G6, especially outdoors. Part of that may be attributed to its cooler color temperature – but short of some pre-set blue-light-reduction options for nighttime usage, there's no way to customize that look.

Color reproduction in general also isn't superb, and while it's better than many phones, there's a touch of AMOLED-style (which this LCD panel very much is not) over-saturation at the top of the screen's output range. At least, that's our experience with the UI, but the phone does claim to offer a wide color gamut with its support for HDR video, including both Dolby Vision and HDR 10 formats.



FEATURED VIDEO

135 Comments

1. STRANG3R

Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Cons are really funny i think you guys don't like innovation just same sh!t apple gives for 3 years you like most :/

7. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

PA always has a couple of funny cons that really should be considered as cons. Like the one about the camera software lol.

31. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

shouldn't

32. sgodsell

Posts: 7605; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

PA gives cons to this display. However LG is the OEM that supplies Apple their displays to both iPhones and their smart watches. To say it's too saturated for an LCD display that supports HDR is a joke. Also LG has supplied a number of display modes in the settings. Just like Samsung supplies multiple modes with their AMOLED displays. PA is the one that should loose all credibility here. The other thing is Android has split screen mode, so multiple tasks can run simultaneously in multiple windows. Is that not useful? To me it certainly is. Well if your an iPhone user then multitasking and split screens would be new to you. So I guess that is why PA didn't mention any of that. They are use to single tasking and switching because they use iPhones.

120. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 930; Member since: May 07, 2014

Phonearena hates giving users options, because iPhone does not give users options. Talking about Huawei P10 in their review of the unfinished product they say, "Unfortunately, the display's color rendition is underwhelming. With a color temperature of 8258K, the display is noticeably cold and makes white colors appear bluer than they're supposed to, which is not okay. Yes, you can tweak the color temperature in the Settings menu (go into Display > Color temperature, and select the Warm option if you want more balanced colors, or Cold if you want even bluer shades of white), but we can't imagine many people figuring out on their own how to do that manually. "

8. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

-Software and media still catching up to this new 18:9 world - Camera software inundated by gimmicky shooting modes - Previous-gen processor may not measure up to other 2017 flagships All three criticisms seem very much valid to me. Well, the camera bit maybe not as much as the other two....but even so, valid.

30. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The camera bit is stupid because all that matter is that it takes good pictures and it does, who cares if there are some gimmicky shooting modes as long as the standard modes are still present and image quality is good.

40. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

"Previous-gen processor may not measure up to other 2017 flagships" That is true but funny at the same time since phonearena was trying to defend it back when when it was unveiled.

43. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"That is true but funny at the same time since phonearena was trying to defend it back when when it was unveiled." That's PA's inconsistency at it's best!

130. cthunder

Posts: 126; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

kiko, Except for the fact the Samsung 8 has the same Software and media and the same or very similar camera software. But yet none of that is a con. PROS Elegant and thoughtful hardware design - same as G6 even stated as such in the side by side comparisons Solid all-around performance - again same as above State-of-the-art phone camera - Again side by side review says both have an amazing camera. Can't go wrong with either. A fresh, new look for Android - Both are running the same software and media yet only the Samsung 8 is credited with a fresh new look. CONS Graphics performance could be better Display colors aren't too natural The only true con and it's not really a con. As the SD821 is future proof for at least 2-3 years. Which by that time you may have bought a new phone. I do admit it would have been nice to have the SD835 but it wasn't available at the time of production.

10. Mixkhata1

Posts: 162; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

Cons aren't really funny. Media content for this resolution is hard to find, at least compared to 16:9. It is a FACT. LG's rationale for using last-year's processor is just an excuse. We all know that the first batch of SD835 is reserved for Samsung(That's probably one of the reasons HTC 11 or M11 or whatever wasn't announced in Barcelona). I accept that LG wouldn't have selected SD821 if they had a choice of getting SD835. SD821 is still outstanding but the concerns of the author are not completely unjustfied. To camera options being a little gimmicky, I... partly agree. LG is providing various options so that it can make it's unorthodox screen aspect useful. Some modes might be great but some might not be. This is something we'd have to wait and see in real life.

106. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Mixkhata1 just use VLC and make it so its always fit the screen they did it and its work perfectly well. Those con are a joke beside the soc.

128. integrazimmy

Posts: 62; Member since: May 30, 2015

I remember when wide screen TVs started to come into use. I don't think anyone said "There's not enough content out there for it". Do you know why? Because the fix was just around the corner. When processors went from one to Dual Core setup, no one said "There aren't many applications that can make use of it". Do you know why????? Because it was just around the corner. Something which will provide better benefits, and is about to become mainstream should NEVER be labeled as a CON. You know why??? Because it's just around the corner!!! I bet once the GS8 comes out and they do a full review, they won't even mention it. LOL!!!

18. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

But they gave the iphone SE an 8.8 lol.

20. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Your profile pic thoroughly destroyed any credibility you may have had.

21. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

And that changes the truth of the statement how? I merely stated a fact.

27. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Don't bother with that clown, @GoBears. The tard loves to judge people by their profile picture, while ignoring what actually matters: the content of people's posts! Just ignore him, bruh... He's a waste of space.

35. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Lmao....triggered much?

68. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

- T R I G G E R E D -

53. kumar1234 unregistered

" The tard loves to judge people by their profile picture, while ignoring what actually matters: the content of people's posts! Just ignore him, bruh... He's a waste of space." You describe yourself well, trojan_horse. You really are a waste of space.

65. dazed1

Posts: 808; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

And you being apple advocate on every SINGLE comment about them destroy your existence on this threads, not just the credibility.

125. Highside

Posts: 197; Member since: Jan 31, 2017

I HATE APPLE. I own a G5 and wanted to buy a G6, until LG killed the removable battery and aluminum. They killed themselves too.

24. Mixkhata1

Posts: 162; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

Well, (i)Phonearena doesn't exactly have a spotless reputation when it comes to scoring a device.

118. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 930; Member since: May 07, 2014

They scored Huawei P10 7.5 I guess.

55. deleon629 unregistered

But we gotta give props where its due: iPhone SE is pretty damn reliable & tough. I'm a proud S7 Edge user, yet sometimes envy those who have a phone that can simply be used for what it's meant; CALLING PEOPLE w/o heating, lagging, crashing, & blue-book trade-in (we all know that Apple products have a higher resale value than most) issues.

107. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Deleon maybe you should get something else than a samsung next time. My LG G5 is amazing for making calls never heat or crash or lag. all i am missing is thats resale value but hey for me all handset cost 50% as i work for a carrier so if i buy at 350$ and after a year i sell at 300$ i am not loosing much lol.

66. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

Just ignore and report kiko, he is a gigantic troll. Your statement was correct, he is just a blind Apple troll.

67. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Your vocab needs expanding...... seriously.

137. Amypeng5959

Posts: 6; Member since: Jul 26, 2017

Hunt for best LG G6 battery case 5000mAh (add 150% extra battery life) 40% off with lifetime warranty, use code ALCLAP00. Search ALCLAP G6 battery case on Amazon USA for more details.

78. MomoSimon

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 23, 2017

Because it's iPhoneArena
G6
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(20.5h talk time)

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