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LG G6 Review

LG G6
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Call Quality

A surprisingly comfortable-to-hold phone feels built with voice calls in mind

When using the G6 as a handset for voice calls, audio quality was very nice, and the phone's extra-tall shape subtly helps improve its ergonomics for such tasks. But while general call-making didn't leave us wanting for any major improvements, we can't say the same for the G6's speakerphone, where audio quality took a bit of a dive. Perhaps this is one of those features that will get better as LG finalizes the phone's software, but for now we'll be leaving the speakerphone off.

Battery Life

The jury's still out overall, but there's little denying that wireless charging is a welcome arrival

LG G6 Review

The decision to launch the G6 without a removable battery is going to be a controversial one, especially with LG as one of the last hold-outs offering such a feature on its flagship phones. But all is not lost, as while the G6's battery is baked-in, it's also much larger than the 2,800mAh component from the G5, now topping out at a very phablet-level 3,300mAh.

Even better, the G6 now supports wireless charging. Well, that's the case in the US, anyway, though LG has foolishly decided that international markets won't appreciate wireless charging in quite the same way, so they'll have to do without. Radio differences between markets – that we get – but varying feature sets are enormously frustrating. First the Quad DAC, now this...

Battery life on the G6 is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, standby times can be really, really good, and if you're not spending a lot of time actually interacting with the G6, you probably won't have a problem picking up the phone at any moment and finding plenty of battery capacity remaining, even several days after a charge.

But actually use the G6 for any appreciable period and you're going to see battery life start dropping – and sometimes, fast. Our tests saw the phone managing just minutes over six hours of screen-on time before running dry. That puts the G6's endurance at an hour or more behind a lot of its flagship competition. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker (like if we were looking at five hours of screen-on time), but there's a real chance that the G6 won't quite have enough juice to address your power-user needs.

With support for Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0, recharge times, at least, weren't bad, and we got the G6 back up to full capacity in a bit over 100 minutes. Between that and the wireless-charging support, it gets a little easier to give the G6 some leeway with its battery-life issues – but still, another hour of raw endurance would go a long way towards making us feel better about the whole situation.

Conclusion


The LG G6 is a phone that wears its ambition on its sleeve. It's not afraid to say, “to hell with the past; this is the way things are now.” It doesn't look like a G4 or a G5, nor does it feel like one. And while that kind of departure from the status quo can be enormously risky, the vast majority of our interactions with the G6 suggest that it's a move LG was wise to make.

Maybe the new screen shape won't be nearly as controversial as us hardware nerds make it out to be, and the app and media issues will largely pass users by unnoticed. But even if they're not thinking about pillarboxing or aspect ratios, they're absolutely going to pay attention to the way the G6 feels like the entire thing is one big screen.

LG G6 Review
Putting the G6 up next to other 5.7-inch phones, LG's ability to squeeze that much screen real estate onto this small a handset is nothing short of impressive. That it can go head-to-head with the smaller-screened iPhone 7 Plus and make that sleek, sophisticated handset seem chunky and bloated by comparison is real accomplishment for Android manufacturers.

LG does a lot right with the G6, but it's also not a slam dunk. We can't help but wonder what performance and battery life would look like if LG only had some slightly different priorities going in to making the G6, and there's going to be a not-unexpected period of adjustment as content creators adapt to this new 18:9 era.

Pricing is another serious concern, with the G6 going for about $650 to just over $700 from the various carriers. While that's very much flagship-level, it's also just a bit cheaper than you'll pay for Samsung's Galaxy S8; then again, Samsung's got some tempting freebies available for pre-ordering customers, like a full Gear VR setup with motion controller.

Right now, the thing most shoppers will be wondering about as they consider picking up a G6 will be how the phone stacks up against the Galaxy S8. Samsung's still recovering from the Note 7 PR nightmare, and we can already see LG turning the screws on Samsung a little in its G6 promotion. For the moment, it's easy for LG to get a few shots in, but if the S8 is half as good as it's looking, that window could be closing soon.

If you want to jump on the G6 now, by all means, go ahead: it's going to be hard to feel let down. But if you're always wondering “what if,” it couldn't hurt to sit things out at least through the end of the month and see if Samsung steps up in the way we're expecting it to.



Pros

  • Modern hardware layout and construction
  • 9:18 screen is a welcome evolution to smartphone displays
  • Powerful camera hardware may be LG's most flexible to date
  • Wireless charging and waterproofing finally make an appearance

Cons

  • 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
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LG G6

LG G6

OS: Android 7.0
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.7Excellent
Display5.7 inches, 1440 x 2880 pixels (561 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2350 MHz, Kryo processor
4 GB RAM
Size5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches
(148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm)
5.75 oz  (163 g)
Battery3300 mAh, 20.5 hours talk time

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