After years of chasing gimmicks, LG decides to just make a good phone.
The quick take
The quick take: LG achieves its goal of packing a balanced, powerful Android experience into a more hand-friendly form factor. But it remains to be seen whether the G6 is a true “flagship” to compete with the upcoming Galaxy S8. The LG G6’s success (or otherwise) will depend on its price tag, and how the competition measures up.
- Attractive design + great build quality
- Speedy performance
- Meaningful software tweaks to take advantage of 2:1 display
- Great low-light camera performance
- Fun wide-angle camera features
- Glass back prone to scratching
- Curved corners of display don’t match bezel
- Only 32GB in most markets
- Wireless charging exclusive to
LG G6 Hardware
At first glance, the LG G6 is both familiar and something of an oddball. For a 5.7-inch phone, it’s smaller than you’d expect. There’s an entirely obvious reason for that — for a modern smartphone of any kind, the screen is a good deal taller than any previous model. And while the curved glass back panel has echoes of Samsung’s Galaxy line, the front is almost aggressively flat, with a chamfered metal trim that’s essentially flush with the display.
That’s a deliberate design decision, LG tells us, with the idea being to avoid exposed “2.5D” glass protrusions on the front, which would be a structural weakness should the phone take a tumble. (You’ll still need to deal with curved glass on the back, however that panel is furnished in Gorilla Glass 5, as opposed to version 3 of the material, which makes up the screen.) The front face has an unconventional look, but it’s also a welcome respite from the sea of phones with slightly curved glass displays.
This is a phone which feels both big and small at the same time, and the form factor is just a tad reminiscent of traditional candybars like LG’s own Chocolate phones of yesteryear. Of course there is an argument to be had about just how useful a 5.7-inch, 18:9 display is, given that most videos, shot at 16:9, conjure up black borders on the G6. But for the most part, Android apps fill the extra space without issue.
This thing feels so much more sturdy than any previous LG design.
The G6 is crafted from metal and glass, and now the battery is fully sealed in, so you won’t be popping off the back to swap power packs — or, for any other reason. As a result, this thing feels solid and well-built, with clean lines, precise joins and a pleasing contrast between the deliberately flat front face and the more ergonomic curved rear. This isn’t a rugged phone by any means, but it feels much more sturdy than anything LG has produced before. Your three color options are black, white and “platinum” — my personal favorite — the back of which has a neat brushed texture beneath the glass.
(In meetings in Seoul, Korea ahead of today’s launch, LG hinted that more G6 colors would likely be arriving sometime after launch.)