Gadget Review – LG G6 Review Understated, Underrated

LG G6 Review Understated, Underrated

After the rather disappointing G5 last year,
LG is trying again with the G6. This time round, LG is taking a simpler, safer
approach, and going back to basics. Lets start with the new design. Theres no fancy leather back cover or a
modular design here.

Just a simple and understated design with
glass and metal. The slightly curved edges on the back, and
the chunkier metal frame, all adds to a phone that feels really nice
in the hand. Some folks might be a bit upset because the
battery is no longer removable, but LG has made the phone water and dust resistant, which is a small price to pay for added durability
in my opinion. While the materials have changed, the fingerprint
sensor and power button is still in the same position as before.

Its a physical button, but just resting
my finger on top unlocks the phone. It works reliably and is fairly quick to unlock,
so no complaints from me here. The biggest change youll find on the phone this year, is the new Full Vision display from LG. Its a 5.7-Inch QHD+ LCD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and tiny bezels.

Its a really nice looking display with
nice colours, contrast, outdoor visibility, and viewing angles. Because of the tiny bezels and the taller
screen, this is actually still a really manageable
size compared to a typical 5.7-Inch phone. So I have no problems using it one-handed
most of the time. It supports HDR video playback as well, but
until we have more HDR content, it seems pointless to talk about it.

But there are two interesting things here
worth talking about. The first one being the completely flat glass,
something we actually dont see that often on high end phones these days. The other being the rounded corners on the
display which matches the corners of the phone nicely. LG says that theyre both there to make
the screen more durable against corner impact, which is great of course, but for me I like
it mostly because of how it looks.

This new Full Vision display, the flat glass,
and the rounded corners, gives the LG G6 its distinctive look, making
it stand out from other flagship devices. Just one thing to note here. If you look closely, youll find that the
rounded corners are not perfectly rounded. But to me, it doesnt really detract much
from the gorgeous looking screen.

LGs software has always been their weakest link. Especially when it comes to design and performance. While they have been improving over the years,
and scaling back on their customisations, theyre still not quite there yet. You get all these little tweaks around the
interface just to emphasise that 2:1 aspect ratio and the rounded corners, but none of them really enhances the experience.

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When it comes down to it, the most useful
aspect of that taller screen, is just having more room to run two apps at
the same time, and the ability to see a bit more content. While not all apps can take advantage of this
aspect ratio yet, LG does provide an app scaling feature to
ease the transition, but just dont expect everything to work
perfectly. For video content, while there is a button
to resize your videos to fit the screen, it doesnt work on online content just yet. So there will be a bit of letterboxing when
watching YouTube.

But its not a big deal to me since the
bezels are pretty thin here. Then there are little things around the interface
that kind of messes up the look a little too. Take the navigation buttons. The square button should be slightly smaller
to counterbalance its bigger surface area compared the other buttons to make things
look more balanced.

This is something Google already accounted
for in stock android, but LG decided to just make them all the same size. By the way, its been like this since the
first Marshmallow software from LG. Then you get two network icon saying the same
thing, and you have this ugly looking effect that
has been around for years. I could go on, but you get the idea.

But this is just me nitpicking on the design,
because in terms of usability, LG does get a lot of software features right. Always on display is always nice to have around
since my phone is on my desk all the time. Double tap to wake or sleep, makes it really
easy to access the notifications. Being able to tap the screen in a pattern
to unlock the phone is super convenient too when the phone is on my desk.

Being able to add a button to pull down the
notification shade is super convenient as well, and is a great feature to have on a phone
this tall. So while I dont love the way the software
looks, I think it still provides a pretty nice user experience overall. Especially after I turned off, disabled, or
replaced anything that I dont like. But something that I cant change would
be the performance.

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Im not saying that its slow, but having
used a phone like the Google Pixel, it feels like there are minor split second
pauses every now and then. Not a big deal, but just thought I would mention
it here. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 821 with
4GB of RAM which might disappoint some folks who wants the latest chipset. But its still more than enough for everything
I need the phone to do.

Its also paired with a 3,300mAh battery
which gives me a day of normal use easily. You can also clearly see Android Doze in action
throughout the night. For heavier usage, I can just do a quick top
up using fast charging and Im good to go. The G6 actually supports wireless charging
as well, but thats exclusive to the US variant.

But at least in Singapore, we get more storage
at 64GB, as well as Quad-DAC for a better audio experience. So thats not too bad. But its still kind of insane that LG is
doing all these region specific exclusives. While some folks will probably love the Quad-DAC,
I use bluetooth earbuds primarily so its not a big deal for me.

I do wish the phone has stereo speakers though. The single speaker sounds pretty decent, but its quite easy to cover it up while
gaming. The camera experience is probably going to
be one of the main selling points of the LG G6. The main camera is a 13MP sensor with f/1.8
Aperture and optical image stabilisation.

The second camera is the same 13MP sensor
with a wide-angle lens, and f/2.4 Aperture. By the way, the second camera lacks autofocus
and optical image stabilisation. LG also switched from laser auto focus to
phase detection autofocus which seems to work well enough too. The main camera is able to capture some really
good looking shots with nice contrast.

Same goes for low light performance too with
the optical stabilisation doing a good job here. But overall, I find the images a bit over-processed,
especially with the sharpening. I also find that it has the tendency to overexpose
a little in auto mode, but that can be easily adjusted. It may not be my choice for the best smartphone
camera, but it does offer a lot of flexibility with
the wide angle camera.

Its not exactly a deal breaker feature
for me, but it sure as hell is fun to play around
with. Something worth mentioning too is that the
G6 has a manual video recording mode. Recently I tried shooting an entire video
using the iPhone SEs default camera app, and it made me appreciate the camera mode
here a bit more. The 5MP camera joins in the fun too with a
wide angle lens and an f/2.2 Aperture.

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It allows me to toggle into wide angle mode
with the press of a button, which is great for a group shot. But the main thing is, it produces very average
looking results, and falls apart very quickly in low light conditions. There are a few camera specific features that
makes use of the taller display here. Like having the camera roll on the side to
preview images, shooting a square photo with an instant preview, take two shots side by side, take 4 shots
in a grid, and use a guide to match the composition of another photo.

The last two features are the most interesting
ones to have around, because it makes it really easy to create
interesting looking content for social media. I initially thought it was kind of gimmicky,
but its actually quite fun to use. So lets wrap this up. The LG G6 is a great effort from LG.

Its a solid, well-built phone, that comes
with most of the things that one would expect from a flagship smartphone today. By giving up the gimmicks and focusing on
getting the basics right, LG has created a phone that is actually worth considering. Sure, its not as impressive as the Galaxy
S8 on paper, but it is priced lower to reflect that difference. And you still get a similarly futuristic looking
display with tiny bezels, which looks to be the trend going forward.

Plus, LG Singapore is also providing two years
warranty on the G6 for an additional peace of mind. I do wish LG would find some ways to improve
on their software, but other than that, its a phone that I
really enjoyed using. If you give it a chance, maybe youll like it too. Thanks for watching this video, hope you guys liked it.

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see more content like this. See you guys on the next one..

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