Review: LG G6 – Great Phone with a Useful Dual Lens Camera

The G6 is LG’s best phone yet. Equipped with an immersive display, the G6 improves on the best feature of the LG G5 while cherry picking the popular features from other Android phones. It’s a more conservative approach, but it’s a pretty awesome package.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be a compelling choice, but the LG G6 is a viable alternative too.

Here are 3 reasons why I prefer the LG G6:

  1. A more useful camera. The dual lens setup on the LG G6 offers so much more versatility as compared to the Galaxy S8. The traditional normal field of view shooter will hold its own too.

  2. It’s easier to hold. The Galaxy S8 is definitely prettier, and more polished in terms of overall build. The LG G6 isn’t it’s equal but still manages to hold it’s own. I used a S7 Edge previously, and honestly, using it near the edges wasn’t the best experience.
    It’s also much easier to apply proper tempered glass protectors and cases than the S8

  3. Price and value. The LG G6 is cheaper than the S8 and S8 plus by about $150 to $300 and there is an ongoing promotion of a 49” LG TV with signup of a broadband plan. There’s also an additional 12 month warranty too.

Design

The more immersive display, the thin bezels, and a smooth unibody design brings it all together. It offers a higher than average body to screen ratio than most other phones, and the traditional bezels make it significantly easier to hold.

There are tradeoffs though. The replaceable battery feature which had been advocated strongly by LG in their past flagships is no longer. Although the LG G6 features a glass back, the wireless charging feature is also not available in Singapore model. Instead, we have the Quad DAC. The question here is: but why not both? Consumers kinda hate the idea of compromises.

At least the 3.5mm jack is still there.

Clean Software Setup

LG UI has moved towards a cleaner and a closer slant towards the base Android / Google ecosystem. Unlike Samsung, who has their own Samsung Pay and Bixby, LG keeps it relatively simple and use the default Google variants, notably Android Pay and Google Assistant. It boils down to preference. I dislike the idea of having OEM duplicates so the LG approach is preferred, but Android purists would probably still want to go for something like the Nexus.

There wasn’t much in terms of bloatware – and LG launcher is simple to use. You can turn on / off the app drawer and also get rid of LG’s rounded square icons, which makes all the none LG icons look really ugly.

The Hardware Stuff

LG made a bold move in deciding to use the Snapdragon 821 instead of the 835. From a pure benchmarking perspective, that’s some points loss. But to the average consumer, the difference would be negligible.

At least, the Singapore LG G6 comes with 64GB of storage.

The other specifications are quite standard. The G6 comes with a 3,300 mAH battery, which was OK for me. On average I get about 5.5 – 6 hours screen on time from 100% to 5%. I enabled Always on Display, which can be disabled to squeeze out more battery life.

The Screen

The surprisingly large let’s you see more when browsing, seeing your photos and playing games. The LG G6 with Dolby Vision, HDR10 also offers a better cinematic experience with enhanced contrast and colour.

I used to think these specifications are the subject for product demos. Like having a Dolby vision sample clip which shows amazing colours, etc, but never really useful for your daily content. But that’s not true. The LG G6 is the first phone with Netflix HDR support. Shows like Marco Polo supports Dolby Vision, and content from the Marvel-linked TV series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones etc) would get HDR support as well.

Camera

The G6 took the best feature of the G5 and improved on it. The G6 now features a total of 4 lens, 2 front facing, and 2 rear facing, with a normal and wide field of view setup. It’s a huge advantage, letting you take those massive group shots, or capturing grand scenic angles. Both lens offer the same megapixel quality, although the normal field of field of 71 degrees comes with an f/1.8 aperture while the 125 fov lens uses a f/2.4 aperture. The sensors are identical 13MP Sony units (IMX258) with 1.12-micron pixels.

The wide angle lets you view more and capture more.

HDR optimization on day shots were also pretty great.

The front camera is a little disappointing – a 5-megapixel f/2.2 with 100 degree FOV.

Back to the rear camera.

I really like the rear camera though. It falters a bit on low light conditions, but otherwise is a good all round performer. The wide camera lens is a very useful feature to have, and it is a breeze to switch to. The below shot (cropped) was taken with the Wide Angle lens at night, and the ISO ramped up to 2450. It made for a very grainy picture.

Also, if you are looking to take better pictures, or more Instagram-style photos, the LG G6 has a guide mode to help you along. It overlays a recommended photo which you can match your current shot to. Useful. There are other interesting modes such as match shot, and creating GIFs for you to get creative with.

Another fun feature is the ability to create 360 panoramas easily. You just need to do 1 turn to capture a full 360 panorama – thanks to the wide angle lens. Here’s an example.

For more photos – check out the link below.
https://goo.gl/photos/sXLuhqVHKJcqPoxg7

Verdict

The LG G6 is a phone that is well built, has solid features, and is also cheaper than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8. It is a more pragmatic choice. The S8 offers the best in class Snapdragon 835, or Exynos equivalent, but that’s only for those who crave the highest speed in a phone (not like you can really max it out anyway). Personally, I like a phone with a good camera, large storage (64gb is good for now), and battery life. For that, the LG G6 ticks those boxes, and the more appealing camera coupled with the lower prices, makes it a smarter recommendation as compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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