Review of the LG G6

T-Mobile delivered again and I just received my newly minted LG G6 Black.

LG G6 from T-Mobile.

Am I excited?  Yep.  Will it be better than my iPhone 7 Plus?  Who knows but after some recent experiences with Google’s Pixel and some very annoying bugs, I am holding my hopes high that someone can deliver an Android experience on stellar hardware.  My other requirement?  I have been continually looking for a phone who’s size fits in between and iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.  The closest so far is the Sony XZ but with LG’s new 5.7 inch screen the sizing looks to be about right. The LG G6 retails for about $650 and includes a special Google Home promotion if you pick up the phone in the next few weeks.  Is it a winning formula sans promotion? Let’s find out.

 

What I liked:

·         Attractive design

·         2 x 13-MP rear cameras

·         Excellent screen with Dolby Vision HDR support

·         Water resistance (IP68)

·         The size

·         Business friendly

·         Ability to scroll from side to side

 

What I disliked:

·         The back of the phone

·         The shiny back of the phone

·         The finger print smudges on the back of the phone

·         No on/off button on the side

·         Speaker sound isn’t great

·         Android is still mediocre

 

 

Winner or Loser?

Winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, the LG G6 screen!

LG has delivered a great looking 5.7-inch display that takes most of the front panel of the phone.  Gone are the larger bezels and instead you get a screen that feels and looks like it is all screen.  The phone includes rounded edges on the display that out of the box makes it look a bit different and actually has a more consistent design. 

The phone measures at 5.86 x 2.83 x .31 and weighs in at almost 6 ounces.  It isn’t a light phone but when I consider that the size is almost the same as the S7 and a screen that closely resembles the 7 plus while being easy to use with one hand it’s hard not to consider the game changing nature of the phone. 

Peak brightness is 557 nits and surpasses the S7, Pixel XL and HTC phones and the color accuracy is well above the fold when compared to current generation premium phones coming in at 1.01 (closer to 0 is better) compared to 3.5 for the S7 as an example. 

Is Extra Wide better for everyone?

The G6 includes 2880 x 1440 resolution in an 18:9 display and to really compare apples to apples the screen could easily be more compared to something like the HTC U Ultra which is a mammoth phone with a very large screen.  Because of its 18:9 display the phone is more narrow and allows for my phone to move across the screen without the need to use the phone with both hands.  Netflix looks great, and I hear that the Dolby Vision is great, but haven’t seen much use for it.  I did see a movie recently that incorporated Dolby Vision and when you see it side by side in a large movie theatre you can see the difference.  I believe in the future this will become a better feature when more and more content comes out that supports this platform. 

Regardless of everything – the screen looks great. 

LG G6’s new display

 

The Cameras

Both the standard and wide-angle lenses now include 13-MP sensors compared to the G5’s 16-MP/8-MP configuration giving the G6 the ability to take equally good portrait and landscape photos.  In comparing photos, I would suggest the G6 photos looked equally as good as the S7 and S7 Edge if not actually better.  You also have more flexibility to grab those wide photos when a larger picture is needed.  Here are some samples:

and wide lens

 

Performance

This is one area where I struggle but I continually ask myself does it really matter that the LG G6 doesn’t include the new Snapdragon 835 processor?  My first inclination is that the new phone is fast.  My second inclination is then who really cares.  In our industry (web hosting) slowness or drag is usually a sign that you need more resources.  Did I experience any lag?  Nope. Is it fast? It seems like it.   There are lots of reviews that like to benchmark these tests and for me the only thing I really care about is day to day use.  Can I listen to music on Bluetooth, work on email and use application? Yes.  So, its good enough for me.

 

Google Assistant

I first tested Google Assistant on the Pixel and walked away with two feelings.  First, is that getting automated notifications for shopping malls with directions and other relevant info is actually pretty great.  The second was that Google is tracking me continuously now and I am not all that comfortable with that.  I recognize that phones have become one huge tracking device for companies so it does go with the territory.  The G6 is the first non-Pixel phone to incorporate Google Assistant into the phone.  Overall, it does a reasonably good job but would be remiss to say that as a Microsoft product user I find the new version of Cortana and Easily-Do more practical for my purposes.  EasilyDo helps me with my schedule, receipts, follow-up on emails, PDFs and so on. I’ve come to appreciate its functionality more over time.  To learn more about what assistant can do visit the website.

 

Conclusion

The LG G6 is compelling, useful and with its unique display and ability to be used with one hand really made me rethink my phone current phone options.  My iPhone 7 Plus works.  Its gives me all the applications I needed in a big screen package.  The G6 can do likewise but I am still not sold on Google’s Android strategy and I do have some concerns about upgrades.  I know the Pixel is already one version ahead despite the G6 being brand new.  Overall, the G6 is excellent and if you are looking for big screen in a small package you be delighted. 

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