LG pleasantly surprised many consumers with the V20 (if you’re curious, check out our review) in 2016, and interestingly, they took to the streets for public input and opinion as part of their R&D during the design and planning phase of the LG G6. Using the phone makes it clear that those who were surveyed expressed their desire for two key factors: the ability to type one-handed whilst navigating busy sidewalks, and the need for a large screen.
The phone sits comfortably in one hand, yet it boasts a 5.7-inch screen at 2880×1440 resolution and an 18:9 aspect ratio. It’s got beautiful curves and lines that scream quality, and my favourite aspect of the design is the glass back that subtly prevents the phone from slipping out of your hand during one-handed use. At their local launch event, LG took a steak knife to the back of the phone to prove the hardiness of the Gorilla Glass. No way will I be doing that, but what I am going to do is submerge the phone in water for a bit of fun, to see how it holds up.
The G6 has a 3300mAh battery that’ll give you an impressive 22 hours of talk time, which is a significant increase over its predecessor the G5 as well as the V20, both of which sported 3000mAh batteries. Unfortunately, the battery is no longer removable due to LG opting for an IP68 rating, making it waterproof at depths of up to 1.5m for at least 30 minutes.
The G6 also enjoys the military-grade 810G rating, meaning it can withstand a serious beating from drops and shocks. In fact, LG has assured us that this phone can be carried into combat by military personnel. So I’ll be taking the phone along to my paintball games, and afterwards jumping into the pool for shits and giggles. Hey, don’t judge me. Paintball is technically combat.
I particularly love the 360-degree photo option, shot from the dual 13 megapixel cameras that basically takes a panoramic shot and stiches it together to give you one 360-degree image that’ll astound your friends and family. Pressing the volume-down button twice (even when the G6 is in sleep mode) activates the camera for those quick shot moments. The split-screen option is cool too, because you can seamlessly share and upload images to your social networks from the preview window immediately after taking the shot without leaving the camera mode.
Double tapping the volume-up button activates a notepad that is simple to save and share once you unlock the phone via fingerprint scanning. I do wish the phone had retina scanning though, because I find it cumbersome at times having to pick up the phone and depress my finger on a specific spot at the rear of the phone whilst it’s resting on a surface. This is, of course, not a problem at all when you want to unlock your phone whilst holding it. It’s as though the phone specifically caters for people constantly clutching it in their hands.
The G6 comes with 4GB RAM and 32GB on-board ROM with the option of expanding storage via a waterproofed SD slot. After installing Twitter, I’d already consumed over 10GB of space [Wut? What nutso, overgrown version of the Twitters have you downloaded? – Ed.], so I’d definitely recommend adding some additional storage when purchasing your new LG G6. LG announced at the launch that Vodacom, MTN and Telkom Mobile will include a free 64GB SD card as well as a Bluetooth headset when signing up to one of their G6 deals.
Whilst playing CPU- and GPU-hungry games, the phone never felt excessively hot, nor did I experience any lag or stutter. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and heat-pipe technology certainly do their jobs perfectly here. Fast charging via the new USB Type-C cable (that can be inserted any which way) is cool, but I would’ve liked a wireless charging option.
Overall, I enjoy the feel of the phone and the clever design that’s made this the first plus-size smartphone that doesn’t feel uncomfortably large in my hand, and I appreciate the fact that it never feels like I’m running the risk of dropping the thing. As far as the user experience goes, the camera is superb and gesture control during selfie shots added a fun angle. I also really like the new USB Type-C connector with support for USB 3.1.