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Gadgets: The Mature Contender

LG G6 is a device that is low on gimmickry and high on practicality

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Let's be real — while LG’s modular G5 flagship from last year scored high on innovation, it failed to convince consumers to buy into the concept. With this year’s G6, LG pretty much went back to the drawing board and made a device that is low on gimmickry and high on practicality, the sort of phone that reestablishes LG’s credibility in the premium flagship segment.

At first glance, the LG impresses with just how much screen it manages to cram into the body of what would otherwise be a regular 5.2-inch display phone. With the use of thin bezels and a taller 18:9 ratio display — most phones typically offer a 16:9 aspect ratio — the G6 feels great in the hand and is easy to use single-handed, a rarity for a phone with a 5.7-inch display.

As with the S8, the tall aspect ratio means that most videos, shot at 16:9, end up with black bars on either side, but most apps (except games) adapt to the taller display. The LCD screen by itself is a return to form for LG, with excellent peak brightness levels and vivid colours, and support for Dolby Vision and HDR-10 standards as well. What’s surprising is that with LG’s huge OLED TV business, the company still opted for LCD panels instead of the punchier AMOLED displays.

Placed next to the Samsung Galaxy lineup for this year, the G6 lacks the wow factor and sheer ergonomic design of Samsung's curved edges and almost-bezel less feel, but what it lacks in standout design, it makes up in durability. There’s water and dust resistance and while the rear is a combination of metal and curved Gorilla glass, the front is flat with corners that are ever so slightly raised to offer better impact protection. It’s a more practical, mature design that won’t have you worrying about how delicate your phone is, something I can’t say about the Samsungs. Also, unlike the S8s, the fingerprint scanner/power button placement on the rear is in a far more sensible (and usable) position.

LG’s dual rear camera system returns with the G6, and unlike Apple and Xiaomi who use the second lens for telephoto shots, LG prefers you go wide — a whole 125-degrees — with its second lens. Just being able to push a button and capture a really wide field of vision is incredibly fun and if landscapes and city shots are your thing, the G6 will serve you well. The regular 71-degree camera with f/1.8 lens and optical image stabilisation takes excellent daytime and low-light shots that go toe-to-toe with this year’s flagships.

By now, you’d have sensed there isn’t anything terribly wrong with the G6, and that’s largely true. Battery life is better than the S8, the Quad Hi-Fi DAC for improved sound quality is a nice touch and even LG’s previously heavy-embellished user interface atop Android 7.0 is an exercise in restraint on the G6.

It’s just that when you’re paying half a lakh for your phone, you’d want it to offer the latest, greatest, and LG’s dealt the G6 a bit of a perception blow by kitting it with Qualcomm’s top chip from last year. To be fair, performance rarely felt lacking, but at this price, LG really ought to have considered this aspect (or priced it significantly lower) if it really wanted to take the fight to the competition.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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magazine 27 may 2017 LG G6 gadgets and gizmos

Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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