LG is in tough spot. Its smartphone division has not been able to avoid failure for some time now. The G3 was a sign of things we could expect from LG. It was a nice smartphone with clean design and powerful specs. However, it did not find many takers. Then came the G4 with a new design and some old specs but a stellar performer nevertheless. However, even then it could not find many buyers. The less I talk about the G5, the better. On the face of it, the modular concept sounds really great. However, LG’s implementation saw people running away from a modular smartphone. This brings me to the G6. What is this device all about? Can LG now look at profitability with this device? Should you buy it? Allow me to answer those questions in this LG G6 India review.
LG G6 India Review
|Dimensions (lxbxh)||71.9mm x 148.9mm x 7.9mm|
|Features||Glass-metal construction, hybrid SIM tray, fingerprint scanner on the back, USB Type-C, Water and dust-proof, shockproof, 3.5mm headphone jack|
The LG G6 is a pleasant surprise to even the harshest critic of the company. Gone are plastics and modular items (LG Friends). In come glass and metal on the G6. Yes, you read it right. The G6 has glass construction with metal frame. On the frame, you can see a number of bands for connectivity features. The upper half of the phone has four such bands while the bottom half has just one. There is the 3.5mm headphone jack up top and USB Type-C port below flanked by three holes for the single speaker.
On the left side of the G6, there are volume buttons while the right side has the SIM card/SD card tray. At the back, there is the dual camera setup and power button-cum-fingerprint reader. Up front, you will see the light sensor, receiver grille, front camera on the forehead and LG logo on the chin. The unit I had was in the Astro Black shade.
One word to describe this design is regular. This may seem like a big complaint point. Except, for the LG G6, it is biggest compliment. Why? Because of this ‘regular’ design, it now is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof too. The glass panel at the back merges into the metal frame to add strength to the body. So, while the front panel of the G6 may not be the toughest out there, as a whole, it is quite tough. Also, the Astro Black colour looks quite nice. It makes you think the entire front panel is the display, until you angle the phone a bit to see the LG logo on the chin.
The LG G6’s design just works. It is easy to hold and use with one hand. There is good weight distribution in the phone. There is a gripe though. The tight tolerances in LG G6’s build means it heats up if used for heavy tasks such as gaming. However, you will not even notice that unless you use it with the other hand. The phone feels premium to hold and use. If you compare it with, say the Galaxy S8, it will not feel as premium. However, it will feel tough. If you are going to shell out Rs 51,990 for a phone, it sure should feel tough and premium. The G6 feels both in equal measure. In the end, in this LG G6 India review, LG scores high marks for G6’s design.
|Display size and type||5.7-inch, Quad HD (2880x1440p) resolution, LCD|
|Features||18:9 aspect ratio, always-on mode, Gorilla Glass 3 protection|
The LG G6 comes with an LCD display panel. It is an LED-backlit LCD, which means black reproduction is not accurate. It is a Quad HD unit and reproduces colours nicely. However, inaccurate black reproduction hurts this phone. The colours do not pop and grab your attention like on an AMOLED display. However, it is sharp and has good viewing angles. With those narrow bezels, using this phone for gaming or media consumption is a treat.
There is a Comfort View feature with LG G6’s display. It is a blue light filter that makes the screen look warmer. Personally, I do not like warm screens and hence, kept this feature turned off. Then there is the Always On Display. It has been implemented nicely on the LG G6 and shows all incoming notifications. However, the drawback of an LCD display is evident the most here. Keeping the Always On Display feature on consumes a lot of battery life. The drawback of an LCD display is evident here. However, how much of a difference it makes in battery life terms is something I will talk about later.
Looking at this phone, I kept wondering just how good LCD panels have become. Its colour reproduction is almost on par with an AMOLED panel (a high praise). In terms of sharpness too, the LG G6’s display scores high marks. Just that its effect on battery life is a tradeoff. This tradeoff is big for me as I value battery life above everything else. However, like me, you can turn off the Always On Display and enjoy the amazing screen with no threat to battery life. In the end, during the LG G6 India review, I found very little to complain about the phone in the display area.
|OS||Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX 6.0 skin|
|Features||QSlide, Knock On, Knock Code, Google Assistant, Live wallpapers, Smart keyboard, Capture +|
LG has not forked the Android 7.0 Nougat much. The LG UX 6.0 is one of the lightest skins out there for Android OS. LG is able to offer some nifty features via its proprietary skin. One of those feature is choosing between three different types of launchers. One type eliminates the app drawer and displays apps like on an iPhone. The second type uses gives you a screen dedicated to the phone dialer. The third type gives the G6 a regular Android OS layout.
A missed opportunity for LG is not using a slide up action to open the app drawer. But more people are used to having an app drawer icon than a slide up gesture for the same. At least, it is not tricking the muscle memory. Other modifications include choice of themes, rounded icons or regular ones. Also present is the QSlide feature. For this feature, there are some redundant apps too. By using this feature you can run two apps at a time in windowed form.
What’s good to know is that basic Android features have been utilised to the fullest in the LG G6. Yes, there are additional functionalities such as QSlide and KnockOn. However, nothing distracts from the experience tat LG offers. As a bonus, you can have more than three soft buttons at the bottom of the screen. I opted to have the QSlide button there.
Nothing about the LG G6’s OS is worth complaining about. However, it is a divisive. You will either like it or hate it. Either decision you make will be based on your first impression of the phone. However, use the LG G6 with an open mind and chances of you liking it increase exponentially. As per the LG G6 India review, for me, I liked the OS a lot.
|Processor||2.35GHz quad-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|Internal Storage||64GB (expandable up to 2TB)|
Yes, the LG G6 has some 2016 hardware. After all, why will a company use a Snapdragon 821 chip when it can get a Snapdragon 835? The simple answer for that question is this – availability. LG was unable to get its hands on the Snapdragon 835 chip and instead had to go with the Snapdragon 821 for G6. Is it that big a deal? For those who say yes, I’d ask you to recall the G4. LG chose to let go of Snapdragon 810 back then in favour of Snapdragon 808 to avoid overheating issues with the former. How many G4 complaints have you heard till date?
While setting up the phone, the G6 did hang up at certain points. However, after some time, it stopped hanging altogether. How did that happen? The G6 uses tightly-integrated hardware and software combination. This helps it zip through daily tasks like hot knife through butter. The fact that it is able to zip through daily tasks with an old processor means only one thing. Apple has always been right in tightly integrating hardware and software in iPhones. Its only real Android alternative in that sense is LG. It may seem like high praise but it is not unfounded. This LG G6 India review finds the phone to be a great performer.
When you pay for a flagship smartphone, you expect flagship smartphone-like performance. The LG G6 does not disappoint one bit. In fact, it is a stellar performer in every respect. I used the phone for gaming and not once did I feel that I should use another phone for this purpose.
|Primary (rear) Camera||Dual, 13-megapixel with flash|
|Features||Phase detection autofocus, f/1.8 aperture for standard lens, f/2.2 aperture for wide-angle lens, OIS, tracking focus, HDR, 360 Panorama, Square camera, pop out picture mode|
|Features||f/2.2 aperture, gesture shot, selfie light, auto shot|
Read this to know about LG G6’s camera performance. What this review does not touch upon is the wide-angle rear camera. For this purpose, I clicked the same subject with both regular and wide-angle lens to show you the difference. There a re a number of settings you can play with. However, the dual cameras on the G6 do such a stellar job on Auto mode that Manual mode seems reserved for avid photographers only.
In terms of front camera performance, it is quite good. All in all, there is not much to write about its department. Why? Simply because you get the kind of camera you expect in a flagship smartphone. In this LG G6 India review, I did not find the need to delve into this aspect of the phone. After all, LG does program its cameras nicely.
|Battery Features||Fast Charging, Battery Saver mode, Game Battery Saver mode|
If there is one area I did not like the LG G6 much in, it is the battery life. However, do remember that it is mostly stock Android 7.0 Nougat and that LCD screen. While Android 7.0 Nougat is great at saving battery, the LCD screen is a big draw on its battery. So, even though LG G6 has 3300mAh battery, it is not able to fare well in battery life department. However, this is what warranted the LG G6 India review in the first place.
Once I turned off the Always on display feature, battery life got a big boost. For over a week of using this phone, I used to plug in the charger of LG G6 every night. Every morning at 6, I plugged it out and then went on with my day. Since my usage is light to medium (I call and text less but play games more), there are few phones that do not survive a day’s use with me. However, last night, I did not plug in the G6’s charger. In the morning, it still had enough juice to keep working well into the afternoon.
If you are looking for great battery life in the G6, be prepared to turn off a few features and experiment with settings. However, do use the phone with factory settings on to witness the difference.
LG G6 India Review: Conclusion
I was enthusiastic about the LG G6. The G6 looks plain and regular but nicely so. It performs like a flagship smartphone but lacks that drama you may or may not be looking for. The LG G6 is not about theatrics. It is about the content inside and that is why LG chose to give the G6 a plain look. At least when you use the phone, you will be pleasantly surprised by what it is capable of. More importantly, while you do miss out on a removable battery, the tradeoff is the G6 can handle water, dust and even shocks.
For Rs 51,990, it comes in for less money than even the Galaxy S8. If you opt for an exchange scheme, you may get the G6 for less than Rs 50,000 too. My point here is that G6 is a value-for-money smartphone that is a great flagship too. Such a phone is worth investing your hard-earned money in. Had I had the money to buy the G6 I gladly would. This LG G6 India review reaffirms the fact that bleeding edge specs are not as important as hardware-software integration. The LG G6 pulls it off with great ease. So, as far as recommending it is concerned, this is undisputedly one of the must-buy phones this year.
What the G6 means for LG is that it can finally be taken seriously in the flagship smartphone segment. Let’s hope LG keeps this momentum up going forward.