The LG G6 was officially announced by LG at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona and released in the US on April 7, 2017. The device is almost exactly what we've been expecting from all of the rumors and leaks building up to its release. The modular design we saw in the G5 is gone, taking the removable battery with it. However, we do gain waterproofing, an improved dual-camera setup, a larger screen with smaller bezels, and Google Assistant.
The G6 has an aluminum and glass body construction, officially killing off the modular design that was introduced by the LG G5 in 2016. The G6 lacks a removable battery because of the sealed aluminum and glass, but LG explains that it was a must in order to get the phone an IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810G standards. The IP68 rating means the G6 will be dust- and water-resistant; sealed against dust and can be submerged in a meter and a half of water for half an hour.
The G6 has a 5.7 inch QHD+ LCD display. Thanks to its relative lack of bezels, the G6 will have a high screen-to-body ratio while keeping its overall dimensions to a minimum, which will greatly aid in ergonomics and handling. We learned that LG worked with Amazon and Google Play developers to make sure that apps from all over will work as they're supposed to on the taller display. LG also put a lot of emphasis into support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.
More details about the G6's LCD panel were explained in a press release from LG Display:
Seoul, Korea (Jan. 10, 2017) – LG Display, the world's leading innovator of display technologies, announced today that it will introduce the world's first 5.7-inch QHD+ LCD panel with a 18:9 aspect ratio, responding to growing consumer demand for bigger, better screens on smartphones.
The company will supply the panel to LG Electronics for its next flagship smartphone this year. The most notable feature of the new mobile display is its '18:9 aspect ratio.' Displays, which take up the largest area of smartphones, have evolved from an aspect ratio of 4:3, to 3:2, 5:3 and 16:9; lately, a 17:9 ratio display has been introduced. Due to increasing consumer demands for bigger screens, LG Display developed the 18:9 aspect ratio display to provide more immersive viewing experiences.
The new 18:9 aspect ratio represents LG Display's direction on how displays should evolve, while meeting the rising trend for watching videos on smartphones. The 18:9 aspect ratio is also optimized for multi-tasking, using dual-screen functions.
To put that into perspective, smartphones usually come with an aspect ratio of 16:9, so the G6's higher aspect ratio of 18:9 makes the screen a bit taller and narrower compared to other phones. LG's latest QHD+ (1440p) LCD, while still not AMOLED, offers a resolution of 2,880 x 1,440, along with a pixel density of 564 ppi. LCD displays are also known to take drops and spills a little better than their AMOLED counterparts, and are generally cheaper to replace.
Though LG initially planned to use Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 835 to power its flagship, it had to go with the older Snapdragon 821 to prevent any delays in its release. Samsung secured all of Qualcomm's initial production run of its Snapdragon 835 processors, leaving none available for LG, who had to furnish their G6 with the older 821 series to meet their deadline.
While this may be true, LG says they used the Snapdragon 821 because their developers have worked with it and that it has proven to be stable. LG also said that they've worked with Qualcomm to bring a Snapdragon 835 camera-related feature to the version of the Snapdragon 821 that's powering the G6.
Unlike what we expected from the rumors, the G6 has 4 GB of RAM and a base storage of 32 GB. This isn't a lot of storage or a lot of RAM — it's what every device from 2016 (and even a couple devices from 2015) had. Fortunately, the G6 has a microSD expansion slot so storage space shouldn't be something to worry about.
The G6 also has the fingerprint sensor mounted in the back, following LG's previous flagship designs. In addition to all of that, the G6 sports a 3.5 mm audio jack and USB Type-C charging port. The USB Type-C charging port features Quick Charging so that the larger and improved 3,300 mAh battery will always be ready to go.
The flagship's dual camera setup consists of a pair of 13 MP camera modules, giving it the ability to take up to 125-degree angle shots. The cameras also take advantage of the G6's large 18:9 display, letting users compare their current shot with the last one when using its novel Square Camera feature.
While the G6 has OIS (optical image stabilization) on the standard angle rear 13 MP camera, the wide angle camera does not, so software optimization will be used instead. This includes one of the important mentions of back-porting a Snapdragon 835 feature to the Snapdragon 821 being used to power LG's latest flagship. The new cameras on the LG G6 come with other goodies as well, notably, 360-degree panoramas, advanced image stabilization that works on 4K videos, and a bunch of new camera modes.
The LG G6 is the first handset besides Googles Pixel to come standard with Google's voice-activated artificial intelligence software Google Assistant. Since the release of the Pixel, developers and community groups have been doing their best to bring Google Assistant to their own devices. This doesn't always work out as expected and a few features are generally expected to not work as their supposed to, which is why the Google Assistant on the G6 is a more than welcome surprise.
A DAC, or digital-to-analog converter, processes digital sound signals and converts it to analog signals to reduce noise and distortions and produce cleaner, more true-to-life sounds. Last year's LG V20 is highly regarded for pushing the limits on audio quality on a smartphone, and used a quad-DAC to process audio.
The G6 comes with a quad DAC installed and is an upgraded version of the one found on the V20. The flagship's high-performance audio chip enable its users to fine tune audio output and maximize its quality, from loudness to clarity.
However, the DAC is not included in the US version of the phone. LG says they'll keep such features in the V series.
The LG G6 features a copper heat sink and tubing to help keep the flagship cool and extend its overall lifespan. With the addition of a thermal compound, the heat sink absorbs and dissipates heat from the motherboard and diverts it onto the aluminum frame of the phone itself. This nifty feature reduces the device's heat signature and helps keep the G6 run at peak performance regardless of workload.
We've covered most of the major features in the LG G6 already, but let's take a second to go over the raw data. The specifications sheet is nothing to sneeze at.
- screen: 5.7-inch, 2,880 x 1,440 pixels
- processor: 2.35 GHz Snapdragon 821 with Adreno 530 GPU
- RAM: 4 GB
- storage: 32 GB (expandable to 2 TB via microSD)
- dual rear cameras: 13-megapixel, 13-megapixel wide
- front camera: 5 megapixels
- battery: 3,300 mAh (QuickCharge 3.0 and wireless charging)
- dimensions: 5.86" x 2.83" x 0.31"
- weight: 163 grams
Three versions of the LG G6 were released. It went on sale in South Korea on March 9, 2017, with other regions following later. The US and Canada saw the LG G6 arrive on April 7, 2017.
Verizon has the LG G6 priced at around $672 if you want to pay in full, or $28 a month for 24 months with no down payment if you choose to finance the device.
Sprint is offering the flagship at a higher price, around $708 if purchased outright. Financing options vary, with either a $14.75 a month installment plan for 24 months with no money down or $200 down with $6.42 a month for two years. In addition to LG's free Google Home promotion, you could also get 50% off the G6 with the Unlimited Freedom plan.
AT&T is offering the LG G6 at around $719.99 if paid in full, or $24 a month via 24-month installment plan.
T-Mobile has the LG G6 for $650, or $26 monthly payments for 24 months.