After months of speculative waiting, LG has finally officially announced its next flagship phone: the G6.
The G6 is the Korean company’s follow-up to last year’s G5, an innovative if ultimately disappointing phone. The G6 packs all the specs that should be in a proper 2017 flagship:
- 5.7” 2880x1440 display (2:1 aspect ratio) display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core CPU / Adreno 530 GPU
- 4 GB RAM
- 32 GB onboard storage, expandable up to 2TB
- Dual 13 MP rear-facing cameras
- 5 MP front-facing camera
- 3300 mAh battery
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- USB Type-C
- Quick Charge 3.0
- Wireless charging (U.S. version only)
There are quite a few unique traits on the G6. The most prominent is its 5.7” 2:1 aspect ratio (or 18:9, if you’d prefer). This creates a screen that looks quite tall compared to other phones with the more traditional 16:9 widescreen ratio. This form factor offers some benefits, though. When running two apps side by side, they’ll each display at the same size, which can be easier on the eyes when shifting from one app to the other. Also, this aspect ratio opens the potential for both eyes to get their own 1440x1440 screen when using VR, although LG has yet to move into that space with gusto. Although the screen sounds big on paper, the G6 is not much bigger than the G5 (which had a 5.3” screen) thanks to its slim bezels. LG pegs the screen-to-body ratio at 80%.
Another interesting piece lies on the back. The dual camera setup is more than just a gimmick; each lens has a different viewing angle for different styles of shots. One camera features a standard 71 degree field of view, while the other has a 125 degree field of view of wide angle shots. Both lenses tap into the same sensor, which means that users can take shots at 13 MP, no matter which lens they tap into. Initial hands-on previews show that the transition between the standard and wide-angle lenses is seamless in the camera’s UI, which will greatly add to ease of use.
A notable omission is modularity. Gone is support for LG’s Friends, the Korean giant’s take on add-on modules for the G5. The Friends met with a very tepid response when announced last year, and LG has so far released only 4 modules. Given that the G5 was highly criticized for its implementation of modularity, it shouldn’t be too surprising that LG has seemingly abandoned that platform altogether.
The G6 runs Android 7.0 Nougat and comes with Google Assistant right out of the box. This is Google’s update to the venerable Google Now service. Google Assistant promises better voice recognition, contextual commands, and a slew of other improvements and features. This support makes the G6 the first phone to support Google Assistant outside of Google’s own Pixel handsets.
It’s interesting that LG went with the Snapdragon 821 instead of Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 835, but they may be trying to push out a flagship in Q1 this year. Samsung has sealed a deal to exclusive rights to the 835 until April for the Galaxy S8, and that may have been too long for LG to wait.
The G6 will come in three colors: white, black, and “titan” (a sort of metallic gray). The G6 also features IP68 water- and dust-resistance. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but expect it to be around $550-650 (based on LG’s previous G series pricing schemes). The G6 will be available for purchase in South Korea on March 9th. Other markets should expect the device in late March or early April.