Android phone reveals tend to be leaky affairs, with the whole world plus dog finding out days and even weeks in advance what the big brands have up their sleeves. So there wasn’t much left for LG to surprise us with during the G6 launch event, held today at the Sant Jodi Club in Barcelona.
LG G6 in (left to right) mystic white, astro black, and ice platinum. pic.twitter.com/y0A4aeyvL6
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 25, 2017
What was surprising, however, was the roster of heavyweights LG brought on stage to talk about the phone. There were reps from Google, Qualcomm, Dolby Labs, Imangi Games (developer of the Temple Run series) and even the famous Italian cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro.
He talked about the LG G6’s most intriguing feature — the 5.7-inch FullVision display with an unconventional 18:9 screen ratio. Storaro called it Univisium, and claimed it was far more immersive for movies than the standard 16:9 display. In fact, he believes it will become a standard for media content in the not too distant future.
The ratio also allows for a neat trick — the phone may have a 5.7-inch display, but it has the width of a typical 5.2-inch phone. This makes it easy to operate with one hand — or as LG pointed out, there’s “more to see, less to hold”. Apparently, the G6 is also the “next-generation phone consumers have been waiting for”. Though we would certainly advise consumers to wait a bit longer and see what else MWC throws up.
The LG G6 is the first phone to support Dolby Vision and HDR 10, a feature currently found only on high-end TVs. But is there enough content that takes advantage of the enhanced contrast and dynamic range? Giles Baker, SVP at Dolby Labs, assured that there are currently 90 feature films and more than 100 hours of TV content that bakes in Dolby Vision. Streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix have promised support.
Apparently, the screen ratio is great for gaming, too. LG will be bundling a G6 Game Collection along with the phone, that gives buyers $200 dollars worth of free in-game content. They will also be the first to play Temple Run 2: Lost Jungle, which makes optimal use of the longer screen.
LG addressed a perceived weakness of the phone — its use of the Snapdragon 821 processor instead of the newer Snapdragon 835. Juno Cho, President of Mobile Communications at LG, insisted that in the smartphones game, competition is not about specs anymore, but about usability. LG found from its research that consumers are not always looking for the fastest specs, but rather a balance between specs and functionality. “They also want a bigger display, but not a bigger phone,” he added.
The G6 comes with smooth curves, a metal frame, tweaked LG UX 6.0 skin and Google Assistant baked in. It is also rated IP68 and will survive a dip in the pool. Camera duty is handed over to a dual wide lens setup, which builds on what LG did with the V20. It is also the first phone to leverage Qualcomm’s camera APIs to deliver smooth and seamless zoom. You get three colour options: mystic white, astro black and ice platinum.
Unlike the V20, the G6 has a non-removable 3,300mAh battery, which is a boost of 500mAh over the one in the G5. And no, LG did not use this opportunity to crack any jokes about the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The phone weighs 163 grams, and measures 148.9×71.9×7.9mm. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and a USB Type-C port.
LG did not disclose pricing and availability.