With its stunning design, premium look and practical cameras, the LG G6 flagship is all prepared to break into the Big Club, says Himanshu Juneja
The absence of Samsung at MWC 2017 meant that there was ample space on the podium to accommodate the front runners. LG could not have asked for a better opportunity and the South Korean giant made the most of it with the unravelling of its 2017 flagship, the LG G6.
That there was no clear winner around meant that the LG G6 was able to deflect most of the heat for bringing in the G6 with last year's leading SoC.
To be fair, Samsung snagged up the entire initial batch of Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and in a way LG cannot be faulted, but it does put the LG G6 on the backfoot right off the bat.
Thankfully, the latest from LG has a whole lot more going for itself.
From having a minimal bezel design, to the cheerful introduction of IP68 certification to the twin camera setup, LG has given itself a fair chance to undo the botch it did with last year's LG G5.
Let us dig a bit deeper into the pros and cons of this LG flagship mobile phone.
1. The best looking LG handset
The criticism levelled at the 'spray painted metal' of LG G5 did the job it seems. The LG G6 is not just a good looking phone, it seems to be the best looking LG till date.
Some may even label it the best looking flagship mobile phone as well!
The G6 comes with a unibody metal design, a glass back, and the overall bezels have been kept very thin. The aluminium covered handset with rounded corners gives a friendly vibe instantly.
That it has a display larger than the Pixel XL, and yet, is smaller dimension-wise, than the Google's Flagship says a lot about the G6's design.
The Pixel XL measures 154.7 x 75.6 x 8.6mm, while the LG G6 is 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm. It is lighter by 5 gms too!
The 5.7-inch QUAD HD (1440 x 2880) screen has a pixel density of whopping 565 ppi, and HD content looks and feels great.
A good reason for that fabulous experience is credited to the 18:9 aspect ratio of the screen. The movies fill the screen beautifully, and the split screen feature too can be carried out in two square sections.
IPS LCD means the blacks will not be as deep, but colour accuracy is spot on, and same goes for the sunlight legibility.
3. A 2017 flagship with 2016 SoC: Courageous or desperate?
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC is still quite a beast with the tasks, and since there hasn't been a demanding shift with the workload, the decision should not hit LG hard.
Samsung taking up the lion's share of the 831 SoC did compound the problems for LG, and in all the probabilities, it didn't want to surrender a big lead to the all-impressive Galaxy S8 by delaying its own flagship.
Granted, that the Snapdragon 835 is smaller, faster, and will conserve battery better, the gap in performance, though, is not monumental. Many will not notice the difference in performance either.
Only those who care for bragging rights would dismiss the LG G6 as 'obsolete'.
4. Water and dust resistance (IP68) included
A long pending upgrade, the LG G6 finally comes with water and dust resistance feature.
The phone can take a dip in a water reservoir three feet deep, for up to 30 minutes. This translates into better peace of mind while operating the handset during a bout of rain.
Also, the accidental slip into a water bowl now will not set the heart beat racing beyond the comfort zone.
LG has done well to spruce up its 2017 flagship in different areas to better its chances of survival.
5. Removable battery no more
The IP68 certification should have cushioned the shock of LG going with a sealed in 3,300 mAh battery. LG has been the last of the major manufacturers to have continued the combination of a microSD card slot and a removable battery. Not anymore.
While the loss of the replaceable battery won't go unnoticed, many would agree that waterproofing to a good extent is not a bad trade off.
The users can fish out the phone during a drizzle or from a puddle of water without being hysterical.
6. Nougat with Google Assistant
Armed with Android 7.0 Nougat, the LG G6 will be the first mobile phone outside of the Google Pixel handsets, to carry the much desirable Google Assistant baked in.
For the uninitiated, the Google Assistant is the next level of upgrade to Google Now, providing that extra oomph to the overall artificial intelligence.
The personal touch provided by the conversational interface makes it more user-friendly, presents slicker results to queries, while doing everything that Google Now was capable of doing.
The handset is already giving the Pixel some lessons in bezel and water-proofing management, and with this add on, it is more than an icing on the top.
7. A more practical camera set up
LG comes with dual camera set up, which is not obsessing over the bokeh effects.
Both the cameras at the rear are carrying 13MP sensors.
The regular lens has optical image stabilisation (OIS) and an f/1.8 aperture, while the wide angled lens at f/2.4 is devoid of OIS.
The main camera's f/1.8 aperture should assist with low light photography, while the wide angled variant will allow the user to click scenes which would have not showed up on a traditional lens.
This looks like a more practical usage than the bokeh effect which may not be used as frequently.
8. Drop protection, wireless charging, and DAC
The G6 is MIL-STD-810G compliant, which means it has been provided with drop protection.
Users still need to be aware that this won't do too much to prevent the rear glass; only the innards get the safety armour.
Apart from this, the inclusion of a Quad DAC (Digital To Analog Converter) is a great touch and should bring cheers to music aficionados.
Wireless charging has been around since quite sometime, and its inclusion on the LG G6 boosts the credentials up by another notch.
Unfortunately, LG has decided to supply only one of the last two mentioned features in the handset, and the different versions will be region specific. This surely is disappointing news in an otherwise impressive offering.
With the sort of practical features included with the LG G6, it looks poised to start a trend of sorts. The minimal bezel, water resistance, and wireless charging on a metal built phone already has put Google in a tight spot.
No more can the premium Pixel be let off the hook, and it will be interesting to see how the Pixel 2 shapes up.
Samsung too seems to be wary of LG G6 since it has the potential and has been clocking impressive sales.
Samsung's battery fiasco apparently is still fresh in the minds of potential customers as well.
The die has been cast, and it will be interesting how the other manufacturers respond.
For the time being, the sales figures seem to suggest that the G6 is everything an LG flagship phone ever wanted to be.