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Tech Review: LG G6

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-05-2017 Vishal Mathur

LG has finally crafted a smartphone that can be labelled attractive. The G6 (Rs51,990), with a 5.7-inch screen (148.9x 71.9x7.9mm), is significantly thinner and slimmer than the Google Pixel XL (154.7x 75.7x8.5mm) with a 5.5-inch screen. The metal and glass feel well blended together.

One of the reasons LG has managed to fit in a larger display in a compact chassis is that the G6’s FullVision screen has an 18:9 aspect ratio, unlike the 16:9 aspect ratio that most 5.5-inch displays have. This means the 5.7-inch screen is narrower.

The 5.7-inch screen (2,880x1,440 resolution) is a novelty. But it does pose a problem—some Android apps are not updated to support the wider aspect ratio, and this could result in annoying scaling issues. LG knows this, and there is software trickery to stretch apps to fill up the screen. The IPS screen is genuinely very good. It has Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, which means that high dynamic range (HDR) movies on platforms such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix will retain all their detailing glory on this screen.

Running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with 4 GB RAM, the G6 is fast—multitasking is a breeze and games play smoothly without any stuttering frames. Battery life is a strong point, with the 3,300 mAh pack matching the Google Pixel XL (3,450 mAh)—a one-and-a-half-hour-long voice call on the G6 takes up only 6% of battery, while the Pixel XL loses about 9% charge in the same duration.

Audio aficionados will find value in the ES9218+Sabre Quad DAC (digital to analogue converter) hardware which supports 24-bit and 32-bit high-resolution audio formats such as FLAC and improves the detailing and clarity of existing music tracks too. If you have a good pair of headphones, the benefits will be immediately audible.

The G6 has dual 13-megapixel cameras, each using a Sony IMX258 sensor—incidentally, this optical hardware is also found in phones that cost half as much. Since there are two of these sensors, that means they reproduce the finer details well. The only foible is that the image processing tends to sharpen the images a bit too much at times. High dynamic range (HDR) photographs are where the G6 truly shines.

LG has a potential winner on its hands, particularly because the G6 has been priced right too. It is much less expensive than the Google Pixel XL (Rs67,000 onwards; Flipkart.com), matches it in most aspects, and does better in terms of the display.

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