Living with an LG G6

For the past couple of months, I’ve been using two terrific Android phones—the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+—as my primary smartphones. Both have been excellent performers, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. In this post, I’ll talk about using the G6; next time, I’ll talk about the S8+.

The LG G6last year’s model, and from most other devices on the market. It has a 2:1 or what LG calls an 18:9 ratio, which produces what LG terms “Full Vision,” a concept I found intriguing when I first saw it at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Other phones—notably the Galaxy S8 family—have the same idea.

After carrying the G6 for a while, I can say that this concept works. The small width and longer display means you can see more content, or content with larger fonts, when you hold the phone in portrait orientation, without the phone becoming difficult to carry. The feature worked well for video content, though very little is actually optimized for that display ratio, so when viewed horizontally, you typically get small black borders on the side (which wasn’t a big deal). Perhaps the biggest benefit is the “multi-window” capability—seeing two screens side by side—and the G6 simply lets you see more of each window. I found the G6’s 2,880-by-1,440 pixel (565 ppi) LCD display to be quite nice, with pleasing colors and great brightness.

The device itself measures 5.86-by-2.83-by-0.31 inches and weighs 5.8 ounces. Compared with last year’s LG G510nm Snapdragon 835, but I still found it to be snappy and very responsive. If you run a lot of games on the device, you might notice the difference, but it didn’t slow me down. The G6 comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and there’s a microSD slot for adding even more storage. As with previous LG phones, the G6 has a fingerprint reader, which also serves as the on/off button, in a recessed circle on the back of the phone below the camera. I’ve gotten quite used to this arrangement (now common on a number of Android phones, including the Pixel) and the fingerprint reader on the G6 was fast and accurate.

LG gives you a lot of options as to how you use the device, such as multiple profiles, and the phone includes an optional always-on display. I found the G6’s camera to be one of the strong points of the device, and it really sets the G6 apart from most of the other Android phones. This year’s model has two 13-megapixel rear-facing cameras, one for normal shots, one for wide-angle shots. Within the camera app, you simply touch a button to switch between the two.

In general, I found that the G6 took very nice photos. The camera didn’t seem to be quite as fast as the camera on the Galaxy S8, but I thought often that the detail and color were a tiny bit better on the G6 (both are excellent). But there were times when the G6’s wide-angle lens enables you to get a better shot, particularly when trying to capture a large landscape.

Seattle LG G6 wide

(On the other hand, a wide-angle portrait shot at 18:9 resolution produces a surprisingly thin image; I preferred the more standard 4:3 layout, even if it doesn’t fill the full screen on the display. Note that unlike the Apple iPhone 7 PlusPCMag’s full review.

Michael J. Miller is chief information officer at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Miller, who was editor-in-chief of PC Magazine from 1991 to 2005, authors this blog for to share his thoughts on PC-related products. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are disclaimed. Miller works separately for a private investment firm which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

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