Product Listing

LG G6: An alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S8?

By Bryan Chan & James Lu - 8 May 2017

Benchmark Performance, Imaging, Battery life, and Conclusion

Performance Benchmarks

Rather than wait for Qualcomm's new flagship Snapdragon 835 processor, LG has opted for last year's Snapdragon 821 which is now more than seven-months-old. The 821 still has plenty of power, just be aware that at this time it's no longer considered flagship-level. Part of the problem is that Samsung has secured the bulk of the first shipment of Snapdragon 835 processors, leading to a shortage for other manufacturers. How much will this setback LG? Let's find out.

  LG G6 LG V20 LG G5 Samsung Galaxy S8 OnePlus 3T Apple iPhone 7 Plus
  LG G6 LG V20 LG G5 Samsung Galaxy S8 OnePlus 3T Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Operating system
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX 6.0
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX 5.0+
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with Dream UX
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Oxygen OS 3.2.4
  • iOS 10
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core (2 x 2.35GHz Kryo & 2 x 1.6GHz Kryo)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core (dual-core 2.15GHz Kyro & dual-core 1.59GHz Kyro), 14nm process
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core (dual-core 2.15GHz Kyro & dual-core 1.59GHz Kyro), 14nm process
  • Samsung Exynos 8895 octa-core (4x2.3 GHz & 4x1.7 GHz), 10nm process
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (dual-core 2.35GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6GHz Kryo)
  • Apple A10 Fusion quad-core 2.33GHz processor
Built-in Memory
  • 4GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM (LPDDR4)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 6GB RAM
  • 3GB RAM
Display
  • 5.7-inch / 2,880 x 1,440 pixels (564ppi) / IPS LCD / FullVision Display
  • Always-on Display
  • 5.7-inch Main / 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (513ppi) / IPS Quantum Display
  • 2.1-inch Secondary / 160 x 1,040 (513ppi) / IPS Quantum Display
  • 5.3-inch / 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (554ppi) / IPS
  • Always-on Display
  • 5.8-inch / 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (570 ppi) / Super AMOLED Infinity Display
  • Always-On Display
  • 5.5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401 ppi) / Optic AMOLED
  • 5.5-inch Retina HD / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401ppi) / IPS
Camera
  • Rear: Dual 13-megapixel, f/1.8, OIS, 3-axis, phase detection AF + 13-megapixel, f/2.4, 125-degree wide-angle, dual-LED flash
  • Front: 5-megapixel, f/2.2, 100-degree FOV
  • Rear (Standard): 16-megapixel, f/1.8, optical image stabilization, laser autofocus, 75-degree field of view
  • Rear (Wide): 8-megapixel, f/2.4, laser autofocus, 135-degree field of view
  • Front: 5-megapixel, f/1.9, 120-degree field of view
  • Rear (Standard): 16-megapixel with f/1.8, optical image stabilization, laser autofocus
  • Rear (Wide): 8-megapixel with f/2.4, laser autofocus, 135-degree Field Of View
  • Front: 8-megapixel with f/2.0
  • Rear: 12-megapixel, f/1.7, 1/2.5" sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, phase detection autofocus, OIS
  • Front: 8-megapixel, f/1.7
  • Rear: 16-megapixel, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash, 1/2.8" sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size
  • Front: 16-megapixel, f/2.0, 1.0 µm pixel size
  • Rear: Dual 12-megapixel, (f/1.8, 28mm & f/2.8, 56mm) with phase detection autofocus, OIS, and quad LED (dual-tone) flash
  • Front: 7-megapixel, f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.2, NFC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, A-GPS, GLONASS, LTE CAT 9/3G/2G
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, A-GPS, GLONASS, LTE/3G/2G
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 9 (up to 450Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (dual band), Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, DLNA, USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, Lightning connector
Storage Type
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • 64GB internal storage (UFS)
  • 2TB (MicroSD)
  • 32GB internal storage (UFS)
  • 2TB (MicroSD)
  • 64GB internal storage (UFS 2.0)
  • 256GB (MicroSD)
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 32 / 128 / 256GB internal storage
Battery
  • 3,300mAh
  • 3,200mAh
  • Removable
  • 2,800mAh
  • Removable
  • 3,000mAh
  • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
  • Wireless charging
  • 3,400mAh
  • Dash Charge
  • 2,900mAh
Dimensions
  • 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm
  • 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm
  • 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm
  • 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm
  • 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm
  • 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
Weight
  • 163g
  • 174g
  • 159g
  • 155g
  • 158g
  • 188g


Sunspider Javascript

SunSpider JavaScript measures the browsing performance of a device when processing JavaScript. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. 

The G6 was a bit faster than last year's models, but was slightly slower than the OnePlus 3T. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple iPhone 7 were much, much faster.

 

Quadrant

Quadrant is an Android benchmark that evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performances. The G6 scored quite a bit better than the V20 and G5, but was still beaten by the OnePlus 3T. The Samsung S8 was once again much better.


 

 

3DMark Sling Shot

3DMark Sling Shot is an advanced 3D graphics benchmark that tests the full range of OpenGL ES 3.1 and ES 3.0 API features including multiple render targets, instanced rendering, uniform buffers and transform feedback. The test also includes impressive volumetric lighting and post-processing effects. We're running this benchmark in Unlimited mode, which ignores screen resolutions.

Once again we saw some small improvements over the G5 and V20, with the G6 still lagging behind the OnePlus 3T. The S8 and iPhone 7 are still miles ahead.



 

Imaging

The dual camera setup from the LG G5 and V20 returns on the G6, with just a few minor tweaks. First of all, both normal and wide-angle camera lens are the same 13MP, which means there'll be less of a drop in quality when switching between the normal and wide angle lenses. Having said that, the main camera is still better, thanks to its optical image stabilization and faster f/1.8 aperture. The wide-angle lens still lacks OIS and is hampered by a pretty slow f/2.4 aperture, which often results in less sharp images, especially in weak light. As a result, you're better off using the main camera whenever possible.

Image quality on the G6 is quite good, but hasn't improved much, if at all, on last year's G5 and V20. The main camera is still better, with good detail and natural color reproduction, although there is some softness towards the edges of the frame. The wide-angle lens still struggles in low-light and has some fisheye distortion, though it has improved in this aspect from the G5.

Click for full-size image

The wide angle lens is really wide and it exhibits some fisheye distortion, though it is less noticeable than the wide-angle snaps from the LG G5.

To take advantage of the 18:9 aspect ratio, LG has also included an interesting Square Camera feature, which you can access through the settings menu in the main camera app, or through its own dedicated Square Camera app shortcut. Square Camera splits the screen in two, with the top half for square format pictures and the lower half for previews, or custom shots. Inside Square Camera there's also a fun Grid Shot mode, which breaks the bottom square down further into quarters, each filled with a still image or a three-second video clip, which you can use to tell a short story. There’s plenty of room for creativity, and best of all, the result can easily be shared on Facebook or Twitter, with videos intact.

Other features in Square Camera include Match Shot, which is like Grid Shot but with two pictures instead of four, and Guide Shot for matching photos using a handy transparent overlay, so people can capture the same pose or composition on multiple occasions.

 

Battery Life

Our standard battery test for mobile phones has the following parameters:

  • Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100 percent
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

Unlike the G5 and V20, the G6 has a non-removable battery, but to compensate, it has also increased in capacity to 3,300mAh. Unfortunately that didn't make much difference and the G6 still under-performed in our battery life benchmark, lasting just seven hours and 42 minutes, almost half the battery life of the similarly Snapdragon 821-powered OnePlus 3T. In day-to-day usage I also noticed the G6 running low on battery towards the end of the day. If you choose to use the always-on-display feature, it will drain the battery even faster.

There's no wireless charging on the G6, but it does support Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0, which gets it back to around 60 percent charge in just 30 minutes.

 

Conclusion

After tinkering for years with gimmicky features like curved form factors, rear buttons, and modular designs, the LG G6 seems downright minimalist in comparison. But sometimes simple designs work best and the G6's attractive metal and glass build and huge display work really well.

Unfortunately, despite being unveiled a month earlier, a big part of the G6's wow factor was quickly stolen by Samsung, who took the bezel-less design idea to the next level with its dual-curved Infinity Display S8 - and once you get past the G6's massive display, it doesn't have much else going for it. It's always going to be a tough sell to ask people to pay RM2,999 for an outdated processor, and there haven't been many improvements in other areas either. The dual camera setup for example isn't much better than last year's model, and the wide-angle camera, though useful, could use more work. Battery life on LG phones also remains an issue, and now that the battery isn't removable you're going to need to carry a power bank with you.

Does that mean there's little to like about the LG G6? On the contrary, there's a lot to like about it like the renewed design language, IP68 build, excellent one-handed usage capability, Dolby Vision HDR certified screen, AOD implementation, high quality audio DAC, good audio capture, multi-window mode, square camera feature and even FM Radio. However, Samsung's S8 just does everything better, with its superior AMOLED display, faster processor, longer battery life and better camera - and that's not even getting started on the S8's own extended ecosystem of products.

Ultimately, the LG G6 is going to be a phone that interests four groups of people who prefer certain experiences that are unique to this phone:-

  • Audiophiles who just want that 32-bit Quad DAC in their mobile device
  • Folks who love the idea of a wide-angle camera to capture their surroundings better and with ease
  • A liking for the phone's design language with the large screen to body ratio
  • And those who want to future-proof their device with the Dolby Vision HDR certified screen

8.0
  • Design 8.5
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 8.5
  • Performance 7
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Huge 5.7-inch QHD display in a small form factor
Dolby Vision HDR certified display
Square Camera feature
Excellent 32-bit Quad DAC
IP68 build
FM Radio
The Bad
Outdated Snapdragon 821 processor
Underperforming battery
Dual-camera setup about the same as last year
Front camera is only a 5MP sensor