LG G6 Emphasises Display and HDR

LG G6 PhoneLG’s G6 Phone has an 18:9 format and Dolby Vision/HDR content. Image:MekoNearly all of LG’s booth at Mobile World was devoted to the new G6 ‘flagship’ smartphone that was launched at the show. The phone has a 5.7″ 2880 x 1440 (2:1 or 18:9 as LG put it) IPS LCD display with 564 ppi. Staff on the booth told us that the rounded corners are actually the display, although we’re not convinced. LG has tried to unify the curve on the corner of the phone, the display and echoed it in the UI design.

The company said that the aspect ratio (which it calls ‘Univisium’) and was supported by Vittorio Storaro, an Italian cinematographer (Apocalypse Now (1979)”, “Reds (1981)” and “The Last Emperor (1987)” among others). Storaro said that his idea of using 2:1 was developed after realising that Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting was in this aspect ratio. For nearly 20 years he has adopted the 18:9 format.

LG said that more content is becoming available in 18:9 including some popular games. At its press event, LG had an ergonomist from the US to say that tests showed that the ergonomics were positive as the 18:9 was better than 16:9, with fewer mistakes in one hand operation.

The phone is the first to support Dolby Vision and HDR10 for HDR content playback (see our article on the Dolby demo Dolby Demonstrates Dolby Vision Smartphone Performance). The phone is said to be the size of a 5.2″ device of the past and LG said that single hand use and fitting into a pocket were important features. The display goes almost to the edge of the phone and LG calls this ‘Full Vision’. We weren’t able to get a number for the screen brightness from LG. The phone is also dust and water resistant (IP68).

The G6 is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip with 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of storage and it runs Android 7. Staff told us that the phone has an internal heat pipe to help to spread heat in the phone and avoid hot spots. MicroSD expansion is supported. The battery is a 3,300 mAh unit that is not removable and has support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 support (32 mins to 50% charge) via a USB Type-C port. (LG announced a phone for those that want bigger batteries just before the show LG X Power2 Has High Capacity Battery)

LG’s G5 had a dual camera, so a continuation of that configuration is not surprising. The cameras are flatter, so there is no ‘camera bulge’ and the dual cameras (regular (71º) and wide angle (125º)) both have 13 MP sensors (last year’s had 8MP/16MP). The front camera is a 5MP unit with a 100º field of view.

The phone is said to be the only model apart from the Google Pixel that will have support for the Google Assistant.

The G6 will be available in black, platinum and white ‘in the first half of the year’.

Also on the booth was an area devoted to the LG X Power 2 and the K Series, which is a mid-range series.

LG did have a space on its booth devoted to two new smartwatches, the LG Watch Sport and the LG Watch Style. Both are based on Android Wear 2.0 and use the SnapDragon Wear 2100 chip but the Sport has LTE connectivity and GPS (essential for sport), while the Style is only intended for use with a smartphone.

The Sport has a slightly larger display at 1.3″ compared to 1.2″ and both are plastic OLEDs. The Sport has higher resolution at 480 x 480 (348ppi) while the Style has 360 x 360 (299ppi). The battery is bigger on the Sport at 430mAh, compared to 240mAh and the RAM is 768MB compared to 512MB. Both have 4GB of storage. The Sport is certified to IP68 while the Style is IP67 and is specifically described as ‘not suitable for swimming or diving). The sport weighs 89 gms against 46gms.

LG Watch SportLG’s Watch Sport – Image:Meko

LG Watch StyleThe LG Watch Style – Image:Meko

Analyst Comment

Although LG has previously supported DisplayPort through its USB port, this was dropped on the G6. Unlike the 835 chip, the 821 doesn’t have the DisplayPort circuitry built-in and we heard that LG had prioritised the camera and cost on this phone. There was no sign of the weak VR handset holder shown last year on the booth.