LG G6 ushers in a new era of smartphones with huge screens

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LG left just enough space to place the company logo below that 18:9 screen on the LG G6.

Image: Manuel Blondeau/Mashable

How much bigger can your smartphone screen become? You’re about to get the answer.

LG just announced a new flagship phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — the LG G6. Although it’s not all screen on the front, it’s pretty damn close. And it’s widely rumored that Apple and Samsung will also try to reach that goal on their upcoming flagship products.

The phone has, as LG puts it, a 5.7-inch screen in a 5.2-inch body, and it looks impressive. The phone feels tiny for today’s phablet standards, and yet it has a beautiful 2,880×1,440-pixel screen. It also has rounded corners, which make it harder to break if it falls. They’re also a subtle visual detail that makes the device look a lot more elegant. 

Rounded corners. On a smartphone screen! Pretty.

Rounded corners. On a smartphone screen! Pretty.

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

It’s not the only design trick LG has pulled. Free of the shackles of modular design, which did nothing to boost the sales of the LG G5, the company has added a slab of curved gorilla glass on the back, with the two glass panels — back and front — held together by an aluminum frame. 

The result is the prettiest LG flagship product by far (I especially liked the silver one I tried out, but the phone will also be available in black and white.) 

To pull off the look, LG didn’t have to do anything radical. The phone still has a selfie camera (a 5-megapixel, wide-angle one) on top of its face, as well as some sensors and a speaker grille. The fingerprint sensor is on the back below the dual camera, but that’s where LG put it a couple of generations ago, so it won’t come as a surprise to users. 

LG G6 compared to an iPhone 6S Plus. Believe it or not, the G6 actually has a bigger screen.

LG G6 compared to an iPhone 6S Plus. Believe it or not, the G6 actually has a bigger screen.

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

The phone does have more than a few nifty technical innovations, too. The 18:9 screen lets you see two perfect squares next to each other, and the concept is put to use in LG’s Square Camera software, for example, which lets you see a preview of the photo you just took. 

The dual cameras on the back are both 13-megapixel, but one is also a wide-angle sensor. That means you can seamlessly switch from one to the other, and receive photos of similar quality. This essentially quashes the only problem we had with LG G5’s (otherwise very good) dual camera setup. The screen also supports Dolby Vision HDR, allowing better contrast and more vivid colors when watching HDR video. 

LG's Square Camera takes advantage of the 18:9 screen by giving you an instant preview of the (square) photo you just captured.

LG’s Square Camera takes advantage of the 18:9 screen by giving you an instant preview of the (square) photo you just captured.

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

In a first for LG, at least outside of the Japanese market, the G6 is dust-proof and waterproof to IP68 specifications. 

The rest of the specs are solid but not particularly exciting — Android 7.0, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 3,300mAh, fast-charging battery. 

I asked LG’s reps why the company opted for the 821 processor instead of the upcoming, more powerful Snapdragon 835, and they said it was a question of timing; the new flagship processor from Qualcomm was just not ready. It’s a pity, but then again, the Snapdragon 821 is a very fast processor, and it will be a couple of months before any other company launches a phone with a Snapdragon 835-powered chip. 

A few other notes: The phone will have wireless charging, but only in the U.S. And it will have a high-resolution audio DAC chip, but only in certain Asian markets. 

The fingerprint sensor is located below the phone's dual 13-megapixel cameras. Oh and that back? That's Gorilla Glass 5.

The fingerprint sensor is located below the phone’s dual 13-megapixel cameras. Oh and that back? That’s Gorilla Glass 5.

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

LG wouldn’t tell me the phone’s price for the moment. We’ll know more when it becomes available, which should happen in a matter of days. 

From a first impression, LG’s G6 did not disappoint. It’s a beautiful phone with a gorgeous, 18:9 screen and very good specs. Mashable will have a more detailed review of the device in the coming weeks.



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