LG G6 review: Now cheaper, but still outclassed by Galaxy S8

Overshadowed by the S8, but it is cheaper

Price
£429
  • Display; Camera app; Build Quality
  • Price; Performance

LG G6 review: Camera specs and settings

The camera on the old G5 was great, with LG's dual lenses receiving high praise last year. We expected great things of its successor, then, but it's a little different this year: the resolution has fallen from 16 to 13 megapixels.

It still works the same way, though, with one 125-degree wide-angle lens and the other with a bog-standard, 71-degree field of view. As was the case with the LG G5, the main camera has a bright f/1.8 aperture, while its wide-angle counterpart is a smidge dimmer at f/2.4.

The 18:9 FullVision display is a great companion for camera enthusiasts. You can separate the display into two squares and preview the previous shot while snapping the next one immediately above. It's strangely satisfying, and means the whole process of capturing, previewing and taking the next shot is much quicker than normal.

I was very impressed by the LG G6's camera app, too, which provides a host of different options and modes. When you open the app, you'll notice two icons with trees in them at the top. This allows you to cycle between the wide 125-degree and 71-degree lenses. The transition between lenses is seamless, allowing you to quickly capture two different perspectives at the touch of a button.

Within the camera app's settings, you can choose between several different photo modes: panorama, 360 panorama, food, popout, snap, slow-mo, and time-lapse. A tap of another menu button brings up different filters.

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Then there's the manual photo and manual video modes. Manual photo mode gives you control over the white balance, focus (regular lens only), exposure compensation, ISO and shutter speed.

The LG G6's manual video mode gives you even more control, including the ability to change the mic gain, audio crossover, add a wind noise filter, change the white balance, manual focus (regular lens only), exposure compensation, ISO sensitivity and shutter speed. You can also set the resolution, aspect ratio and frame rate for videos, record in 4K 16:9 at 30fps, in 1080p 16:9, 18:9 and 21:9 Cinema at 60fps. Recording at 720p grants you 120fps with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and 60fps at 18:9 or 21:9 Cinema.

It's even possible to lock the exposure (AE-L) in the pro video mode, which is fantastic if you want to whack the LG G6 on a tripod and record professional-looking footage. Better still, there's focus peaking under the manual focus option. This fringes objects in focus in green pixels, just as with a professional video camera. Unfortunately, focus peaking disappears when you hit record, which means it's not all that useful.

LG G6 review: Camera performance:

When it comes to quality, the LG G6's dual 13-megapixel lenses are up there with the very best. It's not the best camera on a smartphone -- that accolade belongs to the Google Pixel, closely followed by the Samsung Galaxy S7 -- but it's fantastic nonetheless.

Images are clear and packed with detail with both lenses. The difference between the two lenses is apparent indoors. Low-light performance is a lot better on the f/1.8 lens because it lets in more light, so you're snapping photos indoors, avoid the wide-angle lens.

^Indoor shot in normal mode, f/1.8 (image has more light than the wider lens)

^Indoor shot in normal mode, f/2.4 (image is not as clean)

HDR adds a considerable amount of detail to photographs, with images appearing more natural, and in the test shots below, you'll see the sky and building are more balanced here.

Naturally, you'll get more objects in your image with the wider lens, but there is a compromise on quality, with the f/2.4 lens able to capture less light. It's a tradeoff, but given you have the option to cycle between the two modes, there's not much I can complain about.

^Road shot in HDR mode, f/1.8 (more light, closer angle)

^Road shot in HDR mode, f/2.4 (less light, more objects in-picture)

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We were particularly impressed with the G6's dual-LED flash, it doesn't wash the scene in blue or pink as some phones' flashes can, keeps good colour accuracy and eliminates distracting shadows.

^ Indoor shot in normal mode, f/1.8 with flash

LG G6 review: Verdict

The LG G6 is a decent flagship phone with a great screen, an impressive camera and a great design (as long as you don't choose the black version). The tall, narrow shape is great -- it provides a slice of extra screen real estate without making the phone awkward to use one-handed -- and the thin borders at the top and bottom of the phone keep its height to a minimum as well.

At 650 (and now 515), the price is competitive, but although it's cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S8 (625), it doesn't cost that much less. At that rate, if you're spending around 600, you shouldn't mind spending that little extra for a phone that has a more colourful AMOLED screen, a faster Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 835 processor, more storage and such handy extras as iris- and facial-recognition unlocking.

So while the LG G6 is a fantastic phone in its own right, it isn't the Samsung Galaxy S8 killer we were hoping for. If the price falls as quickly as the LG G5's price did last year, this conclusion may change. For now, though, we advise you to check out how much better the Samsung Galaxy S8 is.

Verdict

The LG G6's stretched-out display makes it a pleasure to use, but you should probably wait for the Samsung Galaxy S8.

PROCESSORQuad-core (2x2.35 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo)
SCREEN SIZE5.7in
SCREEN RESOLUTION1440x2880
REAR CAMERA13MP
STORAGE (FREE)32GB
WIRELESS DATA3G, 4G
DIMENSIONS148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
WEIGHT163g
OPERATING SYSTEMAndroid 7.0 Nougat
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