LG G6 in the test – Good smartphones are back

LG G6 test: LG again builds good Android smartphones
In February and thus before the Samsung Galaxy S8 (test), LG had presented the G6 to the MWC in Spain. LG also relies on a new display in the longer 18: 9 format and narrow edges. In the test of the G6 it is clear that LG has left the modular G5 behind and with the G6 again a successful smartphone offers.

Table of Contents
1LG G6 in the test – way from the modules
A robust case
Many connections and IP68
18: 9 display with square round corners
Very bright and high contrast
DolbyVision and HDR10 from Hell
Snapdragon 821, instead of 835
MSM8996 Pro with high clock
Performance on a good level
Early Throttling
Well-known 32 GB memory
2Android already at the start not current
LG UX 6.0
App-scale for new display
Camera with wide angle option
G6, Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 Plus in comparison
Battery larger again
Less equipment for Germany
LTE modem Snapdragon X12
Early Bluetooth misfire
Good wireless internet
3Fazit
Price & Availability
LG G6 test – way off the modules

Grandios failed: The last year’s attempt by LG to use the modular Smartphone G5 (test) can be reduced to just two words. The concept was not accepted on the one hand by the customers, but on the other hand, LG itself showed no real interest in further modules, in order to boost the business with accessories. After the announcement of the smartphone and first modules directly to the presentation ruled dead. This sealed the end of the G5.

With the new G6, however, everything will get better again. Way from the modular design, to a classic smartphone with basic equipment. Where “classical” is a widely extended term, if it is to describe the G6. After all, the G6 is one of these new smartphones with a particularly large display on a very small area. In the test of the G6 it is nevertheless apparent that LG makes some other than Samsung for the Galaxy S8. The competition is still great.

A robust case

The LG G6 appears almost monumental and indestructible. The good 6 millimeter wide aluminum frame makes the G6 appear more massive than it really is. Who previously held the filigree Galaxy S8 or S8 + in their hands, the G6 finds clumsy. This impression flies back rather quickly as soon as it is ascertained how much better the G6 can be grasped by it and therefore more securely in the hand.

However, a lot of glass is also used at LG, and this in an unusual variety: the front protects Gorilla Glass 3, the back Gorilla Glass 5 and the camera Gorilla Glass 4. The latter can be made thinner, which prevents adulterations in the lenses. The glass intentionally never fully reaches the edges of the smartphone or bends around these, as is the case with Samsung. If the G6 falls on the ground with the frame, only this is really hit. This shows that LG wanted to build a solid smartphone. In principle, the manufacturer thus floats against the current of the currently popular glass housing.

From the keys to the G4 completely on the back, LG has been turned away since the G5. Now there is only the fingerprint sensor, which is simultaneously the on / off button. Actually, it is even just a blank, because to unlock the smartphone, it is enough to put the finger on. The sensor is located centrally and also low enough to reach it with both pointing fingers. This makes LG significantly better than Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 +. However, the button is not a home button: If it is pressed, the display turns off again. The Double-Tap-to-Wake feature also provides a quick view of the lock screen. In addition, there is an always-on display for the most important status messages.

Many connections and IP68

The housing of the G6 contains all the important connections that other manufacturers can use. This includes a 3.5 mm jack socket at the head and a USB-type C socket with 3.0 standard at the bottom. The adjacent loudspeaker plays only in mono, but nevertheless loud enough and within the scope of the feasible well. Keys are only available on the left side of the G6. There the volume can be controlled with separate buttons. On the right is the drawer for Nano-SIM and microSD.

The G6 can not be seen as having an IP68 certification for the first time in the G series. Only the opening of the SIM compartment reveals the protection in the form of a sealing ring. IP68 ensures that the G6 is resistant to water at a depth of up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. Even dust can not penetrate the device thanks to the certification.

18: 9 display with square round corners

The main focus is clearly on the display of the G6. It has got a new format with 18: 9 or 2: 1, which is somewhat longer than the classic 16: 9, but not quite as long as the 18.5: 9 panel of the Galaxy S8. The new display format is not the most interesting feature, but how narrow LG could make the edges of the display. Since LG has always used on-screen buttons for Android, there is also no customization for customers. 8 mm up and 10 mm down the frame is wide, left and right are each 2 to 3 millimeters. Also interesting are the display curves in the four corners of the smartphone. This allows the panel to blend more harmoniously into the front. Something unsightly is, however, that LG after the fair in Barcelona synonymous with the serial devices no perfect rounding hinbekommt. The transition to the straight line is unclean in all four corners. Better said: LG has chosen a too large radius for a too tight curve.

Die Rundungen des Displays fertigt LG nicht so sauber wie Samsung
The curves of the display LG is not as clean as Samsung

LG has increased the resolution only to the extent that the longer format is filled with pixels. From 2,560 × 1,440 at the G5 have now become 2,880 × 1,440. The maximum resolution is achieved only in the areas without the curves. Also the diagonal of 5.7 inches refers to a rectangular display, the G6 is actually only 5.6 inches. Therefore, the pixel density of 565 ppi calculated for a rectangular display is actually somewhat lower. However, the degree of sharpness of the panel still lies at the top level. Unlike LG’s OLED screens, the LG panel offers a complete, classic RGB subpixel matrix.

In the G6 LG is typically an IPS panel installed. According to OLED experiments such as a few years ago in the G Flex (test) and G Flex 2 (test), LG Display currently focuses exclusively on larger panels for televisions in OLED production. The IPS panel of the G6 scores in addition to the sharp display with a very good picture quality regardless of the selected viewing angle. The display glass is also not prone to greasy streaks.

Very bright and high contrast

The brightness of the display can not be determined with a simple measurement. However, it is at a high level, so that the G6 is suitable for outdoor use. The display controls, on the one hand, up to a manually adjustable value and, in addition, to two further stages with automatic regulation via the brightness sensor. From initial 475 cd / m² later 550 cd / m² and in the second stage 624 cd / m². The peak value can be provoked with a bright light source above the sensor, although this does not always work. The sensor must be irradiated precisely with very bright light for the peak value.

It is therefore also difficult to determine the actual contrast of the IPS panel, since the values ​​can be partly different within a few seconds. The panel can not maintain the maximum brightness of a white display (100% APL) as much as the maximum brightness of a black display to determine the black value for the contrast measurement. However, a black value of 0.283 is realistically achievable in everyday life, resulting in an imposing static contrast of more than 2,200: 1. However, if the display is assessed over the entire dynamic spectrum, better values ​​can be achieved on a point-by-point basis.

DolbyVision and HDR10 from Hell

These even better values ​​are particularly important when the G6 is used for HDR content. The G6 supports the two HDR standards DolbyVision and HDR10. For the presentation within the framework of the MWC 2017 it was the first mobile device with a certification for DolbyVision. Once the corresponding encoded content is played on the unit, the display changes to HDR mode, and a small Dolby logo appears in the Android status bar.

Here the user can choose between four modes for display. Embarrassing, however, is the dilettante translation of the modes from English. The mode for the “best video quality in brighter environments” is called “Hell Mode”. From the “Cinematic Mode” is in German the “Kinematische Modus”, whatever that is to be. Kinematics actually describes the doctrine of the geometric description of motion conditions and not a kinomodus. The bad description “Keeps itself closest to the cinema, best in dark environments” fits the rest of the sloppy.

The quality of the display probably does not lessen the translation errors. Overall, the panel is very good, although LG does not calibrate the white point correctly and the display therefore has a light blue tone. This is especially noticeable when a lot of white is displayed. However, the color representation is strong and yet natural. Above all, however, the unusually low black value or high contrast for an IPS display has a large share of the good performance.

Snapdragon 821, instead of 835

Since LG is no longer pursuing the development of its own system on a chip for smartphones, the manufacturer is dependent on suppliers such as Qualcomm. The brand new Snapdragon 835 (test) is not yet in the G6, but the Snapdragon 821 in the variant MSM8996 Pro is installed. After all, it is still the fastest version of the Snapdragon 821.

Why LG does not use the Snapdragon 835, there are some rumors. Most persistently, Qualcomm initially wants to supply the US version of the Galaxy S8 with the Snapdragon 835. Qualcomm, however, denies such an agreement. Bottom line, the G6 is still a high-end smartphone, which is not equipped with the currently best SoC.

MSM8996 Pro with high clock

The Snapdragon 821 is a lightweight version of the Snapdragon 820 and is manufactured in 14 nm LPP. It is characterized by better energy efficiency and, depending on the variant, higher clock rates for CPU and GPU. While the MSM8996 Pro-AB version has the same clock rates in the Google Pixel (XL) (Test) version, the OnePlus 3T (Test) and now the LG G6 use the MSM8996 Pro, its two performance cores of 2.15 2.34 GHz and power cores were accelerated from 1.59 to 2.19 GHz. The Adreno 530-GPU can clock with up to 653, instead of 624 MHz.

ComputerBase has analyzed the exact clock behavior of the SoC, which broadly matches that of the OnePlus 3T using the same SoC. The power cluster from two Kryo 280 actually clocks most of the time over with up to 1.594 GHz, instead of the advertised 2.189 GHz. The higher measure is reached only in exceptional situations, but plays only a subordinate role in everyday life. The performance cluster of two Kryo 280s, on the other hand, often reaches 2.342 GHz, but there is a fallback to the known 2.15 GHz.

The graph shows the idle on the Homescreen during the first 10 seconds, then 20 seconds of YouTube, 10 seconds of idle, a pass in the GFXBench Car Chase from second 50 (charge time) to second 70 (bench start) to second 140 followed by A new idle period of 10 seconds, and finally three page calls in Google Chrome. It can be clearly seen in the diagram that the two cores of the performance and power cluster are operated with the respective clock pulse. Therefore, the same colors per cluster have been selected for the diagram, rather than listing each of the cores individually.

Taktverhalten des Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro im LG G6
Clock behavior of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro in the LG G6

Performance on a good level

In the performance measurements the LG G6 cuts very well, but not outstanding. The values ​​determined are all higher than those of the G5, which was also to be expected. The G6 does not always reach the still slightly better results of a OnePlus 3T, which is actually equipped with the same system on a chip and therefore should not be faster. OnePlus allows the 3T to have higher clock rates than LG’s G6 does before lowering the speed in favor of a lower temperature. This is shown by the test following the benchmarks in the case of a permanent load.

“Previously

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20 entries
Geekbench 4 – CPU Total Multi-Core
Information in points
Samsung Galaxy S8 + (Android 7.0)
6399
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Android 7.0)
6388
Huawei P10 (Android 7.0)
6079
Huawei Mate 9 (Android 7.0)
5964
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (iOS 10.0.1)
5580
Apple iPhone 7 (iOS 10.0.1)
5558
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Android 6.0.1)
5082
OnePlus 3T (Android 6.0.1)
4304
Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus (Android 6.0.1)
4232
Google Pixel XL (Android 7.1)
4219
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 (Android 6.0.1)
4212
LG G6 (Android 7.0)
4140
Apple iPhone SE (iOS 9.3)
4133
Apple iPhone 6s Plus (iOS 9.0)
4095
Xiaomi Mi Mix (Android 6.0.1)
4032
Lenovo Moto Z (Android 6.0.1)
3928
Lenovo Moto G5 Plus (Android 7.0)
3856
Sony Xperia XZ (Android 6.0.1)
3796
Sony Xperia X Compact (Android 6.0.1)
3348
Honor 6X (Android 6.0.1)
3321
Huawei P8 Lite 2017 (Android 7.0)
3200
Huawei NovaPlus (Android 6.0)
3147
Huawei Nova (Android 6.0)
3025
HTC U Play (Android 6.0)
2807
Lenovo Moto Z Play (Android 6.0.1)
2437
Lenovo Moto G5 (Android 7.0)
2383
WileyFox Swift 2 (Android 6.0.1)
2054
Lenovo Moto G4 (Android 6.0.1)
1851
Huawei Y6 II Compact (Android 5.1)
1594
LG X Power (Android 6.0.1)
1525
Sony Xperia E5 (Android 6.0)
1510
Gigaset GS160 (Android 6.0)
1472
Lenovo Moto G4 Play (Android 6.0.1)
1322
HTC Desire 530 (Android 6.0.1)
983
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) (Android 5.1.1)
896

Early Throttling

For the Throttling test, ComputerBase uses the GFXBench Manhattan version with OpenGL ES 3.0 and 1080p Offscreen to create the same conditions for all devices. The test simulates a challenging game that runs for 20 minutes. A run in the GFXBench runs for exactly one minute, followed by about 10 seconds of charging time.

The G6 must be above all other smartphones with Snapdragon 821. These are the Google Pixel XL and the OnePlus 3T. All three units will enter the test with a comparable performance and keep values ​​between 48 and 50 FPS up to the third run. Even from the fourth run, the G6 drops to 38 FPS, while pixels XL and 3T show no signs of throttling. This continues with the smartphones of Google and OnePlus to the last run, so that a maximum of 8 percent power is missing. The G6 loses 24%, then 26, 28, 34 and finally 36%.

FPS-Entwicklung GFXBench Manhattan 1080p Offscreen OpenGL ES 3.0

Well-known 32 GB memory

The G6 uses a second-generation Universal Flash Storage (UFS) as its internal memory. Compared to the G5, there was no upgrade, so that the achieved speeds are on a comparable level. In terms of memory capacity, LG also maintains the previous equipment: 32 gigabytes are installed, in Asia there is also a 64-gigabyte version.

Similar expensive competitors such as the Huawei P10 (test) or the Samsung Galaxy S8 as well as the significantly cheaper OnePlus 3T are delivered with standard 64 gigabytes. After all, the internal memory can be expanded using a microSD card. Androids Adoptable Storage is not supported, so internal and external storage can not be connected to a partition.

The card reader of the G6, which has very good readings from the memory card as well as good values ​​when writing to the card, can be emphasized positively. It is worth it to buy a memory card that reaches 80 MB / s in both directions. For the G6 test, a SanDisk Extreme Pro with 64 gigabytes capacity was used.

Tracy

Tracy

Always on the move... Love to blog, write about smartphones, technology and telecoms. I also like to snowboard, when I have the time :p I'll be around for a while so, be prepared.

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