LG G6 rumor review

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With 2016 on its way out, and the smartphone rumor mill in full swing as usual, it is time to take a good look at all the information we’ve got regarding next year’s flagships, review it, and sort it out neatly for your reading pleasure and convenience. With the Galaxy S8/S8 Edge out of the way, it is now time to turn our attention toward LG and the successor to this year’s modular G5. However, save for the seemingly universal assumption that it will continue LG’s flagship naming scheme by moving on to the next digit, rumors regarding the LG G6 have thus far been as contradictory as they have been scarce.

With some reports suggesting that the LG G6 may ditch the modular concept of its predecessor in favor of a less-adventurous, waterproof design with non-removable battery, while others still claiming the battery will be removable despite the added water resistance, even educated guessing is becoming a bit difficult at this point. However, our job here is to present you with all the relevant information regarding next year’s flagships, and that’s what we are going to do now. With that said, let’s take a look at all we know about the LG G6:

Design

Non-modular G6
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The LG G5 was a very experimental device. Perhaps too experimental. The modular concept was highly promising but failed to deliver in the end

Numerous sources, including various South Korean publications, have claimed that LG will be dropping the whole modular thing it experimented with on the G5 and opt for a more traditional design instead. The various reports on the matter cite multiple reasons for this suggested change, including low sales of the G5, troubled production yield due to the phone’s complicated modular build, as well as big shifts in the executive circles responsible for the development of the G5.

Whether the company will drop modules entirely for its upcoming flagship is up for debate, but it does make a lot of sense and ties up with other rumors regarding the phone’s design.

Non-removable battery
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Both the LG G5 (pictured above) and V20 sported removable batteries, but the G6 may break this tradition with a non-replaceable, sealed battery unit

Some reports claim that the G6 won’t have a user-replaceable battery, which is somewhat in line with the rumors suggesting that the phone will have a non-modular build. However, other sources, most notably the Korean Herald, suggest that the LG G6 may retain the removable battery aspect from the G5 and the more recent non-modular V20 for “safety” purposes, vaguely referencing the Note 7 debacle. An interesting point, although we don’t really see the removable battery as an adequate precautionary measure against malfunctions. Furthermore, if modular design is really a no-go for the G6, LG may have a much better reason to keep the battery sealed in. This brings us to our next point.

Waterproofing
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Both the G5 and V20 (pictured above) sported removable batteries but neither of them was water-resistant

One of the most widely cited possible reasons for dropping the removable battery aspect is some sort of advanced waterproofing technique. While Samsung uses waterproof tape around the displays of its Galaxy phones, LG is said to be looking at an adhesive-based waterproofing method similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Although we’ve seen water-resistant phones with removable batteries, such as the Galaxy S5, LG may be working on a way to make its future flagship devices even more resistant to the elements, and a sealed battery could definitely help.

Body

The LG G5 sported a unibody aluminum build coated with primer to conceal the seams between the casing and antenna slits. It wasn’t received with standing ovations by fans and we weren’t amazed either. However, LG may be looking to spice things up for the G6 with some sort of a high-gloss back. Some reports suggest that the casing could be made of glass, while others claim that LG is more likely to use some sort of metal polishing technique, similar to what Apple did with the Jet Black iPhone 7 models, to achieve a high level gloss without compromising sturdiness.

Display

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Both the V20 (pictured above) and the G5 featured sharp 2K screens. The G6 will either retain this resolution or amp things up with a 4K display

With Apple said to be shifting to OLED tech for its 2017 lineup, Google jumping on the bandwagon with the Pixels, and Samsung using AMOLED displays in pretty much every portable device it makes, LG may be next to join the party. The company already produces OLED displays for its own smartwatches and TVs, as well as the Apple Watch, so an OLED-equipped G6 is a possibility. Furthermore, mobile VR is going to be big next year, and since Google’s guidelines for building a Daydream-ready device require that it has an OLED screen, we may see a lot more Android phone makers adopting the technology.

As far as resolution goes, the LG G6 will either retain the current Quad HD resolution of the G5 and V20, or bump things up a notch with a 4K display. The G6 will be going head-to-head with the Galaxy S8/S8 Edge, which are heavily rumored to pack 4K displays, so LG may very well decide to implement a higher resolution panel in its next flagship.

Curved displays are trendy these days, and may become the norm in next year’s flagships, but a number of reports is suggesting that the LG G6 may come with a regular flat display.

Hardware

Not much is known at this point, but the G6 is expected to sport a Snapdragon 830 chip, backed with at least 6- or even 8 GB of RAM, if LG wants to compete with the beefy Galaxy S8 brothers. The G6 will likely feature a USB Type-C port, as well as retain the same 32 GB of expandable, internal memory found on the G5. If the G6 is to be Daydream-ready and sport a 4K screen, then capable hardware is a must.

Audio
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LG brought Hi-Fi sound to the G5 with the B&O-branded “Friend” module, while the V20 catered to audiophiles out of the box with its new 32-bit “quad” DAC and B&O in-ear headphones bundled with every unit. Given this, it wouldn’t be too out-there to assume that the G6 will carry some of the audiophiliac DNA of its predecessor. If it’s not a modular phone, meaning it’s functionality cannot be expanded with, say, a dedicated Hi-Fi module, LG may very well decide to launch its next flagship with some serious audio capabilities out of the box. This, however, is just our educated guess which we based on what LG offered on its recent top-end devices.
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The B&O Hi-Fi Plus Module for the LG G5 was a really cool add-on. If the G6 won’t be modular, we want some high-end audio tech built in right out of the box

On a related note, numerous sources agree that the LG G6 will sport a 3.5 mm jack, which is a feature nowadays, so it’s worth mentioning. Although nothing is set in stone at this point, we wouldn’t be too surprised if LG decided to go against the grain with the G6, seeing as how 2016 marked the beginning of the end for everybody’s favorite jack, and a lot of folks seem not too excited about it.

The V20 offered 24-bit lossless audio recording thanks to a three microphone setup. It would be great to see it make a return in next year’s G6.

Cameras & iris scanner

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LG’s new all-in-one sensor, as showcased at KES 2016. This sensor will be implemented in LG’s future smartphones, it’s just not certain that it will happen next year

The G5 and V20 sported a clever dual camera setup that may very likely return in the G6 in an improved form. Both the G5 and V20 came with two cameras on their backs – an 8 MP wide angle lens and a 16 MP primary shooter – that worked quite well in combination with LG’s clever camera software.

As for the selfie shooter, the G6 may change things up a bit. We wouldn’t hold our breath for a revolution in front-facing cameras, but rather an evolution. Back in November, word got out that LG is working on an all-in-one iris scanner/front-facing camera module capable of switching between the two functions with the help of an IR light filter.

Although the company has since confirmed that such module has been developed, this doesn’t mean it will be implemented in the G6, or any of LG’s 2017 phones for that matter. Still, numerous reports agree that the G6 will likely feature an iris scanner in some form or another.

Software and misc. features

Given that the V20 was the first smartphone to run Android Nougat out of the box, it’s a pretty safe bet that the LG G6 will run Nougat too. There are also rumors that LG may come out with its own mobile payment service to compete directly with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. This would suggest that the G6 will have some sort of MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology implemented in it.

Price and release date

If the G5 is anything to go by, then LG will likely aim for a February reveal with the G6, probably at (or around) MWC 2017. Let’s take a quick look at the announcement/launch “schedule” for previous G-series phones:

  • LG G2 – Announced August 2013; released September 2013
  • LG G3 – Announced May 2014; released June 2014
  • LG G4 – Announced April 2015; released May 2015
  • LG G5 – Announced February 2016; released April 2016
  • LG G6 – Expected announcement February 2017; expected release March – April 2017

Although there is no clear pattern to these dates, it is obvious that each year LG has been pushing the reveal more toward the beginning of the year. We would say the G6 will likely be announced at MWC in February and a launch in March or April, at the latest. If LG wants to stand a chance against the Galaxy S8, it wouldn’t be a good idea to postpone the launch beyond April, as Samsung’s next flagships are expected to be revealed in February and hit the shelves the following month (as usual).

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