With the G6, LG’s latest flagship phone, LG is keen to stress it’s listened to its customers in designing a phone that they really want. But perhaps more importantly, it’s learned from the mistakes it made with the G6’s predecessor, the G5.
The G6’s main selling point is the screen. It’s a big, bold, beautiful display that takes up almost the whole front of the phone. LG has shrunk the size of the bezels so the phone is basically a screen you carry in your pocket.
It’s done this without making the phone any bigger. It’s managed to fit a 5.7-inch screen into the same-size footprint as a 5.2-inch handset. Which is no mean feat.
This is a smart move because the benefit is immediate. As soon as you see the phone, you’re struck by the size of the screen.
And considering with modern phones the screen is the interface, it’s obvious that the G6 will be a joy to use because you’ll be able to fit more stuff on the screen. In fact, LG claims you can cram 11.3% more content onto the screen.
Add to that the ability to multi-task with two apps side-by-side, and you’ve got a pretty strong proposition.
Learning from the past
This is in stark contrast to the G5.
When the G5 launched at this time last year, it garnered headlines because it was so different.
It took a modular approach, which meant you could buy add-ons that you then slotted into the phone to add new features – a better camera grip, say, or a hi-fi DAC for beefing up the sound quality.
The problem was, people don’t want to carry around a whole series of accessories for their phone that mean they have to stop what they’re doing and slot them in.
Worse, the G5 required you to restart the phone every time you slotted in a different module. Which wasn’t exactly convenient, especially when it came to capturing a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it photo opportunity.
Also, the modules were expensive. The B&O DAC cost £150, while the Cam Plus (which brought a camera grip and bigger battery to the party) was £80. When the phone itself costs upwards of £400, it’s hard to see many people spending extra on needless accessories.
Playing to the G6’s strengths
LG hasn’t got it all right with the G6. It’s introduced a new aspect ratio called 18:9 UniVisium, which supposedly eliminates the need for cropping.
But in order for it to take off, the Hollywood studios will have to adopt it, which will take time.
It’s also supporting Dolby Vision and HDR 10.
While it’s great that it’ll play nice with these new technologies that will improve picture quality, at the moment they’ll only be of interest to a small niche of AV enthusiasts.
The kind of people who spend their time arguing about picture formats.
So LG shouldn’t make that the central part of its message. Instead it should focus on the parts that the average person in the street will appreciate, and that the G6 does well.
So that's the bigger screen. The higher-capacity battery. The dust- and water-proofing. The improved camera.
These are what will make the G6 a success. It should be a much easier sell than the rather gimmicky G5.
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