So it's now official, the LG G6 is here, and it's a massive change to what we saw last year with the G5. Ahead of the official announcement today I popped my T3.com hat on, and headed to meet LG to get my hands on this exciting new device.
As usual, the leaks have been pretty consistent over the last few months, and many of them have nailed the features of the new LG handset. The first thing you notice when you hold it is that this is major step up from the G5.
LG was criticised last year, somewhat unfairly I thought, about the build quality of the G5.
The G6 feels like a robust response though, with metal and a gorilla glass front and rear. It's available in three colours - astro black, mystic white and cool (sorry) ice platinum.
The phone also sports a new aspect ratio of 18:9. This makes the phone tall and thin, which means that it's nice and easy to use your thumb to reach across it.
It presents some challenges for existing apps, so LG has got options that help to modify games so they can either fill the screen, or have borders if you prefer. For most people, it won't be an issue.
It also has a quad HD+ resolution of 2880x1440, which is nearly as much as my 34-inch 21:9 gaming monitor.
The display is, arguably, the most impressive part of the phone though. LG has, through its longstanding partnership with Dolby, decided to make this phone HDR capable.
It will support both Dolby Vision and the open standard HDR10. This is impressive news, and it fills in the gap left by Samsung's Note 7, which offered HDR, but not Dolby Vision.
One of the most interesting things - if you're a colossal geek at least - is LG's decision not to go with an OLED display in the G6. LG has always used display that it says suits the devices. So its curved and bendable phones needed OLED, by virtue of their design.
The G6 on the other hand doesn't, so is based on an IPS LCD, with quantum dot technology. Bear in mind that LG is basically the only game in town for large OLEDs, so the firm certainly has impressive panel tech.
Support for HDR will need to come from the likes of YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Video, but it's a matter of simply enabling the feature on their mobile apps. There's a Dolby Vision test clip loaded onto the phone, but it's not much to write home about. Having HDR on the phone is really exciting though, and supporting Dolby is great, as it's likely most phone manufacturers won't do so.
As you might expect, LG is also going after the cameras in both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel. But it's not copying either. The dual cameras mean that it offers a standard camera, along with a wide-angle option. Both rear cameras are 13-megapixel, one has a 71 degree angle and the other is 125 degrees - that's super-wide.
If you're a camera person, that's wider than a 14mm lens on a full-frame camera. Selfie-fans can rejoice too, because the front camera is very wide too, at 100 degrees. This means that large groups will be able to appear in your photos without having to crash your personal space too much.
One area where LG has really gone crazy is in video. The camera on the G6 has some features that you get on pro-video devices. For example, focus peaking shows what is in focus by adding anartificial colour. It's a staple of shooting pro video, and you can use it on the G6 in both video and still mode. It's incredibly handy because it means you should always be able to get correct focus, especially in conditions where autofocus struggles.
The G6 can record video at 4K, but adds 60fps support too. That's pretty amazing really, and means you'll be able to shoot silky-smooth video. Some people don't like this look, but if you're recording sports it can be a really good option - or anything with a lot of action. But the other advantage of 60fps is that you can halve it to 30fps in editing and get a 50% slow motion - all at 4K.
It's also got a hybrid image stabilisation system too. Both optical and electronic methods are used to keep your image stable. The electric system uses the phone's motion sensors to detect involuntary movements and correct them.
To power all of this you're going to need a lot of juice, and LG has boosted the power from 2500mAh in the G5 to 3300mAh in the G6. There's a negative to this though, and that's LG's decision to drop the removable battery from its flagship phones.
On the plus side though it also allows the phone IP68 water resistance, which might make it a price worth paying. It's not impossible to have a removable battery and some waterproofing, but it's far easier to seal the whole phone up.
Charging is via USB Type-C.
That said, like Samsung, LG has opted to include removable storage as an option on the G6. You can use memory up to 2TB when it becomes available, but it's nice to have the option of extra capacity for those who don't want to mindlessly save everything in a cloud.
And, like any good phone launch there's a nifty "and finally" too. LG's G6 is the first non-Google phone to launch with Google Assistant. The service, which is only on Google's Pixel - but also integrated into its messaging service - allows for a full AI service that leans about you and customises itself to you.
Who knows, but it certainly deserves massive success.
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