Last month, LG announced the G6+, a new variant of their current flagship, the G6, with beefed up specs. It gets a bump up in storage capacity with 128GB and a HiFi Quad DAC. The Chinese and Korean models have 6GB of RAM, but the rest of the world still gets 4GB.
Since our review unit has 4GB of RAM like the original G6, we can definitely expect the same great performance. That being said, my conclusion in this review shall be whether or not it is worth spending a little bit extra for the G6+. Let’s begin.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
As we can expect, the G6+ still carries all the same looks from the G6. It has an all-metal unibody design with curved corners and chamfered edges, making it lovely to hold.
Up front, it has very little to show, which is good, as it maximizes the space where the 5.7-inch QHD+ FullVision display sits. Above it is the 5MP wide-angle front camera, as well as the call speaker.
Flipping it on its back shows you just how nice and shiny the rear panel is. It is a sheet of Gorilla Glass 5 that sits on top of the metal frame, resulting in a glossy look, as well as serving as a magnet for fingerprints. You will also find the dual 13MP rear cameras with their accompanying dual LED flash, as well as the power/lock button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner.
The left side has volume controls, while the right side houses the hybrid SIM tray.
A USB Type-C port at the bottom handles charging and data transfer, and sits beside a speaker grill and the primary microphone.
Up top is the noise canceling microphone and 3.5mm audio jack that runs off of a 32-bit HiFi Quad DAC. We will be discussing audio quality using the DAC further on.
Needless to say, it is minimalist yet very premium and elegant in design. It is protected from dust and water with its IP68 Rating.
DISPLAY AND MULTIMEDIA
The G6+ has a really nice 5.7-inch QHD+ FullVision display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 2880×1440. It sits protected by a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, just like the original.
Colors are very rich and vibrant, and the display event supports HDR content. Details are crisp and the display is very nice to look at overall thanks to its QHD+ resolution.
The model we have comes equipped with a 32-bit HiFi Quad DAC chip, and comes with Bang & Olufsen Play earphones in the box. The DAC performs well compared to stock performance on other phones, but only really shines when using a higher tier pair of headphones such as the Audio Technica ATH-M50x.
The included B&O Play earphones are somewhat a disappointment. Highs and mids are too sharp, and punchy bass is almost completely absent. It has an overall tin-can sound to it, but it is probably sufficient enough for simple on-the-go music listening, or even for phone calls.
Both of the rear cameras have 13MP sensors and have relatively wide apertures of f/1.8 and f/2.4. One of them has a wide field of view of 125-degrees, useful for both cramped rooms or vast landscapes. It performs well even in low light situations with only a single source of light.
The front facing camera on the other hand only has a resolution of 5MP, but also has a wide aperture of f/2.2, making it still usable for indoor situations where lighting isn’t that great. Check out the sample shots we took.
Resulting photos are really nice, with details on the sharp side and colors rich, but not over-saturated. In a very bright location outdoors, or somewhere with different light sources, we noticed just how wide of a dynamic range the rear cameras have. With the right lighting, the 5MP front camera really shines and is great for high-quality selfies.
It has a great manual mode, with a pretty good ISO range of 50 to 3200, and a shutter speed range of 30s to 1/4000s just like a DSLR. It is capable of taking photos with an 18:9 aspect ratio just like the screen, but you have to use the 4:3 option to get the full 13MP.
You can record videos at up to UHD 30fps, but other notable settings are 720p at 120fps, 1080p at 60fps, and a 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio option for HD and Full HD. You also get options for bit-rate, HiFi audio recording, and focus tracking (HD and Full HD only). As expected, the cameras’ video recording performance fared just as great as it did for stills.
You get a few specialized modes to choose from including a pop-out mode, flat and 360-degree panorama, snap (3-second video), slow motion, food photography, and time-lapse.
OS, APPS, AND UI
Like the standard variant, the G6+ runs Android 7.0 Nougat with LGUX 6.0. The UI is neat and simple and looks a lot like stock Android. It doesn’t come with an app drawer by default, prompting you to use folders on the home screens for better app icon management.
Aside from the usual Google suite of apps, it comes with a few proprietary apps such as LG Health, Mobile Switch, and Smartworld. It keeps all the same great features detailed in our review of the original G6, such as customizable navigation buttons below, a number of smart settings, and App Trash.
Out of the box, you get a whopping 110GB of usable storage out of 128GB. It will definitely take you a long time before you consider expanding this with a microSD card.
PERFORMANCE AND BENCHMARKS
The G6+ sports the same exact specs (save for the storage and regional 6GB RAM) as the G6. It runs a Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor, Adreno 530 GPU, and 4GB of RAM. Our benchmark scores were not exactly the same as the G6 however, with some being higher and some lower.
Here are the scores we got in our synthetic benchmarks:
Multitasking was a breeze and playing graphics intensive games were handled by the phone very easily. It did run slightly warm while playing a game like Injustice: Gods Among Us, but it wasn’t unusable because of this.
CALL QUALITY, CONNECTIVITY, AND BATTERY LIFE
Voice calls quality on the G6+ is excellent, SMS and mobile data are fast in an area with good signal coverage. As an owner of the LG G5, I was quite impressed with the GPS accuracy as the G5 has major problems in that regard.
Additionally, it comes equipped with dual-SIM capability, 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. The IR blaster that was present in previous LG models but absent in the G6, did not make a comeback.
In our standard video loop test, the G6+ lasted 13 hours and 27 minutes at 50% brightness and 50% volume (using headphones). The PCMark Battery Test was not able to complete due to frequent crashing. Using a Quick Charge 3.0 capable charger, charging the 3,300mAh Li-Po battery takes an hour and a half on average to get from 0% to 100%.
Despite only having minor upgrades, I believe the G6+ is everything that the G6 should have been in the first place. It is a top tier flagship smartphone with a massive amount of storage, a HiFi DAC for audiophiles, and has the possibility of having 6GB of RAM.
It maintains all the greatness of the G6, but it’s still somewhat of a bust considering that the upgrades are so incremental. It would have been all the nicer if only the 6GB RAM variant wasn’t limited to just the Chinese and Korean models. Nonetheless, it’s still one hell of a smartphone that you wouldn’t regret choosing over the original G6, as it only costs Php5,200/$102 more.