LG experimented with a dual-camera setup on the front of the V10, and following positive reception, the concept of pairing an ultra-wide and a normal cam was taken to the next level on the G5 - a 16MP primary shooter and an 8MP ultra-wide secondary one stood prominently on its back (a little too prominently, actually). It was then directly reused on the V20, but for the G6 LG had something a little different in mind.
The G6's dual camera consists of two identical sensors, each of them mated to a different lens. The imagers come courtesy of Sony - the IMX258 is a rather popular 13MP Type 1/3.06" chip with 1.12µm pixels.
The lens that goes by 'normal' here, but is technically still wide, has an f/1.8 aperture and a 71° field of view (about 30mm-equiv. focal length in 35mm terms). The ultra-wide one is a bit dimmer at f/2.4 and covers a 125° FOV. You'll notice that the coverage is different compared to the G5 and V20, where the numbers were 75° and 135°.
With the identical sensors, the definition of which one is the primary camera of the two gets a bit muddled, but the confusion gets cleared up quickly - the 'normal' cam ticks the boxes for OIS and autofocus, while the 'wide' one has neither. Gone is the laser autofocus, but there is phase detection - on the 'normal' cam, that is.
Before you ask - the G6 doesn't do any bokeh tricks. LG says they experimented in this direction but the results didn't turn out satisfactory. But the emphasis with LG's dual cameras has always been on pure wide-angle fun - there's no harm in being consistent.
The front-facing camera of the G6 is listed as 5MP in the specsheet, with a 100° field of view. It could very well be the same one from the V20 as there are both a wide and a normal mode, both outputting 5MP images from the same actual sensor.Redesigned camera app with filmstrip on the left
The camera app has been redesigned for the G6 to make better use of the 18:9 display. With the 4:3 sensors, the viewfinder takes up just 2/3 of the screen, and even when you account for the settings and shutter release buttons, you still end up with a portion of the display to utilize otherwise. LG's chosen to show a filmstrip from the gallery with thumbs of your latest shots. Cool, only you might need to be mindful of what you've photographed last before handing over that phone to someone to take your picture.
Continuing on the double-squares theme, LG has come up with a host of shooting modes that play well with the specific aspect ratio. In all honesty, none of these sounds impossible on a 16:9 screen (or any other, really), but it's perhaps the specifics of this display that have inspired the engineers to come up with them.
Guide shot will overlay a previously taken image over the viewfinder (with opacity up to you) so that you can frame a shot precisely like someone else has done before you. Grid shot will produce a camera-booth-style 2x2 grid of photos, with the result previewed in the bottom half of the display, while the top half serves as a viewfinder. Finally, Match shot lets you create a surreal collage by blending two completely different images.
Naturally, we shot some photos with all three cameras in the limited time we've had the phone with us. You can view them down below, just bear in mind that they've been taken with a phone running non-final firmware - you've heard that before.
We also captured a short 2160p video from the streets of Barcelona. Check it out below.
The G6 packs a 3,300mAh battery - the 18% capacity upgrade over the G5 sounds great, but when you account for the for the 8% increase in screen area, it's not all that much. The G6 supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 and LG's press materials state a 0 to 50% charging time of 32 minutes and flat to full in 96 minutes. Additionally, a charge algorithm that relies on battery age calculations and temperature readings determines optimum charging parameters on-the-fly to improve long-term battery life, LG says.
Wireless charging (both WPC and PMA) will be offered on US-bound versions of the G6. In what is a rather odd marketing move, LG has aimed to make the G6 competitive spec-for-spec with the Samsung Galaxies, which have come with built-in support for wireless charging for 2 generations now, and have effectively been the only phones you can put on that wireless charging pad at Starbucks.
Then comes the Quad DAC - a widely-publicized feature, that couldn't be more limited in availability. Only users in South Korea will be able to 'enjoy premium audio through audio headphones or speakers', though we imagine the other versions of the G6 will sound just fine to the majority of users despite less fancy DACs.Water cooling on the outside is not needed, the heat pipe inside does the job
Finally, LG has engineered what they call an Advanced Heat Pipe liquid cooling solution. The copper heatpipe takes the heat away from the chipset to the side of the phone. LG's tweak to this otherwise widely used heat management approach is a copper plate that covers a larger area of the chip to more efficiently pick up the heat It must be working, because in LG's testing under sustained gaming load the G6's increase in surface temperature peaked at a few degrees lower than competitors.
At an MWC that's missing a Samsung Galaxy S launch for the first time since the SII in 2011, it's the LG G6 that easily shines the brightest. Flagship, bestseller or value proposition, call it whatever you feel like - the LG G6 sure makes one great first impression.
A stunning display, an evolved take on the dual-camera concept, a larger battery in a waterproof body, carefully designed for optimum durability - so what if it's 'only' the Snapdragon 821 inside? If we could have it all, we'd certainly want the entire list of region-specific features in one single global G6, but hey, it is what it is.
Of course, positive as they may be, first impressions are just that. For the dry but all-important lab test results, camera assessment and a more cool-headed evaluation you'll still need to wait for our in-depth review.