The LG G6 will be the South Korean firm’s flagship smartphone for 2017, taking over from the questionable G5.
The LG G5 certainly wasn’t boring though. With two rear cameras and an accessory slot that allowed you to modify the hardware, it was a phone that really thought outside the box.
But while these extras were great, it didn’t nail all the basics and failed to sell well, so there’s plenty of room for improvement for the LG G6.
Rumors for what LG is planning on its next flagship phone are growing steadily – here’s everything we know so far about the LG G6.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next flagship phone from LG
- When’s it out? Launch on February 26 at MWC 2017
- What will it cost? Likely around £490/$600/AU$820 SIM free
LG G6 release date
- LG G6 announcement set for February 26
- LG G6 release date rumored for April 7
The LG G6 announcement date is now confirmed as being February 26, as the company’s press conference is scheduled for noon in Barcelona.
On the initial invite LG spelled out the time and date without mentioning the new phone, but it did frame the invite in a hint-driven 18:9 aspect ratio – the same as the rumored LG G6 extra-wide screen.
Furthermore, a YouTube video direct from LG confirmed it will be launching in February 2017. The video doesn’t confirm it’s the LG G6 either, but since then LG has expanded on its initial invite with a new one , including the LG G6 name.
As for when we’ll the phone on store shelves, LG said the G6 is launching “in the very near future,” and while that’s the closest thing to an official date we have, there are rumors that it will arrive on US carriers on April 7 – almost a month after the apparent March 9 launch in South Korea.
A report from “industry insiders” also suggests the company wants to release the LG G6 closer to the announcement date and will push to get the phone on sale in late February or early March.
There’s no news on when the LG G6 will land in the UK or Australia, but it’s likely to be around the same time as the US, so for now April 7 is our best guess.
LG G6 design
- A luxurious look
- A glass or metal body
- No modules
LG G6 leaks hint at a more stylish look and solid build quality than we’ve seen from LG’s previous phone. An anonymous source told Korean site ChosunBiz LG will be using a tempered glass back on the new flagship.
That contrasts with the LG G5, which had a painted aluminum body that some didn’t like. Being glass, it may not be as durable as a full-metal jacket would be, but that may be the price we pay for a better looking phone from LG.
Then again, LG might not be moving away from metal after all, with another sourceclaiming the G6 will have “a highly reflective metallic material on the rear.”
We’ve since seen a leaked image of the back, and that description neatly fits it – though it’s not entirely clear from the image whether the material is glass or metal.
This image lines up with previously leaked renders from @OnLeaks that are supposedly based on an official factory CAD.
The render leak adds that the dimensions are apparently be 148.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm, which would make it a similar size to the LG G5, but marginally thicker.
Another leaked image of the back (below) gives us a clearer look at the material, suggesting that brushed metal is in, and the rumored glass is out – assuming the shot is accurate.
We’ve also seen the apparent front of the LG G6 in a leaked photo, which you’ll find below in the display section, and it shows a near bezel-less screen.
Whatever design the G6 gets, the focus according to LG is on “aesthetics and usability.”
The interchangeable modules – or what LG calls “friends” – are out by the sounds of things, with LG’s chief technologist Skott Ahn saying that LG is moving away from modular designs .
It’s a decision we’ve been expecting, with an earlier report from the Electronic Times in Korea saying the same thing, while another source claimed the decision had been made in order to make the LG G6 waterproof.
LG’s first teaser video for the G6 features the word waterproof, so we can expect this to be the first phone from LG to feature a water tight design.
TechRadar’s take: LG is sure to be putting a lot of focus on the design of the G6, so expect something shiny and stylish.
LG G6 display
- Large, 5.7-inch Quad HD display
- Minimal bezels around the screen
- An ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio
There aren’t too many mysteries surrounding the LG G6’s screen, as LG Display itselfhas said that the company’s next smartphone (believed to be the G6) will have a 5.7-inch QHD LCD display.
They add that it has an 18:9 aspect ratio, so it’s longer than most screens, which makes it ideal for split-screen apps.
We’ve seen the top half of this display in a recent LG G6 photo leak , which backs up claims that it’ll have a 90% screen-to-body ratio with minimal bezel.
Another leak of a prototype adds extra evidence the LG G6 will be slimming down the bezel further than ever before, as well as including chamfered edges.
Dubbed QHD+, this screen is 1440 x 2880, for a pixel density of 564 pixels per inch. It’s also apparently 30% less power hungry than the previous generation of LG QHD displays, as well as having smaller bezels, better touch performance, and being easier to view in direct sunlight.
That would make for a big change from the 5.3-inch QHD screen in the LG G5, but then changing things up is no bad thing.
However, it’s not 100% confirmed that this screen is coming to the G6, and it’s at odds with earlier rumors, including one which suggested LG is looking to make an OLED panel for its smartphones in the future, and maybe even curved ones.
LG already produces OLED displays for TVs as well as the Apple Watch Series 2 , so it would make sense if the company installed one on the G6 – but it looks like it won’t be ready in time.
Another earlier leak, this time from Gear India , which includes renders of the phone, states the LG G6 will have a 5.3-inch QHD display, just like the LG G5.
TechRadar’s take: A 5.7-inch QHD screen has been all but confirmed, so that’s what we expect to see.
LG G6 camera and battery
- A dual-lens camera
- A removable battery
- Heat pipes to keep the battery cool
There aren’t any camera rumors yet, other than leaked renders which show a dual-lens snapper, just like the LG G5. Expect to see a return of both standard and wide-angle lenses, but likely with improvements – perhaps a higher megapixel count or greater optical zoom.
The main thing we’ve heard about the battery is that it may be removable , but not everyone agrees.
It shouldn’t be in any danger of overheating though, as LG has confirmed that it’s using heat pipes to pull heat away from the battery and other core components, as well as putting the battery through rigorous tests to ensure its safety.
LG G6 OS and power
- Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 chipset
- This chip is at heart of the Google Pixel, OnePlus 3T
The LG G6 specs call for a powerful Snapdragon 821 chipset, which also appears inside the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL and OnePlus 3T.
It’s plenty powerful and capable of running Google Daydream View VR games, but it’s soon to be dethroned by the better-equipped Snapdragon 835 chipset.
Why not go with the absolute best chip? Samsung is manufacturing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and likely hogged the first 10nm chips for the Galaxy S8 .
A minimum of 4GB of RAM is sure to be included too, as the LG G5 has that much, but a boost is likely, given that already some phones have 6GB.
LG G6 other features
- Super speedy wireless charging
- A headphone port
- USB-C port for charging
LG announced a brand new wireless charging transmission module a few days after it revealed the LG G5.
The charging module can pump your phone battery up to 50% in 30 minutes, the same charging rate we see from fast chargers on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge .
This may mean we see the introduction of wireless charging on the LG G6, but the same sources speaking to ChosunBiz suggest it won’t be ready for the next flagship phone.
But since then LG has made the tech available to the public , which suggests that it could be ready after all. Plus another industry source has also suggested it will be ready in time for the LG G6, so cross your fingers.
We’ve also heard that the LG G6 will have a headphone port. This isn’t particularly surprising, but now that Apple’s ditched the port from the iPhone 7 it is worth mentioning.
Finally, this almost goes without saying, but a fingerprint scanner is a very likely inclusion, especially as leaked renders show the LG G6 with one.
It might not just be the LG G6 that makes an appearance in Barcelona though, asnames of eight possible variants of the G6 have also appeared including the G6 Compact, G6 Lite, G6 Prix, G6 Fit and G6 Sense. We wonder if the last two there could be wearables rather smartphones – but we’ll have to wait an see.
TechRadar’s take: We doubt LG will ditch the headphone port just yet. Fast wireless charging meanwhile could be a significant selling point, so LG is likely to want to include it.
LG G6 price
According to LG , the G6 will have a similar price to the LG G5, likely coming in at $500-$600 (around £400-£490/AU$685-AU$820).
However, a more recent rumor suggests LG will hike the retail price by around $50 (around £40, AU$65) because of all the extra tech the firm is packing into the G6.
There silver lining is that the LG G5 dropped in price pretty quickly, so if you’re patient you may be able to get yourself a better deal if you wait a couple of months.
Before the rumors began rolling in, we put together a list of everything we want to see on the LG G6. Here’s what we’re hoping for on the next flagship from LG.
1. A more stylish design
With the G5, LG finally embraced metal, giving us a handset that looked and felt far different and far higher end than the LG G4.
But it’s not the home run it could have been. A thick layer of primer-mix paint on top of the metal left it feeling a little like plastic and the overall design is rather plain, lacking the flair of the similarly metal iPhone 7 or HTC One M9 . So we want the LG G6 to have a design that’s not just high-end, but also stylish.
2. An app drawer
LG made the questionable decision to remove the app drawer from the G5. A decision that was so questionable it was quickly pressed to reverse it, so now thankfully you can restore the app drawer to the phone. But to do so you have to manually install an older version of the UI.
That’s a hoop we’d rather not jump through to get a feature that should come as standard, so hopefully the LG G6 will have it out of the box. It’s been rumored that Google might be planning to ditch the app drawer from Android altogether, but until or unless that happens we want our phones to keep offering it.
3. Better battery life
The LG G5 deserves a shout-out for being that rare flagship that has a removable battery, but sadly the size of the battery is slightly smaller than we’d like.
At 2800mAh it’s not tiny, but it is smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S7 , HTC 10 or, surprisingly, even the LG G4, all of which have 3000mAh juice packs. And they’re not even the biggest batteries around. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for example has a 3600mAh one.
Unfortunately, the smaller size of the G5’s battery does lead to lesser performance, with it often needing a top up during the day. Next year we want a bigger one please.
4. Just as much innovation
One thing we love about the LG G5 is just how packed full of innovation it is, from its modular add-ons to its dual-camera there’s a lot here that other flagships don’t offer.
A focus on innovation is nothing new for LG. After all, this is the company that put buttons on the back, gave us self-healing phones and was one of the first to include a QHD display or a bendy screen in a handset.
That’s not even a complete list of its smartphone innovations and hopefully we’ll see a lot more from the LG G6.
5. A front-mounted fingerprint scanner
LG added a fingerprint scanner to the G5, but it stuck it on the back. At first glance that might not seem like such a bad idea. After all, it’s out of the way and easy to reach while holding the phone.
But if you’ve got the phone on your desk you’ve suddenly got to pick it up to unlock it, which wouldn’t be necessary if you could just reach for a sensor on the front of the handset. Few other phones have this problem and hopefully the LG G6 won’t either.
6. Front-facing stereo speakers
The LG G5 just has a single speaker on the bottom edge of the phone and while it’s adequate it’s no match for a quality pair of front-facing stereo speakers.
Granted, audio through headphones is far more important and the G5 does a good job there, but it would be nice if the LG G6 also has powerful built-in speakers.
7. More modules
The ability to augment the LG G5’s hardware is theoretically one of its best features, as it’s not really something we’ve seen before outside the likes of Project Ara, which isn’t out yet.
But currently there are only two plug-in modules for the G5 and neither feel particularly essential. Hopefully more will come, but we want a far wider selection for the G6 at launch, so buyers can really customise it and make it their own.
8. A wide-angle front-facing camera
The wide-angle lens on the back of the LG G5 is a genuinely useful addition, especially as it’s an optional one, with a more conventional 16MP sensor also included. It’s just a shame that innovation didn’t extend to the front of the handset.
The LG V10 has two on the front but only one on the back, for the LG G6 we’d like to see two cameras on both the front and back.
9. A brighter always-on display
Like the Samsung Galaxy S7, the LG G5 has an always-on screen and in some ways it tops Samsung’s offering, as it gives you notifications for all of your apps.
Trouble is, it’s so dim in this mode that it can be hard to actually see what it’s trying to notify you of. Making it brighter could have an impact on the battery life, but it’s a problem that we’d like to see solved for the LG G6.
10. A final layer of polish
Ultimately there’s not a huge amount wrong with the LG G5, but it also just doesn’t fully come together as a cohesive whole. It needs that final layer of polish that turns a good phone into a great one – the sort that feels special the moment you pick it up.
As it stands the LG G5 is an accomplished, interesting handset, but it feels a bit like LG threw everything at it to see what would stick, rather than having a clear vision for it.
We hope the LG G6 will be every bit as innovative and adventurous, but that the finished product will feel a little bit more complete.