Design & Build7.7
The LG G6 comes with a 5.7 inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, however, LG manages to fit the display in a form factor smaller than that of a standard 5.5 inch smartphone. This it achieves with a combination of the 18:9 aspect ratio and the thinning down of the bezels on all sides. This is not to be confused with a bezel-less phone, which I am pretty happy about. Not having bezels on a smartphone may look fancy, but it really hampers with the experience of using the smartphone due to accidental contact with the screen, but I digress.
The LG G6 is a device made of metal and glass. The back is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 while the front is protected by gorilla Glass 3. The decision to use a four-year-old technology to protect the most expensive component of the phone (the display) makes absolutely no sense but seeing that the review device we received from LG has a crack on the back (on the camera module) rather than the front was not a very reassuring sign. Regardless, when you hold the LG G6, it feels like you’re holding a solid block of ‘something’ that you could use in self-defense. The phone is built like a solid rectangle, with no curves as such, except those around the top and bottom edges, but a closer look at the device reveals why such a design makes sense.
The LG G6 is IP68 certified, which is becoming a pretty standard rating for devices in the flagship bracket, but it additionally carries a MIL-STD-810G rating for accidental drops. According to this, the phone should be able to withstand drops from a desk or the bed, but may not if it is dropped from ear height. This is because the MIL-STD-810G standard conducts its drop test from a height of 4 feet. A closer look at the phone reveals that the both the front and the back glass panels are locked in by the metal frame on the side. They go into the metal frame, which means that the panels have additional reinforcement in case you subject the G6 to some extreme bending forces (such as sitting on it while it’s in your back pocket).
Using the LG G6 with one hand is also a rather comfortable experience. The narrow body paired with a solid metal frame allows you to have a good grip on the phone. This instils confidence that the phone wasn’t designed to slip out of your hands, unlike what we found in our build & design review of the Samsung Galaxy S8+. The G6 has its fingerprint sensor right under the dual camera module, and it also doubles up as the power button. This means that when you’re holding the phone, there is one less button for you to search for on the side frame. When your finger hits a button, you can be assured that it is a volume button and not anything else. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has volume buttons right above a dedicated Bixby button and a power button on the other side of the frame. Maybe they could learn the art of minimalism from LG when it comes to buttons.
Having fitted a 5.7-inch display in a body that is just 5.86 inches tall and 2.83 inches wide, it is surprising just how easy the G6 is to use with one hand for someone like me, who has hands on the smaller side of the scale. In comparison, the Google Pixel XL which has a 5.5-inch display, measures 6.09 inches tall and 2.98 inches wide. The new aspect ratio and the shrinking of the bezels really makes the LG G6 a very easy to use phone. The presence of minor bezels actually works in the G6’s favour as it ensures elimination of any ghost touch phenomenon, typical with bezel-less displays.
While the LG G6 is built so as to make it easy to use. We still cannot help but we worried about what would happen if this phone is dropped from ear-height onto a hard floor. While LG has committed to one free replacement, we’re not sure if they will also replace the glass back in the event of an accident. The minimal design of the LG G6 does mean that you can easily get tempered glass protectors and cases for the phone. Putting a phone like the G6 in a case wouldn’t be much of a loss since the phone is designed to be more functional than a looker. Had LG made a better decision on the choice of glass for the front and back, the phone would have scored higher on the design & build review.