The LG G6 has a unique 18:9 aspect ratio display, meaning the phone is taller and slimmer than its 16:9 counterparts. LG minimised the bezels which helped increase the screen area to a maximum. What this results in is a phone which seems to be mostly just display, without the perceived fragility of a bezel-less display.
The LG G6 display looks great at first glance, but many would consider LGs insistence on using IPS-LCD panels instead of LED rather annoying, given that the company has a very strong hold on the LED manufacturing process. The only advantage an IPS panel has at this point over AMOLED is colour accuracy, but other than that, it loses out it comes to maximum brightness and the toll they take on battery life. Regardless, the display on the LG G6 is one stunning panel. The colours are good, with the display just slightly bordering on crossing the saturation threshold. What is a problem, however, is that the colour temperature of the screen is more on the blue-ish side in terms of white balance. What is worse is the lack of any option to customise the display’s colour profile. Sadly, you’re going to be stuck with however LG calibrates the G6’s display and there’s no way around it, which is a real shame.
Where the LG G6 redeems itself is with the Dolby Vision enabled display. Dolby Vision is a new standard for video content encoded in High Dynamic Range (HDR). There are currently a number of HDR video formats in the market, with Dolby Vision being the most superior. The other competing format is HDR10 (HDR Premium for 4K content), which is far more prevalent. Incidentally, HDR10 has seen wider adoption in comparison to Dolby Vision and hence, there is more content available in HDR10 than there is in Dolby Vision. However, Dolby Vision certified devices can play HDR10 content, but the reverse is not true. Given this truth, the LG G6 supports playback of the superior Dolby Vision HDR content as well as the more mass market HDR10 content as well. Netflix has just updated their app to version 5 (for Android) which brings streaming support for HDR content to the LG G6. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ currently do not have this support and neither does the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, which is yet to make its way into the Indian market. We briefly watched Netflix’s Jessica Jones (shot in Dolby Vision) and there is no denying why so many manufacturers are jumping onto the HDR bandwagon. Besides the visibly better contrast, red and blues were deeper than they looked on their non-HDR counterpart of the same footage. Highlights were better retained and shadows showed more detail, all without compromising contrast and offering better colour to boot.
Taking the LG G6 display outside, the ambient light sensor does a decent job of tuning the display’s brightness. There were a few occasions when the brightness dropped to a minimum just because my hand covered up the sensor and got turned up all the way to max when a bright point-source of light shone on the upper bezel of the phone. These small annoyances aside, the LG G6 does manage to pump the display up to a brightness level adequate for working under bright lights (or even sunlight). Where it loses some points is in the reflectance of the screen. For example, if you’re watching a movie which has a lot of dark scenes, but you’re doing so in a brightly lit area, chances are you’re going to see more reflection than you are the film. This was consistently an issue, even at the highest brightness setting. This doesn’t happen when the screen has bright colours, such as text on white background or if you’re viewing bright and colourful photos though.
In comparison to displays of this size (any 5.5 inch phone) or this resolution (Google Pixel XL or even the LG V20), the LG G6’s display is crisp, which makes well-created content look absolutely stunning. If you can’t afford a Dolby Vision enabled or even an HDR10 enabled TV, the LG G6 is going to be a great way to get initiated into the habit of consuming HDR video. You will never look at regular video content the same way again, and that is a good thing.