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LG G6 Review: The right phone at the wrong time

If the Galaxy S8 is a Ferrari 812 Superfast, the LG G6 is a BMW M760i. It’s sexy, but not as sexy. It’s fast, but not as fast. It can do a lot, but not as much.

It’s almost a shame that the LG G6 is landing when it is. A year or even a few months ago it would have been an absolute show-stopper, but most people looking for the hottest new phone are likely going to gravitate toward the S8’s intoxicating design. From the processor to the screen and everything in between, the G6 comes in just a little short of Samsung’s all-or-nothing gambit.

But even if it’s a safe, conventional phone, the G6 is still one of the best entries of 2017 and a firm testament that LG is still a contender in the never-ending smartphone race. It might not turn as many heads as the Galaxy S8, you’re still getting a dependable, luxurious phone that feels great when you’re using it.

But let’s face it, everyone wants a Ferrari.

Pure and simple

For a premium phone with all the trimmings, the LG G6 is quite unassuming. Lying on the table with its screen turned off, it could be a Pixel XL or any number of other “black rectangle” handsets. Even on closer inspection, there’s nothing about it that’s particularly unique. It’s a rounded rectangle with beveled edges, no more, no less.

Michael Simon/IDG

The black G6 could just as easily be a Pixel or an iPhone.

Like the past few LG releases, there’s an LG logo where the home button would go, and there’s no 2.5D glass or curved edges. But even without any design innovations or frills, the G6 definitely has the look of a premium product. It’s simple for sure, but its design manages to feel modern and classic all at once, kind of like a vintage Leica camera with a touch screen.

Then you turn it on. Its 5.7-inch 1440 x 2880 QHD+ display takes up nearly the entire front face (80 percent of it, to be exact), and it makes recent bezel-heavy phones like the HTC U Ultra and the Pixel seem outdated by comparison. It’s not an edge-to-edge screen like the S8—and quite frankly, the side bezels, while thin, could stand to shed a millimeter or two—but LG has packed a ton of screen into a very small space, without resorting to the use of marketing buzzwords or visual flair.

Style and comfort

The G6 might not look like a 5.7-inch phone, but you don’t realize just how compact it really is until you pick it up. It’s not just that you can use it with one hand, typing and swiping really does feel as natural as they do with the smaller-screened Pixel.

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