Whenever I sit and think about my cell phone I actually think very little about using it as a phone for calling, instead, I think about the camera for photos and videos, the screen for brightness and clarity, the sensitivity for when I’m typing messages and how long the battery will last me. So when the new LG G6 came out, boasting a Dolby Vision screen, a 5MP front camera and two 13MP back cameras with a host of new camera features I was beyond excited.
The tagline for the phone is “Life’s good when you Play More” So when I was given one to review I decided to pack my bag and take the LG G6 with me on a spontaneous adventure; the idea was that I would leave my house with the battery on 100% and then I would travel around Johannesburg, going to amazing places I’d never normally go to, testing all the features of the phone and I’d only stop when the phone died.
I wanted to embrace the spirit of the phone, its supposed to be a phone that’s refined and powerful enough for you to be able to leave your camera at home and also rugged enough that you don’t need to worry about getting it wet or dropping it.
I made a short highlight reel of my day adventuring around Johannesburg for youtube and in it, you see mainly footage from my Canon camera with one or two scenes from the LG scattered between. So now I want to change that, now I want to show you what I captured with the phone, and if nothing else, hopefully, inspire you to also just pack up for a one-day adventure of your own.
The first stop for the day was James & Ethel Gray Park, and it’s here that I want to talk about the front Selfie Camera and 360 Photos.
Now I’m a millennial, I like taking the odd selfie. With my own phone, I don’t really use my front camera for anything much other than Snapchat filters and making sure that everyone is in frame when taking photos with friends. But the LG G6 just comes with so many selfie features, it has a front flash for when you need that little extra bit of light, a host of lighting settings and filters for everything under the sun. It also comes with gestures and voice commands to make taking photos easier, you can set it to automatically take a photo if you look at it for a few seconds, or if you say Whiskey/LG or Cheese out loud.
These features promised to open up a whole new chapter in my selfie game book, the only catch? They just don’t deliver.
The automatic photo feature is cool, but most of the time it was taking photos when I wasn’t even in frame yet and the Whiskey/LG/Cheese feature only works in a perfect environment where everything is dead silent or you’re standing right next to the phone.
I also found that I didn’t have a lot of time from when I gave the voice command to when it actually takes the photo, so you either have to be a brilliant ventriloquist or get ready for some super awkward mid-facial expression photos.
The 360 photos, on the other hand, are great. This is where the camera really shines for me, and something I had a lot of fun playing around with. It’s smooth, stable and really easy to take and just so much fun to play around with after. It’s definitely my favorite feature on the phone.
Next up we had some time to spare so we headed to Melrose Arch for some early morning Hot Chocolate and a chance to test the special “food mode” on the camera, also there was a brilliant wall perfect for testing the normal VS wide angle camera modes. All in all, I think the food camera isn’t bad at all, I’d even go as far as to say I think it takes the best photos in this mode but the quality is still an issue for me.
When it comes to the Wide Angle camera it comes with a LOT of distortion, which is fine when you’re taking a photo of a wall or building etc. but not okay if you are taking pictures of say a group of friends or a selfie.
While sitting drinking my Hot Chocolate there was one more thing that I noticed, the Fingerprint reader. Fingerprint readers are something that really came into play a few years ago and while it’s not a feature I consider to be a necessity for everyone out there, it is something that undoubtedly makes your life easier and more secure.
The LG G6’s Fingerprint reader is discreetly placed at the back of the phone, and as far as reading your Fingerprint it’s on par with most other phones that I’ve used, the thing that really bugged me though, was its location.
By default, the only button that wakes your phone’s screen up, or turns it off again, is that button at the back. While this is fine when you’re up and about, when you’re sitting at a coffee table with friends and quickly want to check something as simple as the time on your phone, it becomes a hassle. While this isn’t a deal breaker it’s just something that became annoying for me.
Then we went up to the top of the Carlton Building to test out the back camera. At the back, there are two 13MP lenses meaning you are supposed to get amazing normal photos as well as amazing Wide Angle photos.
But again, as with the front camera, there are so many amazing features but the quality to back it up just isn’t there. Which is really sad because I see so much potential here.
I then spent the rest of the day going to more places, taking more photos and videos and just playing around with the phone in general. It feels like an exceptionally hardy phone, I don’t see you dropping it and breaking it on your first day and I don’t think you need to run for the rice if you spill some water over it. It doesn’t get hot when you use it and it does all your basic phone stuff perfectly.
But people are unique, and phones are too. We aren’t all looking for the same thing, for me the Photo and Video quality is a deal breaker, the battery was at 50% by 3 pm with very light camera use and nothing else really running so that’s another issue for a user like me.
But that’s a user like me.
If you’re someone who wants a phone that feels like it’s going to last, a phone you don’t need to buy expensive cases for and something that does all the basics with ease while still looking super sleek and professional then the LG G6 is perfect.
But that being said, there are so many new smartphones that are on the market and the LG G6 comes with a R10k+ price tag. Which is just too expensive for a phone that feels like an entry level smartphone, no matter how hardy it is.