OUR EARLY VERDICT
Unofficially titled the “LG G6 mini”, the Q6 is an impressive midrange phone on its own. While it lacks certain flagship features, the FullVision display and rear-facing camera are stand-out inclusions that you probably won’t find elsewhere for this cheap.
- Chip off the G6 block
- FullVision display is great for multimedia
- Camera is fairly impressive
- Possibly high price
- No fingerprint sensor
- Rear is scratch-prone
The LG Q6 is the cutting-room floor, midrange take on the company’s flagship smartphone, the LG G6. As you can see for yourself, much of the G6’s visual pizazz has made the transition to the midrange class intact.
It features the familiar tall aspect ratio, a nearly bezel-free design, and commendable build quality that yields a smooth feeling in the hand. However, given its lower asking price, not every single one of the G6’s finer qualities makes an appearance.
The plastic back, for example, is prone to scratching. Predictably, the Q6’s internal specs are decidedly midrange and don’t pack the muscle to play demanding 3D games.
LG shared that while the Q6 costs the equivalent to $360 in South Korea, the price is likely to be lower when it hits the US, Europe and other regions when it launches later this summer.
The Q6’s uncanny resemblance to its more powerful next of kin might be what attracts some to this device, but borrowing its marquee features can’t hide the fact that this device lacks a fingerprint sensor.
Who’s it for and should I buy it?
The LG Q6 is for people who want a midrange phone that people will mistake for a flagship. From every angle, it closely resembles the company’s high-end LG G6. But make no mistake: this phone’s innards, which compete with the likes of the Moto G5, aren’t going to knock your socks off.
Two features really stick out as valid reasons to buy the Q6: its taller aspect ratio screen and the cameras. LG’s user interface scales well with most apps and lends itself to being an awesome screen to watch movies on. Its cameras, while sometimes tough to capture a great moment with, are capable of some surprisingly high-quality results.
If the features above play a large role in your daily life as a phone user, there’s a lot to enjoy with the Q6. However, if you’re stepping down from a flagship in hopes that you can get the same kicks with a cheaper device, this device will miss the target for you.
LG Q6 price and availability
- Launch price (Summer 2017) Less than $360 (around £279, AU$453)
- Debuted recently in Korea, coming to other regions soon
FullVision display and the camera save this phone
- Taller aspect ratio makes for a more immersive viewing experience
- 1080p display is crisp and vibrant, but at the cost of color accuracy
- Camera tech and software is among the most competent packages
The Q6 calls out to the multimedia fans with its 5.5-inch FullVision display that pushes away bezels in favor for more screen real estate. Unlike most phones, this one has an 18:9 display that runs at 2,160 x 1,080 – and odd resolution thanks to the odd aspect ratio.
All this means is that it’s literally twice as tall as it is wide. While this doesn’t impact general use all that much, the extra bit of screen gained makes watching movies and playing games a bit more immersive on the Q6, as it did on the G6.
Speaking on the screen’s quality, its LCD is plenty detailed, vibrant and plenty bright, though sometimes to the point where the colors look washed out.
Moving to the cameras, LG’s 13MP single rear-facing sensor is shockingly capable in the right hands – and in favorable lighting conditions. LG’s camera app is fast to boot from the lock screen and though it doesn’t always produce great results, it’s one of the better midrange cameras out there.
While most of the heavy-lifting is performed by the larger sensor, the front-facing camera is no slouch. At 5MP, the detail presented in each photo isn’t astounding, but being able to swap between regular and wide-angle presentation is an awesome perk that LG loves to stick in its phones.
Adding to this, LG’s camera software continues to be among the best, if not the best, around. From filters to the simple user interface and innovative dual capture that staples two squared-off images together, creators will have a blast here.
Further down in the review, you can check out a growing collection of photo samples that show off the highs and lows of this phone’s capabilities. All said, the Q6 won’t replace your point-and-shoot or your flagship smartphone camera. But if your expectations are checked, this phone will impress.
The LG Q6 packs in a 3,000mAh battery, which for a phone of this size and price is a fairly modest capacity.
Like most phones available now, the Q6 has no issue whatsoever surviving a day of use. However, if you’re a multimedia or Twitter hog like me, you’ll likely finish your day in the 20% area.
To give you a better idea on how the battery drains, watching a 90-minute high definition video wiped out 16%. This leaves a healthy amount of life left in the Q6 to stick by your side for the rest of the day. However, if you’re watching the on-and-off YouTube clip, interspersed with a few rounds of Hearthstone, you’ll see the percentage plummet – as you would with any device.
From a zeroed-out state, a half-hour plugged into the charger revives LG’s midrange smartphone to about 25%. It takes a full hour for it to reach 73% and just under an hour and a half to full charge it.
As we stated above, the LG Q6 is a competent snapper. Intimate, well-lit shots tend to come out as you’d hope they would and selfies pop in both regular and wide-angle presentation.
We had issues with this phone’s low light performance, as we did with its tendency to overblow the highlights in a given photo. This can make shooting on a sunny or overcast day difficult when usually those are the best days to take photos during.
We had a mix of victories and defeats with the Q6. Given its midrange status, we’re delighted that we had more of the former than the latter. Check out the photo album and video sample below.
Notice in the above video sample that the sensor has a difficult finding its focus for some time. Sure, there was a lot to look at, but it’s not the best look if you’re whipping your phone out to capture some time-sensitive footage. Plus, the SteadyRecord feature, which uses electronic image stabilization (EIS) actually results in a more shaky picture, not less.
Anything else I should know?
At first blush, the Q6 looks like the LG G6. And while we described a few ways in which they’re very different devices, there’s more to it.
Given the slashed price, the Q6 lacks the 2K display found on the more expensive device. Additionally, LG opted for rather scratch-prone plastic on its back. One tumble saw this phone slide across a tiled floor, collecting a surprising amount of blemishes along the way.
This phone also isn’t waterproof, nor does it offer niceties like wireless charging or military-grade build that protects its front screen from cracking. Calling these aspects out aren’t meant to be dings against the Q6, but it’s important to distinguish them given how similar the two phones look.
Lastly, you might want to purchase this phone in your region based on this review. But given that the Q6’s release is staggered, you likely won’t be able to purchase this phone in your region just yet. It’s currently available in South Korea, but is said to be heading west in the coming weeks.