The LG G6 is coming in 2017, just as sure as the LG G5 followed the LG G4. Here’s everything we know so far about the LG G6, as well as a few educated guesses as to what to expect in terms of specs, release date and price based on the latest news and rumours.
LG itself has admitted that its G6 modular phone was a failure – in sales terms, at least. So what has the Korean company got up its sleeve for the follow-up? Will that modular design continue? Can LG match the premium build quality offered by Samsung and Apple, and what can the G6 do to stand out from the smartphone crowd?
Here’s what we’ve heard so far…
LG G6 FAQ
When does the LG G6 come out? April 2017
What’s new about the LG G6? Rumoured: 4K screen, SD830 chip, advanced wireless charging tech
How much will the LG G6 cost? Best guess: £500/$750
LG G6 RELEASE DATE UK & US – WHEN WILL THE NEW LG G6 COME OUT?
Based on previous models in the LG G series, the LG G6 release date is likely to be in April 2017. Here’s a look back at previous LG G launches:
- LG G5 release date – April 8, 2016
- LG G4 release date – April 22, 2015
- LG G3 release date – May 28, 2014
- LG G2 release date – September 12, 2013
Unlike their arch rivals in the Samsung Galaxy S series, the younger LG G models don’t have quite the same consistent release date history. However, the last two devices – the LG G5 and the LG G4 – first hit shops in April. The year before that, the LG G3 launched in May
April seems likely, then, unless LG wants to match its rival Samsung and bring the launch forward to March. Samsung did this with the Galaxy S7 because Mobile World Congress 2016 occurred in February rather than March. That’s set to happen again in 2017. Will LG want to be beaten to market again?
LG G6 FEATURES – WHAT’S NEW ABOUT THE LG G6?
Unlike, say, the iPhone 7 and even the Samsung Galaxy S8, there are very few rumours surrounding the LG G6 at present. However, there are plenty of areas to ponder following the launch of the LG G5, which was arguably LG’s biggest design gamble yet.
LG G6 DESIGN – WILL LG STAY MODULAR?
The chief question with the LG G6 is whether LG will stick to the modular approach of the LG G5. The company did promise additional modular support beyond the launch modules of the LG G5.
However, the LG G5 hasn’t sold well at all. According to reports from South Korea, the LG G5 is seen as a failure over at LG, and its mobile business division is expected to undergo a “major shake-up”. This will apparently involve job cuts, but it could also mean LG ditching its modular concept for the LG G6.
It will be interesting to see how the Moto Z performs over the coming months. If the public takes to its simpler, more elegant take on modularity, maybe LG will go back to the modular drawing board for the LG G6.
It’s also worth pointing out that Google’s own modular phone, Project Ara, will launch to the public next year, so there should be some extra buzz around the whole concept.
Whatever the approach, we sincerely hope that LG takes criticisms of the LG G5 design to heart. It may have been the first all-metal phone in the LG G series, but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as premium as the Samsung Galaxy S7 or HTC 10.
LG G6 – WIRELESS CHARGING INNOVATOR?
According to reports in May and early June, LG has made a couple of interesting breakthroughs in wireless charging technology for smartphones.
For one thing, it’s come up with a way to wirelessly charge phones at a similar speed to wired solutions. We’re talking a 50% charge in just 30 minutes.
Then there’s the report that the company has created a superior form of wireless charging technology that works at greater range than current standards.
Up to now, phones that boast wireless charging still need to be in contact with a plastic dock of some sort. The magnetic induction technology in Qi chargers simply doesn’t have much range.
LG’s breakthrough reportedly involves magnetic resonance technology, which means that it can be charged from up to 7cm away. OK, so that’s not a massive distance right now. But it could mean you’d be able to charge your phone by putting it on a bedside table that’s right near a charge point.
LG was said to be mulling over whether to release this new technology into the market. Whatever happens, we wouldn’t be surprised if the LG G6 comes packing some form of wireless charging.
LG G6 SCREEN – WILL LG GO 4K?
There are no solid reports suggesting that LG will double up and go for a full 4K display with the LG G6. However, we wouldn’t discount it.
One telling report concerns the plans of LG’s arch-rival Samsung. Some industry analysts believe that Samsung will pack the Samsung Galaxy S8 with a 4K display, having showcased a 5.5-inch Ultra HD screen at the Society for Information Display trade show back in March.
Up until fairly recently, the concept of a 4K mobile display seemed to be a step too far – particularly with battery life in the perpetual slump that it is. There simply wasn’t any point to having such a pixel-dense screen.
However, with the rise of mobile VR solutions like the Gear VR and Google’s Daydream, there’s suddenly a very real benefit to having 4K mobile displays.
LG doesn’t just compete with Samsung in mobile phones; it’s also a rival TV and display producer, and we can’t see it wanting to fall behind its local rival.
It’s also worth noting that LG got into QHD display technology first with 2014’s LG G3. The company is clearly prepared to take a punt on pushing mobile display boundaries.
LG G6 PROCESSOR – HOW POWERFUL WILL IT BE?
It hasn’t been announced yet, but we can make an educated guess that the LG G6 will be powered by the Snapdragon 830 CPU from Qualcomm. Why do we say that? Because every phone in the LG G series to date has run on Qualcomm’s most capable chip of the time. (OK, technically the LG G4 ran on Qualcomm’s second-tier chip of the time, but that’s another story.)
We know very little about the Snapdragon 830 at this point, but there are a few snippets of information available.
Earlier in the year, an ARM presentation leak showed that the company was working on CPU designs built on a 10nm manufacturing process. That’s much smaller than the 14nm process current high-end chips are built on.
ARM’s core technology is what goes into all of the top mobile chips, so this point should prove very telling as to the next generation of mobile phones.
Also, both TSMC and Samsung – the two main suppliers of Qualcomm’s chips – are known to be working on 10nm chips for the end of 2016.
As always, a smaller manufacturing process will mean gains in both power and battery life for any phone that runs on it.
We can also expect the Snapdragon 830 to come packing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 modem, which will support “fibre-like” LTEdownload speeds. We’re talking speeds of up to 1Gbps, compared to 600Mbps with the Snapdragon 820 in the LG G5.
Of course, in order to capitalise on these speeds, your mobile network operator will need to keep up – and that’s not likely to be possible in the UK for another couple of years.
SHOULD YOU WAIT FOR THE LG G6?
We’re still a long way away from the LG G6’s probable release date, which is reflected in the fact that we know practically nothing about the phone.
What’s more, there are extra questions hovering over the handset following disappointing sales of the LG G5. Will LG respond with another radical reinvention, or will it be prompted to stay the course and refine the G5’s modular design?
Whatever the case, we simply can’t recommend holding out for the LG G6 at this early point. Google’s next Nexus phones and Apple’s next iPhones are all due well before the LG G6, and we know a lot more about both.
If you’re going to wait for anything, make it one of those. Otherwise, there’s a perfectly great bunch of phones that were launched just a few months ago – the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the HTC 10 in particular.