It’s like a baby G6
While the high-end phones get all the hype and love, it’s the mid-range and budget market where most brands make serious money. It’s also where Korean manufacturer LG is the weakest in, as the company is severely lacking product offerings to combat their other rivals in the highly lucrative mid-range market. Previous efforts were lackluster at best, and the deluge of selfie-centric phones from newcomers OPPO and Vivo have not helped things.
Enter the Q6. It’s a mid-range device armed with their excellent FullVision display tech that’s present on the more expensive G6. It has the loveliest display in its price bracket, though LG gives up quite a few things in exchange. Read our full review below to see what they were:
LG Q6 specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor
- 3GB RAM
- 5.5-inch full HD+ FullVision IPS display (2160 x 1080 resolution)
- 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD
- 13-megapixel rear camera, AF, LED flash
- 5-megapixel wide angle selfie camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- 3000mAh battery
- Android Nougat
Smallest 5.5-inch phone we’ve held in quite a while
Today’s smartphones are pretty big. Typical Android phones nowadays clock in at 5.5-inches, and depending on how big your hands are, they can be tolerable to use one-handed or nigh impossible to manhandle without using both hands. LG’s Q6 eliminates that problem by reducing the bezels on all sides to almost nothing, making it dramatically smaller than typical 5.5-inch phones. In fact, it feels exactly like a 5.2-inch device with its overall footprint.
The back of the phone is curved, with the frame made out of aluminum. The rear of the phone is made from plastic treated with a glossy finish that approximates the look of metal. We’re not a fan of it because it attracts fingerprints like there’s no tomorrow, and it scratches rather easily. There’s a long scratch on the rear of the phone because we put it in our pockets with change like one typically does.
The Q6 loses the dual rear camera setup of the G6 and instead goes with a single 13-megapixel unit that sits flush with the body of the phone. It’s flanked by an LED flash unit on the right. Overall the phone’s build quality is pretty good (easily scratched rear notwithstanding), with the phone not yielding to our repeated efforts to try and bend it.
There is one glaring feature missing with the Q6 – the fingerprint scanner. Yup, LG went ahead and axed that particular feature much to our chagrin. They did put in a face unlock feature that works exactly as it sounds, though that’s not as secure as using your fingerprint to unlock your phone. In fact, in terms of security it’s the least secure of the three phone unlock methods we’ve seen so far, with iris scanning being the most secure. The omission of the fingerprint scanner is going to turn off a lot of people considering the Q6, especially most, if not all of the other devices in its price range has that feature built-in.
The power button is on the right side while the volume rocker is on the left, along with dedicated microSD and SIM slots, so you won’t have to choose between an extra SIM or more storage. The 3.5mm jack is on the bottom, along with the USB port though sadly it’s not the Type-C variety for faster data and power transfer.
Let’s go back to the dislay of the Q6. That 5.5-inch panel barely has any bezel left in it, which makes the entire device smaller than what a typical 5.5-inch phone would be. It still uses that funky 18:9 aspect ratio on the G6, which makes the panel slightly taller than most other phones in the market. The actual display resolution is a little more than full HD, coming in at 1080×2160 thanks to the extra pixels on the top of the phone.
As for actual display quality, the Q6’s screen is very, very good. It has accurate color reproduction and generous viewing angles, and is easy to read even in direct sunlight. You can scale some apps on the screen to take advantage of the weird aspect ratio, but not all support it well out of the box.
Snapdragon 435 isn’t up to the challenge
Despite appearing to be a legitimate flagship, the Q6 is armed with what some would say an entry level processor. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435 processor isn’t something you’d expect from a phone like the Q6, but yet there it is. The chipset is paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, along with a very toned-down UI from the Korean company.
While the Snapdragon 435 chipset performs well in more budget phones with HD resolution, it struggles with the Q6’s full HD+ display. Swiping throug the UI is rarely smooth, and the phone was hit with a few lag spikes here and there while we were using it.
As tempting as the phone is to use for gaming, it might not be the best choice. Snapdragon 435 can handle most Android games, but more intense, graphically intense titles wont’ work smoothly unless the settings are toned down.
The speakers are loud, though their positioning at the rear muffle the sound somewhat when the phone is lying down on the table or any flat surface. Call quality is good, and we did not experience any kind of issues when it came to connectivity with the Q6.
One of the features that needed to be shed from the flagship G6 is the dual-camera setup. On the smaller Q6, you’ll have to settle for the single 13-megapixel shooter on the rear.
Photos taken with the camera are okay, fit to be used in social media. Colors are a little muted though, and camera performance degrades if there isn’t a lot of light around. A 5-megapixel front camera set with a 100 degree FoV makes for easier selfies when there’s a bunch of people around.
Battery is average for what you’re getting
The Q6 gets 3000mAh battery that’s pretty much par for the course for phones in its price range. While our PCMark battery benchmark stopped halfway through the test, we managed to clock in around a day’s worth of battery with a mix of browsing, YouTube viewing and a couple of games thrown into the mix.
Verdict: It has a beautiful display, but performance is lacking
LG has managed to squeeze their FullVision display into a phone that’s retails for under 15K. It’s one of the smallest 5.5-inch phones in the market today, approaching the size of a typical 5-inch phone in its overall footprint despite packing that gorgeous display.
There are serious tradeoffs to get that display though. The LG Q6 lacks a fingerprint scanner which is present in most of other phones in its price range. The processor choice is also a little disheartening, as SD435 just can’t keep up with the demands of the higher resolution panel in the Q6.
Despite its faults there is a market for the LG Q6. People looking for a small and handy phone that don’t want to sacrifice screen size for portability will find it the perfect phone for them.