Review: LG Q6 is undoubtedly refreshing, and has substance beyond style
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South Korean company LG is finally trying to throw its weight around in the affordable smartphone segment and is counting on some very unique set of features. Their latest smartphone Q6, which is priced at Rs14,990, is the first major move in that direction. It is available in a single 3GB RAM+32 GB storage variant on Amazon.in and will be competing against the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Rs12,999).
Compact design, glossy back is annoying
What separates the Q6 from the Redmi Note 4 and others in the budget segment is the compact form factor. LG has used the same design language we saw in the G6. It includes an almost edge-to-edge screen, called Full Vision display by LG, surrounded by very thin bezels. This is one of the factors which has allowed the phonemaker to incorporate a 5.5-inch screen in the form factor of a 5-inch-screen smartphone. It is just 142mm tall, 69.3mm wide and weighs 149g. In comparison, the Redmi Note 4 is 152mm tall and weighs 165g.
The phone looks good and fits comfortably in the hand, but it is not without its share of foibles. There is no fingerprint sensor and the back panel has a glossy finish, which smudges a lot and immediately picked up scratches when put down on a surface.
Face recognition to unlock the screen
Absence of fingerprint sensor is annoying. LG has tried to make up for it by providing face recognition as one of the tools to unlock the screen. It’s inconsistent and slow especially in limited light. It is also not as secure as the fingerprint sensor.
Immersive and rich display
The unique selling point of the Q6 is the 5.5-inch Full Vision display which offers a unique resolution of 2,160x1,080p and a wider-than-usual aspect ratio of 18:9. Most smartphones, including the Redmi Note 4, have a resolution of 1,920x1,080p and aspect ratio of 16:9. The 18:9 aspect ratio provides a more immersive experience during videos and games by removing black bars from the top and side on the screen.
The display on the Q6 doesn’t try to overplay colours like the Redmi Note 4 does. Colours look impressive without feeling too bright. Text in app icons, webpages and ebook look sharp in the Q6.
The extras in display include the comfort view, which blocks out blue light, so the screen puts less strain on the user’s eyes.
Runs latest Android with a complex UI
The smartphone runs Android 7.1.1 with LG’s custom UI, which offers plenty of customisation options but feels as complex and cluttered as the MIUI 8 on the Redmi Note 4, which runs Android 6.0.
Some of the features we liked in the LG UI include the option to add up to five home touch buttons. So besides the three navigation buttons you can add buttons for drop down quick settings, screen capture and SIM and switching SIM cards.
It also provides the option to adjust the size of on-screen content which includes app icons, images and text. You can also alter the aspect ratio of any app for a more immersive experience.
The Q6 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core chipset with 3GB RAM. It is not as powerful as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor which drives the Redmi Note 4 (with 4GB RAM), but was able to handle multi-tasking and some of the big games such as PES 2017 without any lags, frame drops or serious heating issues. Internal storage is 32GB and can be expanded to 256GB via microSD card. The good news is that there is a separate slot for microSD cards, unlike Redmi Note 4 where it is built over one of the SIM trays.
The Q6 packs a smaller 3,000mAh battery in comparison to Redmi Note 4’s 4,100mAh battery. The battery backup is not as good as the latter’s, but was able to deliver a full day’s backup on a single charge.
The 13-megapixel camera on the back can click clear photos in daylight. Colours look accurate but the level of detailing in landscape shots looks poor. Low-light shots look hazy and washed out. The camera is fast but has limited modes and features compared to Redmi Note 4, which has a 13-megapixel camera. The front camera is a 5-megapixel affair, but can click wide looking shots. The picture equality is average, though.
The LG Q6 is not as powerful as the Redmi Note 4, but that perhaps remains limited to the spec sheet only. It has a glossy back and absence of fingerprint sensor is a bit perplexing. Yet, it makes quite an impression with its compact design, the 18:9 aspect ratio display and the new Android software, which is hard to come by in this segment. If you watch a lot of videos on your smartphone, this is a better bet than the Redmi Note 4.