MWC 2017: LG claims to be ahead with new form factor

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LG: proud of G5 despite sales failing to hit expected heights

Future LG devices will be unveiled in the new form factor seen on the G6

LG claims it has a head start on the competition by starting a form factor revolution with its G6 smartphone.

The manufacturer unveiled the highly-anticipated device on the eve of Mobile World Congress on February 26 to hundreds of journalists at the Sant Jordi Club in Barcelona.

A key feature of the G6 is the 5.7-inch screen in a form factor designed for a 5.2-inch screen, according to the Korean handset manufacturer. LG claims it offers easy one-handed use but also a unique 18:9 aspect ratio, displaying wide screen content and making the device much taller than its predecessor.

The new aspect ratio will allow users to stream compatible content from Amazon and Netflix in ultra HD resolution (1440 x 2880 pixels). The Korean manufacturer also claim the unique screen makes the G6 the “ultimate media device”, and has dubbed the feature ‘FullVision’.

FutureVision

Speaking on stage at the manufacturer’s launch event on March 26, LG mobile president and CEO Juno Cho, who acknowledged the innovative modular G5 but stated a new design direction not only for the G6 but future smartphones based on the new display build.

He also claimed “2017 will be a year of innovative form factors,” and it will be the way the smartphone market will push towards in the annual pursuit for innovation.

“We wanted to deliver a modular design with the LG G5. We are still proud of the G5 but now things are different. We are now moving forward; the future is about visibility. We have you the consumer in mind, your wishes and concerns about smartphones.

“The innovation we have shown today does not apply to just the G6, but also the future line-ups we’re going to introduce. Consumers now want a bigger display but not a bigger phone. This is possible when you change the form factor. For that reason, I feel confident that the G6 is a next generation smartphone consumers are waiting for.”

Additionally the display is IPS LCD made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and retains the always-on display, which saw a debut on the G5 last year.

Device specifications

The new flagship is cased in Gorilla Glass 5 with a metal frame. LG has incorporated IP68 dust and water-resistance capable of submergence of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes. It also has rear-mounted fingerprint sensor which doubles as a home button.

Powering the device is a 2.35GHz quad-core processor (Snapdragon 821) with 4GB of RAM. It runs the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system with Google Assistant included, which currently operates in English and German.

The 13-megapixel dual lens rear camera has a built-in 125-degree angle allowing group shots, and 4K video capture. The accompanying front camera is five megapixels.

Qualcomm product manager Michael Roberts said on stage the G6 is the only device to have “stable optical zoom and captures video as if it was on a tripod.”

Other features include 32GB of internal memory upgradeable via microSD up to 2TB, and a 3,300mAh battery charged by USB type-C, capable of attaining 50 per cent in half an hour. A headphone jack is also present at the top.

The release date and pricing is yet to be confirmed for the G6, but it will come in three colours: ‘Ice Platinum’, ‘Astro Black’ and ‘Mystic White’.

Retail agreements

EE, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse have all confirmed they will be stocking the handset with the latter already opening pre-registration. Preorders for the smartphone will be available in due course.

When launching the G5 at last year’s Mobile World Congress, LG claimed it would inject much-needed excitement into a market that has become relatively boring.

However, the device failed to win over customers. In the final quarter of last year, LG revealed that revenue for the three month period was £1.9 billion – down from the £2.5 billion figure posted a year earlier. It cited “weak sales” of the G5 for the declining performance.

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