Once upon a time HTC showed Samsung stiff competition in the Android market, but these days it has LG to fear. The G5 was a fantastic phone, and the LG G6 should be even better - potentially with waterproofing, wireless charging and a new virtually full-screen display. So, should you wait for the LG G6 or buy the LG G5 now? We round up the LG G6 rumours, including details on the LG G6 UK release date, price and specifications. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2017
Latest update: With new rumours appearing online about LG's V30, which is scheduled to arrive later this year, it is beginning to sound like the G6 may not be the company's flagship after all. The V30 is expected to be even more powerful with the Snapdragon 835 and 6GB of RAM inside. Other rumours include a dual camera and an improved DAC.
LG G6 UK release date rumours: When is the LG G6 coming out?
LG G6 UK release date: 26 February 2017
LG G6 UK on sale date: 10 March (TBC)
For the first time in 2016 LG announced its annual flagship upgrade at the MWC tradeshow in February, putting it in direct competition with the also announced Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. In previous years LG had held off until later in the year for a late-Spring launch.
This paid off well for LG and the company has already confirmed that it is to follow the same pattern for the G6 with a MWC 2017 launch. Samsung is expected to announce its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus at an Unpacked press conference, either the day before MWC starts on 26 February or later in March, so expect LG to also pick 26 February to announce its G6. (The HTC 11 will likely be another key rival to the LG G6.)
A save the date email recently went out from LG for 26 February at 12 noon. This has now been replaced by the full LG G6 Day invitation shown below, which not only confirms the name of the phone and the fact it will be announced that day, but that it has a large, slim-bezel screen and fits in the hand.. Mark your calendars now.
The latest teaser images to appear online claim the LG G6 will "resist more under pressure", which may allude to a tougher design with waterproofing.
As for when the phone actually goes on sale, the word on the street in Korea is 10 March 2017, which puts its onsale date more than a month ahead of the Galaxy S8's expected 18 April onsale date. The G6 is expected to launch initially in South Korea, Europe and the North America.
At the top of this page you'll see LG's teaser video for its upcoming announcement, which focuses on what people view as the ideal smartphone. A key theme in the video is the idea of a better screen but within a smaller, more manageable body that you can hold in one hand when texting, for example. So that could be what's on the cards for the G6.
Also see: LG G5 review
LG G6 UK price rumours: How much is the LG G6?
LG has always managed to undercut its rivals on pricing, and its ability to make high-end handsets at great-value price points has always been a key reason to choose LG. The LG G5 had a £529 SIM-free RRP in the UK, so we expect LG to keep the price roughly similar for the G6. Given the current economic climate we would certainly be surprised to see it cost any less than the G5.
LG G6 specification rumours: What to expect from LG G6
With the G5 LG tried the whole modular thing with its ‘Friends’ accessories that were bought separately. Now, according to ETNews, it will be going it alone, leaving behind its Friends and its modular design for the all-new LG G6. It says this is because the LG G6 is expected to get a new waterproof design. However, it also says the G6 will retain its removable battery, which doesn't tally with other whispers we've heard.
More recently, CNET has reported how a 'person familiar with the company's plans' has said it is indeed ditching its removable battery in favour of a waterproof design. The site also reports that LG will use the Snapdragon 821 chip in order to prevent the phone launch being delayed (Samsung allegedly has first dibs on the Snapdragon 835 for its Galaxy S8), and that it will be the first non-Google phone to feature the Google Assistant.
LG itself has confirmed that it is ditching its unpopular modular design to WSJ. A company spokesman said that the company was scaling back the modularity for the G6, and would focus on "aesthetics and usability".
The Verge has leaked a photo of the LG G6, which reveals very slim bezels and a large 5.7in screen. It says the display will have an unusual aspect ratio of 2:1.
Droid-Life has also shared images of what it believes to be a prototype LG G6. It's far from a finished product, but it is possible to make out dual rear cameras, a metal frame, a slim screen bezel, a rear fingerprint scanner and a USB-C port.
These images are in line with more recent photos from case maker VRS Design which shows the LG G6 in full with a clear case.
LG has taken the unusual step of not only confirming it will launch the LG G6 on 26 February, but confirming that the upcoming flagship will feature a 5.7in Quad-HD+ (2880x1440) FullVision display. The most interesting thing about this display is arguably its 18:9 aspect ratio - we have seen a 17:9 ratio previously in the Mi Mix - which almost entirely fills the front of the smartphone.
However, while it may not actually be the phone to kick off the era of full-screen smartphones, unlike the Mi Mix the LG G6's software has apparently been tweaked so that you can properly enjoy existing content at 18:9, rather than viewing it in a 16:9 window with a black bar to one side.
LG says in its press release that the new UX maximises the FullVision display's benefits, and allows for the following:
- Differentiated experience for viewing content such as video clips and web surfing
- Improved camera UX that maximizes the extra real estate provided by the 18:9 format display
- Smartly designed GUI that enables the opening of two perfectly square windows side by side, delivering a more productive, better multitasking experience
“The LG G6 with FullVision was inspired by the philosophy of experts in the movie industry who believe that an 18:9 ratio screen would be the best solution for viewing both old and new cinematic content in the digital age,” said Juno Cho, president of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We’ve not only embraced that philosophy in our newest smartphone but taken it to a whole new level by incorporating the 18:9 format in many other ways. I think users will appreciate the many ways we’ve made the LG G6 more productive.”
You can see a teaser video of the new LG UX below:
Speaking of the screen, as before it will have an always-on display, which has been shown in new images by 9to5Google. You can also make out a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and dual-camera on this silver model.
Some things are likely to stay the same, such as the dual-camera, 32GB of storage as standard and USB-C. But the G6 is thought to feature a more traditional design, possibly with a glass rear and this time with wireless charging built in (there were fears the tech wouldn’t be ready in time for the G6 but in October LG announced a 15W Quick Wireless Charging Pad). It should also get an update to Android Nougat.
With the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus set to be key rivals to the LG G6, it makes sense that LG will look to ensure it can keep up with those phones in terms of spec. The Galaxy S8 is expected to be extraordinarily powerful for a phone, with a strong focus on graphics that are able to power the best mobile VR experience, potentially with an upgrade to 6GB of RAM. The S8 is also expected to get the dual curved-edge screen as standard, complete with a built-in fingerprint scanner.
According to ChosunBiz LG is having difficulty sourcing curved displays from LG Display, which is busy producing OLED displays for the Apple Watch and LG’s own smartwatches, so LG is unlikely to go for a dual-edge screen in the G6. But powerful graphics, a focus on VR, a larger complement of RAM and a fingerprint scanner built into the screen will likely be high up on its list.
We've also heard that the LG G5 will feature an iris scanner, which will use the same sensor as the front camera rather than a separate module. This will be made possible by applying a filter, and will bring down both the build costs and the amount of space required. However, LG has told GSM Arena that while such a camera has been developed, it has not been confirmed that it will be used in a smartphone.
Audio is high up on LG's spec sheet for the G6, with the company adding an upgraded version of the Quad DAC seen in the LG V20. The company has itself said that the new DAC will result in minimal loss of acoustic information, and distortion levels of just 0.0002%. The 32-bit DAC can more accurately balance sound by separately controlling left and right, too.
According to LG's Lee Seok-jong, the G6 will be the company's first phone to use heatpipes to prevent the battery overheating. Such a system has previously been used in the likes of the Lumia 950 XL, Sony Xperia X2, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge... and the Note 7 (we all know how that turned out). LG will also conduct thorough battery testing, said Seok-jong.
"We are conducting battery heat exposure tests to a temperature 15 percent higher than the temperature set by the international standards of the US and Europe. The battery also undergoes diverse tests such as piercing it with a sharp nail or dropping a heavy object on it from a high place," Seok-jong told the Korean Herald.
LG G6 rumours: Should I buy LG G5 or should I wait for LG G6?
LG is becoming a true force to be reckoned with in the smartphone world, and though we have judged its flagship offerings second-best to the Samsung Galaxy S-series for the past few years, the gap between the two smartphone families is getting ever shorter. We were seriously impressed with the LG G5, especially at its £529 RRP, but the LG G6 could be a very different beast.
Reasons to buy the LG G5:
• It will cost you less than the G6 will new (and better deals will be available if you can wait a few months)
• It is modular and allows you to bolt on (optional) accessories
• It has a removable battery and a microSD slot, which the G6 could lose if it gets a rear glass panel
• It’s still a fantastic phone and though the G6 will be faster the G5 is plenty fast enough
• You can buy it right now rather than wait another couple of months
Reasons to wait for the LG G6:
• It’s likely to have a much nicer design than the ugly painted aluminium of the G5, and will potentially be waterproof
• It’s likely to be better specced for VR, with a more powerful processor, graphics and potentially more RAM
• It’s likely to include fast wireless charging
• It could feature an iris scanner