Sunday, April 02, 2017

A Week with an LG G6

I loved my Galaxy Note 5. Yes, it was a beast. But the husky form factor was more than made up for by the ginormous screen. The stylus was also a nice bonus. I didn't use it every day, but on more than one occasion it turned out to be quite handy. After years of using the Samsung flavor of Android, I figured I'd stick with them for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, the Note 7 was a bust, and when I got notified that my T-Mobile Jump Plan was up, I had a fresh opportunity to buy a new phone. I handled the Samsung S7 Edge in the store, but it was too puny for my liking. Instead, I walked out of the store with a brand new LG V20. The V20, like the note, is a beast, so I felt right at home with it.

More or less simultaneously, Shira upgraded her LG V10 for a shiny new LG G6. And just like that, we were a full on LG family.

While I was liking the V20 well enough, Shira was seriously missing the secondary screen that both the V10 and V20 have. Rather than me learn to love the second screen, and Shira learn to live without it, we did a switcharoo. Shira now has a V20, and I have the sleek new LG G6.

It's been a week now of being in LG land, and here's a few observations on the G6:

  1. After the Note 5 and LG V20, the LG G6 is positively petite. It's weird to be using a phone that compact again, but it's working well. It's hard to believe that both the Note 5 and LG G6 have the same size screen.
  2. While I do miss the stylus of the Note 5, there are more than enough goodies on the LG G6 to make me not regret the upgrade
  3. The dual cameras lenses on the G6, I believe, are the winning feature for this device. I use my phone for quite a bit of photography, and it's really great to be able to get two totally different perspectives out of one device. I'd love it if they could build a high quality telephoto lens into a cell phone, but I'll gladly take the regular and wide angle lens they've provided.
  4. I'm also impressed with the camera interface, which offers a clever square shooting mode and the ability to capture photos from all the lenses at the same time. I'm not sure which of these features will turn out to be essential, and which will be little more than demoware, but it's nice to have them to play with.
  5. The sound recording capability on the phone is another serious bonus. Finally, I can record sound on my cell phone and monitor what's being recorded in head phones. They also offer the ability to record from one or two different microphones. Apparently the V20's audio recording abilities are even more sophisticated than the G6's, but for my purposes, the G6's should be more than enough.
  6. The G6 is waterproof - whoo! I used to love being able to shoot photos while splashing around in the pool or at the beach. This is another very welcome feature.
  7. My Note 5 had 64 Gig of internal space, the G6 has 32 Gig, so that's not great. But I'm back to having access to an SD card, as well as a removable battery. So perhaps the smaller built in storage isn't as relevant? We'll see.
  8. The G6 comes with Nougat by default, an upgrade that I assume the Note 5 would eventually get. Still, it's nice to leap forward in Android versions, especially on a phone with an up to date processor.
  9. I could do without the having the hardware power button on the back of the phone. I'm used to having my phone laying on the desk next to me, and with Note I could reach over and scan a finger print without picking it up. On the other hand, after a week of using the new button position, I'm almost completely used to it.
  10. I love the implementation of the Software Touch Buttons. Being able to re-order the buttons, and choose which buttons appear are both significant improvements over the Samsung approach. I only wish that I could choose from among more than the 5 measly options.
  11. Two words: USB C! Ugh. I finally had enough Micro USB plugs and accessories, and now I needed to purchase new cables. What a pain. Fortunately, the adapters I purchased on Amazon are compact, functional and allow me to use the current heap of cables I've got lying around.
  12. For the first time, I'm using the phone without a case of any kind. I miss having a kickstand, so I picked up one of these. This case-less approach might be brilliant, and reflect the fact that modern cell phones are built tough as nails. Or, it might be foolhardy, time will tell.

The Note 5 was a remarkably solid device, and even after a year and a half it wasn't showing its age. Still, the LG G6, with it's dual cameras, slick recording ability and waterproof-ness shows that even a great phone can be improved upon.

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