The G6 was the big news at Mobile World Congress, and surely you’ve already heard all about its headline features: the small bezels, the 18:9 aspect ratio screen, the sealed battery.
But now that we’ve spent a little more time with the G6, we’ve found a few things that you might not know about. While anyone who’s used a previous LG phone will immediately recognize some of the G6’s finer features—like knock-to-wake and the ability to add five lock screen shortcuts—LG has added a few features that make the G6 unique.
The camera app is loaded
You’re going to hear a lot about the G6’s camera, and rightfully so. It’s a beast. With a pair of 13MP sensors, optical image stabilization, and a 125-degree wide-angle lens, it’s going to challenge the Pixel and the Galaxy S7 for picture-taking superiority. But what really makes the G6’s camera shine is its app.
Stock camera apps aren’t generally much to write home about, but LG has loaded the G6’s up with tons of features, so much so that a third-party app might actually be a downgrade. Along with an excellent set of manual controls, you’ll find new automatic shooting modes, 360-degree panoramas, and a scrollable gallery of your pics across the top of the screen.
But the real fun starts when you enter square mode. Switch to it, and you’ll get two equal viewing windows—one that shows what your camera sees and another geared to one of three creative shooting tools. With that second window you can compare what you’re shooting against a former shot; snap pics with the front and rear camera simultaneously; or collect a series of images to make a quick collage.
You can adjust the size of apps
Lots of Android phones have different screen sizes, but the G6’s display is one-of-a-kind. While nearly every other phone employs a standard 16:9 ratio, LG has gone with an 18:9 ratio in the G6. This could create some issue with your favorite apps, but LG has a workaround.
To help with the weird ratio, LG has built a new app scaling settings that will adjust the screen size of third-party apps. The default setting is a funky 16:7:9, but you can also choose between 16:9 and 18:9. Think of it like letter-boxing for your apps. Changes are made on the fly, so if you don’t like how an app is cropped or skewed, you can easily change it back. Additionally, you can change the size of the app icons. There are three settings for display size, which zooms the app and status bar icons, as well as the font size.
Multi-window is actually useful
Multi-window view has been a feature enjoyed by Nougat users since it launched last year, but LG has taken it to a new level in the G6. As it turns out, the 18:9 screen is perfect for viewing content side by side in landscape mode, thanks to its ability to be divided into two perfect squares.
It works the same way as it does in stock Nougat: You just hold and drag app screens when in the multitasking carousel. But the 2:1 aspect ratio actually does makes the two screens a little easier to use. I’ve always thought the split-screen as more of a tablet feature rather than a phone feature, but the G6 has made me reconsider my stance.
The 2:1 goodness also extends to LG’s own apps, and it’s here where reality starts to set in. When using LG’s calendar app in landscape mode, for example, it’s cool how the interface automatically switches to show a calendar on one side and your schedule on the other, but I can’t imagine any other developer supporting it within their apps. It’s difficult enough to get Android developers to build a decent tablet app, let along support a niche feature on a niche phone. But it’s fun to dream.
You can loop the home screen
If you have a lot of home screens, you’ll love this one. LG has added the ability to create an endless loop of home screens into settings. That means when you hit the last one it’ll cycle back to the first, so you won’t have to scroll back manually.
To find it, head over to the Display settings tab, tap Home screen, and check the Allow Home screen looping box. It’s a great feature that I’d like to see Google steal for the next version of Android. It’s particularly useful if you choose to forgo the app drawer and keep all of your icons in the grid (though I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that).
Screen shots have square edges
Despite the G6’s rounded display edges, when you take a screen shot (as you can see in this post), it will appear with square edges when you view it on any other device. So, if you plan on using the G6 to take take a ton of screenshots, know that they won’t look weird next to ones from other phones.
You can’t hide the navigation buttons
Finally, a bit of bad news. In previous version of its UX OS, LG allowed us to hide the home touch buttons in apps of our choosing, so they wouldn’t distract from what we were doing. For some reason, that option has been taken away in UX 6.0.
LG is still finalizing the software so it’s possible it will be added into the shipping version, but if not, it’s a bummer. The G6 has a fantastic screen and having to keep a black or white navigation bar on the screen at all times takes a little away from it.