raspy gets a brand new flagship!

Discussion in 'Smartphones' started by raspabalsa, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Hi all! As some of you know, my LG V10 died a few weeks ago from the dreaded bootloop. I've been using an old LG Optimus L7, but it's too small, too slow, and too weak for my needs. Today I was traveling and the L7 began to act up. It's just not powerful enough to multitask, and I got very annoyed at the constant reloading of apps because that would clear the map route, force webpage reloads, etc. I got on the phone with Mrs. R., and she approved of me getting a new device ("about time" were her terse words :D). Unlike last year, this time I decided to get a current flagship. I had three candidates: the Oneplus 5, the LG G6, and the Samsung Galaxy S8. Today I found all three on a b&m store near the airport and spent a couple of hours playing with them. I liked the Oneplus 5, but I still don't want to lose the SD card, the Full HD screen wasn't as impressive as the G6's or S8's Quad HD screen, and the bezels look huge compared to the other two. The S8's screen is really awesome but the rounded sides confuse me although I think I could learn to like them. I was leaning towards the S8, but it was USD 250 more expensive than the G6! So the G6 it was. I admit it was more of an elimination than selection process, quite unlike the time I purchased the V10. I'm still annoyed at losing a powerful, 1-year old phone so suddenly, and the incremental changes I see are nowhere near so dramatic as a year ago. But the G6 has its share of new stuff to get excited about, so it's quickly growing on me.

    First surprise: the G6 came bundled with 4 gifts. Actually, the box itself was the first surprise:

    420170823_152900.jpg

    It was huge, 16 inches to a side, and almost 2 pounds in weight. This in itself was quite a problem, because I had a flight to catch and the box was a cumbersome carry. This led to a silly moment in the airport's lounge as I unboxed the phone, checked the contents and discarded most of the packaging, all the time under the intrigued stare of an 8-year kid who kept asking his father what I was doing :D

    As you can see, the four gifts are an LG BT headset, a 64 GB SDHC card, a 6700 mAH power pack, and a hard case for the phone. The store clerk got a few "mehs" from me as he listed these gifts and I showed him my Sony MDR-1RBT headset, 128 GB SDXC card, and 10.000 mAH power pack. I already gave my wife the LG headset (they look and sound much better than her Moto Buds), and I plan to sell the 64GB card and the power pack.

    The best thing that I can say about the hard case is that it was free - it's a thin, cheap-looking clear polycarbonate cover that mimics the G6's back color scheme, via an adhesive film that I promptly removed:

    a20170903_111427.jpg

    This case is already scratched, so I plan to buy a new, better quality one as soon as possible, especially to protect the camera lenses. In the meantime, it should protect the corners and back in case I drop the phone.

    Now for the good parts: the phone is a significant improvement over my V10. The screen has less actual area since it isn't as wide as the V10's and is almost the same height, but the higher pixel count means higher density, and colors seem to be more accurate. The G6 is smaller in all three dimensions, which makes it much easier to use one-handed. It's also lighter, and the unibody construction feels quite solid, although not as sturdy as the V10's. The G6 looks and feels elegant and premium, whereas the V10 felt rugged and looked utilitarian to me. Don't get me wrong, I loved and admired the V10's looks, but the G6 has a different kind of appeal. The G6 looks really small for a 5.7" device. It's actually smaller than the Moto Z Play.

    I see the same kind of performance in the G6 compared to what I remember from the V10. Videos look wonderful in the wide screen, and the tiny bezels provide a more immersive experience. There's an option to scale the screen on a per-app basis, useful in case some game or app is not compatible with the 18:9 screen aspect ratio. This ratio allows for a very useful feature: showing two apps side-by-side. The screen is split vertically into two squares, and you can select any two apps to be displayed. Very useful to compose emails while using Whatsapp or navigating. It's a great feature! The screen also follows the newer trend of replacing the corners with curves, supposedly to minimize the probability of damage if the phone falls on a corner. The visual impact of the curves is minimal IMO.

    Battery endurance seems much improved compared to the V10. It's still early to know for sure, but I think I'm getting about 50% more running time with the G6. This is very welcome, since I spend lots of time away from power outlets.

    The cameras are every bit as excellent as I expected, even considering the G6's main cameras have a relatively low pixel count (13 MP) compared to say, the Oneplus 5 or even my 3-year old Xperia Z1, both of which have 20 MP shooters. The photo quality of the G6 is superb, both from the regular and wide angle cameras. The camera app is mostly the same as the V10's, but with a few extra controls.

    I could go on, but from a first impression I'm going to like this phone. I have lost a few things coming from the V10:

    - Removable battery: not important, didn't take it into account when selecting the V10
    - Second screen: this one I miss. It was very useful, especially when I was playing or watching movies and wanted to ignore calls. Some of its functionality is mirrored by the "always on" display, but the most useful ones are lost.
    - Dual selfie cameras: not important for me
    - IR port: another feature I'll miss, but it never was a critical requirement.
    - Hi-quality audio DAC: was not a requirement, I seldom used it, and now I have a portable headset amplifier (Fiio Q1) to replace this function.

    But I gained quite a few things too:
    - Higher battery endurance and faster charge: very welcome
    - Water resistance: not a requirement, but welcome too
    - Dual main cameras: this one I'm already liking a lot!
    - Wide screen, almost no bezels: movies look better, phone easier to handle
    - Improved fingerprint sensor: The G6 is unlocked just by touching the sensor, doesn't require pressing the button as in the V10
    - Unofficial 10% rebate: as soon as I sell the 64GB card, power pack and Moto Buds ;)

    Conclusion: raspy is happy again! :newpalm:
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  2. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    Raspy, I'm so happy for you. I have to confess that I was feeling guilty enjoying my G4 and with my v10 replacement coming tomorrow I was thinking - "I should send that to Raspy" but the G6 saved the day.

    I still think I'm just going to hold onto it in case my son-in-law or son or his wife's v10 go down - or if my G4 goes down.

    Thanks for the great review. I was so excited when I saw your post. Enjoy!

    Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F using Tapatalk
     
  3. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Thanks, Scott! That would have been an amazing gift. I think you're one of the most generous persons I've known and I'm happy for the chance to learn from you. I hope your V10 lasts a long time.

    I just finished loading all apps and data to my G6. After about 6 hours of on-screen time and heavy Wi-Fi usage it still has 25% battery. This is a major improvement over the V10.

    The G6 looks and feels very narrow. I can reach the full keyboard with my thumb, something I couldn't do with the V10. Still can't believe this is a 5. 7" device.
     
  4. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Congratulations, raspy!

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  5. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Thanks, jig!

    New day, new phone, time to explore and discover :)

    The G6 looks great naked. It's my first non black or white phone in more than a decade. I used to have a Motorola Timeport around 2000 or 2001, which was also gray-bluish, not too different to the G6.

    G6 naked.jpg

    I like the placement of the figerprint sensor, its feels natural for my index finger. The sides have a few white accents (barely seen in the pic, since it was taken with my soon-to-be-decommissioned L7's crappy camera), and these add to the G6's premium looks. I fear getting the G6's back scratched, so I slapped the hard case in place:

    dressed.jpg

    I think I was too harsh last night when commenting on this case. In its favor I can say it's very unobtrusive, the phone almost feels naked with it, and although it offers minimal protection, it's much better than getting the device itself damaged. You can see the case already has some scratches on it.

    A minor disappointment was the included wired headset. It's a very cheap model, the plug isn't gold-plated, the earbuds are a poor fit, and it didn't bring extra gel cups. My V10 included a much better quality headset:

    headset.jpg

    On the left is the G6's headset, and on the right is the V10's one. I'm keeping the V10's headset, and my wife's granddaughter already snatched the G6's one.

    Storage-wise, I got the 32GB model (64GB is available only in the USA model). My G6 is the H870, international unlocked model, which means its bootloader can't be unlocked, which further means there's practically zero chance of ever getting it rooted or flashing custom ROMs. This is less of an annoyance now than 2 years ago. I used to be a root die-hard, but over the years I noticed that I used root only to block ads and do backups. Both of these functions are now done with rootless apps, so I don't have the need to root. My V10 was rooted under Lollipop (didn't require unlocked bootloader to do so), but when I upgraded to Marshmallow I lost root because I could not unlock bootloader, and upgrading to Nougat didn't change this.

    Internal storage is more than adequate for my needs. After loading every app and game I have (including 3GB of N.O.V.A. and 2GB of Minecraft worlds) I still have 9GB free storage. The SD card is loaded with music and movies, and it still has over 15GB free, so I won't run out of storage anytime soon.

    There are a few significant improvements elsewhere. With the V10, when I was playing music and launched the camera app, the music would automatically pause when I pressed the shutter button to focus, and would not resume playing until after I closed the camera app. The G6 does not do this, the music keeps playing even over BT as I snap pictures. This is a minor but very nice improvement. The camera UI is also more polished. Exposure control is now a vertical slider on the main camera screen, making it much faster and easier to adjust before taking a picture. The camera by default is set to widescreen picture ratio, which in fact means the camera crops the top and bottom of the picture, so you'll use just 8MP instead of the full 13MP. Changing to 4:3 ratio (sensor's actual ratio) corrects this. There's a "camera roll" feature that uses the left side of the screen to display the latest pictures taken. It looks nice but I find it distracting. I disabled it, but may revisit it later. There are a few newer modes (Slow motion, dual picture, 360° panorama) and a new filter button to adjust color (b&w, sepia, vivid, "urban" -whatever that means, etc). The camera UI is basically a more polished iteration of the one on the V10, and this is a pleasant surprise. It seems LG decided to leave good enough alone and didn't overthink things here.

    LG's propietary UI is also a more refined version, and it's almost good enough to consider using it. The only feature it lacks is locking the desktop. Nova Launcher locks desktop, so icons can't be moved, added, or deleted. On LG's desktop the icons can and will be moved or deleted accidentally, and I find this very annoying. But probably there's a way to fix this.

    I'm off to work, I'll see how well the battery fares, and will also start testing an often ignored feature in smartphones reviews: call quality :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  6. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    What? No IR? I knew that since the iPhone 6's & Samsung S6's the IR blaster have not been installed on the phones but now LG? I just got rid of our last analog tv after our son got us a new TV for Christmas.

    I apologize to everyone who likes having IR on their phones. I'm sure that since the IR was something I liked on my phones it was doomed to be discontinued like everything else (small smartphones, Palm, Web OS, sliding keyboards, removable batteries & storage, Pebble Watches, etc).

    Sent from my LG G4 using Tapatalk
     
  7. Hook

    Hook Cat and Mouse and Linux

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    Congratulations, Raspy. Looks like a great phone. I have a soft spot for LG (both m Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 were LG) but I'm almost surprised the V10 experience didn't make you a little LG-shy. I hope it really works out well for you. :newpalm:
     
  8. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    My phone is rooted with a custom ROM, but it's not that important to me. I block ads and sometimes use the hotspot feature.

    I have titanium backup installed, but can't remember making (or needing) a backup. Pictures and videos head to the cloud like a lot of other data.

    Raspy, what do you use to block ads?

    If I could create a hotspot without being rooted (or at least without custom ROM), I'd consider going back to stock. Then again, if PureNexus ports Oreo, nevermind. ;)

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Hook

    Hook Cat and Mouse and Linux

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    Why can't you create a hotspot without a custom ROM. Does Sprint block that?

    Titanium Backup is invaluable if you update ROMs often (I usually do Official releases and Weeklies on DU). With the backups, I can go from full wipe to fully restored in about 40 minutes. It also saves you when you get the app update from hell and you want to roll back and prevent updates. It doesn't back up media.

    For me, the main reason I root is to not have bloat, to fully control which apps are on my phone. I use so few google apps, I consider google apps to be bloatware. ;-)
     
  10. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Well, yes, I really thought hard about it before buying the G6. I too have a soft spot for LG, in fact, in my household most devices used to be Samsung, but a few years ago this started to shift to LG. From what I've read (LG's statements quoted online) they have corrected the quality problems that plagued earlier models. I'm willing to bet this is true, but condemning them for my V10 would be like doing the same to Samsung after the Note 7 or Apple after the bendgate.

    I'm using AdGuard. It can work on rooted and unrooted phones, with a different method on each. On unrooted phones it creates a VPN (the server is the phone itself), and on rooted phones it works like other similar apps (replacing hosts file or something like that). It requires a yearly or lifetime subscription. I think next year I'll get the lifetime one for all my household mobile devices.
    This is why I didn't buy a US model, since some carriers block hotspots. This is also why I didn't get the LG V20, because it was never released in Colombia, and the available US models had hotspot creation blocked.
     
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