MWC 2017 – The technical choices of the LG G6 explained


At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we met with an engineer and LG managers to take stock of the development and technical decisions that have taken place in the design of the LG G6.


A small turn in the bowels of the LG G6.

This year, LG remained wise about the design of its new high-end phone. After the technical challenge of the modular design of the G5, the Korean company refocused this time on a more “traditional” design and functionality. This does not mean that the phone has not benefited from a particular attention on the part of the design and R & D department of the firm.

After the semi-failure of the G5, this new spearhead had to hit hard with high-end features and ready to compete. We had the opportunity to speak with Christoph Marschall, Senior Manager of Technology Services and Strategies at LG, to learn more about this return to roots.

The first and most obvious questions were on the G6 screen. The LG mobile is not only the first phone to adopt an 18: 9 ratio (or 2: 1), but also the first of a “historic” builder to start a war on borders.

The reason behind these two decisions is that LG wanted to build “a mobile with a large usable one-handed display” as the company repeatedly said during its conference.

“Perfectly satisfied by the IPS”

To find this balance, LG commissioned an independent study to find the best ergonomic compromise. The results of this study dictated the dimensions, finishes, and ratio of the device.

Thus, an 18: 9 screen is easier to use with one hand, as it is easier to extend its thumb upwards than towards the side while keeping a secure grip on the mobile. It is also to this safety concern that LG preferred a flat screen rather than a curved one.

Depending on the brand, mobile “edge” would pose more problems because of the particular way in which it is necessary to hold them to avoid accidental clicks.

The reasons given to justify the adoption of the IPS instead of the AMOLED are on the other hand more blurred. According to Christoph Marschall, it was not a good idea to “change technology to change technology.” We worked with each and were completely satisfied with the results obtained by the IPS, “he explains.

Difficult to contradict it, the screen of the G6 seeming indeed, from the little we saw, truer than nature. However, the AMOLED has undeniable advantages, contrast and consumption issues. Fortunately, LG does not close the door to a possible G7 in AMOLED. According to the manager, the company would now have the means to produce sufficient AMOLED mobile screens for its own use.

The lack of technology on the LG G6 would, therefore, have nothing to do so with a possible raid of Apple on all production to equip its future iPhone.

The other obvious question to ask was the second specificity of the G6 after its screen, its dual module photo. Inherited from the G5 which displayed a sensor of 16 Mpx “standard” and another of 8 Mpx wide-angle, this arrangement was slightly modified on the LG G6 which sports it two 13 Mpx sensors including a wide-angle.

As Christoph Marschall explains, the reason behind “this difficult decision” to reduce the definition of the main module is the low-light performance. “Most photos are actually taken in low-light environments, at night or in bars for example.” To keep a sensor of the same size while increasing that of photosites in order to capture more light, it was necessary to reduce the number of pixels.

We have not yet tested the G6 in our lab, but its predecessor is already one of the best photophones in low light, if the G6 really improves the recipe, it could give a new leeway to LG question Photo.

The reduction of the field angle from 135 ° on the G5 to 125 ° on the G6 also has to do with the size of the sensors, “to increase the definition, we had no choice but to reduce the Field of the wide angle “explains Christoph Marschall. Finally, questioned on the possibility of using both sensors simultaneously to improve the quality of the shots, the engineer replied that LG had tried the idea, but that “the algorithmic processing necessary to correct the wide-angle deformation to stick To the rendering of the main sensor was heavy and ended up not adding much to the final. ”

The point of resampling, therefore, only a few photo modes that use the photo sensors simultaneously for fun effects.

As we pointed out during our takeover, despite the fact that the LG G6 is a phone that just taps on almost all technical points, the mobile seems to lack the “small touch LG” that had made the phones of the manufacturer So original in recent years. From the G3’s backpacks to the G5’s modular design, the Grange has built a solid reputation for “innovative” phones.

Returning for a moment to the G5 adventure Christoph Marschall explains, “We are proud to have tried this, but the idea of a modular phone comes right into what I call” the QWERTY illusion “This is an idea that, like the full keyboard on the smartphone at the beginning of the mobile revolution, seems great and indispensable, but in fact, it is difficult to create a dynamic.”

A reflection that does not seem to worry so much Lenovo, which continues to present Mods for its Moto phones.

“This year, our” LG Touch” is to combine all our mobile expertise in a phone,” he continues. “All the lessons learned from previous V or G models have been applied to the G6,” says Marschall. Let’s hope for LG that it suffices to stand up to a competition that is still ferocious this year.

Andrew Regan
A mobile phone enthusiast that loves talking about anything that changes smartphone industry for good. Also, loves sharing the latest news and rumors regarding the industry.