Update: We may see the LG G6 earlier than expected while a recent report also suggests LG will be dropping the modular "Friends" design to offer a waterproof, high-end phone.
If there's one thing the LG G5 isn't, it's boring. With two rear cameras and an accessory slot that lets you modify the hardware it's a phone that really thinks outside the box.
But while these extras are great it doesn't nail all the basics, so there's plenty of potential for improvement in the LG G6.
Rumors for what LG is planning on its next flagship phone are growing steadily – here's everything we know so far about the LG G6.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next flagship phone from LG
- When's it out? Possibly April 2017
- What will it cost? Likely around £500/$650/AU$900 SIM free
LG G6 release date
The LG G5 was announced in February 2016 and launched in April, while the LG G4 also landed in April, so April 2017 seems a good bet for the LG G6.
One report from "industry insiders" suggests the company wants to release the LG G6 closer to the launch and will push to get the phone on sale in late February or early March.
LG G6 design
Rumor has it LG will be stepping up the design of the G6 to a more premium look and quality than we've seen on previous phones. An anonymous source told Korean site ChosunBiz LG will be using a tempered glass back on the new flagship.
The LG G5 had a painted aluminum body, which some didn't like. Being glass it may not be as durable as a full-metal jacket would be, but that may be the price we pay for a better looking phone from LG.
Then again, LG might not be moving away from metal after all, with another source claiming the G6 will have "a highly reflective metallic material on the rear."
Whether there will be a modular design with interchangeable modules – or what LG calls "friends" – isn't yet clear. One report from the Electronic Times in Korea suggests the modular approach will be dropped for the LG G6.
LG G6 display
The same source suggested LG is looking to make an OLED panel for its smartphones in the future, and maybe even curved ones.
LG already produces OLED displays for TVs as well as the Apple Watch Series 2, so it would make sense if the company installed one on the G6 – but it looks like it won't be ready in time.
If LG doesn't include an OLED display on the G6, it will be far behind Samsung, which has included curved OLED panels on its flagship phones for quite some time.
LG G6 other features
LG announced a brand new wireless charging transmission module a few days after it revealed the LG G5.
This may mean we see the introduction of wireless charging on the LG G6, but the same sources speaking to ChosunBiz suggest it won't be ready for the next flagship phone.
But since then LG has made the tech available to the public, which suggests that it could be ready after all. Plus another industry source has also suggested it will be ready in time for the LG G6, so cross your fingers.
LG G6 price
In terms of price, we'd expect a flagship cost for the LG G6. It'll likely be around $650/£500/AU$900 if you're to buy the phone outright, which is the same price as the LG G5 cost at launch.
- Read up on the latest flagship LG phone, the LG V20
Before the rumors began rolling in, we put together a list of everything we want to see on the LG G6. Here's what we're hoping for on the next flagship from LG.
1. A more stylish design
With the G5, LG finally embraced metal, giving us a handset that looked and felt far different and far higher end than the LG G4.
But it’s not the home run it could have been. A thick layer of primer-mix paint on top of the metal left it feeling a little like plastic and the overall design is rather plain, lacking the flair of the similarly metal iPhone 6S or HTC One M9. So we want the LG G6 to have a design that’s not just high-end, but also stylish.
2. An app drawer
LG made the questionable decision to remove the app drawer from the G5. A decision that was so questionable it was quickly pressed to reverse it, so now thankfully you can restore the app drawer to the phone. But to do so you have to manually install an older version of the UI.
That’s a hoop we’d rather not jump through to get a feature that should come as standard, so hopefully the LG G6 will have it out of the box. It’s been rumored that Google might be planning to ditch the app drawer from Android altogether, but until or unless that happens we want our phones to keep offering it.
3. Better battery life
The LG G5 deserves a shout-out for being that rare flagship that has a removable battery, but sadly the size of the battery is slightly smaller than we’d like.
At 2800mAh it’s not tiny, but it is smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 or, surprisingly, even the LG G4, all of which have 3000mAh juice packs. And they’re not even the biggest batteries around. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for example has a 3600mAh one.
Unfortunately, the smaller size of the G5’s battery does lead to lesser performance, with it often needing a top up during the day. Next year we want a bigger one please.
4. Just as much innovation
One thing we love about the LG G5 is just how packed full of innovation it is, from its modular add-ons to its dual-camera there’s a lot here that other flagships don’t offer.
A focus on innovation is nothing new for LG. After all, this is the company that put buttons on the back, gave us self-healing phones and was one of the first to include a QHD display or a bendy screen in a handset.
That’s not even a complete list of its smartphone innovations and hopefully we’ll see a lot more from the LG G6.
5. A front-mounted fingerprint scanner
LG added a fingerprint scanner to the G5, but it stuck it on the back. At first glance that might not seem like such a bad idea. After all, it’s out of the way and easy to reach while holding the phone.
But if you’ve got the phone on your desk you’ve suddenly got to pick it up to unlock it, which wouldn’t be necessary if you could just reach for a sensor on the front of the handset. Few other phones have this problem and hopefully the LG G6 won’t either.
6. Front-facing stereo speakers
The LG G5 just has a single speaker on the bottom edge of the phone and while it’s adequate it’s no match for a quality pair of front-facing stereo speakers.
Granted, audio through headphones is far more important and the G5 does a good job there, but it would be nice if the LG G6 also has powerful built-in speakers.
7. More modules
The ability to augment the LG G5’s hardware is theoretically one of its best features, as it’s not really something we’ve seen before outside the likes of Project Ara, which isn’t out yet.
But currently there are only two plug-in modules for the G5 and neither feel particularly essential. Hopefully more will come, but we want a far wider selection for the G6 at launch, so buyers can really customise it and make it their own.
8. A wide-angle front-facing camera
The wide-angle lens on the back of the LG G5 is a genuinely useful addition, especially as it’s an optional one, with a more conventional 16MP sensor also included. It’s just a shame that innovation didn’t extend to the front of the handset.
The LG V10 has two on the front but only one on the back, for the LG G6 we’d like to see two cameras on both the front and back.
9. A brighter always-on display
Like the Samsung Galaxy S7, the LG G5 has an always-on screen and in some ways it tops Samsung’s offering, as it gives you notifications for all of your apps.
Trouble is, it’s so dim in this mode that it can be hard to actually see what it’s trying to notify you of. Making it brighter could have an impact on the battery life, but it’s a problem that we’d like to see solved for the LG G6.
10. A final layer of polish
Ultimately there’s not a huge amount wrong with the LG G5, but it also just doesn’t fully come together as a cohesive whole. It needs that final layer of polish that turns a good phone into a great one – the sort that feels special the moment you pick it up.
As it stands the LG G5 is an accomplished, interesting handset, but it feels a bit like LG threw everything at it to see what would stick, rather than having a clear vision for it.
We hope the LG G6 will be every bit as innovative and adventurous, but that the finished product will feel a little bit more complete.
- What would you like to see on the LG G6? Let us know in the poll and comments below