With the Galaxy S8 looming, will life be good for Korea’s second-most dominant smartphone manufacturer?
This past Sunday saw the unveiling of LG’s latest flagship smartphone, predictably called the LG G6. The phone has a full aluminum chassis (unlike its predecessor, whose frame was metal but had an outermost layer of plastic), three different generations of Gorilla Glass, and a 5.7-inch 2:1 screen with HDR support.
In an interview with The Investor, LG Mobile president Cho Juno said “preparations for the G6 [were started] more than six months earlier than usual,” and that LG “have also secured enough products to sell this time,” in reference to the shortage of LG G5 devices at launch. (The shortage went largely unreported due to poor sales figures for the G5; no one will notice that your phone is out of stock if no one wants to buy your phone).
LG claims that the G6 has been “tailored to fit in one hand” and the dimensions of the phone in comparison to other flagships support this claim: the G6 is 71.9mm wide, narrower than the iPhone 7 Plus (77.9mm) and the Galaxy S7 Edge (72.6mm). The 2:1 aspect ratio of the handset can be thanked for this feat. The major downside to this uncommonly tall smartphone is a potential lack of ergonomics due to screen height.
"The G6 will support split-screen multitasking at launch due to its Android Nougat software."
But the G6’s 2880 x 1440 resolution may be both a curse and a blessing. Having a screen twice as tall as it is wide lends itself to split-screen multitasking, which the G6 will support at launch due to its Android Nougat software. Those 320 additional vertical pixels will enable all apps on the G6, both split-screen and full screen, to display more information at a given time and require less scrolling. In a world where nearly two billion people are scrolling through Facebook, less scrolling has an immediate benefit to most consumers.
A Korean reporter named Jaepil Choi, writing for IT news website Etnews, broke a story three days prior to the G6 launch event claiming that the G6 will released on March tenth. We’ll know in a week whether this prediction was based in fact. What makes the claim interesting is that it doesn’t jibe with the release date of the prior two G-Series phones: April twenty-ninth and twenty-third for the G4 and G5, respectively. If Choi is to be believed, this change signifies a sense of urgency on the part of LG. Releasing their new flagship a month-and-a-half early will be a way to get out in front of fellow Korean tech giant Samsung and their much-anticipated Galaxy S8.