Nokia 3310 mobile phone resurrected at MWC 2017

Nokia’s 3310 phone has been relaunched nearly 17 years after its debut.

Many consider the original handset iconic because of its popularity and sturdiness. More than 126 million were produced before it was phased out in 2005.

The revamped version will be sold under licence by the Finnish start-up HMD Global, which also unveiled several Nokia-branded Android smartphones.

One expert said it was a “fantastic way” to relaunch Nokia’s phone brand.

“The 3310 was the first mass-market mobile and there’s a massive amount of nostalgia and affection for it,” commented Ben Wood from the technology consultancy CCS Insight.

“If HMD had just announced three Android devices they would have barely got a couple of column inches in the press.

“So, the 3310 is a very clever move and we expect it will sell in significant volumes.”

The announcement was made ahead of the start of the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona. LG, Huawei and Lenovo are among others to have unveiled new devices.

Nokia no longer makes phones itself, but manufactures telecoms equipment, Ozo virtual reality cameras, and health kit under the Withings brand.

Long life

The new 3310 qualifies as a “feature phone” rather than a smartphone as it only provides limited internet facilities.

It relies on 2.5G connectivity – which has slower data speeds than 3G or 4G – and is powered by the S30+ operating system, which allows web browsing but has a much smaller range of apps than Android or iOS. Its single camera is also restricted to two megapixels.

However, its advantage over more powerful handsets is its battery life. HMD says the colour-screened phone has up to a month’s standby time and delivers more than 22 hours of talk time.

It also comes with the modern version of the classic game Snake preinstalled.

Its launch price is €49 ($51,75; £41.51).

“It’s almost like a digital detox or a holiday phone,” HMD’s chief executive Arto Nummela told the BBC.

“If you want to switch off to an extent but you still need to have a [mobile] lifeline, it’s a brilliant solution.

“Why wouldn’t you buy this like candy? If you see this hanging on the shelf at the checkout in a [see-through] package, then you’d just buy it as an accessory.”

Android phones

HMD also confirmed the Nokia 6 Android smartphone would be released worldwide following its China debut in January.

The device has a 16 megapixel rear camera, a 5.5in (14cm) 1080p “full definition” screen and includes the Google Assistant helper – the search engine’s rival to Apple’s Siri.

It is priced as a mid-tier device at €229, alongside a glossy black special edition that costs €299.

In addition, the firm showed off smaller, lower-range Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 models.

Taiwan’s Foxconn will manufacture the phones, which may offset concerns that networks might have about HMD’s capacity to deliver.

“Foxconn – with its experience working with Apple and Samsung – is certainly the standout device manufacturer,” commented Tim Coulling from the tech research firm Canalys.

“It’s ability to help HMD go from small to large scale will be a critical factor in their partnership.

“It also means if HMD wants to locate manufacturing in different regions to take advantage of pockets of demand, that’s something Foxconn will allow them to achieve.”

However, another market watcher said HMD’s success was far from guaranteed.

“Resurrecting one of Nokia’s feature phone bestsellers seems like a good beachhead to attack the smartphone market.

“But another part of Nokia’s heritage was its high-end devices.

“What HMD needs next is a higher-end [Android smartphone] that is different, and that’s always a problem with Android: how do you differentiate?

“Nokia’s brand will get them so far – especially in emerging markets – but trying to push into the high-end versus Apple, Samsung or even Huawei will be tough.”


Analysis: Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

There is no doubt what the headlines will be from the HMD Global Nokia event here in Barcelona – and they won’t be about a new range of slick Android smartphones.

Yes, the reboot of the Nokia 3310 is fun – and perhaps there is a huge audience for a return to a time when all you could do with a phone was make calls and play Snake.

But make no mistake, if this piece of nostalgia is the future of the Nokia brand then it is doomed. And of course the smart team at HMD Global know that. They haven’t built partnerships with Foxconn, Google and hundreds of operators around the world on the promise of a return to the 2G past.

It is phones like the Nokia 6 – apparently already selling well in China – which are key to any hopes of making the Finnish brand a force to be reckoned with again. But of course yet another slab of metal and glass running Android was never going to excite the analysts and journalists tired of overblown launches where the words “awesome” and “revolutionary” are thrown around like confetti.

Hence the decision to remind us of Nokia’s glorious past, where everyone seemed to have a phone with that familiar ringtone and nobody was asking to borrow a charger to get them through the day. A stroke of marketing genius then – but a risky strategy.

If the phone-buying public one now sees Nokia as a retro brand rather one which has been reinvigorated for the 4 and 5G future, then HMD may come to regret its 3310 gimmick.

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Huawei MWC 2017 as it happened | Huawei MWC 2017 live blog

Huawei MWC 2017 as it happened | Huawei MWC 2017 live blog

Huawei has announced the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, and Huawei Watch 2 and Classic at MWC 2017. Here’s how to recap the announcements in our Huawei MWC 2017 live blog.

Huawei has announced the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, and Huawei Watch 2 and Classic at MWC 2017


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Find out what new products Huawei launched at MWC 2017 in our Huawei MWC live blog.

You’ll also like:
LG G6 live coverage
Nokia Android phones live coverage
Moto G5 & Moto G5 Plus live coverage
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 & TabPro S2 live coverage
Sony MWC 2017 press conference live coverage
What to expect at MWC 2017

Huawei MWC 2017 live stream

The Huawei MWC 2017 press conference took place on Sunday 26 February 2017 at 2pm CET (1pm GMT) and was live-streamed via https://www.periscope.tv/HuaweiMobile/1OdKrgmblDqGX.

Huawei MWC 2017 live blog

If you missed the live stream the good news is we had reporters live-blogging the announcements as they are revealed. Read on below to find out everything you want to know about the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus and Huawei Watch 2 and Classic.

You can also check out our Huawei P10 review and Huawei Watch 2 review, or find more detailed UK release date, pricing and specification information for both the Huawei P10 and Huawei Watch 2.

If you cannot see our live blog you are most likely viewing a Google AMP version of this page. Click here for a non-AMP version.

Read next: Best phone deals

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For Honor Performance Review

For Honor, developed by Ubisoft Montreal, just launched for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game is a mix of third-person combat and action-strategy. We’re not here to talk about how you play it, though. Rather, we’re digging into how it runs on your PC.

Behind the knights, vikings, and samurai is the AnvilNext 2.0 engine, which first surfaced in 2014 as the foundation for Assassin’s Creed Unity. Although the engine is more advanced than its predecessor, AnvilNext, you’re still limited to DirectX 11 API support. Does that negatively affect what the developers could do with For Honor? We don’t think so.

Minimum and Recommended Hardware Requirements

Despite its attractive graphics, For Honor‘s hardware requirements are quite reasonable. In theory, it should be possible to play this title with a mid-range machine built four or five years ago.

System Requirements Minimum Recommended
Processor Core i3-550 or Phenom II X4 955 Core i5-2500K or FX-6350
Memory 4GB 8GB
Graphics Card GeForce GTX 660/750Ti or Radeon HD 6970/7870 (2GB minimum) GeForce GTX 680/760 or Radeon R9 280X/380 (2GB minimum)
Operating System Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit only) Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit only)
Disk Space 40GB 40GB
Audio DirectSound-compatible DirectSound-compatible

Radeon vs GeForce

On one hand, For Honor is a multi-platform game, and therefore optimized for AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture used in consoles. On the other, it’s an Nvidia “The Way It’s Meant to be Played” title. Are there differences, then, in rendering quality between GeForce and Radeon cards at the same detail settings?

Whether you look at the flag on the left, the windows, the climbing vines, or the grass, Nvidia’s picture appears blurrier and less crisp than AMD’s.

The same observation applies to this image, particularly when you focus on the chain and castle wall textures. Nvidia renders a softer image, while the Radeon’s picture is sharper (though it almost appears grainy as a result). Of course, we looked several times: the graphics settings are exactly identical between test platforms (we’re using 16x anisotropic texture filtering and TAA anti-aliasing).

Graphics Settings

Aside from the always-important FOV and resolution options, we get a texture filtering setting (trilinear or anisotropic), several anti-aliasing modes (FXAA, SMAA, or TAA), texture quality, dynamic reflections, and even ambient occlusion (HBAO+ or MHBAO). If you don’t feel like experimenting with each knob and dial, there are also four quality presets.

Ansel

For Honor – Ansel

Nvidia Ansel support makes it possible to freeze the camera in For Honor and move around freely within the scene. From there, you can compose the perfect screen shot.

A configurable resolution facilitates far more detail than 1080p, or even 4K. And there are options to capture 360-degree images for an extra bit of fun. For those enthusiasts who increasingly stop and marvel at how far graphics have come, Ansel can be a lot of fun to play with.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Best PC Builds

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Huawei P10 review: Hands on with Huawei’s colourful 2017 flagship phone

Huawei took to the stage at MWC 2017 to show off its’ 2017 flagship, the Huawei P10. It has a huge focus on portrait photography and design, but does it perform as well as Huawei claims? We’ve spent some time with the Huawei P10, and here’s what we thought. Read next: Best smartphones of 2017

Huawei P10 review: UK pricing and release date

We’re not quite sure about a specific UK price or release date on the upcoming Huawei P10 just yet, although we’ll update this section once we get confirmation from Huawei.

Huawei P10 review: Design and build

Huawei has a reputation for offering high-end design and materials in its smartphones, and the Huawei P10 is no different. Featuring a refined design reminiscent of the Huawei P9, there are subtle changes to the design of the smartphone that make it stand out from the crowd, following an “organic minimalism” design philosophy. Everything’s a little bit ‘neater’ on the P10, and the curved but slightly elongated edges of the smartphone give it a distinctive look, while also being comfortable to hold in the hand (vital for a 5.1in/5.5in smartphone) and less slippery to hold.

The most obvious change, compared to the Huawei P9? The staggering number of colour options available. Huawei wanted to offer consumers more than just the standard black, silver or gold colour options, and offers the Huawei P10 in colours including dazzling blue and greenery.

In fact, the P10 comes in eight different colours: graphite black, dazzling blue, dazzling gold, rose gold, greenery, white ceramic, mystic silver and prestige gold, although not all colours will be headed to the UK. Huawei worked alongside Pantone to produce the vibrant and eye-catching dazzling blue and greenery colour options, which are noticeable even in low-light conditions – you just can’t miss that colourful shimmer.

It’s not just the colours that are new, as Huawei has also introduced a new finish: the hyper-diamond cut, available on the dazzling blue and dazzling gold colour options. It’s different to the standard sandblasted finish, creating tiny ridges along the length of the rear of the P10. It’s a unique look when compared to other 2017 flagships so far, and provides an interesting (in a good way) texture to run your fingers across when holding the phone. Huawei also claims that the finish should reduce the smudges and fingerprints that appear on the rear of the device, but we’re unable to confirm this until we use it for extended periods.

Huawei has also moved the fingerprint scanner from the rear of the device to the front, and in doing so removed the ability to easily take selfies without needing to awkwardly tap the screen – but we’ll come to that in more detail below, as there’s reasoning behind the move. Huawei claims that the fingerprint scanner is beneath the glass, and while it’s technically true as there’s no split lines between the scanner and the glass, there’s still a dent on the front of the device for users to place their fingers and isn’t like what upcoming smartphones like the iPhone 8 are rumoured to feature.

Hyper-diamond finish feels lovely in the hand, and looks really impressive. Huge focus on design on P10, while technology seems to be in line with the Mate 9 – same GPU, CPU, etc. Camera requires decent lighting conditions to work properly, we couldn’t get the new portrait mode to work properly at all during our time – would focus on the person behind, leaving me blurred, or wouldn’t recognise my face at all. Rear-facing camera performs well, but again, results are a bit hit and miss during our time with the phone. Display is responsive, apps open instantly so no complaints on the power side.

Read next: Huawei Watch 2 UK release date, pricing and specs

Huawei P10 review: Features and spec

Huawei put a huge focus on the design and software capabilities of the Huawei P10 during its MWC 2017 announcement, but there’s a good reason behind that: the internals of the smartphone are almost identical to that of the Huawei Mate 9, which was released back in November 2016.

Just like the Huawei Mate 9, the Huawei P10 features the latest Kirin 960 2.4GHz octa-core processor coupled with a Mali G71 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. Those looking for a little more oomph can opt for the P10 Plus, which features 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Of course, as with all Huawei devices, the P10 also features a microSD card slot that’ll allow you to expand the storage by up to 256GB.

That’s not a bad thing though, as in our Huawei Mate 9 review we described the processing power of the smartphone as stunning, and it’s a similar story with the P10: it’s blisteringly fast, with not even the slightest sign of lag at any point during our time with the smartphone. That’s due in part to the hardware, but also the software, as Huawei offers additional machine learning algorithms when compared to the Mate 9 to make it perform even better. Despite the high-end internals, Huawei has confirmed that the P10 isn’t DayDream compatible, although it wouldn’t go into detail about the reason.

In terms of the display, the Huawei P10 packs a Full HD 5.1in IPS display with a resolution of 1920×1080, compared to the 5.5in WQHD IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. However, due to slim bezels and smart design from Huawei, the phone isn’t overly bulky and is relatively easy to use one-handed. As with most Huawei displays, it’s bright, colourful and crisp, although a little heavy on the contrast for our personal taste.  

Read on for more on the Huawei P10, including cameras and software. 

Read next: Best Android smartphone of 2017

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Korora 25 Gnome

This article was provided to TechRadar by Linux Format, the number one magazine to boost your knowledge on Linux, open source developments, distro releases and much more. Subscribe to the print or digital version of Linux Format here.

Starting from an application-rich and highly stable distribution (distro), Korora offers the latest packages and modern technologies as its base, with many extras on top to make it appetising for new users. The end result is a user-friendly distro that’s usable out-of-the-box.

Understandably, Korora decided to do away with 32-bit images in its last release and has chosen to stick with that decision with the latest offering, codenamed Gurgle. But after the backlash over its decision to not offer a KDE spin with the previous release, Korora 25 once again offers users the option to download Gnome, Cinnamon, KDE, Mate and Xfce spins. Users already running a previous 32-bit release can still upgrade to the latest offering and the website offers a guide on how to do so.

Despite including some third-party proprietary offerings, Korora is entirely open source and you can download its entire source code from its Git repository (repo). Like its parent, Korora uses the Kickstarter scripts to produce its releases. The distro also ships with the home-grown kp tool, which users can use to manipulate the Korora code to produce a remix distro of their own.

With the exception of a handful of tips and tricks and some guides on updating and upgrading the distro, the project doesn’t offer much by way of documentation, perhaps because much of it would be a duplication of the Fedora team’s effort. Regardless, users can turn to Engage, the community portal that one can traverse for answers to problems or join in discussions with fellow Korora users.

Curious compilation

Barring the desktop-specific tools, the various spins all offer the same set of default packages. While this selection might not find favour with all users, the distro has struck a fine balance between utility and bloat. But that still doesn’t explain the inclusion of some highly esoteric tools such as Planner for project management, Darktable photo editing suite, and Handbrake video transcoder.

Generally speaking, Korora ships with one popular tool for each task, such as offering VLC across all spins as the default multimedia player. But you can easily install software using the package management tools and this is where the spins differ.

For the Gnome spin, users have the choice of either Gnome Software, YumExtender or Packages. Of these, YumEx and Software both sport a well-designed user interface and are quick to offer suggestions. You can also easily browse through the various software categories such as Education, Games, Internet and so forth, which makes it easy to locate the apps you wish to install.

Of the lot, the Gnome spin appears to offer more functionality than the others. For instance, you can right-click the desktop and click ‘Settings’ to launch the Control Center from where users can configure various essential elements such as privacy and sharing, apart from the usual fare i.e. network, security etc. For example, under Privacy, users can determine how long they wish to retain the history, enable location access, which would allow apps to use Wi-Fi to determine your location and even purge trash and temporary files.

In contrast, the Control Center on the Mate spin enables you to access all the usual configurable elements but doesn’t offer the option to tweak Privacy or Sharing settings.

Final verdict

With ease of use as its greatest feature, Korora is ideal for new users who want a distro which just works out-of-the-box, but it offers no reason for Linux pros to ditch their current favourite.

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MWC 2017: LG G6 phone offers split-screen use

LG has ditched the modular design of its previous flagship smartphone and unveiled a new top-end model that is designed for split-screen uses.

To achieve this, the G6’s display has an 18:9 aspect ratio, rather than the 16:9 used by most handsets.

It means that when viewed in landscape mode, the screen appears wider than normal.

LG has acknowledged that last year’s G5 missed its sales targets. One analyst said the change in strategy was wise.

The new device was unveiled in Barcelona ahead of the opening of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show.

LG’s new phone was also distinguished by being the first Android device announced to include Google Assistant – the search giant’s voice-controlled rival to Apple’s Siri – beyond Google’s own Pixel phone.

Split-screen experiences

The G6’s display measures 5.7in (14.5cm) compared to the G5’s 5.3in (13.5cm) component. It is also brighter, adding support for high dynamic range (HDR) video playback. This makes compatible footage appear more vibrant and detailed in the shadows.

The new device can also be submerged underwater for up to half an hour.

Yet the G6 is thinner and slightly smaller than last year’s model thanks to the decision to abandon add-on components – such as a higher quality audio processor – and a return to an irremovable battery.

The new phone is designed around Android 7’s support for split-screen software, allowing two same-sized square interfaces to be seen either side-by-side or one-above-the-other, depending on how the phone is held.

Suggested uses include:

  • running two different apps alongside each other
  • displaying a monthly calendar in one box, and a day’s agenda in the other
  • showing a music album’s artwork and play controls in one interface, and a list of the songs it contains in the other

A further use of the split screens would be to help take square-shaped photos for the social network Instagram. When the phone is held vertically, the top box shows the live view from the camera while the bottom one displays the last photo taken. The idea is to make it possible to review an image without the risk of missing another key moment.

However, one side effect of the screen’s unusual aspect ratio is that many apps will have to be slightly stretched to fit it, unless the owner opts not to use the full screen.

Ticking boxes

LG acknowledges that the G6 is less radical than last year’s offering, but it hopes that means demand will be stronger than it was for the G5.

“I’d love to be sat here now saying that the mass market had adopted it and understood it – unfortunately that wasn’t the case,” Jeremy Daniels, head of sales for LG UK told the BBC.

“We proved the concept could be done, but actually we know that [this year] we had to tick a lot of boxes like water resistance and bigger battery.

“And that could only be done by moving to a design that was more appealing to the masses.”

LG is the world’s sixth bestselling smartphone maker, according to the research firm IDC. Figures indicate that the South Korean firm shipped 7% fewer handsets in 2016 compared to the previous year.

‘Fatally flawed’

Despite the G5’s struggles, its unusual design won plaudits when it was unveiled a year ago.

The GSM association – a trade body representing the world’s mobile operators – even declared it the best device introduced at 2016’s MWC.

But one expert said the idea of adding functionality via add-on accessories – known as friends – proved to be unwieldy in practice.

“If you look at the way G5 worked – owners had to open the case, remove the battery and power down the device before putting in another friend – that concept was fatally flawed,” said Tim Coulling from the tech consultancy Canalys.

“Also because the phone had to be taken apart a lot, there were problems with dust and water.

“So, the decision to move back from modular to non-modular is completely the correct decision.”

Over the past year, Google has also cancelled its Project Ara modular smartphone concept.

But Lenovo continues to pursue the modular idea with its Moto Z devices, which do not need to be switched off when their parts are swapped.

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LG G6 hands-on review

As Mobile World Congress gets underway today, Sunday 26 February, in Barcelona, Spain, there are thousands of companies vying for your attention. One that tries to do so every year is LG, and this year it has gone big – literally – with its latest high-end handset, the LG G6.

LG has lagged behind the popularity of fellow South Korean rival Samsung in recent years, and with no Galaxy S8 in Barcelona, LG is desperate to make sure the G6 takes all the headlines, thought it faces stiff competition from Sony and even Nokia this year.

The design has been overhauled again following the leather-clad G4 and the modular G5 to a debatably more uniform metal and glass affair. LG’s Friends  didn’t last long, did they?

But the G6 looks stunning and performs just as well as the best smartphones on the market after our initial tests.

We got exclusive early hands-on time with the LG G6. Here are our initial impressions on it in our LG G6 review.

See also: LG announces the G6 at MWC

LG G6 hands-on review: UK price and availability

As of yet LG has not announced a price for the LG G6 in the UK. The release date is also unconfirmed, though we expect it to be in April or May, and we expect it to be available on all four major UK networks.

LG G6 hands-on review: Design and build

So LG has gone big, but it’s the screen, not the handset itself, that’s grown. The G6 boasts an 18:9 screen, expanding the display from the traditional confines of 16:9. This leaves it with a 5.7in Quad HD display. It looks seriously good.

Alongside that wonderful display is a design that conforms, unlike the modular G5 and the leather-clad G4. The G6 takes a leaf out of the iPhone 4’s book with a solid aluminium frame and Gorilla Glass on the front and back. It comes in white, platinum and black, with only the latter being a true fingerprint magnet.

The refined design is simpler and more elegant, with the dual rear cameras and fingerprint sensor that acts as the power/lock button sitting flush with the body. The bottom edge houses the USB-C port (fully waterproof), single speaker and mic. The right edge is smooth and clear save for the SIM tray, while the left edge has the two volume keys. The top edge has that very welcome 3.5mm headphone jack.

Even though the metal and glass frame isn’t entirely original, the rounded design is made all the more striking thanks to the rounded corners of the actual display as well. It’s a clever detail that doesn’t negatively affect use while accentuating the G6’s thin bezels and unusually tall screen. It works really well.

LG said that its goal with the G6, after extensive customer research, was to make a phone with a huge screen but that you could still comfortable use with one hand. The problem here is that that is basically impossible, even for those with large hands. Where the company has succeeded though is by making the G6 perfectly pocket friendly while packing in a screen that it’s easy to scroll through and hold with a single paw.

This might sound easy to achieve, but it can be rare to find on phablets like the G6. The iPhone 7 Plus, for example, is a through and through two-handed device, and the G6 succeeds in fitting a larger screen than that phone into a smaller overall body.

LG G6 hands-on review: Features and specifications

Processor

One point of contention among the tech community is LG’s decision to go with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor rather than its latest 835 that we expect to see in the Galaxy S8.

The 821 is in its third generation, and LG told us in an interview that it therefore has more expertise in how to optimise the user experience (UX) and implied the 835 wouldn’t have brought any more noticeable advantages.

We hope that the as yet unannounced price will reflect this. LG needs to undercut its rivals somewhere, something HTC failed to do with its overpriced HTC U Ultra, another phone with the 821 processor. We aren’t too worried about performance though – we’ll add benchmarks to this review as soon as we have them.

Display

The display is a 5.7in Quad HD display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 – it’s stunning. Aside from the 564ppi, the extra height of the 18:9 aspect means the whole experience of using the G6 is improved from the G5. If that sounds a bit too vague, it’s because you really need to get your hands on it to see what we mean. This impression is also intrinsically linked with the changes to the software, which we’ll come onto.

The screen also retains the always-on functionality from the G5, with a slightly altered setup lower down on the screen with a new default font. It still displays the time, date and apps that you have notifications for.

One thing that we need to investigate further when we receive a final review unit is how the 18:9 aspect ratio behaves outside of the LG UI. During our hands on time, we played a couple of pre loaded games that displayed in 16:9 (as is the standard) with a black bar on the far right edge as we held the G6 landscape. This could be an annoyance to users if LG doesn’t manage to sort out standards. LG told us that it was working directly with Netflix to sort this out, but we remain worried that with the plethora of services and games out there, the G6 might be doomed to a life of black bar playback. Hopefully not.

Cameras

The LG G5 impressed us with its dual camera setup that enabled wide-angle shots. The G6 retains this, with two 13Mp rear facing cameras. The wide-angle lens offers a 125 degree angle and the standard has optical image stabilisation. LG claims it has found an algorithm that lets you zoom between the two cameras smoothly without a software jerk. On a pre-production unit this actually didn’t work, but fingers crossed it will in the retail version.

These cameras can record up to 60fps at full HD quality, and in ultra HD at 30fps. HDR support is only for still images, not video, but this is quite usual for smartphones – even the high-end ones.

Storage and RAM

All variants of the LG G6 will have 4GB RAM as standard. Regionally, some of the features differ. The European version of the LG G6 will have 32GB storage but a micro SD slot for expansion up to 2TB. The same applies to the US version.

The Korean variant will have 64GB storage, but also the micro SD support. LG said these differences were down to regional marketing decisions. Hopefully it won’t make too much difference given the storage is expandable.

Connectivity and extras

Where those regional decisions become a bit more frustrating is in the extras. The US G6 will have wireless charging, which adds extra convenience, minimal extra weight and no design changes. However, the Korean and European versions miss out on this handy addition.

The Korean G6 will have Hi-Fi Quad DAC, a component that allows for high quality audio playback. LG told us that it doesn’t cost much more to add this feature, but the US and Europe miss out on it. It referred back to regional decisions on included components, but for us it’s frustrating that the European version will miss out on two desirable features.

There will also be a dual SIM version, but don’t expect this to come to the UK or Europe. These three missing features aren’t vital to the G6’s success in the UK, but we’d certainly welcome them and it’s frustrating to see a major phone split its features like this dependent on market. Extra features are universally appreciated.

The G6 does have one trick up its sleeve for all regions though. LG claims it’s the first smartphone to support both Dolby Vision and HDR 10. In basic terms, it’s the first smartphone to theoretically support superior audio-visual standards normally associated with high-end televisions.

We say theoretically because while it supports both, streaming services such as Netflix don’t actually yet offer playback of this combined quality on mobile devices. Remember when everything was ‘HD ready’, before HD actually existed? It’s like that. Watch this space.

An iPhone 7 compared to the LG G6

LG G6 hands-on review: Software

The G6’s software has been quite substantially overhauled from the G5’s in order to play nice with the taller 18:9 screen. LG’s own apps such as messaging, weather and calendar have been redesigned to better manage white space and information displayed since there’s more room to play with.

When presented side by side with the G5’s screens, the difference is noticeably positive:

As you can see, apps have more space to work with, so LG has worked very hard to bring the user a more aesthetically pleasing experience, working on attractive, modernised graphics in the main apps.

The camera software too has been redone, with some excellent use of the extra screen space – we love that when taking photos landscape, you get a camera roll of the last few photos taken, rather than the smartphone norm of one tiny thumbnail of the one most recent photo.

With our hands-on of the pre-production model we liked the use of the two square idea (app presentation split into squares) in the camera functions LG calls guide shot (for comparison snaps), grid shot (2x2grid shots) and match shot (for collages). They are a tad gimmicky and the software was buggy, so we will fully test it on the final review unit.

We also welcome LG’s decision to choose whether or not to display apps iOS style on the home screen or store them in an app tray. We don’t mind it on iOS, but given the choice on Android, we’ll pick the app tray every time.

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