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LG G6 is now coming with better specifications

4 reasons you’ll want this sleek phone with its massive screen (and 2 reasons you won’t)

The LG G6 could not have come at a better time. Launching its spec-packed, metal-and-glass G6 at the world’s largest mobile show (Mobile World Congress) gives LG a rare opportunity to prove itself after that lukewarm reception of last year’s modular-like G5, without the fear of being overshadowed by its biggest competitor, Samsung. (Samsung had to push back the launch of its Galaxy S8 flagship while dealing with fallout from its exploding Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.)

And that’s great. When it comes to the G6, we like what we’ve seen so far. Gone is that funky modular body (but also the removable battery). In its place are a slim design that’s 80 percent screen and a water-resistant build. It’s a safer play for LG, which will have to battle the Galaxy S8, Google Pixel phones and OnePlus 3T and others.

For the first time in a while, the phone maker stands a chance. If the G6 shares many of the Galaxy S8’s most important features and still costs less (as LG flagships usually do — costing about north of $600, £500 and AU$1,000), it could stabilize after last year’s G5 loss. There are a lot of reasons you should be excited about the G6 (and two reasons why perhaps you won’t be). But let’s start with what we liked…

LG G6’s camera is a real looker

The G6 is LG’s nicest-looking flagship yet, which I don’t say often, especially given last year’s G5. But the polished G6 has a streamlined aesthetic and a smooth unibody design (think the LG V20 with fewer seams or the G5 with fewer bumps). It comes in silver, black and white, though the white version will only be available in certain countries, not including the US.

It’s virtually bezel-less. The 5.7-inch screen takes up roughly 80 percent of the phone, leaving thin margins all around. I like that the screen curves smoothly into the edges; it’s more comfortable for swiping and feels slightly luxurious.

At 565 pixels per inch, the screen is super-sharp, and it takes on an 18:9 aspect ratio (aka: 2:1). This is unique considering most phones are 16:9. While it won’t change your life dramatically, that ratio allows some movies to make full use of that display. (For example, I saw a few minutes of “Daredevil” on Netflix on the G6, and the movie filled the screen, without generating letterboxes, those black bars that appear on the sides).

The G6 is the company’s first dust- and water-resistant flagship, and it comes at a time when many of its competitors have already made their marquee phones splash-friendly.

Like the V20 and the G5 before it, the G6 has two cameras on the back. But they aren’t to take artsy “bokeh” portraits like you do with the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. On the G6, you can switch between the standard 13-megapixel lens and the 120-degree wide-angle lens to capture more content in each frame.

And if you’re really all about that wide-angle life, the 5-megapixel front-facing shooter has a wide-angle option as well. We’ll have to spend more time taking selfies to see if image quality is better than last year’s 8-megapixel front-facing shooter, but it worked decently enough when we tried it out.

One of my favorite things about the camera is a new interface that shows you five of your most recent photos, like a gallery stream. LG added a separate camera app too called Square Camera. Aimed at hardcore Instagram users, it offers a number of different tools to take neat square photos. (For more on how Square Camera works, watch the video below and check out our explainer.)

Google Assistant comes baked in

Aside from the Google Pixel phones, the G6 is the only other handset so far to feature Google’s signature AI, Assistant, natively. Assistant uses Google’s vast search database and voice recognition. You can chat with it and look up things like random facts, the news and nearby places. If you have smart-home devices, you can use Assistant on your phone to control the lights in your home or set the thermostat.

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