This is the LG G6, launched by the South Korean electronics company at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) technology show in Barcelona.
It is the new flagship device from LG, and the company is trying an innovative new design, says Juno Cho, Head of LG’s mobile business.
“The G6 truly stands out as the first smartphone with a larger screen that we are calling for vision. With a full vision display, the G6 will open a new era of immersive viewing experience to users. We look forward to our new approach becoming the mainstream in this market.”
What makes this device different is the aspect ratio of the display.
Most smartphones come with a 16:9 aspect ratio that is also standard for most television and computer screens.
However, the 5.7-inch screen of the LG G6 is thinner and longer with a 2880×1440 pixel resolution which makes it 18:9.
Andrew Coughlin, LG Business Leader, Mobile Communications says they are responding to consumer demand.
“With multi-tasking becoming more common as more people do more things at the same time it’s natural that consumers want their smartphone screens to be bigger, especially when it comes to using social media, watching videos or playing games. The bigger screen provides more convenience and greater immersion. It simply doubles the pleasure of the experience. The LG G6 is a 5.7 inch display phone that provides new visual experiences to consumers and caters to their needs.”
The G6 will have a 5.7-inch screen, though the size of the phone itself is about the same as last year’s 5.3-inch G5.
LG achieves this partly by adopting an 18:9 aspect ratio, meaning the display’s height is twice the width.
The tallest phone displays typically max out at 16:9.
When held horizontally, the G6 offers a wider image than regular high-definition TV, but it’s not as wide as what most movie theaters offer.
Vittorio Storaro, an Oscar winning cinematographer, is a fan of the 18:9 format.
“I saw the Leonardo Da Vinci ‘Last Supper’ in Milan, such a great emotion. It was so perfect in equilibrium. So I ask the measurement of the painting. And it was exactly 2:2:1, 18 by 9. I dream that cinema will use this perfect composition (18:9) and that it will be the only one”.
Storaro won academy awards for cinematography for “Apocalypse Now,” “The Last Emperor,” and “Reds.”
In addition to being a better format for some movies, LG also says that the thinner dimensions allows people to handle the device with one hand, even with a 5.7-inch screen.
Samsung’s fiasco with its fire-prone Note 7 phone has pushed its rival LG to take additional precautions with its new smartphone.
Samsung recalled millions of Note 7 phones after dozens overheated and caught on fire. Samsung blamed numerous problems with its batteries and announced tighter quality controls and more rigorous testing.
Andrew Coughlin, LG Business Leader, Mobile Communications says safety is a major concern for consumers.
“Consumers have become very aware of the smartphone safety issue, so we have taken extra safety measures for G6. To guarantee battery reliability we have reinforced the testing process to evaluate different factors such as penetration, shocks and falls and when it comes to battery reliability LG employs standards that surpass international levels.”
LG says it’s doubling the separation between the battery’s positive and negative chambers to reduce the risk of a short. Samsung’s investigators found that overly thin separators were partly to blame for the Note 7 problems.
LG also redesigned the phone’s interior to separate the two main sources of heat – the main processor and the display driver—and turned other components into heat sinks to dissipate heat as Ian Hwang LG’s Director of Mobile Communications explains.
“In designing a more reliable smartphone we paid attention to heat dispersion. To better dissipate heat we implanted heat pipe. Heat pipes are standing thermal conductors made of copper. We also placed the application processor, our main source of heat, at the centre of the phone for greater heat dispersion.
“Also we secured enough space between the LCD driver IC, another main heat source and the application processor to help mitigate any heat problem.”
LG has a tiny share of a worldwide smartphone market dominated by Apple and Samsung. LG didn’t gain significantly following the Note 7 recall.
Samsung has said it’s delaying its next major phone, the Galaxy S8, until after the MWC show.
LG is matching major rivals in offering water and dust resistance, though in doing so, it eliminated a replaceable battery and the ability to swap in new modules, such as better audio.
Last year, LG cited both features as evidence that it was setting itself apart from rivals as phone innovation slows down.
The G6 does retain a wide-angle camera, which is still uncommon to find in phones.
LG didn’t announce prices or release dates.
The MWC technology show opened on February 27 and runs through March 2.