G6 will have unconventionally bigger screen

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G6 will have unconventionally bigger screen

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LG’s upcoming G6 smartphone will have an 18:9 screen aspect ratio, left, which allows users to see more information at one time compared to phones of the same width. [LG ELECTRONICS]

LG’s latest smartphone will come with an unusual screen size.

Unlike the company’s previous smartphones, the G6 will have a display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 instead of the 16:9 ratio commonly found on the market.

LG is calling it a “full-vision” display. The 5.7-inch screen can be evenly divided into two squares, allowing users to do two tasks such as watching a YouTube video and checking a calendar at the same time. This lends itself to horizontal use more than most phones.

The company hopes using the unconventional screen aspect ratio will prompt other smartphone makers to follow suit.

“Full-vision display will offer a whole other level of user experience,” said Cho Jun-ho, head of LG’s mobile communications division. “The long screen can show more information when the user reads an e-book or surfs the web.”

The screen size is the latest in a slew of G6 features that LG has slowly been revealing in the past few weeks. The company is set to unveil the smartphone on Feb. 26, one day before the Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona, Spain.

Among the changes that LG has revealed is an updated camera app interface. On half of the screen, users will be able to instantly see photos they have taken. The app also has a new filter designed specifically for food pictures, and users will be able to create GIFs by combining 2 to 100 photos.

LG is banking on the G6 to turn around its poor performance. The smartphone division has suffered operating losses for seven straight quarters. In the fourth quarter last year, the smartphone maker tumbled to world’s ninth-largest. At one point in 2015, it was as high as fourth.

The G6’s predecessor, the G5, was widely anticipated to become a boon for the company when it was unveiled last February. It adopted an unprecedented modular feature that allowed users to customize their device with eight different components.

The model only ended up selling around three million, compared to an estimated 50 million for Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

Kim Jang-yeol, an analyst at Golden Bridge Investment & Securities, is upbeat about the G6 helping LG rebound from its chronic losses in the smartphone sector.

“LG has reduced the possibility of causing an operational mistake by opting to release the G6 in Korea in March first and in the United States a month later, and has lowered production costs,” he said. “The phone may not necessarily become a blockbuster, but in the worst-case scenario, it could be a moderate success.”

LG launched a presale event on Wednesday calling for 210 G6 reviewers. Applications on the first day alone totaled 35,000, compared to 15,000 on the first day of the same event for the G5. Applications will close on Feb. 24 and winners will be drawn through a lottery, after which the select few will receive a phone to review and keep.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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