The LG Q6 challenges the norm of budget phones having last year’s (or even later) features. So far, 2017 flagships have been about borderless displays with different variations and names. Thankfully for LG, their FullVision feature is not exclusive to their expensive smartphones anymore.

With the price tag of a conventional budget device but with the looks of its flagship sister, the Q6 is already an interesting phone to play with.

Just look at that 5.5-inch Full HD+ FullVision Display

The 18:9 ratio makes the phone look taller than usual

It’s encased in a cold high-quality aluminum frame

We like that LG didn’t skimp on build quality

There’s no need to choose between a microSD or second SIM card!

Freely connect to two networks and have more storage

It still uses micro-USB and has a 3.5mm headphone port

When will LG introduce USB-C on budget devices?

The back has similarities with the G6 sans the fingerprint reader

It feels like something is missing…

Like a G6, but cheaper and smaller

The first thing I said about the Q6 was that it’s like a G6 mini variant. However, it’s not exactly a mini version since it lacks dual-rear cameras; but holding the phone feels like it is. Just don’t flip it over, because that’s where the differences show.

Our review unit has the same Ice Platinum color of our very own G6. Both have a glossy finish and are prone to smudges and minor scratches. Using a protective case would prevent cosmetic damages, but would also hide its beauty.

Where is the fingerprint reader?

One of the trade-offs of having a full-screen display on mobile phones is the lack of space for a front home button, which usually houses the fingerprint reader. That shouldn’t pose a problem for LG, though, since they always place theirs at the back. But, that’s not the case for the Q6 — it doesn’t have a fingerprint reader at all!

In exchange, the Q6 has facial recognition. The phone uses its front-facing camera to scan the user’s face, which unlocks it pretty quickly under good lighting, but isn’t as convenient as a fingerprint reader. The good thing is you can train it in different environments so it’ll learn and improve on its unlocking speed. In total darkness, you’re stuck with either pattern, PIN, or password unlock.

Decent performance complements the immersive experience

As for the phone’s specifications, it has a Snapdragon 435 processor, 3GB of memory, and 32GB of expandable storage. The Q6 runs the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat with customization on top called LG UI 5.0. The software experience is on par with LG’s flagship and takes advantage of the 18:9 ratio of the display; however, not all third-party apps can fill up the whole screen.

Performance-wise, the Q6 is not a powerhouse, but it’s also not a slouch. Switching in between apps and scrolling through the interface is relatively smooth. I threw in a few games on the phone including our favorites like Asphalt Extreme and NBA 2K17, and they run best on medium settings.

Camera is okay with a few tricks

The Q6 has only a single rear camera unlike the G6 (I loved playing with the wide-angle lens) to keep its price tag down. It’s a 13-megapixel shooter that performs so-so, and is paired with a 5-megapixel wide-angle front camera.

Under bright conditions, the rear took good photos but struggled to take decent stills indoors. LG knows we take photos of our food, so they have a Food Mode built in. It allows you to set your desired white balance before taking a shot to make sure the food looks yummy. The front camera is really wide, but has noticeable distortions on the sides.

Battery life is average

With its 3000mAh battery inside, the Q6 can easily last for a whole day under moderate use. According to our own usage, a full charge lasted us around 27 hours which had a mixed use of a few phone calls and several hours of mobile internet. Our screen-on time was around 3 hours on average.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Going straight to the point: If you want to have an LG G6 but the budget is tight, you could opt for the Q6. That is if you’re after the FullVision display, and not the extreme wide-angle rear camera. The absence of the fingerprint reader was a big concern at first, but as the facial recognition feature was able to improve itself after multiple attempts, lifting the phone to my face became a second nature.

The LG Q6 is priced at PhP 12,990 in the Philippines and INR 14,990 in India. Considering what the phone offers that others don’t, it’s a good option for a budget device. For now, the Q6 is one of the unique low-tier phones you can buy. It’ll only be a matter of months before other manufacturers will follow suit.

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