LG G6 • Usability Advantage
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LG G6 one-handed usability

The LG G6 comes with a 18:9 aspect ratio display. LG used this type of display to allow it to make a phone that comes with a large screen yet still narrow and improved one-handed operation. It also based some of its new UX 6.0 GUI functionality to match that added vertical space, like the Square shooting mode for example.

I remember the first time I put my hands on the Galaxy Note—I didn't like it, to say at least. The reason was that I felt the phone was too large and wasn't comfortable to hold in the hand. I felt the same with many other phablets that come with a very large display, usually those around 5.5-inch and above. I don't have small hands, yet I still want to be able to operate one phone with one hand just using my thumb. I used two hands when playing games and when typing, but other than that, most of the things that I do is just using one hand. I'm sure that the LG G6 will be much more comfortable to hold and operate in one hand, it was designed with that approach in mind.

You might now think about it when you buy a phablet, but trust me, this might be an issue and it might bother you quite a lot. This is why I always prefer holding a phone in the hand and see how it feels before buying one. I really care about usability and I want to enjoy my phone.

The LG G6 18:9 display extra vertical space will make is even more fun to browse the Internet. I usually browse the web in portrait mode because I don't like scrolling a lot. Because of that, I prefer having a relatively narrower phone which allows me to browse and interact with web pages with just using my thumb. I had many phones in my life, and I remember how frustrating it felt when I tried to reach the left side of the screen with my thumb and just couldn't. That extra few millimeters just felt like a mile a way, but I physically wasn't able to stretch my thumb to press a link on the left side of the page. From that point on I realized how important the phone and screen size.

Many manufacturer are moving forward in that regard, creating phones with ultra slim bezels, some phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge come with 3D curved display. The 3D curved display allows users to swipe on the edge of the display to reveal a little vertical menu with quick action buttons. This makes it even easier to access frequently used apps and serve other purposes as well. The 18:9 aspect ratio screen is a great solution that makes phones like the LG G6 much better for one-handed use.

We can see that many apps were designed for single-hand operation, although many of them do support touch gestures as well (e.g. pinch to zoom) which requires the use of more than one finger and you will have to use two hands for that operation, one hand that holds the phone, another for making the touch gesture.

If you browse the web a lot, and I'm sure many of you do, you've probably seen the transition to mobile-friendly websites. Many of the web pages nowadays are optimized for mobile browsing. Many of the GUI controls are optimized for one-hand operation. You want to be able to scroll a page, navigate to a headline, find a menu item, clicking a link, activating a checkbox or filling a date in a form, all that without needing to use both of your hands. The responsive design changes the way we browse Internet pages, making reading and accessing content more accessible for mobile phones. There are even many amazing Android games that are designed for one-hand operation as well.

The LG G6 maybe isn't completely bezeless as some expected it to be, but it still have an ultra-slim bezel, a very small top and bottom parts and it's screen aspect ratio makes it just perfect for one-hand operation. In the future we are going to see more and more content designed for 18:9 displays as the industry shifts to 18:9 from 16:9 ones.

I think that all mobile phone designers should make that one-hand usability a first priority. I think that a single-handed mobile device interaction is one of the most important things for mobile phones and sometimes overlooked. Most people use one hand to operated their mobile devices, rather than two when applicable. There is a nice article on uxmatter.com that shows how people interact with their phones. You can see in this article the most people interact with their mobile phone with one hand, but two hands are still popular. One handed was 49%, which is almost like cradled (36%) and two-handed (15%) combined. It's a really useful and in-depth writing on that subject, I highly recommend reading it.

So this is a very important usability advantage for the LG G6 that I thought it's important to bring up. If you are searching for a phablet that is more comfortable to carry in your pocket and was designed with one-hand operation usability a in mind, you should definitely check out the new LG G6.

importance ranking: #1 in the 'Usability' category and #1 among all categories for LG G6 device

User Opinions

  • This is one of my favorite things about the LG 6. The reason I don't buy phones with a big screen is because they are very uncomfortable to hold, especially when talking for a long time, but the LG G6 seems like the perfect Android phone for me. I still didn't make my mind yet, but they ere high chances I'm getting it.
  • I think that most phone vendors just don't care about that or didn't have a choice because they went with a regular 16:9 panel which is the cheapest one. 18:9 is a custom made one that because of its unique aspect-ratio it's more expensive to make. I agree with you regarding the ergonomics, it's really important. I hope that LG G6 got it right, but I have to try it myself to see who comfortable it is to operate the phone with one hand.
  • I think all the new design practices are tailored for that. After all, it's a mobile device, and the most crucial thing is that it remains as compact and portable as possible. There is a balance between size and functionality that phone designers need to pay attention to. Just look at phones like the Xiaomi Mi Mix for example. Xiaomi just tried to hide all the other hardware components that just take up valuable space and used innovative technologies to hide some of them behind the screen itself. Future phones will have only screen visible at the front. up valuable allow phone designers to create phones that are either smaller in size, or use the same size but use larger displays. I wished the LG G6 looked like the Mi Mix, but I still like the 18:9 aspect ratio screen choice, it will unquestionably improve the one-handed usability.