LG G6 vs LG G5 vs LG G4: the design, specs, camera, and battery changes we're expecting
Back in 2015, I picked up the LG G4 to test for a few days – to see if LG's best phone at the time had anything to impress me with. And impress me it did, hence I ended up holding onto it for a couple of months. Really, the G4 was a great phone back then – with stylish design, a great camera, and it didn't even cost as much as its high-end competitors.
LG G5. A bad phone it wasn't, but it failed to wow the crowds and generate revenue. Perhaps it was too radical of a departure from what the G4 before it had established; maybe the world wasn't ready to embrace the modular concept of its design; or maybe it was just not too inviting to draw the attention of the general consumer.Then came the
In any case, all eyes are on LG now. There's an LG G6 to be announced at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and there's no doubt that it will be the hottest phone at the show. But how is it going to be any different from its predecessors? Let us dive into the matter.
Design and display
Most tech companies put great effort in keeping their products under wraps until announcement day comes, but LG begs to differ. It has been officially confirmed that the G6 will use a screen with a 2:1 aspect ratio, as opposed to the 16:9 ratio employed by most contemporary smartphones. We recently dedicated a whole article to explaining how the LG G6's unusual display proportions will affect the user, but if you want the TL;DR version, it goes pretty much like this: the LG G6 promises more convenient side-by-side multitasking on a larger screen, all while being easier to grasp. And as the graphic below visualizes, the LG G6 could end up being narrower, but taller than its predecessors. By how much depends on the size of the bezels surrounding the panel.
In terms of resolution, however, the LG G6 won't be leading by much. Not that it has to, as the screens on its predecessors were already sufficiently sharp. The G6 will pack 564 pixels per inch vs the 553 ppi and 528 ppi on the G5 an G4 respectively – not a difference the naked eye can detect. A difference we hope to detect is in power consumption – the screen is said to be 30% more power efficient compared to "conventional QHD LCD displays".
As far as design goes, the LG G6 will be different than the G5 and the G4 in many ways. For starters, it looks like it will skip on the modular design concept and stick to a more traditional form factor. Secondly, the phone will most likely have a sealed, non-removable battery, unlike the two flagships before it. Now, I know that quite a few power users would be disappointed to hear the latter, but sacrificing the option to swap batteries has its upsides. For the first time, LG will deliver a water-resistant flagship in the G6, as it was recently revealed. Furthermore, teasers are leading us to believe that the phone will be built with reliability in mind. We'll elaborate on what this translates to in the battery section.
Processor and hardware
Needless to say, the LG G6 will be more powerful than the Gs before it, but by how much? Rumors are pointing out at the Snapdragon 821 as the chip of choice, which is the very same piece of silicon powering the Google Pixel from last year. It is both considerably faster and more power efficient compared to the 808 used in the G4. The G5, however, used a Snapdragon 820, and the G6's 821 is only an incremental upgrade over it. Still, an upgrade is an upgrade, and having handled the Pixel for a while, we know that the 821 has plenty of muscle.
Now, if you're wondering why LG may pass on the Snapdragon 835 for its flagship, the rumor mill may have the answer. According to trustworthy sources, Samsung has reserved the whole initial batch of 835s for use in the Galaxy S8. This next-gen chip is both more powerful and energy efficient than the Snapdragon 821, all while being physically smaller.
|LG G4 vs LG G5 vs LG G6: hardware specs|
|LG G4||LG G5||LG G6*|
1.8GHz, 6 cores
Adreno 418 graphics
2.2GHz, 4 cores
Adreno 530 graphics
2.15GHz, 4 cores
Adreno 530 graphics
|RAM||3GB||4GB||at least 4GB|
microSD card slot
microSD card slot
|At least 32GB|
microSD card slot in
SIM card tray
*LG G6 specs based on leaks and rumors
manual camera controls. The LG G5 picked up by adding a second camera module with ultra-wide lens for more creative freedom and flexibility in tricky situations.
The LG G6? Alas, not much is known about its camera setup, but a fresh leak exposing its back side suggests that not much is going to change in this department. It looks like the G6 will stick to a dual-cam setup similar to that on the LG G5 and the LG V20. Perhaps an upgraded sensor or an improved optical system is in play? Or maybe the G6 will be able to pull off amazing HDR tricks like the Google Pixel? We'll have to wait to find out.
Audio and multimedia
You don't have to be a tech nerd to know that a certain smartphone dropped the 3.5mm audio jack from use. It wasn't the first to do so, but it was the first from a tech brand with such influence in the smartphone arena. That phone was the iPhone 7, of course.
Now, the question is whether the LG G6 will follow suit. On one hand, not including the audio jack frees up precious room for components and makes it easier to design a water-resistant phone. And since LG is no stranger to partnering with well-known audio brands, bundling the G6 with high-quality USB-C earphones could be an attractive selling point. On the other, there still seems to be a substantial crowd of users who aren't ready to let go of the ubiquitous audio standard.
For the record, both the LG G4 and G5 offered audio jacks for wired earphones. However, not a single image that has leaked so far shows the G6 having one. UPDATE: Recent leaks show that the G6 has an audio jack on its top. Yay!
Headphones aside, the LG G6 will have a single loudspeaker placed at the bottom, much like the LG G5 before it. Stereo sound has yet to be mentioned by a credible leak.
Battery and charging
While the G6's non-removable battery could disappoint some, we don't mind the added water resistance, and the sealed design of the phone will make that happen more easily. Furthermore, having a fixed battery could actually make it safer, as counter-intuitive as this may sound. LG is said to be implementing heat pipes inside the G6 with the purpose of drawing excessive temperatures away from the battery. This will both prevent the lithium-ion cell from overheating and ensure its reliability in the long run.
As far as charging goes, the LG G6 will use a USB Type-C charging port situated at the bottom. Both the LG G4 and G5 supported quick-charge technologies, and we doubt that the case with the G6 will be any different.
Looking at leaks, rumors, and official teasers, the LG G6 will be quite different from its predecessors. It will be tougher in terms of physical durability, and it will be the first in the G series to be water-resistant, which is great news. But in all likeliness, it will drop the removable battery and the audio jack along the way. The unusual display aspect ratio could make it manageable to handle despite the increased display diagonal size. The processor could end up being only slightly faster than that on last year's G5. And the camera – well, we've seen great results out of the G4 and G5, so our expectations for the G6 are set high in this respect.