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LG G6 vs. G5: Are the changes worth the upgrade?

Compared to last year's model, not all the changes in the G6 have been for the better.

James Martin/CNET
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LG has given its latest flagship phone, the G6, a major makeover. But the sleek new look of the G6 comes at the expense of a few useful features we will miss from last year's G5. How does the G6 stack up against the old G5? Let us count the ways.

Design: Now splash-friendly

The G6 has ditched the modular look for a more polished unibody metal and glass design. You won't be able to swap in new components, but aesthetically, it's a big step up from the G5's clunky body. Structurally, though, it seems a bit more fragile, with two glass panels on either side.

In addition, the screen of the G5 was made with Gorilla Glass 4, while the G6 has the third generation (which came out nearly four years ago) of the glass in front and Gorilla Glass 5 on the back. It will, however, withstand more water exposure than its predecessor. Its IP68 rating means you can submerge the G6 in about 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes. (Read more about the ratings behind waterproof devices here.)

Display: Bigger and sharper

The screen on the G6 has gotten a subtle facelift too. Shrunken bezels mean the phone can have a large 5.7-inch screen without adding more bulk to the phone. The G5 has a much smaller 5.3-inch display, though the dimensions of the phone's body are almost the same as the G6.

The resolution didn't change much on the G6, but it's packing more pixels per inch in an HDR display (564 ppi vs. 554 ppi) which means it looks sharper with brighter colors and contrast than on the G5.

Cameras: Tweaks all around

The G6 has kept the same dual lens setup as on the G5 and LG V20, but has made some alterations to the number of megapixels on each. The main standard camera has been decreased from 16 to 13 megapixels, while the wide-angle lens has been bumped up from 8 to 13 megapixels on the G6. Furthermore, the wide-angle lens lacks the optical image stabilization of its buddy.

The number of megapixels on the front camera has also been reduced from 8 to 5 megapixels on the G6, but similar to the V20, it includes a wide-angle option to fit more content in each shot.

Inside the camera app, you'll notice a few changes to the interface. There's a new camera roll strip right on the viewfinder, and square format to social media-ready shots and collages. (Click here to read more about the LG G6 camera.)

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Software: Help from an Assistant

Outside the camera's interface, you'll also notice a few interface and software changes. There's a preloaded Square Camera app, and it's the first non-Google phone with Google Assistant baked in. The phone also includes a handful of new settings, one of which is "Comfort view," which warms the blueish hues of the screen for better nighttime viewing.

Battery: Say goodbye to swappable

The G6 has a bigger 3,300mAh battery than the 2,800mAh cell inside its predecessor. And if you're in the US, the G6 can charge wirelessly. Until we get our hands on a final review product, however, we weren't able to conduct any formal lab testing to determine whether or not it actually lasts longer.

What we can say is that you definitely cannot swap the G6's battery out for a fresh one, thanks to that upgraded unibody design.

Removable battery aside, the G6 combines the best features of the V20 and G5, with a few new ones that make it rise to the top of the LG line.