This year’s Mobile World Congress has just kicked off, but already it’s looking to be a heated battle between two South Korean giants who are going toe-to-toe with their newly-launched smartphones, the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7.
Here’s a quick look at the specs sheet of the flagship smartphones to give you an overview of what we’re dealing with.
|Model||LG G5||Samsung Galaxy S7|
|OS||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor||2.3GHz octa-core processor or 2.15GHz quad-core processor|
|Display||5.3-inch IPS display, 2560 x 1440, Corning Gorilla Glass 4||5.1-inch Super AMOLED display, 2560 x 1440, Corning Gorilla Glass 4|
|Storage||Expandable 32GB on-board storage||Expandable 32GB on-board storage|
|Camera||16-megapixel and 8-megapixel rear cameras + 8-megapixel front camera||12-megapixel dual-pixel rear camera + 5-megapixel front camera|
|Dimensions||149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm||142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm|
|Others||Dual-band Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 4.2 LE with apt-X and A2DP, NFC, USB Type-C port, Fingerprint sensor, and Quick Charge 3.0||Dual-band Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC, IP68 Water/Dust Resistance, Fingerprint sensor, Ultra Fast Charging|
If we’re passing our judgment solely based on what is written above, it’s going to be a tie as both handsets are equally matched on most areas, and each has its own unique features that the other doesn’t.
That being said, we’ll take a closer look at each aspect of the device to see if one of these high-caliber smartphone will walk away the victor.
Design and build (LG G5)
In terms of build quality, it’s a toss-up between metal (LG G5) and glass (Samsung Galaxy S7). Both materials are elegant and befitting of a flag bearer, so we feel that it will boil down to personal preference.
The design, however, is an entirely different affair. Samsung played safe and decided to recycle the design of its previous flagship smartphone, albeit has added water/dust resistance and made some minor alterations to further improve its looks and ergonomics.
Meanwhile, LG took a gamble by building the LG G5 from the ground up. It’s a huge risk on their part, especially since the design of the G4 has received a lot of accolades from experts and users alike.
Both designs have its own merit; on one hand Galaxy S7 users will be more confident to take their handset wherever they are, knowing that it offers some resistance against the elements. On the other hand, the groundbreaking design of the LG G5, particularly the swappable bottom module, will definitely open doors for further innovations and additional functions to the already feature-packed smartphone.
With everything taken into consideration, we feel that we have to give this one to the LG G5. We’re excited to see what LG and third-party device makers can come up with to take advantage of handset’s modular feature and further improve it.
Camera (Galaxy S7)
Just because the LG G5 has two rear cameras, it doesn’t mean that we’ll automatically name it the victor in this segment. But without having the two devices on hand for a camera shoot-out, it’s difficult to choose between the two contenders.
So instead of basing our decision on image quality, we’ll initially going to pick a winner based on the technical aspects of the rear cameras.
Sensor size: TBC (LG G5) vs 1/2.6-inch (Galaxy S7)
Pixel size: TBC (LG G5) vs 1.4 micron (Galaxy S7)
Resolution: 16-megapixel (LG G5) vs 12-megapixel (Galaxy S7)
Lens: f/1.8 (LG G5) vs f/1.7 (Galaxy S7)
Autofocus: Laser (LG G5) vs Dual-pixel (Galaxy S7)
Image Stabilization: Yes (LG G5) vs Yes (Galaxy S7)
Secondary camera: 8-megapixel (LG G5) vs 5-megapixel (Galaxy S7)
LG glossed over some key information about the rear camera of the G5, and instead focused the crowd’s attention to the smartphone’s dual-camera setup. However, we feel that it’s safe to assume that LG has used the same camera module found on the G4 or else they would’ve stated otherwise.
Meanwhile, Samsung was very transparent on almost every detail of the Galaxy S7’s rear shooter.
So where does this leave us? In terms of versatility, the G5 has a slight edge over the S7 just because users can switch to a wide-angle lens, albeit lower resolution, courtesy of the secondary rear camera. Moreover, having that second shooter at the user’s disposal means that they can be more creative with their shots without the need to resort to adding filter or an after-market clip-on lens.
Just to reiterate, we currently don’t have means to test the kind of quality that these cameras are capable of. But based on the technical details above, we think that the Galaxy S7 is in a better spot than the LG G5 when it comes down to image quality. That’s because the former has a bigger pixel size and a slightly faster lens which should allow the camera to use a lower ISO setting, resulting to a cleaner shot.
Battery (Samsung Galaxy S7)
Like the camera resolution, battery rating/capacity only tells half of the story. Unfortunately, since we currently don’t have both units to test with, we cannot definitively conclude which candidate offers better mileage per charge.
As such we’re forced to rely our judgment based on the slight advantage that the Galaxy S7 (3,000mAh) has over the LG G5 (2,800mAh) in terms of battery capacity. One to thing to note though is that G5 has a user-removable battery pack which is considered by some users to be a huge plus.
Connectivity (LG G5)
As expected from high-tier devices, there’s no shortage of connectivity options that are available to users, regardless if they go for the Galaxy S7 or the LG G5. If there’s one thing that sets these two contenders apart is the USB Type-C port, which goes in favor of the latter.
One can argue, however, that although the new USB standard brings faster throughput and the convenience of reversible port, users will not be able to use the technology to its full potential, not this early at least. Nevertheless, the fact that the LG G5 has it gives a slight edge over the Galaxy S7.
Despite all of the things that we’ve discussed, we’re back in the same spot that we were in before we begun: a tightly-contested battle between two of the most powerful smartphones to date with neither one willing to cut the other some slack.
The LG G5 scored two points in the design and connectivity sections, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 also scored the same amount of points by getting a nod from us on camera and battery categories. So we’ll leave this one for you guys to decide. Which one is better, the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the LG G5? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.