CoryComp April 6th

Phone Comparisons: Nexus 6P vs LG G5 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Huawei P9

April 6, 2016 - Written By Cory McNutt

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – in London, Huawei introduced two new high-end smartphones, the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus – and today we will look at how those two devices (mostly the Huawei P9) look when compared to the Huawei Nexus 6P, the LG G5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7.  We will concentrate on the P9 model with 4GB of RAM/64GB storage as the P9 Plus just adds a slightly larger display and has the same 4GB/64GB option. We all know about the splash that Huawei made this past year with the upscale Nexus 6P – a great device for the Nexus family of smartphones.  LG has just released the new LG G5 with its modular design and may have completely redefined how we think about our next smartphone. Samsung made their big changes last year with the Galaxy S6 series, but their new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge take the metal and glass design with further refinements and updates.  How do the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus fit into this mix of flagship devices – do they have what it takes to compete with these more established and tested models? Take a look at the detailed specifications below and then we will take a brief look at just how these devices are similar and different from one another.

The emphasis on the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus is definitely about the camera area and we will anxiously be waiting to get our hands on one to do a complete review.  While the photographic prowess is of great interest, these are, after all, a smartphone.  How do the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus fit into this mix of flagship devices – do they have what it takes to compete with these more established and tested models? Take a look at the detailed specifications below and then we will take a brief look at just how these devices are similar and different from one another.

Specifications

Design

In each category, we will start with the new Huawei P9 and then compare it to the other devices.  The new P9 and P9 Plus use a polished aluminum backing along with 2.5D Gorilla Glass for the display.  This same type of glass and metal construction is what Huawei used on the Nexus 6P.  The LG G5 also takes the all-aluminum route and then coats it with a hard plastic-type substance that hides those annoying antenna lines. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is made from sculptured aluminum edges and Gorilla Glass for both display and backing – a design choice they started using in the Galaxy S6 series and Galaxy Note 5 last year.

Displays

When it comes to the display, this is one area that Huawei dropped the ball when compared to modern day flagships – they went for the Full HD (FHD) resolution rather than the Quad HD (QHD) resolution, but it does keep costs lower and is less of a strain on the battery.  The P9 sports a 5.2-inch display with 423 pixels-per-inch (PPI), the P9 Plus ups the size to 5.5-inches, and that lowers the resolution down to 401 PPI.  They both use the IPS-NEO LCD technology, and the P9 Plus adds 3D Touch to the mix.  The Nexus 6P has a 5.7-inch AMOLED QHD display with 518 PPI.  The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display with 554 PPI, and the Samsung Galaxy S7 uses a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED QHD display with 577 PPI.  The LG G5 and Galaxy S7 also have the ‘always-on’ technology built-in.

Processors/Memory

When it comes to processors, Huawei likes to use their homegrown variety, and the P9 and P9 Plus are no different – both use the 64-bit HiSilicon Kirin 955 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four cores clocked at 2.5GHz with a Mali-T880 Mp4 GPU for graphics.  The P9 has either 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while the P9 Plus has only 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage – both offer memory expansion via a microSD card up to 128GB.  The Nexus 6P uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.55GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz with an Adreno 430 GPU.  It comes with 3GB of RAM and either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage and no means to expand.  The LG G5 comes with the new 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz and an Adreno 530 GPU.  It comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and a microSD card to expand up to 2TB.  The Galaxy S7 comes with a Snapdragon 820 with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz with an Adreno 530 GPU or an Exynos 8890 octa-core processor and Mali-T880 MP12 for graphics.  It comes with either 32GB or 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 RAM with a microSD slot for up to an additional 200GB of storage.

Camera Area

The camera area on the new Huawei P9 and P9 Plus is one of the most exciting aspects of this smartphone.  They have teamed up with camera legend Leica to produce a dual 12MP primary camera with a f/2.2, 27mm, using a 1.25µm pixel size, phase detection autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash. This teams up with an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) and promises to take some great pictures.  This goes up against a great 12.3MP, f/2.0, laser autofocus and dual-toned LED flash and 8MP FFC in the Nexus 6P.  The LG G5 uses a 16MP lens and a wide-angle 8MP lens for its main camera with a f/1.8 and f/2.4 respectively, laser autofocus, OIS+ and LED flash.  It also uses a large 8MP lens for its FFC for selfies and video chatting.  The Galaxy S7 uses a new and award winning Dual Pixel 12MP camera with a large f/1.7, 26mm, with faster phase detection autofocus, OIS, auto HDR and LED flash.  This teams up with a 5MP FFC with a f/1.7, 22mm and auto HDR.

Battery

One area the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus differ is in the battery capacity – the P9 has a non-removable 3000mAh battery and the P9 Plus ups the power to a non-removable 3400mAh fast charging battery.  The Huawei Nexus 6P has a large 3450mAh non-removable battery with fast charge capabilities.  The LG G5 uses a smaller, 2800mAh battery, however, it is removable and with the camera modular you can boost the capacity by 1200mAh – all the way to 4000mAh.  The Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a non-removable 3000mAh battery with fast charge and quick wireless charging as well.

Features/Observations

The Huawei P9 measures 145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm and weighs in at 144 grams.  The P9 Plus is slightly larger at 152.3 x 75.3 x 6.98 mm and weighs in at 162 grams. The P9 Plus offers the 3D Touch display.

The Nexus 6P measures 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm and weighs in at 178 grams and runs pure Android with no UI on top – and gets the quickest software updates possible.

The LG G5 measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm and weighs in at 159 grams.  Its LCD features the always-on display to glance quickly at the time, date and notifications.

The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm and weighs in at 152 grams.  The Galaxy S7 is the only device with IP68 dust and water resistance.  Its display features the always-on mode to grab a quick look at the time, date or notifications.  The Galaxy S7 also has a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor.

All of the devices here are running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and all are running an overlay except the Nexus 6P that runs pure Android.  The P9 and P9 Plus run Huawei’s EMUI 4.1, the LG G5 uses LG’s Optimus UX 5.0 UI and the Samsung Galaxy S7 runs TouchWiz UI.  While all of the other devices are already for sale, the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus will be available April 16 during their first “wave launch” in Europe and Asia – no US date has been set.  Pricing is at €599 ($684) for the P9 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, €649 ($740) for the 4GB/64GB model and €749 ($885) for the P9 Plus with 4GB and 64GB.  All models, except the Galaxy S7, are using the new MicroUSB Type-C port for battery charging and data transfer, whereas the Galaxy S7 uses the older style v2.0 microUSB.  All four devices offer a fingerprint sensor that will not only unlock the device but will allow you to authorize mobile payments via Android Pay – the Galaxy S7 also offers the more flexible Samsung Pay as well.  With the P9 models, Huawei is introducing 3D sensing to their fingerprint sensor, adding even more security layers than before.  All of the devices except the Nexus 6P offer memory expansion via a microSD card from 128GB in the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus models to 200GB in the Galaxy S7 and all the way to 2TB in the LG G5.  All models have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC capabilities.