Boy do we have a good one for you today – the new LG G4 goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy S6. Two of the most popular devices, with diehard fans on both sides (especially when it comes to the camera) and most often compared as the top smartphones on the market will go head-to-head in today's comparison. The slightly curved LG G4 comes this year with an improved metallic backing and extra cost ($50) leather backing with real stitching. The vastly improved Galaxy S6 comes with a full metal frame and Gorilla 4 glass on the back. Both of these devices are well built and look like the premium devices they were meant to be.
Despite the advertising war being waged between Samsung and LG, these two devices share many similarities, which will make the selection of a winner very difficult. The LG G4 is slightly larger than the Galaxy S6, only because of the .4 of an inch in the G4's larger display size. Both devices take advantage of the Quad HD (QHD) displays with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, although they use different technologies. Both devices use 64-bit processors, both have 3GB of RAM and both have models with 32GB of internal memory. The LG G4 and the Galaxy S6 also use a 16MP sensor for the main camera and both have a large front-facing camera (FFC). Both devices have a single speaker for sound – the LG G4 is on the back and the Galaxy S6's is mounted on the bottom of the device.
They both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, are NFC capable, includes built-in IR Blasters and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. Both are running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop and both even cost about the same amount of money.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Of these two devices, Samsung really changed their approach in designing the new Galaxy S6, but then they needed to the most – no more plastic, instead we have a solid aluminum unibody with Gorilla Glass 2.5D on the front and Gorilla Glass 4 on the back. It comes in a variety of colors, such as White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and an exclusive Galaxy S6 color, Blue Topaz. The Galaxy S6 is beautiful from every angle with a premium feel and solid build.
The Galaxy S6 sports a 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI) compared to QHD LCD display and 538 PPI on the LG G4. Samsung made several bold decisions on the Galaxy S6 and they start by using their homegrown 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor, the first ever with 14nm technology. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. This compares to the capable 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor used in the G4 after LG passed on the Snapdragon 810. The Galaxy S6 is packing 3GB of the much faster DDR4 RAM, compared to 3GB of DDR3 RAM used in the LG G4, and it comes with Samsung's new, faster, UFS 2.0 flash memory offering 32GB/64GB/128GB models, although with no room for expansion as does the LG G4's 32GB of memory.
The camera is using a 16MP sensor with autofocus, LED Flash, a wide f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR and OIS. This is without a doubt, the best camera Samsung has ever put in a smartphone and it scored an 87/100 from DxOMark, the best rating to date (they have not yet tested the LG G4). Samsung increased the FFC to 5MP and they wisely added the f/1.9 aperture and Live HDR for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung then added a 120-degree wide-angle lens for better group shots. The LG G4 camera area is also excellent, using a 16MP sensor, laser auto focus and a wide f/1.8 aperture, with a huge 8MP FFC.
The 2550mAh battery is smaller than the 3000mAh in the LG G4, but it should easily get you through an entire day with moderate usage. However, if you run into trouble, the new Samsung non-removable battery can charge up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes and they also included built-in wireless charging for both PMA and Qi formats.
The Galaxy S6 has a few features not found on the LG G4 – it has a fingerprint sensor that is PayPal certified, it is Samsung Pay ready, and includes a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor and built-in wireless charging for both Qi and PMA standards. It is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and will cost you about $200 on a two-year contract and $600 off-contract for the 32GB model.
Because the G3 was already using a QHD display and loved by many, the LG G4 is merely an evolutionary update. However, LG improved greatly on their original design by adding more brightness and contrast to a rather dull G3 display and designed it to use less power. The device is slightly larger and LG added a slight curve to the device – not a LG G Flex 2 kind of curve – but just enough to make it more comfortable to hold. Along with an improved metallic looking back, you can special order ($50) a real leather one in several colors with real stitching up the back. While the LG G4 does appear very similar to last year's LG G3, it does look and feel even better.
The LG G4 sports a 5.5-inch QHD LCD Quantum display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 538 PPI…and in line with the Galaxy S6's QHD display with 577 PPI. LG claims their improved display allows for a 25-percent brighter display with a 50-percent increase in the contrast and 56-percent improvement to the color accuracy…and you can really tell the difference over the duller display on the LG G3. The panel is much brighter than last year's and the colors really do pop out.
Although LG used the newest Snapdragon 810 in their new LG G Flex 2, LG decided to pass on it for the LG G4 and instead used Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor. The 808 is slightly below the 810, but it is optimized for the LG G4 and should be easier on its battery and offer steadier performance. This is up against the Exynos 7420 octa-core processor in the Galaxy S6, with technology and specs above the Snapdragon 808. It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, but also has room for expansion via a microUSB card. The Galaxy S6 offers up 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of UFS 2.0 storage…you can even get a 64GB or 128GB model, however, the S6 has no way to expand its memory.
The camera on the LG G4 is first rate with a 16MP sensor, laser autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash, and a wide f/1.8 aperture for better shots in low light, along with OIS+. The LG uses a large 8MP FFC camera that also includes the wider f/1.8 aperture lens and it should take excellent selfies and provide great video chatting. The Galaxy S6 matches up very nicely to the LG G4 in this area – 16MP camera and 5MP FFC (see more details in S6 section) The LG G4 uses a removable 3000mAh battery, compared to the non-removable 2550mAh on the Galaxy S6, although the S6 does offer built-in wireless charging and a faster quick charge.
The LG G4 does offer optional wireless Qi charging and its controls are easily accessible on the back of the device and includes a built-in FM stereo radio. It also incorporates some great software features in the camera area, especially the Professional Mode, which are somewhat better than what the Galaxy S6 offers, although there is a software update that Samsung sent out to narrow the gap in this area. The LG G4 comes in a variety of colors, both in the metallic and leather backs. It will cost you about $200 on a two-year contract and about $650 off-contract.
…And The Winner Is…
This was really a tough one for me to choose, but I have to go with the Samsung Galaxy S6 as the winner of this comparison contest. Both devices are the best of the best, but Samsung took the extra step in upping its game when it comes to technology. They boldly chose their own 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor, while LG played it safe with the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hex-core processor – a wise choice, but not in the same league as the 14nm Exynos. Samsung used the newest DDR4 RAM and the newer and faster UFS 2.0 flash memory.
The Galaxy S6 also employs a fingerprint scanner, and Samsung Pay for secure purchasing, and a heart rate sensor and oxygen saturation sensor for those that exercise. The LG G4 certainly upped its game with their improved LCD display – brighter, more color and more contrast – but the Super AMOLED display still provides more of what LG is trying to obtain with their improved display. There has been no lab-type analysis yet as to which device takes the best pictures, but so far, they are looking to be about equal, with the Galaxy S6 winning out in some areas and the LG G4 winning in others.
Both devices are excellent and most people would be happy with either one, but when it comes to specifications, the Samsung clearly is using the top of the line processor, RAM, memory and display technology. True, it no longer has a removable battery and expandable memory beyond the 128GB model you can purchase, but it just seems to me, the Galaxy S6 offers enough other features to compensate for those that were lost.
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