Do we have a good one for you today – this is one that many have requested, so here it is – the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 goes up against the LG V10. Phablet versus phablet. Glass and metal versus all metal. Samsung versus LG. It has all the elements of a great comparison. Both devices are beautiful to look at and are premium at every angle, although if you drop the LG V10, it may have more durability on its side. The Note 5 has a curve and sculptured design along the edges and the LG V10 has a silicone backing making it easier to hold. Let’s look at some of the similarities of these two devices before we look at each one individually.
The Galaxy Note 5 and the LG V10 do have a few things in common – starting with their physical size, although the LG V10 is almost 20 grams heavier. Their displays both measure in at 5.7-inches, both have a QHD resolution, both offer a 64GB model, both have excellent 16MP main cameras and 5MP front-facing camera (FFC)…the LG V10 has two of them to add depth. Both the Galaxy Note 5 and LG V10 have their speaker on the bottom of the device and they both have fingerprint sensors. Both come with a 3000mAh battery (non-removable in the Note 5) and both offer a rapid charge feature. They both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.2 on the Note 5 and v4.1 on the V10), GPS, NFC capabilities and a microUSB v2.0 port for charging, and data transfer.
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 Note 5
Samsung revamped their Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 – they rid the device of its plastic and replaced it with glass and metal. These changes included the jettison of memory expansion and the removable battery in the redesign, upsetting many power Note 5 owners. They ended up with a more premium looking device that was stripped of several features coveted by its followers.
The Galaxy Note 5 continues to sport the same size 5.7-inch display as the past two years with Samsung implementing improvements in the display every year. It has a QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 PPI and is one of the best displays on the market. This goes up against the QHD IPS LCD display found on the LG V10 with 515 PPI. The Note 5 uses Samsung’s 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and the other four cores clocked at 2.1GHz with the newest 14nm technology. This goes up against the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor used in the LG V10. The Note 5 packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM rather than the 4GB of DDR3 found in the LG V10. When it comes to internal storage, the Note 5 has a 32GB or 64GB option of much faster UFS 2.0 Flash memory and no room for expansion. The LG V10 offers only one option – 64GB with a microSD card expansion of up to 200GB.
The main camera on the Galaxy Note 5 has a 16MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor with a fast startup, fast focus, large aperture at f/1.9 for better low-light photos, Live HDR and great software – and it will take some of the best pictures found on a smartphone. The Note 5 also has a large 5MP FFC with the f/1.9 aperture and wide-angle and Live HDR for selfies and video chats. This compares to an equally apt 16MP main camera on the LG V10 and dual 5.0MP FFC. The Note 5 has a non-removable 3000mAh battery, but it has a quick charge feature as well as quick wireless charging capabilities…the LG V10 has a 3000mAh removable battery with a rapid charge battery.
The Galaxy Note 5 has a fingerprint sensor that is Samsung Pay and PayPal certified, heart rate and oxygen saturation sensors and built-in wireless quick charge. It comes with a much improved and more sensitive S-Pen with added features giving it even more functionality. The Note 5 has more flexibility with longer documents and you can send live broadcasts of your videos. It is running Android Lollipop 5.1.1 with Marshmallow rolling out soon. It will cost you about $700 outright for a 32GB model and $790 for a 64GB model.
I am not sure where LG is positioning the LG V10 along with their LG G4, but one thing is for sure, it is a beautiful smartphone. The V10 made from stainless steel with a silicone backing that is great for gripping the device as well as protection from drops. It has two 5MP FFCs to add depth to those selfie shots, and takes the term ‘dual displays’ to new heights as the second one resides on the top of the first and can operate independently.
The V10’s main display is a 5.7-inch IPS Quantum QHD with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 515 PPI. The secondary display has a resolution of 1040 x 160 pixels that ‘sits’ above the top area of the main display and also packs 515 PPI. While the main display is off, saving you power, the secondary display can be ‘on’ and used to show notifications, the weather, the time/date, app shortcuts and more. This goes up against the 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy Note 5 with 518 PPI.
LG chose the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and dual cores clocked at 1.82 GHz for the brains of the V10. This goes up against the 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor in the Note 5. The V10 is packing 4GB of DDR3 RAM versus the Note 5 with 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM. The LG V10 has only one option – 64GB of internal memory, but has a microSD card slot to expand another 200GB. The Galaxy Note 5 gives you only two options – 32GB or 64GB of their new, faster UFS 2.0 memory- with no means to expand. Samsung removed the 128GB option for the Note 5.
The main camera areas are very competitive as both LG and Samsung take their photos very seriously. The LG V10 uses the same, great camera found on the LG G4 with a 16MP sensor with laser autofocus, a large f/1.8 aperture, OIS and an LED flash. The LG V10 uses a dual 5MP FFC to add a wider field and more depth to the traditional selfie or video chat. The Galaxy Note 5 uses an award-winning 16MP main camera as well as a more traditional single 5MP FFC, but adds the f/1.9 aperture and wide-angle lens. The LG V10 uses a removable 3000mAh battery, while the Note 5 has the same size 3000mAh battery, but it is non-removable, although includes quick wireless charging. Both devices have a means for fast charging their batteries.
The LG V10 includes Hi-Fi circuitry for improved sound through the headphones and they even threw in an FM radio and an IR Blaster – Samsung removed the IR Blaster from the Note 5. The available colors are Space Black, Luxe White, Modern Beige, Ocean Blue and Opal Blue. It is available now on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile and priced approximately $675.
…And The Winner Is…
I actually found it quite easy to pick the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 as the winner of this comparison – as long as you can get past the non-removable battery and lack of memory expansion. The Note 5 not only has better specifications, but also adds the S-Pen capabilities and Samsung Pay in the mix. The Note 5 has the Super AMOLED display, a better processor, faster RAM, faster UFS 2.0 flash memory, an excellent camera (actually rated higher), built-in quick wireless charging, a PayPal certified fingerprint sensor, a heart rate sensor, oxygen saturation sensor and all of the great software associated with the Note and S-Pen.
The LG V10 is a formidable smartphone and a worthy phablet contender. However, it still has a ways to go before it can take the crown away from the Galaxy Note 5. Yes, it does have an extra display that is intriguing, but I’d rather have a display to take notes on. It has a removable battery, but with rapid charge and quick wireless charging on the Note 5, it hardly seems like an issue – only under extreme circumstances. The LG V10 also allows for internal memory expansion and I cannot defend Samsung on their elimination of that feature. It also has an FM radio and a built-in IR blaster, which Samsung eliminated from the Note 5.
Both of these devices would satisfy most every serious smartphone user and it’s like ‘paper or plastic,’ only in this case it is ‘glass or metal’ and which one you prefer and if you want the best specs, the Note/S-Pen and added capabilities. Both of these devices have pluses and minuses, but neither will disappoint.