Do we have a good one for you today – two new flagships from the fans' favorites, the LG G5 challenges the Samsung Galaxy S7. The two South Koreans giants battle it out for bragging rights both at home and around the world. Is the completely redesigned all-metal LG G5 going to beat the new Galaxy S7 with only refinements from last year's redesign? Which of these beauties are packing the best specifications, is the most innovative and which one is the most desirable? Let's take a look just to see what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each individual device.
The LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 are very similar in size and weight, with the LG G5 coming in just slightly larger and that makes sense since the display is slightly larger. Both devices use the QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 554 pixels-per-inch (PPI) on the LG G5 and 577 PPI on the Galaxy S7 and both incorporate the Always-on display feature. Both devices are running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and both are even using the same Snapdragon 820 processor – although the Galaxy S7 is also using their Exynos 8890 processor depending what country you make your purchase. Both offer 4GB of DDR4 RAM, a 32GB variant and expansion via a microSD card. The G5 and S7 have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, a fingerprint sensor, rapid charge features and a microUSB port (Type-C on the G5 and v2.0 on the S7) 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.
When LG set out to redesign their LG G4, they did exactly that – more so than Samsung did last year with the Galaxy S6. G4 lovers may still be in disbelief, but I would bet that they are at the very least curious about this new design of their favorite smartphone. LG really put some thought into its LG G5 – plastic to metal body – and yet were able to keep those features most dear to users – memory expansion and removable battery. Let's take a closer look at the new LG G5 and see just how the specs and design hold up to the new Samsung Galaxy S7 – more of an evolutionary design this year.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 554 PPI that is slightly larger than the Galaxy S7's 5.1-inch display and 577 PPI. Both the G5 and S7 use the 'always-on' display feature. The processor is the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory, expandable to 200GB via a microUSB card. This goes up against the same processor or Samsung's own Exynos 8890 with comparable specs and 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 flash memory with room to expand up to 2TB.
The LG G5 made changes to their camera area and went from a single 16MP sensor on the G4 to one 16MP sensor and another 8MP sensor, along with new software. The 8MP has a wider angle to it allowing the user to capture more in the photo. This goes up against a completely revamped S7 camera area that uses a new 12MP sensor with Dual Pixels. The LG G5 retains the 8MP FFC from the G4 for selfies and video chatting and the S7 uses an improved 5MP FFC. LG dropped the battery from the 3,000 mAh found on the LG G4 to 2800mAh, but it is removable and has quick charge capabilities. Samsung increased the non-removable S7 battery to 3000mAh but it has quick charge and quick wireless charging built-in.
The big news on the LG G5 are the modules that can be used with the device – by pushing a button on the side, you can slide out the bottom of the device along with its battery and slide in different modules. One module adds a larger battery and camera controls that make it easy to hold and adjust the camera. There is another one by B&O for higher sound quality when you plug in your headset. LG kept its built-in IR Blaster and LG finally added a fingerprint sensor at the expense of the rear set of buttons, although the sensor clicks inward and acts as an on/off switch as well. LG also followed Google's lead by starting to use the Type-C USB port on the G5. The LG G5 measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 159 grams and comes in Silver, Titan, Gold and Pink. It should be available in April, with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and Best Buy already announcing they will carry the LG G5.
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung did a total redesign of the Galaxy S6 series last year, so the Galaxy S7 is simply a small makeover. The outside is still the same metal and glass construction and rather hard to distinguish from the Galaxy S6, although the top on the device does have a slight downward curve added to make it more comfortable to hold up to your ear. It is still the same beautiful smartphone, but most of the improvements or changes occurred on the inside of the device.
The Galaxy S7 sports the same 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display found on the Galaxy S6, although always with a few tweaks here and there, giving it 577 PPI. The LG uses a slightly larger, 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display with 554 PPI. Samsung also up the screen-to-body ratio from 70.7-percent to 72.1-percent by using slightly smaller bezels and included an "Always-On" display, which the LG G5 also enjoys. The Galaxy S7 model uses two processors – either their new Exynos 8890 octa-core processor or the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor depending where you are located – the LG G5 uses the Snapdragon 820. The Galaxy S7 uses 4GB of DDR4 RAM, the same as the LG G5 and the S7 offers 32GB or 64GB of internal UFS 2.0 memory, but added back the ability to expand this to 200GB with a microSD card. The LG G5 offers 32GB of internal memory as well and expansion up to 2TB .
The camera area really changed this year on both of these devices – this year Samsung is using a new Dual Pixel 12MP with a larger sensor, allowing it to take in more light and information than the 16MP sensor. They also added a very large aperture of f/1.7, increased the speed of autofocus, offer live HDR and retained OIS. We cannot wait to get the Galaxy S7 in-house to test the new configuration. The LG G5 kept the 16MP from last year, but added an 8 MP wide-angle as well. The Galaxy S7 uses a 5MP FFC with Live HDR, an even larger f/1.7 aperture and 22mm wide-angle lens for selfies and video chatting. The LG G5 uses a large 8MP FFC. The Galaxy S7 battery, though still non-removable, jumped in size from 2550mAh to 3000mAh, comes with rapid charge and quick wireless charging. This goes up against the 2800mAh removable battery in the LG G5, which also offers a rapid charge feature.
The Galaxy S7 does offer IP68 water/dust proofing and, like the LG G5, expandable memory and "always-on" display. It retains the heart rate and oxygen saturation sensors, built-in wireless quick charging and a slightly larger 3000mAh battery, but it is non-removable. The Samsung battery will charge for up to four hours of usage in only 10 minutes and includes wireless charging. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams and will be offered in Black Onyx and Gold Platinum and cost about $670 off-contract.
…And The Winner Is…
This is a tough pick – both the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 are great devices made out of premium materials. They offer the best displays with QHD resolution, the best processors, the same amount of RAM, internal memory, both offer expandable memory, a fingerprint sensor and rapid charge batteries. With so many similar features, it is always tough to pick a winner, but since the LG G5 seems to be such an innovative design, that is why I am picking it to be the winner in this comparison.
The LG G5 also includes a removable battery, a Type-C reversible connector, a slightly larger display, an FM Radio, a built-in IR Blaster, memory expansion to 2TB and most importantly the slide-out battery that can be replaced by modules for different activities. If it works, as advertised, it could be the breakthrough for the 2016 smartphones. You can tell that LG really put some thought into its design of the LG G5 and the metal outside while eliminating wireless charging, does offer more ruggedness if dropped.
Yes, the Galaxy S7 does include Samsung Pay, IP68 waterproofing, that beautiful Super AMOLED display, a heart rate and oxygen saturation sensors and built-in quick wireless charging, but not enough to overtake the innovations found on the LG G5. The jury is still out on the new camera areas, which is why I did not include it as a pro or con – but knowing Samsung and LG, they will probably be close.