Do we have a good one for you today – the Huawei Mate 8 goes up against the totally revised LG G5. The Mate 8’s all-metal body squarely takes on the more rounded all-metal bodied LG G5. Both devices feel solid, and look the part of a premium smartphone. The almost non-existent bezels of the Mate 8 and i-Look contribute to the devices’ design and beauty. The LG G5 has a different look and feel – all-metal, but coated in color - hiding the antennas as well as allowing the user the choice of color. The Mate 8 comes in several configurations – we are comparing the 4GB/64GB model. Does the Huawei Mate 8 have what it takes to out-spec the LG G5? We will first see what these two devices share before we take a closer look at each.
These two devices have only a few things in common. The Mate 8 and LG G5 both use the IPS LCD display technology but are different sizes and resolutions. Both devices share 4GB of DDR4 RAM and the ability to expand their internal memory. They both have a single speaker mounted on the bottom of the device, and they both include Hi-Res audio features when listening with earphones. The Mate 8 and LG G5 have fingerprint sensors and their batteries have a fast charge function. The usual suspects are there – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, FM radio, and a microUSB 2.0 port (Type-C on the LG G5) for charging and data transfer.
Please take a careful 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 device in greater depth 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.
Huawei Mate 8
Not many US buyers knew much about Huawei until they made the Nexus 6P last year. It was well received by both the critics and users as a solid device and worthy of the Nexus name. The Mate 8 is no exception, nor a bargain, as high-end Huawei devices do not come cheap just because they are manufactured in China. The Mate 8 is in phablet territory with its large display and has Huawei’s usual trademark all-metal body with the fit and finish of a true flagship device. The Mate 8 packs almost all the right parts to compete with the new devices from Samsung, LG, and HTC – it is a shame it does not have the QHD display.
The Huawei Mate 8 sports a large 6-inch IPS-NEO LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and only 368 pixels-per-inch because of its size. Huawei’s homegrown HiSilicon Kirin 950 octa-core processor with a quad-core clocked at 1.8GHz and quad-core clocked at 2.3GHz with their excellent Mali-T880 MP4 GPU provides the brains and the graphics. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal memory expandable to 128GB via a microSD card.
Huawei chose a 16MP sensor for their primary camera and added an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone flash, and OIS – this combination produces some very good photos. Huawei also selected a large 8MP for the front-facing camera (FFC) is a wide-angle lens and f/2.4 for selfies and video chatting. A large 4000mAh non-removable battery powers the Mate 8, and it has fast-charge that will give you a 37-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
The Huawei Mate 8 measures 157.1 x 80.6 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 185 grams. It comes in Champagne Gold, Moonlight Silver, Space Gray, and Mocha Brown. It will cost you about $700 for the 4GB/64GB model or about $600 for the 3GB/32GB model. The Mate 8 ships with the latest version of EmotionUI (EMUI), and is their first phone to ship with EMUI 4.0 running atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
LG did a total makeover of the LG G5 and took a huge leap of faith by using ‘slide-in’ modules. The user must push a button on the lower side of the device, slide out the bottom ‘chin’ along with its battery. That slot serves as a receptacle to slide in a replacement battery or different modules that add more functionality to your LG G5. This option is an exciting concept; however, just how practical are they? Will developers jump on board and produce the necessary modules, how expensive will they be, and will those modules be usable in future devices (LG G6)? You have to give LG credit in designing its LG G5 – they went from plastic to a metal body, but they were able to keep those features that users really want, like memory expansion and a 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 Huawei Mate 8.
LG was one of the first manufacturers to use a QHD display on a mass produced smartphone on the original LG G3. So it should come as no surprise the LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display with the new ‘always-on’ display feature to save battery life. The QHD resolution packs 2560 x 1440 pixels and 554 PPI. The processor is the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz with an Adreno 530 GPU for outstanding graphics. The G5 packs in 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card.
This must be the year of camera redesign – Samsung, HTC, and LG all redesigned their camera area. The LG series went from a single 16MP sensor, as found on the LG G4, and then added another 8MP wide-angle sensor, along with new software on the new LG G5. The wide-angle on the 8MP lens allows the user to capture more in the photo. LG did retain the excellent 8MP FFC from the G4 for selfies and video chatting. LG decreased the battery size to 2800mAh, but it is still removable and has quick charge capabilities.
When you design a smartphone that allows you to remove the bottom, a few changes are necessary. The LG G5 did retain its built-in IR Blaster and FM radio, but they removed the rear controls to allow room for the fingerprint sensor. They did design the fingerprint sensor to click inward, and it acts as an on/off switch. The volume controls were relocated to the side of the device. 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. The LG G5 is available on all the leading US carriers, and it will cost you about $625.
...And The Winner Is...
To me, this is a no-brainer - the LG G5 is the winner of this comparison. It has a QHD, always-on display, better processors, better camera area, IR Blaster, more expandable memory, a removable battery, and the ability to use the custom modules - all for a lower price.
The Huawei Mate 8 is a solid, all-around smartphone, but for the high price has a few shortcomings - fewer LTE bands for use in the US, non-removable battery, and has the rather pedestrian FHD display, and is an average photo taker.