Do we have a good one for you today – the LG G5 goes up against the new Sony Xperia X and the first all-metal design from both companies. The LG series appeared to be metal but was actually a painted metal look on a plastic backing. This year, an actual metal body is painted to hide the antenna lines, although it makes the metal look like plastic. LG was able to retain its removable battery and expandable memory. The Sony Xperia line was a combination of a metal frame and glass body – a Sony trademark – that was changed to an all-metal design with the new Xperia X line. The Xperia X still has that unmistakable Sony look, the usual FHD display, but lost its IP68 certification in the process. Let’s look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.
The LG G5 and Sony Xperia X do have a few things in common – they are very close in physical size, with the slightly larger LG G5 weighing in at 6 grams heavier. They both use the IPS LCD display technology, although they are different sizes and resolutions. Both devices use a 64-bit Snapdragon processor, but different models and different amounts of RAM. Both have a variant with 32GB of memory, and both can expand their memory via a microSD card. The LG G5 and Xperia X are equipped with Hi-Res sound, and both have a quick charge feature. They both have most of the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, USB port (v3.0 Type-C on the G5 and a microUSB v2.0 on the Xperia X) for charging and data transfer. For some reason, Sony did not include a fingerprint sensor in their US version of the new Xperia X, although the ‘foreign’ model uses the same bands and has a fingerprint sensor.
Please take a thoughtful 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.
I doubt that even LG was prepared for the backlash of comments about their new LG G5 – and love it or hate it, I give LG kudos for taking a chance in the innovation department. The new LG G5 went from a plastic body that looked like metal to a metal body that looks like plastic. They were still able to keep features like memory expansion and a removable battery, while adding a new modular design. Let’s take a closer look at the new LG G5 and see just how the specs and design hold up to the new Sony Xperia X.
The LG G5 continues to use a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display and now includes ‘always-on’ – a feature designed to help save battery life. The Quad HD resolution packs 2560 x 1440 pixels with 554 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) LG grabbed the best processor currently on the market for the brains of the LG G5 – the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz. This works with an Adreno 530 GPU to provide outstanding graphics. The G5 packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card.
LG was not afraid to shake things up in the camera area as well – it comes with the single 16MP sensor, but LG then added an extra 8MP wide-angle sensor for duo cameras that work independently. For normal picture taking, the 16MP shooter is used, but if the user needs to capture a wider shot in the photo, the 8MP wide-angle is used. LG kept the excellent 8MP FFC from the G4, giving the user high-quality selfies and video chatting. LG retained the ability to remove the battery, although they decreased the battery size to 2800mAh. The LG G5 does have Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities.
With any major overhaul like the one the LG G4 took, there had to be some design changes on the LG G5. By using a removable chin, LG could not place the fingerprint sensor on the bottom, front, so it had to go on the rear of the device, replacing the volume/on/off control. You can push in the fingerprint sensor to replicate the on/off functionality while the volume controls return to the side of the LG G5. The LG G5 does retain its built-in IR Blaster and FM radio. 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.
Sony Xperia X
The new Sony Xperia X model looks like a Sony smartphone with its large top and bottom bezels and very rectangular look. There are a few notable exceptions with the most visible being the new metal backing that surprisingly looks and feels like plastic. No more metal and glass design, but the Xperia X also loses its IP68 certification as well. Sony made slight modifications to the edges that create a smoother look and make it easier to handle the device. Just as mobile payments are starting to take off, Sony removed the fingerprint sensor from US unlocked version, but has it in the international version. Rather than put in a top processor, they chose a mid-range Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor.
The Xperia X sports a 5.0-inch IPS LCD Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI – Sony just does not want to jump to a Quad HD. The Xperia X uses a more pedestrian 64-bit Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.8GHz and a quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz. It packs 3GB of the slower DDR3 memory, due to the limitations of the Snapdragon 650 processor. There is 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.
When it comes to the camera area, Sony used the same primary camera in the Xperia X that was used on the Xperia Z5 - with the 23MP sensor with f/2.0, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF,) and LED flash – however, according to our reviews did not fare as well in testing. Sony increased the FFC from 5.1MP to 13MP and gave it an aperture of f/2.0 and 22mm lens for selfies and video chatting. A 2620mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities supplies the power.
There were some design changes with the new Xperia X. A Sony trademark for years – its IP68 certified dust and water-resistance – is gone, thanks to the new metal casing. The Xperia X does retain the dual stereo front-facing speakers. For some strange reason, the Sony Xperia X, model F5121, is the US model and it comes without the fingerprint sensor. However, model F5122, which is the International model, does come with a fingerprint sensor. The redeeming feature is that both of these models use the same spectrum, so it should not matter which model you use in the US. It measures 142.7 x 69.4 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 153 grams. The full array of colors is White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, and Rose Gold and the Xperia X will cost you about $550.
...And The Winner Is...
For this comparison, the winner is the LG G5 – it has superior specifications all around. Let’s start with the QHD display and its 554 PPI. It sports a much more advanced processor, GPU, more and faster RAM, a terrific camera area, a removable battery, and even modules to add better speakers, a larger battery, or a camera mod.
Sony continues to use the older FHD display, a mid-range processor, slower RAM, it lost its IP68 certification, and Sony still cannot get the fingerprint sensor right on the US model – it just does not make any sense.
For only $75 more, the LG G5 just offers more bang for the buck. If you are a diehard Sony fan, then you would probably be content with the new Xperia X, but you would not be getting the better smartphone.