Do we have an exciting one for you today – the all-metal LG G5 flagship will take on the new metal and Gorilla Glass 5 Samsung Galaxy Note 7. We need to clear one thing up from the beginning – these devices represent the best that LG and Samsung offer, but they are for different audiences. The LG G5 is more a ‘typical’ everyday smartphone that allows the user to insert Modules into the body of the device to add different functions – extended battery, B&O speakers, and more. The Note 7 is for the user that covets the use of the S Pen – the Note 7 is really a ‘note-taker’ or a tool for a graphic artist. Samsung and Wacom have the S Pen down to a science, and it is remarkable what can be done with the device. Despite their differences, they do have a few things in common that we will go over in the next paragraph before we move on to the detailed specifications.
The LG G5 and Galaxy Note 7 do have a few things in common, especially in the technical department. Even though the Note 7 has a display that is almost one-half inch larger, both devices are very close in physical size with the Note 7 weighing in an extra 10 grams. They both use a QHD display resolution, however, are different in size (5.3-inches vs 5.7-inches), and different in technology. They both have the ‘Always-on’ display to help save on battery life. In the US and Canada, you are looking at the same Snapdragon 820 processor in both devices, as well as the same Adreno 530 GPU. They both pack 4GB of DDR4 RAM and they both have a means to expand their base memory – 32GB in the LG G5 and 64GB in the Note 7. The camera areas are very different in their approach – however they both take excellent photos. Both devices have Hi-Res audio for listening through earphones. Both devices have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device as well as to authorize mobile payments. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and they have a Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer. The LG G5 has a removable battery and the Note 7 has a non-removable battery and each has a rapid charge feature.
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.
Like it or not, you have to give LG some real credit for trying to be innovative and possibly starting a new trend in what will be the future of smartphones – modules. LG also made the move from plastic to an all-metal design that they painted to hide the antenna lines. People did not seem happy about either move, but it did allow LG to retain a replaceable battery and expandable storage. 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 Note 7.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display, but now includes always-on’ – a feature designed to help save battery life. The QHD sports 2560 x 1440 pixels with a nice 554 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) LG grabbed the best processor on the market – the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz. This pairs up to an Adreno 530 GPU to handle any graphics you can throw its way. The G5 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card.
The LG G5 comes with the same single 16MP sensor that LG used in the G4, however, LG did not stop there. They added an extra 8MP wide-angle sensor for duo cameras that work independently from one another. Normal picture taking uses the 16MP shooter, but if the user wants to capture a wider shot in the photo, the 8MP wide-angle is used. LG kept the excellent 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) from the G4, allowing the user to take high-quality selfies and video chatting. Although LG decreased the battery size to 2800mAh in the G5, the modular design retains the ability to remove/replace the battery. The LG G5 uses Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities.
With the ‘chin’ of the device pulling out of the bottom, it was not possible to place the fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the LG G5. LG positioned it on the back of the phone where the on/off and volume control resided on the LG G4. The fingerprint sensor still acts as an on/off switch, but the volume controls were removed to the side of the LG G5. LG did retain its 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 carriers for $625.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
I said it before, and it still holds true - the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is essentially a Galaxy S7 Edge and a Galaxy Note 5 in one. The dual curved display has finally hit the Note 7, but not quite as pronounced as the S7 Edge – and the Note 7 is the first smartphone to use the new Gorilla Glass 5. The new display gives the device an overall softer and more elegant look. While others have sold a ‘big’ phone, even larger than the Galaxy Note series, in an attempt to outdo Samsung, but it all comes down to the S Pen and the software that accompanies it. Samsung wisely teamed up with Wacom years ago to create a unique writing experience that gets better every year – even waterproof this year.
The Galaxy Note 7 sports a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD display with the addition the dual curved edge. This gives the Galaxy Note 7 a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 PPI. Much like the Galaxy S7 Edge, the Galaxy Note 7’s sold in the US (and Canada this time around) will pack a Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and the other four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. Elsewhere it will sport an Exynos octa-core with a quad-core clocked at 1.6GHz and a quad-core clocked at 2.3GHz. The Note 7 uses 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory and includes expansion via a microSD.
The primary camera on the Galaxy Note 7 is the same excellent one used on the Galaxy S7 series – a new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with an increase in aperture to f/1.7, including faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, and retains the Smart OIS. The Galaxy Note 7 uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a large f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FFC. The Note 7 has a non-removable 3500mAh battery, but it features rapid charge features as well as quick wireless charging capabilities.
Some added features to the Galaxy Note 7 – Samsung added a new Iris Scanner for more security that allows you to unlock your Galaxy Note 7 by looking into the top area of the display. There are plans to upgrade the software in the near future to authorize mobile payments. It still sports a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor, Samsung Pay, and built-in wireless quick charging. The S-Pen has many new added features giving it even more functionality and sensitivity, not to mention it is waterproof. The Note 7 uses the newer USB Type-C reversible connector for charging and data transfer. Depending where you buy the Galaxy Note 7, it will come in Blue Coral, Silver Titanium, Black Onyx, and Gold. It measures 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm, weighs in at 169 grams, and will cost you about $865.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
This is a real tough decision – the LG G5 is so much cheaper, has a QHD display, has Modules, and the same processor, GPU, memory expansion, great camera, and removable battery – for those reasons I just convinced myself it is the winner! It may not be the nicest looking smartphone, but for about $250 cheaper than the Note 7, the LG G5 suddenly seems like a bargain.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is definitely a flagship powerhouse, but it should be for $865. Certainly, it has a better display, nicer design, more base memory, an iris scanner, a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor, Samsung Pay, and most importantly the S Pen and all of its assorted software. The problem with all of these goodies is that you have to want to use them. People who sketch or take copious notes would probably find the Galaxy Note 7 indispensable – but I know people that own a Note device and cannot remember the last time they used the S Pen.
Both of these devices will give you top-notch service – you have to decide if you want to lean toward the modules or the S Pen.