Do we have a good one for you today – the rock solid Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge goes up against the new LG V20. Both devices are follow-ups to last year's models – the S6 Edge Plus and the LG V10 and both are solid as a rock and very comfortable to hold. The S7 Edge retains its metal frame and Gorilla Glass 4 construction and doesn't look all that different from last year's model, while the LG V20 trades in its heavy stainless steel body for aircraft grade aluminum and a different premium look. The devices do share many of the many of the same internal parts and specs, but the overall feel of the devices are quite different. Let's take a look to see just what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each device.
The Galaxy S7 Edge and LG V20 have quite a few things in common – starting with physical dimension with the LG V20 slightly larger all around including the 5.5-inch display vs. the 5.5-inch display on the S7 Edge. The devices do use a different screen technology but also both use the QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The S7 Edge uses, an always-on screen technology whereas the LG V20 uses a dual display mounted over top the main screen. The primary purpose of this technology is to show you the date, time, and notifications without your main display coming one and wasting your battery life. Both devices use the same excellent Snapdragon 820 processor and Adreno 530 GPU for outstanding graphics. They both use 4GB of DDR4 RAM and faster UFS expandable memory. The camera area on both devices is great, with the LG V20 adding a dual wide-angle lens to its primary shooter. Both devices use a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chats. They both have Hi-Res audio, but the LG V20 will win this battle every time with the 32-Bit Quad DAC. Both devices use a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and can also be used for authorizing mobile payments. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC and a USB port – microUSB in the S7 Edge and the newer Type-C in the LG V20 – for charging the device and to transfer data. Both devices have Quick Charge capabilities.
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.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the same metal and glass design that Samsung started with on the Galaxy S6 Edge series. The curved screen does not have that 'wow' factor it once had, but it is a beautiful looking design. How does this aging premium smartphone hold up to the new LG V20 and its all-metal design? Let's look and see just how they compare to one another.
The Galaxy S7 Edge sports a 5.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED 'always-on' display with dual curved edges, a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI). Depending on where you live there are two processors used in the Galaxy S7 Edge – in the US you will get the newest Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz – the same one found in the LG V20. Elsewhere, you will get Samsung's Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. The 820 processor uses an Adreno 530 GPU, and the Exynos 8890 uses the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU – both setups should do an excellent job for you. The Galaxy S7 Edge packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of UFS 2.0 memory, with expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
A new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor is used for the primary camera with an increased aperture of f/1.7, included faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, and OIS. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a larger f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FFC for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung did increase the battery size to a larger non-removable 3600mAh battery and included Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging as well.
The Galaxy S7 Edge display incorporates an always-on display to help conserve battery life, much like the secondary display on the LG V20. The dual curved edges do provide some excellent functionality. Besides Android Pay, you also have the option of using Samsung Pay just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. The S7 Edge provides a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and quick wireless charging. The S7 Edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, costing about $790.
The LG V10 used a stainless steel body with a Dura Skin plastic back to add grip and durability – it was a sharp looking device, well-built, and heavy. The new LG V20 switches to aircraft grade aluminum to achieve its durability. The design is smoother and more refined, although many LG V10 uses loved that stainless steel look. They moved the plastic to the top and bottom of the LG V20 as 'bumpers' for added safety if dropped. The V20 kept the same sized 5.7-inch display and smaller secondary display over the top – only much brighter this time around. The LG V20 is directly aimed at those interested in experimenting with photography or that want a device with great sound. Will these improvements be enough? Will the LG V20 be worth its price and beat out the Galaxy S7 Edge?
The LG V20 sports two displays – the primary IPS Quantum QHD display measures 5.7-inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 513 PPI. The secondary display, near the top of the device, is a 1040 x 160-pixel display that is also 513 PPI. The purpose of the secondary display is – like an always-on display – to function while the main display is locked. This secondary display is used to save battery life. This year LG seriously brightened the display making it easier to see your notifications. The LG V20 uses the best processor out there and the same one found in the S7 Edge – a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores running at 1.6GHz and dual cores running at 2.15GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage with room to expand by an additional 2TB.
The camera area is a complete redesign on the LG V20. The primary 16MP sensor is still there, but LG added another 8MP wide-angle lens that operates independently for those times when you need a wider view. LG added laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a large f/1.8 aperture (f/2.4 for the 8MP), OIS and a dual-tone LED flash. Then, LG decided to go back to the single 5MP FFC with a f/1.9 aperture for selfies or video chatting. The LG V20 packs a 3200mAh removable battery that should last through the day, and Quick Charge 3.0 makes charging faster.
It is a shame that for all of its sound enhancements, the LG V20 has only one speaker on the bottom of the device. The LG V20 includes four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Convertors) to improve the sound quality. They also provided an excellent EQ with left/right balance controls that is B&O Play certified. The LG V20 is built so soundly that it has achieved the MIL-STD-810G certification. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm and weighs in at 174 grams – cost should be around $700. The LG V20 is available in the colors Titan, Silver, and Pink. Last, but certainly not least, the LG V20 will be running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
I had to pick the new LG V20 as the winner of this competition – it has the all-metal build, a slightly larger display, a more interesting camera area, better sound capabilities and a removable battery. It is also MIL-STD-810G certified so it can take a beating while it's running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. No, the LG V20 doesn't have Samsung Pay, a heartrate sensor, an oxygen saturation sensor, an AMOLED display, or an IP68 certification.
Many users do not use these extra features and are paying $100 extra for them. Both devices are excellent examples for their niche buyer – the Galaxy S7 Edge buyer wants the sleek looking dual curved display with cutting edge technology. The LG V20 target user is into photography and sounds. Once you determine what you want – go for it.