Do we have a good one for you today – the LG G5 goes up against the new Google Pixel. The LG G5 is an all-metal modular phone with a removable ‘chin’ and the ability to replace the battery or slide in a module to enhance the usage of your smartphone. Google removed the Nexus name from its vocabulary and now call their devices, Google Pixel. It is a polished glass and metal design and works with their new Google Home and Assistant products – in Google’s attempt to form their own ecosystem…much like Apple. When it comes to specifications, just how do these two smartphones stand up to one another? Let’s take a look and see just what these two devices have in common and then we will look at each one in greater detail.
The LG G5 and Google Pixel have very little in common other than their physical dimensions with the LG G5 just slightly larger due to its larger display – 5.3-inch versus 5.0-inches. Both devices use a different resolution for their displays, as is the technology different. When it comes to processors, they picked the best available – the LG G5 uses the Snapdragon 820 quad-core, and the Pixel uses the updated Snapdragon 821, which Qualcomm claims gives it a 10-percent boost in performance. They both use the same Adreno 530 GPU, which will handle the most demanding graphics. Both pack 4GB of DDR4 RAM and both have a 32GB memory variant – but only the LG G5 has room for expansion while the Pixel has a 128GB version. The main cameras use very different components, but both put out great pictures. They both have an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies or video chats. Both have a fingerprints sensor to unlock the device and to authorize mobile purchases. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the new Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer.
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.
LG was betting that future smartphones would include some sort of modules to expand their capabilities. So far, it does not look like the public is buying into that notion and LG has already said that they will drop the modules on the next LG G6. The new Moto Z line of phones also includes Moto Mods, but they are far less evasive as they snap on the back of the device via magnets. People are slow to adopt new changes, and there seem to be more doubters than adopters at this point. LG also made a move from a plastic back disguised to look like metal to an all-metal design that they painted to hide the antenna lines. Let’s take a closer look at the new LG G5 and see just how the specs and design hold up to the new Google Pixel.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display and includes the ‘always on’ feature and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 554 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) LG went with the popular 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and another dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. Qualcomm teams that with the Adreno 530 GPU that will handle any demanding 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 packs two primary cameras that operate independently from one another. One is the same single 16MP sensor found in the G4 and then added an extra 8MP wide-angle sensor. The LG G5 will use the 16MP shooter to take a normal picture, but if the user needs to capture a wider group shot in the photo or landscape, the camera will use the 8MP wide-angle lens. LG retained the 8MP FFC from the G4, allowing the user to take high-quality selfies and video chatting as well. LG decreased the battery size to 2800mAh in the G5, but the modular design retains the ability to remove/replace the battery. For regular charging, the LG G5 uses Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities.
Once LG decided to run with the module design, they could no longer place the fingerprint sensor at the bottom front of the phone, so LG positioned it on the back of the phone where the on/off and volume control resided on the LG G4. The good news is that the fingerprint sensor still acts as an on/off switch, but the volume controls were moved to the side of the LG G5. The LG G5 retained its IR Blaster and FM radio and has Hi-Res sound for listening through earphones. 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 device is available on all the leading carriers for $625.
Google has made a huge change in their product line by getting rid of the Nexus name. There are still shock waves of disbelief throughout the Google camp. Their new line of smartphones is called Google Pixel, and it comes two models – the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL. Google wants to head in Apple’s direction by forming their own ecosystem and getting buyers to depend only on Google products that interact with one another. By building hardware and software together, they can more quickly get their own ecosystem going. The new Pixel devices are made from polished glass and metal and feel great in your hand. Let’s see how this newly designed Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the LG G5 design and specifications.
The Google Pixel sports a smaller 5.0-inch AMOLED display with only an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI. It is using the newest Qualcomm 821 quad-core processor, which is supposed to give a 10-percent performance boost, with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and either 32GB or 128GB of fast UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand. It uses a 2,770mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.
Google has gotten serious about its cameras in the Pixel models and is introducing an excellent camera even though the specifications, at first glance, do not seem that impressive. The Pixel devices use a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. The Pixel camera was just tested by DxOMark and received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone. There is a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p recording. This setup should offer excellent selfies and video chatting.
The Pixel will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. It is IP53 rated splash and dust resistant. The Google Pixel measures in at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (as a limited edition) and the 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
I have to go with the LG G5 as the winner of this comparison - the only things it lacks are Android 7.1 Nougat and the quickest updates. It has a larger display, a QHD 'always-on' display, a great processor, the same Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB of RAM, expandable memory, Hi-Res audio, a wonderful camera area, an IR Blaster, FM Radio, removable battery, and the use of Modules.
The Google Pixel (made by HTC) is an excellent device, but as the entry level model, it just lacks a few things for a higher asking price than the LG G5. Other than the pure vanilla Android experience, and some terrific pictures, I just do not see how the Pixel outclasses the many options the LG G5 provides. True, the Snapdragon 821 processor is somewhat faster; the 820 is plenty fast to handle any job Android can throw its way...and cheaper doing it.