Do we have a good one for you today – the LG V20 goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017). The LG V20 is crafted from aircraft grade aluminum and is designed with dual cameras, as well as using four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters) that is a first for a smartphone. The Galaxy A7 is a typical Samsung looking device, but does away with the glass backing and is an all-metal device. Both devices use a 5.7-inch display, and while the Galaxy A7 is more a mid-range device, it is only priced around $140 less than the flagship LG V20. We are looking to find out which device offers the best specifications, performance, and pricing. Let's compare what they have in common first and then we will look at each device in more detail to pick the winner in this comparison.
The LG V20 and the Samsung Galaxy A7 have a few things in common. The displays are an identical 5.7-inches in size, which make their physical dimensions very close. The displays use different technologies and different resolutions, but they both can notify the user of notifications without turning on the main display. Both use different amounts of RAM, processors, and GPUs. They both have a 32GB variant, and both can expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas are extremely different, but both take great pictures. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device with the LG V20's is located on the back and the Galaxy A7's located on the front. Both incorporate an NFC chip so they can make mobile purchases, including Android Pay. Both have large batteries – removable on the LG V20 and non-removable on the Galaxy A7 – with rapid charge capabilities. Both come with different Android O/S, and both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, both use the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer, and they each have an FM radio.
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.
The difference in look between the LG V10 and LG V20 is astonishing. Gone is the angular look of the stainless steel LG V10 as LG introduces a new aircraft quality aluminum on the LG V20 that has a smoother and more refined look. Gone also is the silicone backing, but the silicone is still there as a pair of bumpers on the top and bottom of the LG V20. The LG V20 has a brighter secondary display for notifications than its predecessor does. The LG V20 is attempting to find a home for those users interested in experimenting with photography or that demand a great sound through their earphones. It is a shame that LG did not include stereo speakers.
Samsung took another route and used a single display with the 'always-on' technology, but LG designed the V20 with two separate screens. The primary display is an IPS Quantum QHD panel that measures 5.7-inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and results in 513 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The secondary display for notifications measures 1040 x 160 pixels with the same density of 513 PPI. This secondary display will save battery life by allowing the primary display to stay off while the smaller display feeds you notifications. LG chose the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor for the V20 that uses dual cores at 1.6GHz and 2.15GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and an expandable 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage.
The LG V20 uses a dual camera arrangement that includes a 16MP primary camera and another 8MP wide-angle lens that acts as a secondary camera. The V20 uses the 16MP for regular shots, but when you need a group or landscape shot, the 8MP wide-angle sensor can step in. LG included both laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), added a large f/1.8 aperture on the primary camera and smaller f/2.4 for the secondary 8MP sensor, it has OIS, and a dual-tone LED flash. The front-facing camera (FFC) uses a single 5MP sensor with a f/1.9 aperture for selfies or video chatting. LG improved the battery life of the V20 by packing a 3200mAh removable battery that should last you throughout the day. The user has the option of using Quick Charge 3.0 for a fast charge, or you can just replace the drained battery with a new one.
Trying to target audio buffs with the V20, LG included four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters), which is a first for a smartphone. The V20 has an EQ with left/right balance controls and includes B&O Play certification. While this will enhance the sound on a good set of earphones, it makes one wonder why LG only included one speaker on the bottom of the device. The LG V20 was awarded an MIL-STD-810G certification due to its rugged build. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 174 grams and cost about $670. The LG V20 is available in Titan and Silver, and it is running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
Samsung's new Galaxy A7 (2017) has their typically rounded corners, speaker grill at the top with the Samsung name under the grill, and an oval home button at the bottom. One significant difference is that the Galaxy A7 uses an aluminum back which is designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It includes some decent specifications for a mid-range phone, and well it should with a price tag of $530. The Galaxy A7 includes the IP68 certification for water and dust and has a new side-positioned loudspeaker. Let's see just how this new Galaxy A7 mid-range holds up against the flagship LG V20.
The Galaxy A7 sports 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a respectable 386 PPI. Samsung carried over the 'always-on' display from its flagship phones to the Galaxy A7, which helps save battery life and is a great feature to check the time, date, or notifications without turning on the main display. The Galaxy A7 uses Samsung's Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz and a Mali-T830MP2 for graphics. The Galaxy A7 packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The Galaxy A7 packs a 16MP lens for its primary camera and includes a large aperture of f/1.9, autofocus, and a LED flash. Samsung added a huge 16MP camera for the Galaxy A7's FFC that also comes with the same f/1.9 aperture. This large FFC will give you excellent low-light selfies and a great video chatting experience. The Galaxy A7 comes packing a larger non-removable battery of 3600mAh and features rapid charging.
The Galaxy A7 is only available in some Asian and European markets now, and there is no word on whether it will be released in the US. Being only a GSM device, it can only be used on an AT&T or the T-Mobile network. It runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with no word about an upgrade to Android Nougat. The device will allow mobile purchases and can use Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is a nice feature that will allow Galaxy A7 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. Samsung included an IP68 certification against dust and water and an unusual side-mounted speaker. The Galaxy A7 measures 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm, weighs in at a hefty 186 grams, is available in Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud and costs about $530.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
Even with its higher price tag, I have to pick the LG V20 as the winner of this comparison. It is the more advanced than the Galaxy A7, and it should be. It is a true flagship with the price of a flagship, whereas the Galaxy A7 is a mid-range with a higher price than that category generally costs.
The LG V20 can be used on all major US networks, it is MIL-STD-810G certified, has the secondary display for notifications, a higher resolution display, has a better processor and GPU, is running Android 7.0 Nougat, has more RAM, dual cameras, fantastic sound circuitry, and a removable battery. Its brushed aluminum body also looks way cooler than the Samsung Galaxy A7.
The Galaxy A7 is a great device that offers a large display, a larger battery, IP68 certification, and Samsung Pay. However, for $530, it just doesn't offer quite as much as one would hope. In the US it is limited to AT&T or T-Mobile's networks and that coupled with the lower specs is just too limiting.