This year LG have gone for the all metal design, a huge change from the G4’s real leather. Despite the loss of grip in the hand the phone industry seemed to have set this as the new benchmark and preferred form factor. The phone has also lost its slight screen curve but introduced the modular base for swapping out the 2800 mAh battery, camera module and HiFi module.
Samsung have tweaked the S7 and S7 Edge with more curvature to the glass both front, back top and bottom. There are more curves leading to the metal frame and the rear of the S7 has a curve akin to the Note 5. The S7 range have added thickness this year and bumped up the size of the batteries to 3000 and 3600 mAh respectively. We will have to wait for test units to find out which of these three phones win in the battery department.
In the looks department I feel that Samsung has edged out in front of LG this year. The added curves to the glass have resulted in an incredibly handsome device. LG are not off pace by any means however, the all metal body will win a lot of fans and looks very sleek.
This year it is a fight between the LG IPS 5.3” screen and the Samsung AMOLED 5.1” or 5.5” in the S7 and Edge variants. LG have gone for a slightly smaller display over the G4’s 5.5” that will surely aid in one handed use as well as battery life. Samsung have largely stuck with their AMOLED technology however this time offering two size options, the larger going to the S7 Edge.
Time will tell if Samsungs options pay off and if the G5’s smaller screen was the right thing to do. As for screen technology, Samsung has the lead here. AMOLED’s huge contrast and self lighting pixels not only look better but have the potential to save more battery life.
Inside the G5 you will find the Snapdragon 820 with the S7 using the Snapdragon 820 or Exynos 8890 depending on the region you purchase. All three phones have 4GB of RAM and base models with 32GB of storage. The S7 and S7 Edge offer the 64GB option but no longer the 128GB. The G5, S7 and S7 Edge are all set to ship with Android Marshmallow version 6 allowing the best possible use of the software and hardware.
It will be difficult to tell what phone will perform better. With different regions on the S7 we will have to wait for the benchmark test results to come in. I’m sure no flagship of 2016 will be lacking in performance.
No comparison would be complete without a look at the cameras. The G5 will sport the 16MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture for standard shots and a second 8MP f/2.4 rear camera for wide angle 130 degree shots. The S7 has a lower 12MP sensor but improved the aperture further to f/1.7. All pixels in the S7s camera aid in focusing resulting in fast photography to match the laser focusing G5 camera.
It’s a close call on this one. LG clearly has a great wide angle take on photography, however I think the S7 may win more people over with potentially better low light photography.
Further comparison shows that LG have moved to the USB type C port verses the Micro USB still found on the S7. This will allow LG to take advantage of faster data transfer speeds to and from compatible USB 3.0 devices. Despite the different ports, both LG and Samsung have the Quick Charge 3.0 with charging up to 83% in 30 minutes. Samsung has also brought back the expandable storage and dust/water resistance that will help compete with the G5.
I am defiantly a fan of dust and water resistance. it helps with outdoor use and protects the phone. LG however has more options with its removable battery and add-on camera and HiFi amplifier. An additional LG win here is that the USB type C cable is reversible and so adds a great convenience on the G5. Although it is great to see the return of expandable storage and water resistance, it is hardly innovative of Samsung to bring back 2 features they removed on the S6.
Here we have three very capable phones that will achieve most tasks for most people. ‘life’s good when you play more’ is the G5 tagline and the S7 represents ‘a new way of thinking of what a phone can do’.
Having owned many LG and Samsung phones (LG P990, Samsung S3, LG G3 and Samsung S5 to name a few), the best experience in my opinion comes from the company that supports and listens to their customers the most. Only then can you get a Smartphone experience worth remembering; the one that integrates best with your life. In a day and age where the phone is often the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you see at night the crown goes to the best tool for providing entertainment, organising your information in our busy lives and performs well while doing so.
Taking the G5 and S7 for what they offer the customer, I feel that the G5 is the one to offer more experiences with the larger potential from its modular design and multiple cameras. For pure looks the S7 and S7 Edge take some points home with the ‘3D glass’ construction but we will have to wait for the release of retail prices to find out what phone is the best value and overall winner.