Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 are the most talked about smartphones at the MWC 2016 and naturally so, given they are the new flagships from their respective companies.
While S7 follows the design philosophy of its predecessor, the LG G5 has generated a lot of interest thanks to its modular design and plug in features like a battery, an additional camera module, and more.There’s no doubt that for hardcore geeks, the LG G5 has their attention. We compare how the S7 stacks up against LG G5 in terms of specs, features and more.
The general specs: Let’s get these out of the way first.
The Galaxy S7 comes with a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display in the regular version and a 5.5-inch dual edge Quad HD Super AMOLED screen in the S7 edge.
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Both smartphones have an ‘Always-On Display,’ are IP68 water and dust resistant, run Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), come with 4GB RAM (LPDDR4) RAM with 32 and 64 GB versions. S7 series also supports micro-SD slots with up to 200 GB of extra space.
Samsung hasn’t revealed the processor though it’s reported that one version will run the new Snapdragon 820. For now, we know that the S7 series will have two processors: one is a 64-bit octa-core processor (2.3GHz Quad + 1.6GHz Quad) and the second a 64-bit quad-core processor (2.15GHz Dual + 1.6GHz Dual).
The rear camera is 12 megapixel (F1.7 aperture), the front camera is 5 megapixel with OIS . There’s a 3,000 mAh battery in the regular S7, while the S7 edge has a big 3600 mAh battery.
In case of the LG G5 has a slightly bigger (compared to S7) 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 554ppi), runs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, has 4GB RAM, 32GB storage space (microSD expandable up to 2TB). It comes with a 2800 mAh battery, which is removable, and has USB Type-C for fast charging.
The rear camera is a dual-camera set-up with a 16 megapixel camera and a wide-angle eight megapixel camera. The front camera is eight megapixels and the smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. More on the camera below.
So what’s really different with the S7 and the LG G5?
Camera: There’s no doubt that LG G5 appears to have trumped the S7 in some ways by going for a dual-camera set-up on the back. LG says the G5 has a 135-degree wide angle lens, for a wider view. It’s also added some new features to the camera such as Pop-out Picture, Film Effect and Auto Shot. Pop-out Picture combines images taken by the standard and wide angle lens to create a picture-in-a-frame effect.
But what is more interesting is the LG G5’s modular design, which lets users add something called a Cam Plus to the smartphone, and convert it into a digital camera. LG says the Cam Plus has buttons for power, shutter, record, zoom, LED indicator and comfortable grip, along with intuitive auto-focus and exposure lock. It gives the G5 an additional battery capacity of 1,200mAh when attached.
The only problem is that we don’t know much LG is going to price this camera module. But even without the camera module, the dual-rear camera sounds pretty exciting.
Samsung, however, has stuck to increasing the pixel size and improving image quality in low-light settings for the S7, S7 edge. S7 comes with Dual Pixel technology, which the company claims that the pixels in its camera are bigger (around 30 per cent bigger than the iPhone 6s Plus) and thus allow for sharper, clearer pictures, even in low-light surroundings.
The company adds that the dual-pixel technology works like a human eye, allowing for a faster focus while taking a picture. Samsung has also added ‘Motion Panorama’ which adds action to your panorama shot. It’s like ‘Live Photos’ in Apple iPhone 6s, but only for panorama mode.
Samsung Galaxy S7’s camera set-up might not sound so jazzy or different, but let’s not forget that the company has been doing a great job on this front and is tough competitor to beat.
Battery: LG G5 comes with a slide-out battery feature, where a user can just replace the battery in seconds. Now that’s something we’ve not seen in a flagship. LG G5 also goes for the newer Type-C USB charging port and supports fast-charging. LG adds that its Always-on Display won’t consume too much battery life either.
Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge come with support for wireless charging, and the company has stuck with regular micro-USB charging ports. Samsung has also made the devices water and dust-resistant by sealing the ports from inside, ensuring better protection for the device’s battery. The company claims that the new S7 series comes with air-cooling technology to prevent the smartphone from over-heating.
LG G5 and friends: The G5 has generated interested not just due to the modular design but also because LG has rolled out a host of devices to support the smartphone. For starters, there’s the LG Hi-Fi Plus, an audio player, which the company has developed with B&O PLAY. The portable Hi-Fi DAC audio player offers high-quality audio, and can be attached as a module to LG G5 or as a separate Hi-Fi DAC by connecting to any smartphone or PC.
There’s also the LG 360 CAM, which can be connected to the smartphones allowing users to create 360-degree content. Plus an LG Smart Controller to let G5 users control certain drones, and check the video stream from the drone in real-time.
Samsung S7 and its accessories: The Galaxy S7 might not have a modular design, or look very different from the S6, but it also supports a slew of accessories. Samsung has launched its own Gear 360 camera to support the S7, S7 edge, S6 series and the Note 5. The camera which has dual fisheye lenses, with 15 megapixel image sensors each, lets users capture high-resolution (3840×1920) 360-degree video and 30 megapixel still images. Users can also shoot 180-degree wide angle video and images with only using one side of the camera lens.
If the camera is synced with a S7 or supported smartphone, users can view the video-content in real-time.
Of course, VR and VR style content is big for Samsung as was evident with Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance at the launch. The company is giving Gear VR (powered by Facebook owned Oculus) free to users who pre-order S7 in some parts of the world.
There’s no doubt that both the LG G5 and Galaxy S7 series are good-looking smartphones, but the former stands out, thanks to the modular design, slide-out battery feature. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if being different translates into success for LG in 2016.