Always On display on the Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6

Always On display on the Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6

So, since last year, LG and Samsung have been offering a new feature on their flagship smartphones — an always on display. Even when your phone is sleeping, the display shows an ever-present, dimly-lit widget on the screen, giving you important information, such as the time, and missed notifications.

Over the past 12 months, Samsung built on its original concept, adding new features, and improving the way its Always on works, while LG hasn't changed much. Let's take a look at the main differences between the two!

Visibility


Sammy's phones rock an AMOLED display, while LG's devices are equipped with an LCD panel. So, while the Galaxy S8 can only light up the few pixels that it needs, and leave the rest off, the display on the G6 needs its backlight to be constantly on. So, in order to bring battery consumption down, LG needed to town down the brightness of its Always On feature.

On the G6, however, the company did add a brightness boost. So, if you find that your phone's Always On display is a bit hard to see, you can activate that at the cost of some battery life. Here's how the two phones look compared, with the G6's brightness boost off, then on.

Always On display on the Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6


Brigness Boost Off
Brigness Boost On
Brigness Boost Off Brigness Boost On

Cosmetics


On both phones, you can change the style of the clock widget you have on the Always On display. However, it's a pretty limited choice on the G6 — you can pick a digital clock, analog clock, and a custom signature. That's it.

On the Samsung Galaxy S8, you've got a choice of digital or analog clock, world clock, a calendar, or your very own picture. Yes, you can have a photo that you took permanently present on the Always On display.

To top it off, the S8's widgets can have a small wireframe background with a custom color option. So, in terms of visuals and customizability, Sammy's option is definitely way, way ahead.


Functions


Whenever you have an outstanding notification — missed call, chat text, email, whatever else — you will see a small icon on the Always On display, representing that app. On the LG G6, this is just informational — the icons are not actionable, you need to wake your phone and tap the notification from there.

On the Galaxy S8, you can actually perform actions on the Always On display. Double-tapping the clock / calendar widget will reveal media controls, which will allow you to control your music playback without unlocking the phone. If you double-tap the notification icon of a specific app, the phone will actually go ahead and launch the app (you will need to use the fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, or PIN, if your phone is locked, but you get the idea).

Galaxy S8 Always On actionable icons

Galaxy S8 Always On actionable icons


Conclusion


The Always On display is still a feature with questionable usefulness. It's basically a permanent drain on your battery, which doesn't really offer much value in return. You can certainly get enough of a good idea about the pending notifications you have when you see your multi-color LED blinking (sadly, this has been omitted from the LG G6). Sure, it transforms your phone into a table clock, but it's much more energy-efficient to wake your phone every once in a while to check the time, instead of having it glow constantly.

That said, and assuming that there are times when Always On is useful, we'd say that Samsung did a great job at enhancing the practicality and customizability of the feature on its phones. LG's rendering of Always On is still stuck in early 2016 and feels tacked-on and forgotten.

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23 Comments

1. ThE_fLaSh

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 10, 2016

Huh! No thanks

16. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 637; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Thanks for wasting 3 minutes of my life. The first line of your conclusion pretty much sums it up: "Always On display is still a feature with questionable usefulness" I've had my G5's Always On display permanently disabled since I got the phone. Its really good for nothing if you have a notification LED, oh yeah - LG removed that from the G6 to make Always On "useful" bad move LG.

19. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

i use double knock if i need to see my notifications.

2. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

they are cool but useless. I wish there was a setting to only enable while charging. Also wish like a sticky note was an option.

3. s.mrabet

Posts: 147; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

'' It's basically a permanent drain on your battery'' Maybe on the LCD, not on the Amoled. This review is weird..

5. paul.k

Posts: 287; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Does lighting up pixels on the AMOLED need no power at all? Actually, check this out!http://www.phonearena.com/news/Galaxy-S7-vs-LG-G5-Always-On-Displays-energy-efficient-or-power-drainers_id81565

7. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

At the same brightness, LG's AOD will drain significantly more battery. Check those figures with the brightness boost on on G6 and you will be surprised how bad LCDs are in displaying AOD. Not to mention the ugly grey glow of whole screen at night when used as a tableclock.

20. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Its still a drain we dont need on the battery. I would turn it off on any handset amoled or not.

21. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

That's a different issue.

22. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

I'm with you when you're right. Such a useless feature when you have a notification LED and a wrist watch! I never look at my phone for anything until I see a notification light or I'm about to use it!

9. s.mrabet

Posts: 147; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Lighting up the pixels definitely needs power. But lighting up the backlight need more power i suppose. How was the power consumption measured by the way? The link is about the S7 and G5. While both AoD's have been updated, i guess the power comsumptions of the older versions doesn't apply for the newer ones. Specially now the AoD on Samsung is interactive and supports pictures. While the one on LG needs brightness boost to be as visible. I think the power consumption of both phones need to be remeasured.

4. Samclark

Posts: 35; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Always on Display on Galaxy phones is an extremely useful add on, you'll know when you'll be using your phone on a daily basis. It makes life simpler and you don't need to touch your phone for time and date

6. Delayshite

Posts: 11; Member since: Apr 25, 2017

Yeah, Samsungs original concept that was introduced by Nokia way back during their N8 series via their beta labs programmme and then mainstream on their lumias.

8. galaxy-gear

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

In the gs8 great because it's has amoled.

10. SrdjanK

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 19, 2017

"So, on the G6, the Always On display functions as an extension of the multi-color LED notification light..." Are you sure that the LG G6 has a LED notification light? That's the first time I've heard that the G6 has it.

13. techJedi

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 28, 2017

NO, it doesn't have the LED notification light. I have a G6 and why they removed that feature is anyone's guess. Cost cutting maybe?

14. paul.k

Posts: 287; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Wow, what a mishap. To clarify - the G6 does NOT have a multi-color LED. Thanks

12. techJedi

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 28, 2017

The LG G6 DOES NOT HAVE A LED NOTIFICATION LIGHT. LG removed that feature on the G6. It only has the AOD. Source? I have a G6 and really miss that LED more than I thought I would. PhoneArena, please correct your article!

17. Timleyi

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 28, 2017

True.. having "sticky note" would make it useful

18. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Samsung's AOD is simply more power-efficient due to it's AMOLED display. The G6's LCD can't beat that.

23. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Still Moto display on my Moto X 2014 is far better in terms of features & its less power hungry.

24. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Still Moto display on my Moto X 2014 is far better in terms of features & its less power hungry.

25. psychorzr

Posts: 12; Member since: May 05, 2012

Minimal AOD on an AMOLED display is the best trade off between functionality and battery drain. Not to mention that notification and double tap to open is way too useful when the phone is just lying on the desk and you don't want to go through multiple taps to view the notification. AOD doesn't make any sense on an LCD display, it'll consume huge amounts of battery. It's just a lame way of lengthening feature list.

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