Galaxy S7 vs G5 vs Xperia X Performance: triple threat match


An unusually strong Mobile World Congress brought us not one or two, but a whole bunch of superphones this year. Among them, the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, and Sony Xperia X Performance are shaping up as the biggest trend-setters for 2016.

The three flagships are equipped with top-tier gear to appease each and every desire of tech enthusiasts, but there surely must be quite a few differences between the two, right? Right. As a matter of fact, even though they may feature similar hardware, the three phones are actually very different from one another. So, this begs the questions: which one deserves the winner's badge at MWC 2016? The Samsung, the LG, or the Sony? To find out, we'll have to dive in a bit deeper and explore... the show floor.

Design


At this point, all three phones look pretty decent; neither appears cheap or off-putting.

The LG G5, however, is probably the most uninteresting of the three. It has a new metal body and all, but aesthetically, it's pretty much nothing to write home about. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is a nice facelift from the S6, but the improvements there have more to do with ergonomics than aesthetics. The GS7 sits better in the hand than the G5, since the LG has a strange shiny edge running around the sides, which feels a bit sharp. The Samsung's edges are all nice and smooth, and the new curved glass back is a joy to touch and hold. The weak point in Samsung's design is that the glass's mirror-like finish attracts a ton of fingerprints, like, as soon as you pick up the phone. Obviously, this problem doesn't exist with the G5's metallic surface. Sony's Xperia X Performance has its own style – it sticks with Sony's classy rectangular-ish design, but instead of glass, it has metal on the back. The ergonomic properties of Sony's product are quite good, as it's comfortable to hold and use. The back has a brushed metal finish, which is, again, nice and classy. It's also worth pointing out that both the X Performance and S7 are water-resistance, while the G5 isn't.

At the end of the day, we'd pick the Sony Xperia X Performance for its classier looks and ergonomics that are more or less on par with the Galaxy S7. The S7 looks nice, too, but its relationship with fingerprints proves a bit too distracting. The LG G5 isn't exactly an underdesigned phone, but appearance and ergonomics don't quite match the other two. Anyway, let's give out those points!

Xperia X Performance: 3 pt
Galaxy S7: 2 pt
G5: 1 pt

Display


All three handsets feature reasonably sized screens. Even LG has decided to scale things down a little, swapping its previous size of choice for a 5.3-inch LCD panel. However, in LG's case that's not exactly an upgrade, since the G5 is about as big as the G4, which had a 5.5" screen. As a result of the larger bezels, the G5 is markedly bigger than the S7 and X Performance, whose screens measure 5.1" and 5.0", respectively.

Specs-wise, all are great. The Sony sticks with 1080 x 1920 px resolution, unlike the other two, which have 1440 x 2560 px. That's arguably a smart choice, since the "lower" resolution can improve battery life and performance, at little to no cost in terms of visual clarity. Only the Samsung uses AMOLED, which has its strong and weak sides. At this point, we can't speak to the color accuracy of the three products' displays, so we'll refrain from awarding points in this category.

Interface and Functionality


Functionally, the Samsung brings quite a lot  to the table, including the dual-window functionality, which the LG G5 now lacks. If it's ultimate customizability and versatility you're after, the Galaxy S7 is probably the way to go. However, having loads of added functionality often leads to a messier and clumsier UI, and that' exactly the case here. The LG G5, for example, being streamlined and all, feels noticeably lighter and snappier, probably the best performing out of the three. The Xperia X Performance is also quite fast, but probably not as instantaneous as the LG. The G5 and S7 do have one advantageous new feature, and that's always-on display, which allows you to quickly see basic stuff such as the time and notifications, without having to press a button on the phone.

Galaxy S7: 2 pt
G5: 2 pt
Xperia X Performance: 1 pt

Performance


Snapdragon 820 will obviously be the name of the silicon game in 2016, as all three flagships come with Qualcomm's latest and greatest chip. The overheating issues of the 810 are now seemingly a thing of the past, and what's left is nothing but next-gen performance. Powered by Android 6, all three phones feel fast and responsive. The Samsung tends to be a bit jerkier than the other two, and if there's one of whose long-term performance we feel unsure enough, it's the S7. The other two demonstrate fluid and consistent motion, but again, these are only early impressions we're dealing with, so no definitive conclusions should be made at this point.

G5: 3 pt
Xperia X Performance: 2 pt
Galaxy S7: 2 pt

Camera


Each brand has thought of something intriguing to spice up its camera department. In Samsung's case, it's a new 12 MP shooter, which has lower resolution than their previous one, but with larger pixels, wider aperture, and advanced autofocus technology. LG has gone down the dual-camera way, adding a second rear camera with a wider field of view, which makes for a fun effect. Finally, Sony has refashioned its 23 MP camera with a new Predictive AF system for faster and more reliable focus of moving objects. All cameras have a manual mode for extra control of the shooting experience. We expect both the LG and the Samsung to take beautiful and realistic photos, while Sony has historically been a bit hit-and-miss, with its camera applications also being somewhat unreliable. Here are the points we'd give out considering our expectations for the three phones' cameras:

G5: 3 pt
Galaxy S7: 3 pt
Xperia X Performance: 2 pt

Expectations


We've gone through the major categories, so it's now time to count those points:

FINAL RESULTS

Galaxy S7: 9 pt
G5: 9 pt
Xperia X Performance: 8 pt

Well, the results are not exactly a surprise: Samsung and LG have historically been pretty much neck and neck with their overall packages, with Sony trailing just slightly behind. This year, however, Sony's proposition has turned out surprisingly good, hence the almost equal result in this initial comparison. Bear in mind that the ranking we've come up with is based solely on our initial impressions and expectations of the products, so it's in no way to be used as a definitive comparison. This one will have to wait until all three phones pass through our offices for a much more detailed review. For the Samsung Galaxy S7, this would be around March 11, when it's going to officially launch in the United States. For the LG G5, this would be the beginning of April, and for the Sony Xperia X Performance, the release date should be sometime in June.

What about you? Let us know how you would rank the three flaghips in the comments!

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56 Comments

56. Jyrbain

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 07, 2016

"So, this begs the questions" This doesn't mean what you think it means.

53. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Performance should had been the following: G5: 3, Xperia X Performance: 3, Galaxy S7: 2 The reason being that historically, Samsung is know to have more lag thanks to Touch Whiz. Sony should had been given credit here. Furthermore, had there had been a battery section on the comparison, Sony would had taken the 3 points without a doubt and the GS 7 and G5 would had been a bit behind in battery with 2 points.

52. WallStreet

Posts: 256; Member since: Sep 21, 2014

Didn't a recent survey here show that battery life is the most important aspect for most of us?????????

50. romeo1

Posts: 830; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

S7 should just get a 0 for performance it's still a mess with multi tasking even 2yr old flagships destroy it in that department. Hope samsung will fix this before launch. Also you shouldn't make a point system on things you just don't know

49. Shubham1221

Posts: 153; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

For me Its LG G5.I dont prefer glass back of galaxy S7.Sony x performance is my second choice.

47. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

"The Samsung tends to be a bit jerkier" you've not used the phone and you already concluded is going to be jerky? Bias.

42. Lyngdoh

Posts: 319; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

"...there surely must be quite a few differences between the two, right?" Wrong, there's three.

41. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2128; Member since: May 29, 2014

G5 is the best phone here for me! Can't wait to get my hands on it!

46. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

But not for me. For me is the G4. Because it's rectangular.

40. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Sony's XP just took the wind out of Sammy's sail!

39. xperian

Posts: 421; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Since for me the most important things are performance, display and design, Sony is a winner for me. Better camera while not a must for me, would be nice. All they have to do is reduce megapixel count. Because more pixels = smaller pixels, less light, more noise

38. vuyonc

Posts: 1094; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

"Performance: G5: 3 pt Xperia X Performance: 2 pt Galaxy S7: 2 pt" I don't recall the G5 using a 1080p display or UFS 2.0 storage... And you didn't bother checking the front facing cameras either. It would at least be a three way draw given the Xperia's has the highest resolution and has PDAF unlike the others...

37. Tomgabriele

Posts: 30; Member since: Feb 25, 2016

I begrudgingly like the S7 the best. I really want Sony and LG to do well, and I like the LG is trying something new, but Samsung just seems to have the best package - screen, camera, water resistance, microSD.

33. enzotarece

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

All when everything is perfect in a Sony this site yes phonearea will always have Sony last such a shame give credit where credit is due

35. jellmoo

Posts: 2721; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

They did...

45. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Agree+1

32. jellmoo

Posts: 2721; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

All the calls to include the Mi 5: I would say no. It's not a global release device. If Xiaomi manages to achieve some semblance of a world wide launch, absolutely. But when the only way to get it is to use a sketchy third party portal, it becomes a niche device and not a player in a comparison between global handsets.

30. WallStreet

Posts: 256; Member since: Sep 21, 2014

Mi 5 scored 140000 on Antutu, so should be here as well unless PA already placed it one league above. Sony great job with the screensize and resolution as well the overall design. G5 looks really nice, but it's just too big.

44. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

G5 is ugly. Even the public dislikes it. Even LG had to make an attack add on Samsung, figuring out it was to late to change the design.

48. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Thats because all other phones were 1440p while Mi5 is 1080p.

29. .KRATOS.

Posts: 444; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

having loads of added functionality often leads to a messier and clumsier UI, and that' exactly the case here. N their talking about the S7 here well every hands on with the galaxy s7 all praised it's performance n the fast ui n all that, what do you mean by clumsy and messy

28. wando77

Posts: 1173; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Sorry, what were the weaknpoints of samsung'site Amoled screens again? I thought they went front 2 nits- 850 nits,bone of the best screen reflectance ratios, perfect colours, perfect blacks, great viewing angles AND can apparently now be used with sunglasses. Did I miss something?

27. jellmoo

Posts: 2721; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

As somebody that is not very high on Samsung it pains me to say this, but if they had put the S7 edge in this comparison, I'm pretty sure it would have come out the winner.

26. jauling

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

should of pitted these 3 against the Mi 5 too, ya know.. just for giggles

24. FlySheikh

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

Xperia X Performance then GS7 then LG G5

21. tedkord

Posts: 17546; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I like the front of the Sony, but the back looks like a restaurant refrigerator door.

43. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Just like my stainless steel zinc aluminium Samsung fridge.

18. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

GS7 and X Performance FTW. LG G5 has more to fix.

25. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

more to fix is a unique feature of G5. Which S7 and X performance doesnt have. Both S7 and X performance are typical bare devices.

17. Supraman21

Posts: 471; Member since: Jun 09, 2010

That brushed aluminum does not look classy. It looks ugly and cheap as hell.

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