Introduction


Apple’s iPhone 7 seems to be in a league of its own when it comes to sales: it has been the best selling single phone model in the world in the past few years, and there are no signs of this changing anytime soon. This, however, does not mean that there aren’t many other phones that rival it at the high-end spectrum. This year, LG was particularly adamant about its idea of modular design in its flagship G5. A metal phone with an easily swappable battery, expandable storage and a few interesting add-on modules, the LG G5 is an interesting alternative to the iPhone 7.

With an excellent main camera and an interesting wide-angle secondary rear camera, the LG G5 has what it takes to differentiate itself in a world of similar flagship devices.

Is this enough of a reason to recommend it over the iPhone 7? We compare the two phones in depth to see what the benefits and negatives that come with each one are.

Design

The smaller and more pocketable iPhone has the more memorable design and a water-resistant body. The G5 lacks personality, but has a 3.5mm headset jack.


Both the Apple iPhone 7 and LG G5 are made of metal, but the two differ a lot in their looks and actual design.

The most obvious difference is in the size: the 4.7” iPhone is way more compact and pocketable than the 5.3” LG G5. The iPhone is both shorter and narrower, as well as a hair thinner. It still feels substantial in the hand: the iPhone 7 weighs 138 grams, which is not heavy by any means, but given its small size is still a weight that gives the device some solid heft. The G5, being the larger phone, is even heavier at 159 g.

Of course, there is one thing that you can’t overlook: there’s no 3.5mm headset jack on the iPhone 7. Apple is betting boldly on a wireless audio as the future and freeing up space for a larger battery by removing the 3.5mm jack. How big of a deal is it? Depends on the user: if you are used to plugging your phone to a pair headphones, to your home stereo system, or via AUX to your car audio, you will need to adjust a bit. Apple, however, does provide a free Lightning port to 3.5mm adapter in the box with every iPhone 7, and there’s a pair of EarPods headphones that now work via the Lightning port, so some of that annoyance is mitigated. The G5 still has a 3.5mm jack.

Both phones feature fingerprint readers: the one on the iPhone 7 is on the front, which is more convenient as you can easily unlock your phone when it’s lying on a table, and it’s the faster and more accurate sensor, while the LG G5 has its finger scanner on the back.

In terms of actual design, the iPhone 7 is practically unchanged from the last two generations of iPhones. Yes, the antenna lines are more discreet now, running along the edges of the phone, and the camera bump is now a well integrated part of the body, but all else remains largely the same. The two new color options: a matte black and a glossy jet black model have been in huge demand, and definitely add a lot of personality to the iPhone 7.

In terms of style, the LG G5 does not have any glaring deficiencies, but just tends to look a bit generic, lacking in personality. Then, there is the modular construction: the bottom of the phone is detached with a simple press of a button, but the juncture between the bottom chin and the rest of the phone is not perfectly hidden and there is a slight, but noticeable gap between the two.

As for the modularity concept, as good as it sounded on paper initially, it turned out that the modules that were offered were a very niche product. Way too few people want a DAC module or a camera grip, and LG has failed to convince people that modules can deliver meaningful features worthy of the awkward bulk that comes with them.

The iPhone 7, on the other hand, adds a meaningful new feature: water and dust protection with a newly acquired IP67 rating, meaning the phone can survive a short drop in water, a surprisingly common occurrence that could be fatal for an electronic device with no such protection. LG’s G5 lacks such protection.


Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

LG G5

LG G5

Dimensions

5.88 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches

149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

LG G5

LG G5

Dimensions

5.88 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches

149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

The iPhone 7’s smaller, 4.7” display has more appealing colors, while the 5.3” G5 screen is sharp and good-looking, but not perfectly color accurate.


Apple’s iPhone 7 has the noticeably smaller, 4.7” LCD display with a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels, while the LG G5 has a mid-sized, 5.3” LCD screen with a much higher, 1440 x 2560 pixel (Quad HD) resolution.

True, the LG G5 is the one that has the much sharper display on paper: it has pixel density of 554 pixels per inch (ppi), while the iPhone has 326ppi, but in real life that difference in sharpness is not all that obvious. The places where you do see it the most is when reading text and looking at it from very up close: in those cases you can see a slight pixelization and jagged edges on the iPhone, but it’s a very subtle difference.

When it comes to color, both screens look good, but for different reasons. The LG G5 has eye-popping color that looks appealing to your common user, but colors look unnatural. Folks like photographers who care about color accuracy won’t find it on the G5. The iPhone 7, on the other hand, is the first phone to support the wider-than-sRGB DCI-P3 color space with native color management, meaning that the phone is able to show the wider, richer colors of DCI-P3 when they are there, but also fall back to sRGB when it needs to show sRGB content. It’s a great system and Apple is the first one to get there with native color management. The screen truly is very accurate to both these standards and is a pleasure to look at.

Both phones also can get very bright. On paper, the G5 outputs the impressive 816 nits, against 632 for the iPhone 7, but in reality, LG's phone is harder to view under sunlight.

The iPhone 7 also has the useful Night Shift option that filters out blue light at night, done to help our brains prepare better for sleep and not be distracted by the blue light. The LG G5 lacks such an option natively.

The LG G5, on the other hand, has an always-on display option that shows you things like the time and date even when your screen is locked. This is a cool feature to have, but we wish text was a little brighter since it’s almost impossible to see it during the day. At night, though, it’s not too bright and you can easily use the G5 as a night clock. The iPhone lacks such an option.



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13 Comments

1. BobLawblaw unregistered

The v10 was released before the G5 and its still a better phone..

2. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

LG is always manufacturing phones!!!! Good to know.

3. Jishnusur

Posts: 173; Member since: Oct 07, 2013

Good lord. Look at those pics. The dynamic range in the LG is way better. Still, iphonearena lol

4. jellmoo

Posts: 2583; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Ah yes, the battle nobody was clamouring to see.

10. shnibz

Posts: 510; Member since: Sep 18, 2011

Hahaha true that

5. Vagabondjonez

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

Don't people know LGs been using the DCI color stripe since the G4... More memorable design? Wow....

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

PA score iPhone7 : 9.3 LG G5 : 8.3 User Review score iPhone7 : 8.3 LG G5 : 9.3 what a coincidence

7. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

You do realize PA the V20 is available? The G5 was a failure. Don't think people were waiting for this showdown.

9. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Regardless of sales performance, the G5 is still a very good device and also a bargain. It is hardly a "failure" in every day usage the extra wide-angle camera is an excellent bonus. The battery is removable and storage is expandable. Benchmarks might've mattered in 2014, but as fast as these phones are today - the real world difference isn't much if anything at all. The bottom line is - as actual users point out, in real life, the G5 wins.

12. thunderc8

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

Failure?that's hardly the case here. G5 had better camera is very fast and has removable battery and micro sd. Besides the bad reviews G5 is the best phone you can get right now at the price is offered.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31029; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

LG makes some bad ass phones, but the design language just doesn't do it for me. The iPhone in its 3rd year of this particular design cycle still looks a lot better to me. iOS needs more cutting edge features though, it's time for a revamp.

11. shnibz

Posts: 510; Member since: Sep 18, 2011

Not necessary PA. No one else is considering a G5.

13. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

I would highly consider one over the iPhone 7.

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