Introduction


With Pantech gone, South Korea is left with just two notable smartphone manufacturers — LG and Samsung. Many of you will know that the cross-town rivalry between the two has been going on for a long time, as the two chaebols regularly clash in a number of industries, most notably smartphones.

Whether as a function of size — LG is half as big as its competitor — or strategy and talent, Samsung has consistently outdone the former in terms of phone sales. But while volumes are indicative of financial success, it doesn't mean that Samsung necessarily has the better handset at every corner. That, at least, is the way we approach this or any other comparison.

With the Galaxy S6, Samsung had a ton to prove. Not only are sales slumping, but consumers have been consistently questioning the company's design choices and heavy software. It took a decisive step forward with the S6, though, addressing both these overarching concerns. LG, too, has been keeping itself busy, for the G4 has also addressed similar issues and put a greater-than-ever emphasis on camera performance and screen quality.

Which one, if either, has the upper hand, then? This will be a real tough one, so continue on reading and don't skim through!

Design

Retro-chic leather, or the slightly colder embrace of modernistic metal-and-glass?

We probably will never know for sure whether LG had it planned all along or was simply responding to a more premium Galaxy S flagship, but it definitely upped its game with the G4. Sure, the 'normal' model still has a plastic bod (with an off-beat, diamond pattern at the back, mind you), but the more premium, leather version is definitely up to snuff and a very adequate answer to the S6.

Speaking of Samsung's new flagship, the company has heard consumers' feedback, and has encased the S6 within a glass-and-metal body for an added appeal. The combination ensures both a desirable exterior and a pleasurable grip.

Turning to ergonomics, there's no contest — being the considerably smaller device, the Galaxy S6 is easily the more comfortable phone to use single-handedly. This is mostly attributable to the G4's larger screen, which we'll touch on in a bit, though the fact that LG's new flagship is actually bulkier than its predecessor is not helping matters, either. The most shocking difference between the two heavy hitters, however, is thickness — the Galaxy S6 is significantly thinner than the G4.

The G4 is not without its merits, though. Sure, it is larger, and sure, it is thicker, but that doesn't mean that it's uncomfortable to hold — its curved back helps with that — nor does it make essential controls, such as the volume rocker, any harder to access.

In the end, these are 'only' the facts. It's up to you to decide which one is more in tune with your own design tastes, though we have to admit that we're pretty much split and don't have an absolute favorite between the two.


LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

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



Display

Empty promises from LG — the G4's screen is far from perfect, especially when compared with the Galaxy S6's.

Both companies decided to stick to their guns, and refused to tweak the size of the display panels they chose for their respective flagships. So, like with the Galaxy S5 and LG G3 last year, we again have a 5.1-inch screen facing a larger, 5.5-inch unit. There's only one change here — Samsung upped the ante and ushered the Galaxy S6 into the Quad HD resolution club, where it'll keep the G4 company. The two configs work out to a pixel pitch of 577 ppi for the Galaxy S6 and 538 ppi for the LG G4. It's more than you really need.

But you could have gathered as much by just looking at the specs sheet of both devices. So what about the actual quality of the two panels?

With the G4, LG wanted to impress upon us the myriad of improvements that its new, 'Quantum Display' IPS screen brings to the table, including higher contrast and brightness, and better color quality. Of course, we seldom have a flagship announcement that isn't accompanied by such claims. The real thing, however, doesn't always live up to these promises, and the G4 is a good example.

For starters, LG's flagship features a screen that is overly cold (bluish-looking whites and grays), with a measured color temperature of 8000K. Compare that with the almost perfect, 6600K temperature of the Galaxy S6's Super AMOLED panel in its most color-accurate 'Basic' mode (6500K is optimal). This disparity extends to color reproduction, as well — the 5.5-incher of the G4 is consistently off target with the hues it renders, and colors such as red and green are visibly over-saturated at higher intensities. In contrast, the Galaxy S6 tends to stick to the sRGB color space and isn't a victim of as significant color errors.

Moving on, the Galaxy S6 is also ahead in terms of brightness output, with a measured luminance of 563 nits, which is a great figure. Meanwhile, the G4 peaks at 454, which is still decent, but chances are the coming summer will be harsher on G4 owners. As for minimum brightness, the two are tied at the excellent 2 nits, which will be appreciated by night owls.



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38 Comments

1. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Wtf? Why do you keep recreating this test? This is the third time.

2. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

It was against S6 Edge on previous one, but still S6 wins in this one

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Unfortunately I must agree.

26. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

I'm sorry that I have to say it here, this review is sloppy at least. Especially in the camera comparison page deliberately tries to alter reality. It's not mentioned G4's 3 axis OIS and the special light sensor for color but is mentioned the S6's "phase detection auto focus wizardry" that G4 has too (AF Assist Beam). The first G4's photos in outdoors samples are sharp but later at the parking with the red barels suddenly become like from a 4 mpx camera. Also at G4's first photos (1 and 3) its camera is turned more towards the sun resulting to flare at the rigt bottom corner of the photo 1. I think it would be fair to shoot to the same direction, theme framed the same way, from the same distance and at the same time, so no different light conditions for each camera. Some photos have different shadows, cars appear only in one of the two etc. You mention that G4's photos are a bit blurry at the edges. And that S6's doesn't. Well, check again your photos. For example S6's photo 6 right bottom corner. You know that is absolutely normal for those tiny lenses, right? You say that G4's indoor flash photos have a yellowish color (they also have a finger) but you forgot to write about the intense red hue of S6's indoors low light and the pinkish flash ones. Also you could say that S6's camera doesn't try to correct and balance the yellow light from the street lamps (photos 57-64) like the G4 does. I'm just saying... Don't both cameras are of 16 mpx? Then why S6's low light and flash photos have only 6 mpx resolution? (objects apear smaller) So we can't see the S6's low light and flash photos reality and to appear even in detail wiyh G4's? That's not sloppiness, that's intensional!

27. barondebxl

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

The S6 is the current best phone right now. When the G4 is released nothing will change. Just suck it up

28. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

Any arguments on true facts? No? Only buzzwords?

9. AndroidStuff

Posts: 47; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

ROFL S6 wins??? buhahah !!! im not a fan of LG but in my opinion !!! S6 Edge > LG G4 > S6 > M9

33. Shocky unregistered

S6 Edge and S6 are basically the same phone. What you've posted doesn't make any sense.

29. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

As for battery life itself, the G4 could be a good choice for buyers disappointed by usage times of the Galaxy S6. I've been getting around 16 hours per day with mixed usage consisting of web browsing, messaging, music streaming and photography using the rear camera. Phil has seen about the same. With more intensive usage patterns on LTE, with heavier camera use, this figure dropped to around 14 hours. To put that in terms of screen-on time, I've been getting around 4 hours with mixed indoor and outdoor use on Wifi and LTE. You'll get a full day comfortably, but little more. For most of us, that's not sufficient to comfortably squeeze a second day's use out of a single charge. But it is enough that I'm not worrying about the G4 needing a mid-day top-up, as many GS6 owners including our own editors have found. android central

30. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

most reviewers agreed g4 does have better battery than s6 so phone arena its time to correct your batter review on g4. set the in the same method with what you did on the s6.

7. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

He wants to emphasize to people how superior the s6 is! even the battery comparison is not fair He used not the same methods.

17. alouden unregistered

And the screen comparison is still flawed. I'm not saying the G4 has a better screen. But others are saying it is quite good, close to the GS6 and quite bright. Over 500 nits, in fact. PA would still have you believe that the G3 has a brighter screen. Absolutely NO one else is saying this. What troubles me is PA is making no effort to correct this.

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Ftw yet ultimately ftl. Samsung took design cues from Apple so I wouldn't call the S6 design innovative.

6. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Like what?

5. gaming64 unregistered

Oh, now you compared the G4 to the regular S6. Didn't you already compared this to the "edgified" version of the S6???

8. jessyi

Posts: 327; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

What are you trying to change with multiple reviews..we all knownthe G4 is the king in camera.

11. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

I disagree. I've seen a lot of photos from different sources and the S6 usually performs better than the G4.

10. Shocky unregistered

I just went through the images the Galaxy S6 shots look better to me, even in low light. That Pro should go to the Galaxy S6 and not the LG G4. The dynamic range is greater on the S6, they look a little darker but it's probably more accurate.

12. QWERTYslider unregistered

Samsung better release a S6 variant with a removable battery and SD ASAP or I'm buying a G4 instead......

13. hotshot123

Posts: 3; Member since: May 04, 2015

go buy g4, sam is not going to do that

14. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

Go buy your G4 then.

21. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

go for The beautiful G4 if you prefer removable battery and changeable back cover also the expandable memory either way you can't go wrong.

23. alouden unregistered

You should buy the G4, then. Each phone brings strengths and weaknesses. You won't go wrong with either phone.

15. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

LOL This is the same comparison as before, WTF PHONE ARENA?!

22. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

real comparison is better than written one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFlYg4jKtlw

16. ama3654

Posts: 295; Member since: Nov 27, 2012

GS6 the undisputed champion. I'll say camera is equal in quality photos except GS6 is much faster at launching, taking and processing photos. Everything else, the GS6 just kills the LG G4. LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 Edge - Ultimate Speed Test(Real life performance)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4p_pO4I0Hw

18. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

lol what is the 2 seconds difference? g4 does have bigger screen that means better for multi tasking video play back, browsing, and many more g4 is not a slow phone either its indeed a faster than most phones on the market and it can perform longer than s6 no over heating issue either no lags ...

25. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

It's not a slow phone but its direct rival offers better performance for the same price ballpark. Also, the G4 is already in phablet size, unlike the S6 which is more phone-like in size.

20. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

L BS is actually a samsung fan ever since so its not worth to rely on his review comparison

19. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

its a shamed that snapdragon 808 can still match exynos 7420 in some areas lol

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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