LG G5 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
In the world of Android devices, Samsung and LG are the two giants that make some of the most recognizable products.
The smartphone philosophies of both companies have recently undergone some huge changes: Samsung did much of the changing last year with the radically new design on the Galaxy S6, while LG is doing it this year with the LG G5. The G5 tries to bring something different to a mature market: a phone with modular design and a brand new metal look. How does it compare with the curved-screen Galaxy S7 edge, and is that modular design something that brings meaningful change?
And then, what about the new, dual-camera system on the G5 with its secondary wide-angle lens? A gimmick or genuinely useful?
We compare two of the best Android phones at the moment: the 5.3” G5 with all its bells and whistles against the more familiar yet still modern, 5.5” Galaxy S7 edge. Let’s see which one comes on top.
The Galaxy S7 edge features a stunning design: solidly put together and visually appealing, while the G5 pales in comparison.
The Galaxy S7 edge brings a minimal change in design from the S6 edge, yet we feel that those minimal changes have all been in the right places: the tapered back is a big improvement for those who will not put a case on their phone, while the physical buttons are very clicky and responsive. Put simply, the Galaxy S7 edge with its metal frame and shiny (but also fingerprint-catching) glass back is impressively well put together.
The LG G5, on the other hand, is the first high-end phone by LG that is made of metal. “Good,” said grumpy cat. We’re no grumpy cat, but the metal shell and overall design of the G5 feels generic. We’ve seen multiple times cheaper phones from China with a metal body with more character. While we’re on a negative note, we should also note two minor complaints: the removable bottom part is so connected that there is a visible gap between it and the main body (not a dealbreaker, but still annoying), while the edges of the phone are unnecessarily sharp. Up front, the screen is tapered towards the bottom and upper side.
LG has also moved the volume buttons to the side, while the power/lock key has remained on the back and now integrates a fingerprint scanner.
In terms of size, the LG G5 is definitely a regression from its predecessor: its large bezel around the screen, makes it unnecessarily large and contributes to a somewhat dated look. In fact, the 5.3” G5 is actually wider than the Galaxy S7 edge!
Last, but not least: water protection! The Galaxy S7 edge has it and the G5 does not. We love water protection: it could save your costly gadget in many occasions and it’s cool to have even if you just play tunes in the bathroom (you should try it, seriously!). Technically, the S7 edge has IP68 certification, which means that it is safe to submerge it in up to 5 feet deep water for as long as half an hour.
The 5.3” Quad HD on the G5 is good, but not great - colors are overblown and viewing angles are not on par. The 5.5” Super AMOLED screen on the S7 edge is quite the contrast: with great colors and lots of customization available.
The obvious difference between the S7 edge and G5 display is in the way the screen is shaped: the 5.5” S7 edge has that very minimal curve towards both sides, while the G5 is flat.
Then, there is size: we have a 5.5” Super AMOLED display on the S7 edge, while the G5 features a moderately smaller, 5.3” IPS LCD screen. Both are Quad HD panels, both are super sharp at pixel densities above 400ppi, so you won’t notice any jagged edges or pixelization. You should, however, note the difference in screen tech: both phones feature a fancy new Always-on Display feature that shows the time and missed notifications (on the S7 edge you can also see the calendar and an image), but the implementation is vastly different. On the S7 edge, the Always-on screen is very contrasty, perfectly visible from any angle, while on the G5 it’s pale and barely useful, as it’s often hard to see the time when you are looking at the phone on your desk at an angle.
There is also a big difference in the way the two display colors. The LCD display on the G5 is oversaturated when compared against the sRGB color standard that virtually all images and movies are created for. Whites are also noticeably blue on the G5, which is a bit annoying. The Galaxy S7 edge, on the other hand, offers various screen modes. The default Adaptive screen mode is also oversaturated, but you can switch to the Basic mode (go into Settings > Display > Screen mode to do so) that features very well balanced colors that look great. The automatic brightness settings on both are a bit off: the G5 consistently chooses dimmer settings, while the S7 edge can be off both ways.