Samsung Galaxy S5 vs LG G2
The main cameras on Samsung's recent flagships have all performed fabulously, and the Galaxy S5's 16MP snapper is not an exception. The megapixel count alone is impressive, but so is the built-in phase detection auto-focus, which needs as little as 0.3 seconds to lock the focus onto an object. As for the module itself, it sports a 1/2.6” sensor with F2.2 aperture, decently large 1.12-micron pixels, and native aspect ratio of 16:9. On the back of the LG G2 we find a 13MP camera with an aperture of F/2.4 and a sensor that is 1/3.06 in size. A perk that the G2 has, but the S5 lacks, is the built-in optical image stabilization, active while shooting photos and video.
Launching the camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S5 brings forth an interface that's well-organized and rich in features. HDR mode is present, of course, and what's great about it is that it gives us a live preview of the shot. With the fancy Selective Focus feature enabled, you may adjust the focus in the shot after it has been taken. When this mode is enabled, however, photos take longer to take, which is why it is best to turn it on only when you know you may need it. The camera UI on the LG G2 is about as easy to use as the one on the S5, but its selection of modes and extras isn't quite as broad.
As far as image quality goes, the Samsung Galaxy S5 produced slightly better photos than the LG G2 in our test shoot-out. Accent here is on “slightly” because the latter's images looked almost as good. Both phones can take photos in great detail, as it becomes evident when we hit that 100% zoom button. The Galaxy S5 has a tendency of producing sharper details, but artificially boosts colors' saturation a notch. The LG G2, on the other hand, softens details quite a bit, presumably as part of its noise-reducing algorithms, but retains the color saturation levels at a neutral state.
When it comes to recording video, the Samsung Galaxy S5 can shoot 60 frame-per-second footage at 1080p resolution. 4K video at 30 fps is also an option, as long as you don't mind the extra-large files that it produces. The LG G2's camera does not support the latter resolution so the highest setting that you have to work with is 1080p at 60 fps. And you know what, we don't mind. The phone's 1080p video is with great image quality, packing plenty of details, and the optical image stabilization does a great job at keeping the frame steady. Sound quality is, sadly, mediocre at best. The Galaxy S5's 1080p videos are well above average in terms of quality, but we were expecting them to be slightly more detailed. All in all, the LG G2 is a tad better at shooting daytime 1080p vids.
There's nothing surprising about the audio player pre-loaded onto the Samsung Galaxy S5. It is a straightforward, simple-to-use app with tabs at the top for our tracks, albums, artists, and so on. Still, we're glad to see that the goodies found on Samsung's flagship from yesteryear, such as the Adapt Sound and Sound Alive audio-enhancements, are present. The LG G2's music player is very similar in terms of appearance and layout, but it has a weaker selection of equalizer presets. Still, it is perfectly usable.
We copied our usual set of video samples onto the Samsung Galaxy S5 and, to no surprise, they all ran fine at resolutions of up to 1080p. Same were the results with the LG G2. Naturally, both smartphones are ideal for watching videos on thanks to their large, high-quality screens.
The LG G2 sports a mono loudspeaker on its bottom side and its quality is mediocre at best. It gets the job done, but only as long as you're not in a noisy place. The Samsung Galaxy S5, by comparison, has a single speaker on its back and it produce clearer sound at higher volume levels. We'd rather use that any day even though its positioning is not optimal for enjoying those YouTube videos.
One perk that you won't get with any smartphone is a built-in IR blaster for controlling TVs, stereos, and set-top boxes. Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G2 have one. Yay!