Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6
2017 will likely go down in smartphone history as the year when the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 seriously disturbed the waters with their arrival, marking a paradigm shift for smartphone design. They are flashy, they look cool, they have top-end internals, and they reside in one and the same segment. Thus, a clash between those two South Korean entrants is inevitable. Which one will end up on top, waving the flag of victory? Let's try to find out!
The future is here, no doubt about it
No beating around the bush – design is an area in which Samsung and LG have invested quite a bit. Both the Galaxy S8 and G6 are a far-cry from the previous representatives of their respective flagship lineups. The reason for that is immediately obvious to anyone who sees either phone on a picture or in real-life — the extremely high screen-to-body ratio introduced by the bezel-busting design makes the duo feel pretty "next-gen".
Compared to one another, the two South Korean wonderboys are rather similar in terms of design philosophy, but differ slightly in the execution. The display occupies the predominant portion of the front of either device, with very thin bezels at the top and bottom. Then again, with its neatly-curved display, the Galaxy S8 feels and looks a bit more futurstic than the boxy LG G6, which is completely flat on the front. The G6 doesn't do away with the side bezels, whereas the Galaxy S8 leaves the impression of being a mostly bezel-less affair. Both phones also sacrifice a bunch of pixels near their corners, which are rounded — the G6 is said to be doing that for added protection, whereas Samsung was pursuing visual appeal.
Beautiful... and slightly impractical — the edge display is prone to accidentally registering your touches, which could end up being an aggravating side-effect of the non-flat screen.
Size-wise, at 2.83” (71.9mm), the LG G6 is a bit wider than the Galaxy S8, which stands at 2.68” (68.1mm). In terms of thickness, the difference is marginal with the LG G6 being just a millimeter thinner than the Galaxy S8; however, the G6 is a bit heavier than the Galaxy S8 but most people won't be able to discern a difference. The height of the two phones is exactly the same (5.86”, 148.3mm) – make no mistake, these are two tall devices, and you will likely have to stretch your hand to reach the status bar even if you own a pair of relatively large hands.
Samsung has ditched its staple hardware set of keys in favor of a software solution because there's simply not enough space to accommodate its signature home button. Mind you, the display area where the software home button resides is pressure-sensitive, allowing you to interact with this one no matter what app you're using at the moment and even if it's running in fullscreen. The LG G6, on the other hand, relies on a set of ordinary software buttons and has none of that pressure-sensitive mojo on the deck.
The Galaxy S8's fingerprint scanner is at the back and so is the G6's, but we tend to favor LG's positioning more as it's easier to locate and interact with. It's worth noting that the G6's sensor also doubles as a button, whereas the one Galaxy S8 isn't clickable. The latter has an additional button, though – it's intended for easily launching Bixby, Samsung's fancy new smart assistant.
Another thing we love about both phones is that they are IP68 water- and dust-proof and also boast standard 3.5mm audio jacks.
Which one feels better in the hand? Depends on who you ask. There's no denying the Galaxy S8 looks great and so does the G6, but from a true usability perspective, LG's flagship feels a tad more practical to us, due to the flat screen.
The Galaxy S8 wins an important victory here
For all intents and purposes, the displays of the Galaxy S8 and the G6 are their one true highlights. And what highlights these two are!
The so-called 'Infinity Display' up front the Galaxy S8 is a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED affair that boasts the peculiar resolution of 1,440 by 2,960 pixels, making it delightfully crisp at 570ppi.
In the other camp, the LG G6 is rocking a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1,440 by 2,880 pixels that works out a pixel density of 561ppi. Albeit this metric is lower than the Galaxy S8's one, both are so extremely high that there isn't any visible difference.
What's common about both devices is that they are straying away from the standard 9:16 aspect ratio — the G6 is employing the 9:18 one, whereas the Galaxy S8 goes even further with its 9:18.5 aspect ratio. This taller aspect ratio doesn't play too well with most video and games, but it does give developers a bit more real estate to use up for their apps and interfaces. At this time, there isn't much out there to make good use of it.
As far as display quality goes, both devices boast pretty good panels. In its Basic mode, the Galaxy S8 represents colors more correctly than the G6, as the latter's color rendition is a bit off and slightly over-saturated for our liking. Both the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 are bright enough, easily clocking in at more that 500 nits of brightness, with the S8 even capable of hitting 1000 nits in certain situations. Measuring at 8639K, the display of the G6 is noticeably colder than the more natural one on the Galaxy S8, which clocks in at 6777K.