Samsung and LG aren’t waiting for Mobile World Congress 2016 to kick off tomorrow to take the wraps off its newest flagship devices. The LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7, and Galaxy S7 Edge will be the next flagship phones released to customers. We’re here to help clear the air on exactly what these phones have in common, and where they contrast.
- Metal Body
- 5.3″ IPS LCD 2560 x 1440p Screen
- 16 + 8 MP dual main cameras, 8 MP front facing camera
- Snapdragon 820 Processor
- 32 GB of Storage (expandable up to 2 TB), 4 GB of RAM
- 2,800 mAh removable battery
- USB Type-C Port
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge:
- Glass body and aluminum frame
- 5.1″ AMOLED 2560 x 1440p Screen/5.5″ curved AMOLED 2560 x 1440p Screen
- 12 MP dual pixel main camera, 5 MP front facing camera
- Snapdragon 820 Processor (2.15GHz + 1.6GHz)
- 32 GB of Storage (expandable up to 200 GB), 4 GB of RAM
- 3,000 mAh/3,600 mAh embedded battery
- Micro USB Port
- IP68 water and dust resistance
As we can see, the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge share a lot of similarities in terms of specs. Both will come with 32 GB of storage standard that can be supplemented with a MicroSD Card, 4 GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 820 processor.
The G5 and S7 will have similar battery sizes. The G5 will clock in a 2,800 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 will have a 3,000 mAh battery. Where they differ, however, is the ability to remove the batteries from the phone. The G5 will allow you to replace the battery as you please, but the battery is built into the S7 and S7 Edge. The S7 Edge will feature a slightly bigger 3,600 mAh battery.
We will see 2560 x 1440 resolution screens on both companies’ phones. The G5 will feature an IPS LCD panel, while Samsung will continue to use Super AMOLED panels for both of its phones. We will also be treated to always-on screen technology for both phones. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge will feature two curved edges to its display.
LG has jumped on the USB Type-C bandwagon, and will feature the new USB standard in the G5. Samsung is sticking with the tried and true (but older) Micro USB standard for the S7 and S7 Edge.
One of the biggest differences between the phones will be the cameras. While we expect the phones will all take great pictures, the camera technology will differ significantly. LG is going big with two cameras on the back that feature a 16 MP camera with a 75 degree field of view lens, and an 8 MP wide angle shooter that has a 135 degree field of view. Samsung is going with a 12 MP f/1.7 aperture shooter that is designed to let in more light in low-light situations. LG will have an 8 MP front facing camera, while Samsung will feature a 5 MP camera.
The most recent version of Google’s Android Operating System, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, will be featured on the LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7, and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Both companies make significant software changes on top of Android, with LG adding its UX 4.0 skin and Samsung adding its TouchWiz skin.
As previously mentioned, both the LG G5 and the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will have always-on displays. They both work much like previous offerings from Motorola and in stock Android. You’ll be able to see a darkened screen that subtly displays things like the time, date and notifications.
LG is using an IPS LCD screen, so it will only turn on the top third of the screen to display notifications, thus saving power. LG states that its always-on display will use under 1% of battery life an hour. Since the Galaxy line uses AMOLED screens, only the pixels that are being used will be turned on. Samsung will also offer more advanced third party integration into the always-on display, and let users download additional themes and widgets to customize the look.
While the LG G5 will feature a metal unibody design, it will still open up at the bottom so you can swap out the batteries. This gives LG an interesting opportunity to let users add in modules to expand the functionality. LG announced the “Friends” program that will allow first and third party modules to be purchased and added to the phone.
In LG’s presentation, we saw examples of the modules including the LG Cam Plus, LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY, and LG 360 VR, among others. One of the most interesting modules debuted was the expanded battery. With this module, LG is taking a firm stance on users being able to use the phone exactly how they want, and it lasting throughout the day. You can read more in depth about these modules and add-ons in our coverage here.
One popular feature is making a return to Samsung’s flagship devices. Water resistance will be included with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in the way of an IP68 certification. Not only will your phone be able to stand up to splash and accidental spills, but it is rated to withstand up to a half an hour under water at 1.5 meters.
LG has not indicated that water resistance is included in the G5.
It was never really in doubt that LG would have expandable storage in its phone this year. A microSD card slot has been a staple of LG’s phones for several years now. But, what may have surprised some is that expandable storage is making a return to Samsung’s Galaxy lineup after being absent in 2015.
The increasingly popular dual card slot is to thank for both of the flagships featuring expandable storage. While some phones offer dual SIM cards or a SIM card and micro SD card support, the G5 and S7 will offer the latter only. The G5 will offer increased storage of up to 2 TB of data, while the S7 and S7 Edge will offer customers an additional 200 GB of storage.
Quick and Wireless Charging
Both LG’s G5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will feature Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard. Quick Charge 3.0 is 27 percent faster and 45 percent more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0, which both companies had in its flagships last year.
What sets the competitors apart is the addition of Wireless charging in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
2016 will be much like 2015 when Samsung came out of the gate with support for Qi and Powermat wireless charging standards. Later in the year, Samsung introduced Fast Wireless Charging in the Note5 and S6 Edge+. This technology will carry over into the S7 and S7 Edge. The G5 will lack wireless charging, just like the G4 last year.
So, when can we get our hands on these new super phones? Details are a bit murky for the LG G5 right now. Many carriers are putting out statements stating that release plans for the G5 will be communicated in the coming weeks. What we do know is that the G5 will be released in all major markets at the same time, instead of a staged roll out like the LG G4 last year that launched a month earlier in South Korea than it did in the U.S.
The picture for Samsung is much clearer. Starting on Tuesday, February 23 you can pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The phones will officially launch on Friday, March 11 in carrier stores, Samsung Experience Shops in Best Buy, on BestBuy.com, Car Toys, Sam’s Club, Staples, Target, and Walmart.
If you pre-order between February 23 and March 18, you’ll be entitled to a free Gear VR (valued at $99). If you’d like to take a look at the devices before you decide to pre-order, you can head over to Best Buy stores starting February 24 and participating AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular stores on February 26.
What do you think about the newest flagships from LG and Samsung? Does the G5, Galaxy S7, or Galaxy S7 Edge entice you into upgrading? Let us know down in the comments if you plan to get any of these phones.