Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: The two biggest Android phones of 2016 go head to head

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: The two biggest Android phones of 2016 go head to head

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: Features

LG G5’s key feature is how it allows you to add and remove components as you see fit. Want a bigger battery, more accurate camera controls or a better amplifier? Done. You can switch parts out to create a smartphone to suit your day.

Besides that, the G5 features a USB Type-C connector, another in the wave of handsets adopting the new reversible charging and data-transfer cable. It also features NFC, Bluetooth 4 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and runs LG’s TouchWiz UI version of Android Marshmallow. It also boasts a low-power always-on display so you’ll never miss a notification.

Interestingly, there’s also a slew of companion devices that are designed to be controlled from the G5’s screen. While these are separate purchases and don’t come with the phone itself, they do show the versatility of LG’s mobile hardware.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, on the other hand, have only a minimal set of additions over the previous S6 and S6 Edge. The S7 now has a microSD slot, much to the joy of old Samsung Galaxy fans who abandoned the S6 due to its limitations, and has IP68 water resistance. As with the G5, the S7 and S7 Edge both have always-on displays, which shouldn’t drain your battery due to the low-power nature of Samsung’s Super AMOLED display.

The biggest new feature in both S7 phones is the watercooling system. A sealed “thermal spreader” inside the S7 uses water evaporation and condensation to cool the phone more effectively. This should translate into better performance from the S7, but we’ll be able to confirm that once we receive a unit for review.

From a features perspective, the LG G5 takes the crown – even if it is only because of its more novel approach to phone design.

Winner: LG G5

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: Camera

Last year the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the LG G4 had the two best phone cameras around. The S6 managed to just beat the G4 to the title of the best smartphone camera, and now the G5 and S7 are back to duke it out for the title once again.

Compared to last year’s S6 camera, the S7 drops its resolution down from 16 megapixels to 12. No, Samsung hasn’t gone mad: the number of megapixels has reduced, but Samsung has actually increased the size of each pixel to 1.4um (the S6 had 1.16um pixels) and increased the aperture to f/1.7 to improve the S7’s low-light performance. This translates to a faster shutter speed, resulting in sharper pictures with less noise.


With the LG G4, LG made a giant leap in the performance of its camera. However, that leap hasn’t continued into the G5. While it still has laser autofocus, the manual DSLR-style controls have been eschewed onto its camera module addon. This time around, the big change with LG’s camera is the addition of another camera. The G5’s main camera is a standard 16-megapixel snapper with a 78-degree field of view lens. The second camera has an 8-megapixel sensor, utilising a 135-degree wide-angle lens to take landscape and architectural photos. Unsurprisingly, LG says its second rear-camera mimics the field of view of the human eye.

It’s also worth remembering that LG is bringing a camera module, the CAM Plus, to its G5 for those who really want to get the most from its camera. We’ll have to wait for our tests to find out how much this improves the G5’s camera, but it will add DSLR-style controls and a 1,200mAh battery with physical buttons for power, shutter, zoom and record.

However, comparing raw camera specs, it looks likely that Samsung will once again win out by giving its users a simple yet powerful camera, capable of sharp low-light photography. Until we can go hands-on with both and come up with a definitive verdict, it looks as if the S7 has won this round.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S7

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