Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the biggest Android showdown that's…happened every year for the last three years: Samsung versus LG.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 are the year's two biggest Android flagship launches. This basically means that if you're an Android user and you're looking for something that's not a Nexus, you're choosing between one of these [holds up both devices]. I'm here to help you decide on which one to get.
Looks are important. If your primary concern is whether your phone’s design is truly eye-catching, you're probably going to lock eyes with the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 first. Just look at this thing: glass, metal, more glass on the back. So much glass!
You can even choose a larger, 5.6-inch Galaxy S7 Edge if that strikes your fancy-- and you won’t have to skimp on any of the features. But be forewarned, Android lover: Both of these [Samsung] devices scratch *really* easily. I discovered this after filing my review, but there are already horror stories of various GS7s suffering slight cracks and bruises.
It's like I always say: If you liked it, then you shoulda put a case on it!
The G5 on the other hand, comes in different colors and features a removable battery and swappable modules, which cost extra. This year's G5 also moved the volume buttons from the back to the side, which makes holding the phone that much easier. And LG’s new fingerprint scanner on the back? So much faster than the Galaxy S7's, which features its scanner in the Home button on the front.
Moving on: Let's chat performance. There’s virtually no difference between either the G5 or Galaxy S7's Snapdragon 820 processor. If you look at the benchmarks, you'll notice there's probably a bit of CPU throttling on the G5's part, but you won't notice it when you're using the device.
The Galaxy S7, however, does have one software trick that enhances your experience if you're a gamer. Its Game Tools are unparalleled. You can use them to dial down the performance of the phone so it doesn't kill your battery, or record your game play if you're plugged in and trying to make some of that Twitch money.
LG does offer one gamer-friendly option in the Settings menu, but it's not really advertised, nor is it as impressive as Samsung's offerings. All it really does is adjust the video resolution to help you save battery when you’re in transit.
Now, let's look at the cameras. This is where you shouldn't skimp, y'all. Life is precious, and it is short, and if you're not taking note of your days on the planet, well… at least you can rest easy knowing you have a good smartphone camera by your side.
I like the Galaxy S7's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor so much more than the G5's 16-megapixel sensor. And the devil's in the details: just look at the difference in our lab tests, especially in low-light.
The G5 does have one gimmick the Galaxy S7 doesn't offer, and that's a wide-angle lens on the back. It’s neat! You can take 135-degree landscape photos when you're hiking the Grand Canyon, or just admiring the way you groomed your lawn.
Rest assured, you'll be fine shooting photos with either the G5 or Galaxy S7, but you'll have to look at their software offerings before pulling the trigger just for that feature alone. On the plus side, both phones offer a manual mode, so you can attach them to a tripod to do your bidding.
Here’s the deal: if you’re a big fan of having the latest and greatest in your hands, don’t shy away from the Galaxy S7. It’s the best that Android flagships will get at this point in time and its camera capabilities remain unrivaled.
However, there’s a special place in everyone’s heart for the underdog, and there’s a reason that LG makes such a splash with every new smartphone.