galaxy s7 vs lg g5 quick look aa-4

It’s 2016 and it takes more than a bumped up spec sheet to impress the masses. This wasn’t always the case. There was a time when going from one generation of processor to the next meant huge performance gains, or when going from a low resolution screen to something like 720p resulted in a massive visual difference.

Nowadays, the average consumer is hard pressed to see the difference between one generation of a device and the very next, at least when it comes to everyday performance. Sure, those of us techies might be able to tell the difference, but it’s hard to argue that a brand new flagship is absolutely needed to have a good phone experience. In fact, it’s perfectly possible to have a good mobile experience even with a device as old as something like the Nexus 5, which came out back in 2013. And it’s this slowdown that has allowed mid-range phones to become so good over the last year or so.

What does this mean for flagships, though? Generally speaking, it means that you either have to innovate through design, or through ‘extras’ like fingerprint scanners, water resistance, etc. Sure, having the latest processor or bumping up the RAM doesn’t hurt either, but for many, it’s these extras or design enhancements that arguably really help sell a phone.

As MWC 2016 has unfolded, we’ve seen a number of new handsets unveiled, with the key among them being the LG G5 and the Galaxy S7 (and S7 Edge). Both of these phones have their own very distinctive design language, with LG opting to utilize a metal design, while the Galaxy S7 family sticks to the glass and metal design language first introduced with the Galaxy S6. As far as extras go, the two phones are very different here as well, aside from both of them offering a fingerprint reader and a microSD slot. Of course both of these features are quickly becoming standard features for many modern flagships, which is somewhat ironic considering it wasn’t too long ago that OEMs were phasing out expandable storage.

The real selling point for the LG G5 revolves around the phone’s unique modular design, which allows you to remove the bottom portion for adding special modules. This design also makes it possible to swap out the battery, something that is pretty much unheard from today’s flagships.

lg g5 camera module demonstration aa-14

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S7 only has one major ‘extra’ that you won’t find on most other phones today, and that’s water and dust resistance. Funny enough, even Sony has moved away from officially rating it’s handsets for water resistance, despite long being a major advocate for this type of technology.

What about the rest of the pack? What sets them apart? For HTC, it has been the Boomsound front-facing speakers for years now, those this has seemingly gone away starting with the HTC One A9 and rumored to continue with One M10. For Motorola, it’s Moto Maker. This leads us to an important question, what kind of extras matter the most to you? Speaking on the design front, what build material do you most prefer? Be sure to cast your vote(s) in our poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • 341464

    I myself much prefer phones with Type C connector, that’s why the S7 is out of the question to me. And we compare the battery size of the G5 with a 6P, it simply is no match if you wanna last a whole day without charger. So neither of these flagships suit me.

  • Paul

    Removable battery and sd card slot

  • Justin

    Wireless charging is a really important feature to me, and is the 2nd deciding reason I’d choose the Galaxy S7 over the G5.

    • fijisiv

      I can’t believe how many manufacturers have dropped wireless charging. It’s one of those features I use multiple times a day, every day. As far as I know, Samsung, Blackberry and the LG V10 are the only ones left. Judging by LG’s decision to drop wireless charging from the G5, I’m guess the V11 will also lose wireless charging, leaving us just Sammy and BB.

  • Nate

    The bigger battery is what I like in the S7, and also the SD card slot. I also like the new back on it.

  • Reed

    After it was announced that LG was also removing the inner-external memory merge from Android 6, I lost all interest in the phone since it only comes in 32 GB. Guess I’ll just keep my v10 until the next wave of Nexus devices (or trade it for a6p)

  • Lord Vader

    Wish S7 Edge had Type C port
    That is the Only thing missing
    And need to get back the Removable Battery

    I think they will have it in the Note 6 at the end of this year

    • SnakeSplitskin

      rubbish. Type C isn’t ready for primetime unless it can do the fast data speeds and manufacturers who can actually build the cables properly. As for removable battery, perhaps you should just go with a G5 and all he disadvantages associated with that or settle for the all plastic and cheap looking Galaxy S5. Samsung was wise to go with a larger sealed battery and fast wireless charging.

  • Allyn K C

    Fast auto-focus and OIS are the most important criteria for me. I also greatly value a larger batter and an SD card. If it has all those, it’s definitely up for consideration.

    Nice-to-haves (but not required) are front-facing speakers, USB-C, and wireless charging. If it were between two devices that each had my must-haves, then these criteria come into play to help decide between them.

    No device is perfect – I just need to prioritize what trade-offs I’m comfortable making to get the features I most value.

  • Roy

    Front facing dual stereo speakers! only Nexus 6P for me:)

  • Battery life (power efficiency), removable battery. Micro-SD slot. Front loud stereo speakers (at least 100db loud), DAC/Amp.

    Battery, Front and back camera (low light) quality and Sound quality are the staples.

  • fijisiv

    Timely OS and security updates.

    • Hunter Miller

      So a Nexus or an HTC phone

  • Jimmy Hewett

    Camera performance is key for me. Being a photography hobbyist, the camera tends to be my number one focus when getting a new phone. Micro SD storage is a close second. I don’t really care about the phone materiel as long as it is solidly built and not cheap feeling. High end specs come with the territory on a flagship phone so they should be high enough already.

  • kwannaboo

    1st Removable battery I used phones for 2 years then I give them to my brother/father I just buy a new battery then do a factory reset it should be as good as new. Next is performance & last is design don’t really care for looks as I always put protective case on my phones .

  • 1213 1213

    My phone does everything I want it to so I can’t say I care much.

    The one thing I want to do that I can’t is run a game cube and ps2 emulator, so the performance is #1 for me. Sadly, it looks like a year for GC and another for ps2 still. I don’t even know why I care lol, its just the novelty of linking a controller to a phablet and playing all those great games again. :D

  • Fornavn Etternavn

    Don’t forget that the galaxy s7 use quick charge 2.0. G5 use quick charge 3.0

  • Benoit Bourdua

    Question 1 – other. Wireless charging, then battery life and aosp-like rom support. And rootability.

    Question 2 – other. Don’t care as long as it doesn’t impede wireless charging

    Question 3 – sorta matters, but is not the be all, as long as the features I use are there and work well enough, the specs war doesn’t interest me at all

  • Abd

    A vital feature was left out. Large Capacity Battery. Also, Fast Wireless Charging is something you need to know how to take full advantage of. Super AMOLED Display is important too. Galaxy S7 wins hands down.

  • KeyserSoze

    What LG fails to understand is that the formula for success requires the right mix of style and function. The S7 is superior because it has both high style AND high function, functions that are useful to the mainstream. Not only is G5 far less stylish than S7, its “high function” add-on modules are useful only to a minority of geeks. High style hooks customers, mainstream high functions keeps them. G5 has neither.

  • KeyserSoze

    What kind of “gate” can we expect to hear about when someone mildly drops a G5 and the phone’s bottom latch breaks preventing the battery-bottom from being snapped back into place? Shall we call it “Friends-gate”?

  • Ryan Neely

    The S7 not having USB Type C is so stupid. I mean, there are other things I don’t like about it, but that right there is just pathetic.

    • Eric

      Well I really want sub-c but it makes sense why they wouldn’t add it. It doesn’t really provide any major benefits yet. Most of your average consumers don’t have anything use-c devices and won’t be excited to buy new cables. There are compatibility issues with Samsung gear. Oh, and bad use-c cables are nuking people’s laptops when they connect to a usb-c device. You have to be very very careful about who makes your sub-c cable.

      • Naxx ENVY

        can’t you type usb?

        • Eric

          Lol apparently not. My shameless excuse is that I have the flue, it’s midterm week in my grad program, and I’m a stay home dad with my 5 month old daughter. My mind is toast. Luckily my iPhone’s brilliant auto correct was there to save me ha ha. Where is my S7/G5 already.

      • Ouss Belattar

        S7 didn’t switch to Type-C just because of VR that’s all no other excuses.

  • Camilla/קמילה

    Removble battery is the win for me, i wont buy a phone with out that feature, its so convinient to just replace the battery when you low and in like 5 sec of work you got full juice device and ready to go, #NoNeedToBeWallHugger.

  • Jarrett Bishop

    UX and interaction design matter most to me. I spend most of the time immersed in the happenings on-screen. If the interface get out of its own way while still giving me helpful features when I need them then I’m a happy camper. Should the aforementioned also get updated frequently, even better. (Thank you, Nex… Nexuses? Nexii?)

  • Andrew White

    Big win for Android flagship devices this year regardless of which device we choose over the alternate.
    Apple really hasn’t stepped up its game. So glad I got out of their expensive proprietry, totally cloud based and non-customisable ecosystem 4 years ago.

  • zirconeo

    MicroSD and good camera performance are top criteria for me, and the S7 really, really hit the mark this time, with IP68 rating being a massive bonus as well. It would be perfect if it could have front-facing speakers and a dedicated camera button (having a DAC would be great too but this is really venturing into wishful thinking territory). Kind of like the Xperia Z series. Absolutely cannot fathom why Sony removed IP68 and even downsized the battery smh… Major factor for me to switch back to Samsung from Sony…

  • Warthog

    The LG V10 is just about right. Maybe slightly smaller at 5.3″ with top of the line cpu and gpu. Improvements in camera in low light capabilities are always welcome. Metal and looks are less important to me than functionality.

  • Tarequl Islam

    I don’t care about the modular design coz, i am not going to buy those accessories anyway! so except this g5 doesn’t have anything special. the design is really ugly!! loved the s7. loved the s6 but there were some lacking which are now covered with s7, so the best phone of 2k15 was G4 but the best phone for 2k16 is S7 (for me)

  • teomor

    My #1 extra is the size. Seeing how manufacturers stopped improving the small form factor and keep releasing ‘mini’ versions upwards of 5″, my most important extra is the compactness. I want a small phone (< 5") with the same good specs you can find on larger ones. Fortunately, the new Galaxy A3 2016 has just been released and I already have it, but unfortunately, it doesn't have any competition…

  • Dt Bell

    The modules are an ok idea, not sustainable imo, wireless is nice.. would like to see a Good wireless stand

  • Firdaus

    quality camera and bigger battery

  • wcjeep

    Camera performance is Number 1. Wireless charging is second.