Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5 vs the competition

by: Robert TriggsFebruary 22, 2016
galaxy s7 vs lg g5 quick look aa-5

They’re here. The 2016 Android flagship seasons is now in full swing, with the unveiling of both the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge over the weekend. There are cutting edge pieces of technology all around and some notable differences with last year’s leading smartphones. So let’s take a look at how some of the first 2016 flagships stack up against some of the best models from 2015.

galaxy s7 vs lg g5 quick look aa-3See also: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: Which phone impressed you the most?226

One of the instantly noticeable changes with the LG G5 is an almost completely redesigned handset. The plastics and even the rear volume rocker have been completely switched out in favour of a metal uni-body and LG’s very unique modular design. We’ll have to see how this plays out for the company, but it’s tough not to help but feel that LG is really trying to push the boat out. Samsung, on the other hand, has kept a very similar design between the Galaxy S6 and the S7, but the glass back and curved Edge display were already nice enough looking. Enough of that though, let’s delve into some specs.

 Samsung Galaxy S7LG G5Sony Xperia Z5LG V10Nexus 6P
Display5.1 / 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED
5.3-inch QHD LCD
5.2-inch 1080p LCD
5.7-inch QHD LCD
5.7-inch QHD AMOLED
SoCSamsung Exynos 8890 or
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820Qualcomm Snapdragon 810Qualcomm Snapdragon 808Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
CPU4 x Samsung M1 +
4x Cortex-A53 or
4 x Kryo
4 x Kryo4 x Cortex-A57 +
4 x Cortex-A53
2 x Cortex-A57 +
4 x Cortex-A53
4 x Cortex-A57 +
4 x Cortex-A53
GPUMali-T880 MP12 or
Adreno 530
Adreno 530Adreno 430Adreno 418Adreno 430
SoC Process14nm14nm20nm20nm20nm
Storage32/64GB +
200GB microSD
32GB +
2TB microSD
32GB +
200GB microSD
32/64GB +
200GB microSD

2015 saw a number of manufacturers hop up to the QHD (2560×1440) display resolution and the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium even introduced the world’s first 4K smartphone display. Things haven’t moved on so much in early 2016, with both LG and Samsung opting to use similar, if not identical displays to last year’s flagships. This display clarity is no longer reserved for the very top tier either, with more cost effective smartphones from Motorola and ZTE offering competing resolutions. LG is again using its QHD LCD technology while Samsung continues to make use of AMOLED and neither has been making a big fuss about its latest panels, so we’re not looking a major increase in quality or clarity over other handsets on the market.

However, LG and Samsung are both changing things up quite a bit with an “Always-on” display. In the G5, this occupies the upper third of the screen. The time and other notifications can be displayed here quickly without eating up a huge amount of the battery, and it’s certainly a useful evolution over the LG V10’s secondary ticker display.

The Note 5 has physical keys, while the LG V10 uses on-screenRead more: AMOLED vs LCD: differences explained190

One of the big changes with the 2016 generation is the move on up to Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 processor. Rather than the octa-core Snapdragon 810 from last year, the Snapdragon 820 moves down to a quad-core configuration based on Qualcomm’s latest Kyro CPU cores. The CPU boasts double the performance of Qualcomm’s older designs, in some situations, and the new Adreno 530 GPU promises a 40 percent boost to GPU performance. Not only is the chip looking to boost performance, but the move down to a 14nm manufacturing process is going to make it more energy efficient than last year’s phones too. This should provide a notable boost to performance over last year’s Snapdragon 810 and, especially for LG, a more noticeable jump in performance over the hexa-core Snapdragon 808 from the G4.

The LG G5 is making use of the Snapdragon 820 and US regional variants of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are now confirmed to ship with it too. Interestingly, neither party is interesting in cramming even more RAM into their handsets, with both sticking at the top of the 3GB to 4GB consensus from last year. However, Samsung also has its Exynos 8890 SoC for the Galaxy S7 range as well.

snapdragon 820 vs snapdragon 810

Rather than a quad-core chip, the Exynos 8890 features an octa-core big.LITTLE CPU design more reminiscent of last year’s Snapdragon 810 and Exynos 7420. However, this will be the first SoC to feature a custom designed CPU from Samsung, currently known as the M1, which promises to be 30 percent faster than Samsung’s last chip and the SoC is offering a 60 percent boost to overall system performance.

Furthermore, Samsung is really going all out on graphics and gaming performance, and is one of the first handsets to support the new Vulkan graphics API. Not only does the Exynos 8890 pack in 12 of the latest Mali-T880 GPU cores, up from eight Mali-T760 cores in the S6, but the company has developed a water cooling solution to help keep the CPU cool and running at maximum speeds under high-loads. Given the overheating reports from last year, this is a welcome attention to detail that should offer consumers a smoother experience than last year’s high-end phones.

Samsung Exynos 8890

Another part of today’s high-end mobile SoCs is the inclusion of an integrated LTE modem. Both the Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 features Category 12/13 LTE modems, offering support for LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation and faster download speeds, which can peak at 600Mbps download and 150Mbps upload if your carrier can keep up. Most 2015 models feature Category 9 LTE modems.

With all of this talk about extra processing power, it is perhaps not surprising that Samsung has opted for much larger battery capacities this time around. The company has upgraded the 2,550mAh battery in the Galaxy S6 to a 3,000mAh cell in the S7. The new Edge version moves from 2,600mah to 3,600mAh, putting Samsung’s handsets more in-line with what we have come to expect. LG, on the other hand, has made its battery smaller, going from 3,000mAh in the G4 to 2,800mAh in the G5, putting this flagship at the smaller end of the scale. Although, perhaps SoC power improvements can offset this slight loss in battery capacity.

 Samsung Galaxy S7LG G5Sony Xperia Z5LG V10Nexus 6P
Rear camera12MP, F/1.7, 1.4µm pixels16MP (PDAF, OIS) +
8MP wide-angle lens
23MP (PDAF), F/2.016MP (laser AF, OIS), F/1.812.3MP (laser AF), F/2.0
Front camera5MP, F/1.78MP5.1MP, F/2.4Dual 5MP, F/2.28MP, F/2.4
IP rating?IP68IP68
ModemCat 12/13 LTE
600Mbps DL, 150Mbps UL
Cat 12/13 LTE
600Mbps DL, 150Mbps UL
Cat 9 LTE
450 Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL
Cat 9 LTE
450 Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL
Cat 9 LTE
450 Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL
Fast ChargeYesQuick Charge 3.0Quick Charge 2.0Quick Charge 2.0Quick Charge 2.0
Wireless ChargeYesNoNoNoNo
Battery3,000mAh / 3,600mAh2,800mAh removable2,900mAh3,000mAh removable3,450mAh

Last year could probably have been dubbed year of the smartphone camera, with virtually every player showing notable improvements and some smaller manufacturers rising to the top. This year is no exception, with both LG and Samsung opting to do something different in 2016 in a bid to separate themselves from the competition.

2016 saw some excellent camera hardware from the likes of the Nexus 6P, helped in no small part by its much larger camera pixel sizes which can capture more light and improve performance in low light conditions. Samsung seems to agree with this direction, opting for just a 12 megapixel sensor in its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. However, the pixel sizes are 56 percent larger in the S7, up from 1.12µm to 1.4µm. Another point to note is that apertures have improved again this generation, with the Galaxy S7 reaching F/1.7.

Interestingly, HTC also tried its hand at larger pixels with its Ultrapixel technology a couple of years back, but the results don’t appear to have been consistent.

samsung galaxy s7 first look aa-18

Manual shooting modes look set to remain this year.

LG has instead opted for a dual rear camera configuration this time around, but has interestingly decided on two different sensor sizes. The main rear camera remains at 16 megapixels and is accompanied by a 8 megapixel sensor with a wide angled lens for 135 degree shots. Interestingly, LG also appears to have implemented some sort of software cropping and merging algorithm for shots in-between wide-angle and regular. Unlike the two front cameras on the V10, the G5 isn’t designed for 3D capture.

Most of last year’s flagship smartphones opted for a single rear camera sensor with a very high resolution, so we can expect a lot of new features and some changes to image quality with these latest smartphones. The Xperia Z5, Nexus 6P and the Note 5 were some of the top performing camera’s last year and we can’t wait to put the S7 and G5 through some rigorous testing to see if this new technology offers any notable benefits.

Camera features up-close:

When it comes to extras, the fingerprint scanners and faster charging features from 2015 remain a cornerstone of the earlier 2016 flagships. Thanks to compatibility with the new Snapdragon 820, the LG G5 is one of the first handsets to features Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which is more energy efficient than version 2.0.

Both Samsung and LG are now also going head to head in the virtual reality space, with Samsung focusing on its Gear VR technology and LG announcing a new slim line headset. Don’t forget that HTC is in the race with its Vive headset, but this isn’t tied to mobile. Samsung is still the only player to offer out of the box support for two wireless charging standards. The company is also still one of the few who seems fussed about IP rating for water and resistance, boasting an IP68 rating with its latest Galaxy phones than matches that of the Sony Xperia Z5 range.

LG is looking to differentiate itself from its competitors with its new modular design, something that we haven’t seen before in a smartphone. The LG Cam Plus aims to make taking pictures a little more user friendly, but doesn’t offer any ways to enhance image quality above other phones. LG also boasts cutting edge 32-bit DAC features with its Hi-Fi Plus module, although other companies already offer their own “Hi-Fi” 24 and 32-bit audio components without the need for an accessory. Really though, we are going to have to listen to the amplifier circuits before we can get a feel for how much this actually makes a difference to the listening experience.

CS4272 Codec 24bitSee also: The great audio myth: why you don’t need that 32-bit DAC28

galaxy s7 vs lg g5 quick look aa

Clearly, both the G5 and Galaxy S7 offer up hardware that is again slightly above their previous generations and other handsets on the market. Particularly when it comes to processor performance and LG’s new modular design. However, it remains to be see if the camera changes will offer any major improvements and there are a lot of similar specs to last year as well, especially when it comes to memory options.

Perhaps these two announcements also reveal how LG and Samsung both view the mobile market going forward. Samsung has made improvements to its main hardware, including the SoC and camera, but remains firmly focuses around retaining its image and brand. LG had veered off in a much more drastic direction, not only changing up its core hardware but also clearly trying to build a new brand image through its wide range of accessoriess. While Samsung appears content, LG may be more rattled about the slowing hardware market and is trying hard to find interesting new avenues to explore. It will be interesting to see how other manufacturers compare later in the year.

Were do you think the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 sit in the smartphone hardware market? Are you planning to upgrade to either of them from a last generation model?

  • Marty

    Can’t wait for the M10 to be released. It should be the preeminent smartphone to have…if the rumored specs and style hold true. Combining pretty much the good parts of all these phones.

    • SnakeSplitskin

      What are the specs and style for the upcoming M10 that would be the preeminent smartphone to have? HTC hasn’t really demonstrated the ability to deliver something outstanding for the last 2 iterations of flagships

      • Marty

        5.1″ QuadHD AMOLED, SD820, Adreno 530, 4GB RAM, MicroSD…

        • Phantomlink

          so the same as the S7?

          • Marty

            But no TouchWiz. Automatically making the M10 favored.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            But it’s HTC automatically making it least favored. Just look at HTC’s downward trend since the M8. What’s crazy is that they are pretty much sticking with the M Series design language. Samsung scored huge points by changing the design language of their phones last year and now they have refined it further for 2016. HTC definitely needs to refresh their flagship line. LG has rightfully done so in order stay relevant and created a nicer looking phone although their implementation of modular design may prove to be its achilles heel. Basically it looks like HTC is releasing an improved M9 rather than a new M10. I don’t believe that’s going to stop the hemorrhaging.

          • Marty

            We’ll see. Like I said, if the rumored specs and design hold true, it looks to be the device to have.

            I would have bought an M9 if it weren’t for the SD810. The rest of the device was great. I tested one at the store comparing it to the GS6 and felt the M9 was faster. It was smoother and cleaner, too.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            You mean it looks to be the device to have for you. I have no idea how much faster or how much cleaner the M10 will be compared to the S7 but I’m quite sure most of the market won’t notice. Smoother & cleaner (and that’s marginal at best) won’t be a very good marketing phrase to capture consumer imagination. HTC will have to come up with some truly outstanding features to differentiate itself. If it still can’t deliver on an excellent camera that’s on par with what LG and Samsung have just released then you can best believe the M10 will suffer the same fate as the M9. There’s just too much competition from LG, Samsung, Nexus, and Apple for the M10 to only lay claim for being a strong competitor to 2015’s flagship phones.

          • Marty

            Same for Samsung. There’s just too much competition for Samsung to be doing the same crap every year. Samsung’s mobiles division isn’t in very good shape. So they had better stop trying to con the market and learn a lesson. I seriously doubt they will…once a slimeball company, always a slimeball company.

            The only thing that hurt HTC with the M9 was the processor. Everything else about it was good.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            Thankfully we saw in 2015 Samsung actually do something dramatically different. This year we’ve seen them make dramatic improvements in those changes from 2015. When it gets right down to it, all corporations are slimeballs but you’ll have to agree that the overall consensus is that Samsung “knocked it out of the park” at MWC this year.

            Don’t kid yourself about the M9. It failed for 3 reasons: It didn’t change the design much from the M7, it’s processor choice was bad, and its camera didn’t measure up to what other flagships were releasing. In this day and age, in order to compete in the flagship leagues, a smartphone absolutely must have an excellent and very quick camera. Quick to open, quick to focus, quick to snap the shot, and quick to be ready for the next shot. It also has to have pretty good low-light performance. There’s no indication that the M10 will be able to deliver on that given their track record on the previous 3 models.

            To even get noticed from consumers outside the M-series faithful HTC will need to also raise the wow-factor with design of the M10. But by the looks of it the M10 will just be another modest iteration of the previous M models. This doesn’t bode well for HTC’s future whether they be a slimey corporation or not. Talk about doing the “same crap every year”, HTC may want to listen to your advice.

          • Marty

            And what of the S7 compared to the S6? Just because the M9 didn’t look much different than the M8 means nothing to me. I support refinement. Refinement doesn’t mean a radical change in style or design. It means improvements of an existing design.

            I read comments about people being displeased the S7 isn’t any different than the S6. That doesn’t mean anything to me, though. I look for refinement. But I’m still burned by all the hoopla over the S6 being “revolutionary” for Samsung. All the media praised it and said what an outstanding phone it was. I bought into it and forked over the dough for one. But that was a mistake. The S6 looks good and feels good, but the software and the Exynos SoC ruins it. Not to mention I’m not able to “delete” bloatware like the S6 was hyped on.

            HTC has had a problem with cameras, but they are a desperate company. I’m going to hold out hope for the M10. Samsung…not so much. It was pretty da mn dispicable what Samsung did with the GS6. Just lying right through their teeth to us all. And if anyone says it wasn’t Samsung saying those things, but the media, it’s still Samsung’s fault for not intervening and setting the record straight. Instead they just went right along with all the hype and lies. Samsung never came out and said, “you cannot delete bloatware”. They never said, “the Exynos still has lag and stutter”.

            You know the saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. Samsung will not make me ashamed of myself.

          • Eklavya Verma

            Wow! Easy tiger, these are just phones. You get a dime a dozen these days. You love HTC… great! But all this “lying through their teeth”, “fault for not intervening and setting the record straight” and “just went right along with all the hype and lies” stuff shows how much you actually value a phone manufacturer over other things which may be more important in your life. If you decided to spend money on something based only on reviews and advertising, then you my friend, are the ‘architect of your own destruction’. Why did you not try the product yourself before buying? What was stopping you from going to a carrier store or an electronics store in your vicinity, and simply trying a display unit? Since you realize you had to fork over dough, why not make yourself absolutely certain instead of just jumping the gun?

            And since you did make this purchase regardless of whether you were convinced or not, stop blaming a for-profit company for your lack of foresight. I am sure you were very hyped about the Galaxy S6 last time, looking at the way you are regretting it and lashing out. Unfortunately you seem very hyped this time around as well, but with HTC. Don’t make the same mistakes again. This time, first try whichever phone you want in person, see if you like the look, feel, UI, software interaction etc., and only then buy it.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            His comments lead me to believe he didn’t actually buy an S6. I don’t think he made a buying decision because the Internet was buzzing about the S6 allowing pre-installed apps to be deleted. I also didn’t think he purchased the S6 because it had an Exynos processor. And given that the carriers and BestBuy allow a 14 day refund window I doubt he discovered lag because that would have been apparent from the get-go.

          • Marty

            Wrong. The lag in the beginning was minimal and not something to trouble myself with returning. It took “real world” usage on a daily basis to see the lag and stutter. Instances of going out and about and seeing something I wanted to quickly capture with the camera revealed the reality of the operational deficiency of the S6. There were times when I missed a picture because the system froze for just a little bit before opening the camera app. And sitting at a store and trying to whip out my calculator to do a quick calculation and had to wait momentarily through lag and stutter for the app to open.

            But when you are deliberately looking for lag and stutter, it doesn’t appear as badly. When you are standing in the store or hanging around the house playing with the GS6 without needing to perform any kind of task…just playing with it, the lag and stutter isn’t really apparent. But get busy with life and resort to needing to use the GS6 for tasks and the lag and stutter becomes much more visible.

            As for Best Buy…I’m no longer allowed to return merchandise. I no longer do business with BB, but I wasn’t able to return anything…no matter the reason. And I was an “Elite” status customer. I had 30 days to return cell phones. But that’s just how evil BB treats its customers…arbitrarily. Can’t wait for Circuit City to get back up and running. I hope they drive BB out of business.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            Well, it’s too bad you didn’t have a good experience with the S6. Not sure why that experience would lead you to believe the M10 would be your savior phone. Truth is, the S6 does have its drawbacks such as battery not lasting for some people and the aggressive ram management for others. As for the Exynos, my opinion is that it was better than the Qualcomm alternative. My Note 5 is absolutely perfect. I don’t need to be able to delete all the apps that came with it. Disabling them is good enough. The Nexus 6P doesn’t have the “bloat” issue but it comes with its own disadvantages that preclude me from going that route. Basically the Note 5 performs excellently and has the right combination of features and ease of use that I wanted. And oh, that excellent camera. And I get it all wrapped up in a nicely designed package. I’m not ashamed of this Samsung phone at all.

          • Marty

            Why would the Exynos be better than a Quallcomm? I have a great many devices with Qualcomm chips and they all perform smoothly and without any hiccups or stutter. The same cannot be said about my Exynos or Scorpion equipped Samsung devices. Plus, my Nexus 6 performs just as well as my GS6 in benchmarks and achieves better battery life.

            Add to all that the ability to use custom ROMs on Qualcomm devices.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            Why would Qualcomm be better than Exynos? Why are we talking about processors when all we were talking about is the LG’s design? I tell you what, you should google “Problems with Exynos” and then a separate search for “Problems with Qualcomm”. Restrict your search to “in the Last Year”. You’ll find more articles explaining how the Snapdragon 810 was able to score well in benchmark tests but that it was engineered to do so whereas during real-world use it behaved differently. You’ll also NOT find complaints with real-world use of the Exynos used in the S6.

            If you run those searches you’ll learn not to resort to talking about processors after realizing your other arguments regarding HTC don’t pan out. The Nexus 6 is getting great battery life NOW but it sucked before Marshmallow. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the S6 performs with Marshmallow. Afterall, we want to compare Marshmallows to Marshmallows rather than apples and oranges.

          • Marty

            Well, for one thing, I don’t need to have anyone tell me how an Exynos works. I experience them for myself and they do lag and stutter. If they don’t lag and stutter for you, count yourself blessed.

            And talk about “engineering for benchmarks”. Samsung has been caught cheating benchmarks. Widely known they cheated. They also do things like pay people to attend their unveilings to make it look as though there’s large interest.

          • Martin Jastram

            i´d say last year qualcom just put out shit. there i said it.
            i don´t know, if the exynos was objectively a good chip – it sure though was better than the 810.

          • Marty

            Agreed. The SD810 was junk. But every other Qialcomm device I own has been stellar. My GS6 with it flaunted Exynos 7420 octa-core CPU scores at best 77992 in 3D Antutu. My much older Nexus 6 with a Qualcomm SD805 quad-core CPU scores 77383.

            Amazes me how powerful the older CPU is and the nexus 6 is supremely more smooth and reliable than my GS6…with better battery life, as well.

          • Martin Jastram

            I think, last year was somewhat mediocre as far as new chips are concerned. mainly for qualcomm, but n0ot limited to them.
            if you got the 801 you were fine, if you got the 805 or 808 you had some improvements. but it wasn´t really that much.
            on the 810 there wasn´t so much more power in there either, but is sucked up the battery/heated up and therefore wasn´t even able to fullfill its limited potential, giving the exynos brand an oprotunity to step in and not look too bad.
            2015 was the year of affordable flaggships and powerful midrangers.
            but this also meant, that manufacturers had few incentive to invest in pwerful chipsets, as even the old ones were performing good enough.
            so they decided to give it a break and not put too much effort in developement to cash in on their previous work.
            2016 could go on like this, as there is a lot of smaler chipmakers trying to enter the market with low prices and midrange chips, that are still quite powerful.
            this year might be a turning point for the industry and we will see, what happens next.

          • Marty

            The SD805 in the Nexus 6 is good. As far as power, it’s just as powerful as the Exynos in the GS6…according to benchmarks. And the N6 is smooth and reliable.

            As far as the SD801, it depends on the OEM’s software optimization skills how powerful it is. I have two SD801-equipped phones: Moto X 2014 and HTC One M8. The M8 achieves significantly higher scores in benchmarks than the Moto X and is even clocked slightly slower.

            I expect big results from the SD820. Qualcomm’s new Kryo cores are supposed to significantly outperform the Kraits of the 800/801/805.

          • Martin Jastram

            I would like to know, what disadvantages the 6P has in your opinion.
            The only real drawback, that I feel, is the tap to wake feature, my oneplus two had.
            and that can be remedied by rooting it – which, as it´s a nexus, is a breeze.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            The 6p disadvantages are mainly with the hardware and missing features with vanilla Android software. The phone is still great but the brushed aluminum isn’t top quality and scratches easily. I think this is a theme with Huawei as their watch has the same problems. Then there’s the glass casing around the camera which in some cases has been known to shatter without impacts. It has yet to be determined what causes this. And then there’s the size and look of the phone. The size is too big making the screen to case ratio too low which seems strange since the fingerprint sensor is on the back rather than taking up space under the front bottom bezel. Speaking of the fingerprint sensor, that’s another disadvantage. It’s quick but it’s on the back. I’d have to pick up the phone first before I can interact with it. That means I can’t easily just check or reply to notifications when the phone is sitting on my desk.

            Software-wise it’s vanilla Android. It’s missing a big feature such as multi-screening apps. I don’t like having to go to the open apps screen to get back to another app when what I really need is to see two apps together side by side. It’s not a feature I need every minute of the day but when I need it I’m thankful I have it rather than not. Copy and Paste between apps is much more convenient and no-hassle.

            Rooting phones is cool but also a security risk. The advantages of rooting are far less than the risk that you put your phone into. If a phone needs to be rooted in order to properly deliver a great user experience then it wasn’t really a good phone to begin with.

          • Martin Jastram

            you got some good points there, although not all aply to everybody.
            I use a case, so the quality of the aluminum is not too important to me – but it´s still a bummer to know about it.
            since my oneplus experience i´m kind of weary of chinese manufacturers in general – but i also wanted a fast, simple, affordable and reliable phone. so there´s only motorola and nexus left.
            so far my 6p didn´t dissapoint – although it´s still a huge device.

            the placement of the fingerprint sensor on the back – not only on the 6p indeed makes less and less sense to me too.
            on the other hand tap to wake kind of remedies that – if it´s there, admitedly.
            the big case is – just as with htc – thanks to the indeed very good loudspeakers.
            so there is a good reason for this – although i too would rather omit those and have a smaller phone.

            i heard that screen splitting might be in the works for android N so i might, after all, get a taste of that.
            on a 5.7 inch device this definitely makes sense.

            only point, i really disagree with you is rooting.
            a nonrooted phone is a very limited phone, regardless of maker and software.
            sure rooting also means possible damage to the phone by inexperienced users (because that is really the only security danger, there is to me. i haven´t installed one single security app, as long as i´ve been rooted and never had any security issues. the problem always is in front of the screen, not behind it).
            but a unreversible hard brikc is a very rare thing. with a bit of patience, pretty much any brick is reversible. people just don´t know this and throw away devices, that don´t light up anymore, although most of the time nothing is permanently broken.

            i naturally see the point in locked bootloaders and unrootable phones for the average joe.
            but in my book no phone can achive its full potential without root – especially samsung phones.

            the last samsung i rooted, was my brothers S2.
            after rooting and installing CM, it´s performance was comparable to the S4. this says a lot about touch whiz, i´d say.
            after playing around with the new A5, i´m sure the change will be still as dramatic with any current samsung phone. just imagine a CM S7 out of the box! they ould sell like hotcakes and people wouldn´t have any need of a new phone for 5 years or more….

            the possibilities for personalizing and bettering the phone through exposed are endless.
            i bricked (and unbricked) only my oneplus one once, which even retained its´s warranty through this process and already had an ulocked bootloader too.

            so if you choose the right phone, it´s not even hard to do. motorola gives you a software and a code for doing it (although in this case you void the warranty) and i think sony is nice about it too, although i haven´t looked it up.

            naturally, it´s a personal decision and i wouldn´t recomend it to everybody as you sure can cause damage, that you may not be able to undo.
            but any phone can only profit from rooting (in the right hands), regardless of it beeing bad or good to begin with.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            Congrats on enjoying that 6P. It is definitely a powerhouse and among the best of 2015. I see your point about rooting as it can improve a phone’s performance and features. The problem is that you have to search for the right rom and ensure you’ve got the right rom for your phone. There’s no single go-to Play Store that you can search for roms suited to your phone model with a full feature listing offered by that rom. There’s also no vetting process to weed out those roms that contain nefarious code. Since these are roms, they will be able to easily hide less than friendly code compared to an app. You would never know what your phone is actually doing because everything would be contained in the rom. No security app would be able to help in this area as well.

            Add to that the risk of bricking a phone like you did and the real nightmare begins. Most users won’t have the gumption to spend countless hours or days trying to find the unbricking solution for their specific phone. Therefore they would try to contact the OEM to complain. That means the OEM has to decide whether to honor a warranty and either replace the phone or spend manhours trying to find a fix or upset users by telling them to get lost. This is an unnecessary position for a large OEM.

            It just doesn’t make any good business sense to spend that kind of attention to such a small part of the market. There’s more to gain by locking the phone, advertising the features the phone offers, and then letting the market decide if the phone meets their expectations. I don’t think advertising that a phone could be relevant 3 years later just because of an aftermarket software upgrade is the wise direction to take. We’ve seen how in just one year how hardware can change the game making the previous year’s phone obsolete. Case in point, HTC is putting a fingerprint sensor on their upcoming M10 phone. The previous phone becomes obsolete. New cameras on 2015 phones made the 2014 phones obsolete.

          • Martin Jastram

            I agree, rooting is not for everybody, although i think, that the number of rooted devices is largely underestimated.

            I rooted my wifes phone and my brothers. I will root my new 6p sooner or later, and i´m going to root my sons. I rooted every phone i had so far
            only my gpad 8.3 is “unrootable”, as LG is a dick aout giving us the binaries (which is ironic, given, that there has been a GP edition model)

            my point is, all these people know next to nothing about rooting, but there is always somebody around who does.
            It´s mostly about finding the right device to root. if you pick the right ingredientes, there is not much risk in rooting.

            on findign “secure” roms without “nefarious” code:
            it´s totally up to you, if you wnat to run risks on that – xda is your friend and looks out for you.

            I installed mostly CM, but used tons of exposed modules and i never had a security breach or bogged down phone, or whatever bad code might do to your device.
            it´s also common knowledge, that you should look for matured versions of your rom and not install nightlies, if you depend on the device as your daily driver.
            if you want to go the safest route, there is always Cyanogenmod with their (half-) automatic rooting process, which pretty much any noob can do – on the right phone that is.

            sure, suporting this is of next to no interest to manufacturers – although some still do (i.e. sony/motorola/OP)
            but having last years flagship doesn´t automatically make it dated this year.

            sure, you might miss out on gadgets like edge display, USBc (which actually is great), fingerprint reader or the newest unibody design.
            also, last years camera on the S6 may not be as good, as the one on the S7 – but it still is a good camera. and next year it still will be.

            do i really need all these fancy things? I think, i mostly need a usable phone.

            and besides: oneplus omited the fingerprint scanner in their X, samsung omited USBc on the S7.
            I´m sure there is lots of things, people have to live without in brand new phones, because manufacturers deemed them unimportant – and in a lot of ways they were right.

            We don´t need phones, that can do it all – we need phones, that just work well.

            the stock phone with time will always get bogged down by the newest features of all the nice updates we get all the time – even if they are not samsung branded.
            that´s the way it is. and it´s the same story with apple – only that they do it directly with their OS.

            so what it comes down to after 12 to 18 months is a bad user experience that feels to most people, as if they need to upgrade to keep up with all those great new phones – only that it´s exactly the other way around
            the newer devices sure are faster – it´s just not that much in real life.
            but without the old device being loaded with all that new software crap and such, they still would be running fine.
            that´s the beauty of a rom to me and on most devices i rooted, the difference was incredible.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            Wow. I rooted a phone once and I never wanted to root my parents’, my siblings’, my friends’ phones. Does this mean that everyone who knows how to root won’t do that to neighboring phones? NO. Conversely, just because you rooted everyone’s phone you could find doesn’t mean that all people who know hot to root will do the same. I’m surprised you used that as an argument.

            Are you a coder? I’m not a coder. There’s no way I could tell if my rooted phone allowed any security breaches. Did you comb through all of your rom’s code? I doubt it. So you can’t possibly say with 100% confidence that your rooted phones with new roms weren’t compromised. As a matter of fact, why would I believe that the XDA community will comb through each rom or have the sophistication of the bad actors out there who constantly breach exploit Android vulnerabilities months or even years after Google figures it out? If rooting and romming is as big as you think it is, then it would definitely be fertile ground for these type of criminals. After-all, what better way to get into everyone’s phone than to create a rom that does everything that everyone would want but also has a fool-proof method of breaching security undetected thanks to the fact that they can create whatever code they want and people will willingly install it. There simply is no protection from this whatsoever.

            I’ll admit no one needs phones that do everything. As a matter of fact, no one needs a phone that does anything other than just be a phone for making calls. The truth is, people want to pay for a phone that does many things and they will pay top dollar for a phone that does them well. It’s just like with clothes. Sure I can buy a nice coat this year, keep it dry-cleaned, replace buttons that fall off, trim off hanging threads, re-thread when need be, keep it in cold storage when not in use, etc. I could keep that coat in new and wearable condition for my entire lifetime. But guess what, the year after I buy this coat I’m going to go out and buy another new coat. The reason? I like new, I like the latest, and I don’t want to feel like I’m out of step or behind. Old people tend to be like that and I don’t want to come across as an old person. It’s the exact same way with phones. What good is going through the trouble of maintaining a phone like that for 3 or 4 years when I can just buy a new one that has everything I want plus some new features my old phone can’t ever do.

            If I had an S6, I’d definitely upgrade to an S7 Edge. I have a Note 5 so I’ll just wait til the Note 6. I’d rather upgrade to the Note 6 rather than root and rom the hell out of my Note 5 just to make me feel like it’s keeping up. That’s just me. And apparently it’s most of the world too. The beauty of rom is the beauty of rom but it just isn’t beautiful enough to matter to 99% of the smartphone buying world. I’m sorry if that disappoints you.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            Yikes! I just looked at an alleged leaked photo of the M10 and the front resembles a Galaxy device complete with the physical home button and no front facing speakers. I know I said they needed a major design change but not morph into some other brand’s design language. And why give up the front facing speakers war to the Nexus 6P? Wow. this is unbelievable if the images are real.

          • Marty

            The M10 is rumored to look like the A9. The A9 looks good and has been selling well from what I read. And Samsung copied the iPhone style and “design language” Why can Samsung copy and HTC not?

            Losing the front speakers is a negative, but gaining so much more is a compensation.

            By the way, if the M10 holds true to the A9 design, the A9 doesn’t have a button on the front. That which looks like a button is only a fingerprint sensor. It’s non compressible.

          • MattPortland

            The only reason the M10 is getting so much “compensation” is because the M9 was such a dud. The M10 looks so great on paper because the previous version (M9) was basically an M8. Kind of like how a 2016 Mustang would look so spectacular if it leap frogged from a 2006 Mustang.

          • Marty

            So what I perceive you saying is a device needs to look radically different from model to model to be a success. Hmmm….I suppose the GS7 will fail hard.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            No, your perception is wrong. Samsung needed to change the design of the S6 because their run of plastic styled phones had run its course by the release of the S5 and Samsung needed a refresh. They released the S6 and the design was a hit, especially with the Edge variant. In 2016 they are improving on that design as they should. Had the design been a flop then of course they would need to change it.

            HTC is where Samsung was after the S5. The M7 design was good when it was released but has bored the market and the market reacted by not buying the subsequent phones. HTC needs to get as far away from the failed M8 and M9 as far as they can, that means a complete design refresh. So to counter your last statement, NO, Galaxy S7 will not fail at all. it will be even more popular than the S6. I know you don’t like losing arguments so why do you always take losing positions?

          • Marty

            You sound exactly like a shill for Samsung.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            So after losing after point you’ve made about the G5 you now resort to
            referring to me as a “shill for Samsung”. That’s real classy. A shill
            for Samsung would never concede the S6 battery is a problem or that the
            S6 has overaggressive ram management. These two issues by far are the
            most talked about and despised issues by many S6 owners and rightly so.
            Other than that there isn’t much internet noise about S6 lag or other
            performance issues. And those issues relate specifically to the S6, not
            the S6 Edge or Edge Plus.

            Am I to conclude that you agreed with
            all my points I made about HTC and the M10? You seem to keep moving the
            goal post everytime I make respond to your wild claims (such as the A9
            was a major success).

          • Marty


          • MattPortland

            I’m not talking about looks whatsoever. The M9/M8 waere already incredibly fast and stable. There’s not much to improve on in that dept. They were also very well built. Not much to improve on there either. The M8 and the M9 were damn near the same phone. So, the M10 is basically the M8 replacement. Of course the M10 will be fantastic when compared to the M8. The M9 may as well not ever existed. The 2 main improvements will be screen and camera, but at the cost of dual front facing speakers. I didn’t say it would fail as a device. I said it will be a sales flop.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            I had replied to your comment with specifics about the A9. Looks like it didn’t get posted. I ran a search on the HTC A9. It only has one review on bestbuy and that’s with a 1-star rating. On Amazon it only has 10 reviews with an average rating of 4-stars. On ATT it only has 59 reviews with an average rating of 4-stars. At a price of over $500, I can see why it isn’t really selling. You can get a Blu Vivo Xl for $149 and it can do everything except provide a fingerprint sensor. It’s a much better value than the A9. HTC would be wise not to base the M10 off the A9.

          • Martin Jastram

            everything is faster than samsung, if the specs are only remotely the same.
            thank you touchwiz.

          • Martin Jastram

            you might be right on htc.
            what is true though, is, that samsung has only improved on the outside of their devices – although i´d even argue that. all their devices – with exception maybe on their flaggships – are so much bogged down by touchwiz. – it´s ridiculous!
            just tried out the brand new A5 of my apprentice and it´s noticably slower than my 2015 Moto G for not even half the price. incredible.

            I also think, that LG did itself a disservice with the G5.
            Sure, it´s modular – kind of. but do they have an eco system for that? or is one about to emerge in the months to come?
            I seriously doubt it.
            Project ara may be our best chance on a sustainable modular market. and even google is cautious about their approach on releasing it.
            Why would anyone think, LG could do better?
            This is just a gimmick, as last years V10. Great idea, but needs ecosystem and support – and neither can – or will – LG provide.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            I’ve never owned a Samsung mid-ranger so if in your experience it’s slower than the Moto G then shame on Samsung. Their A5 won’tsell well with performance like that.

            I don’t believe modular phones are the future. If you need to transform your phone to be something different than when you first bought it you may as well just buy a phone that provides that special function. For example, with Project Ara you might be able to swap in an improved camera, making your phone go from mid-range camera spec to high-end. After spending the money to upgrade your phone you may have been better served to just buy a high-end phone. LG didn’t do itself any favors by having a DAC audio hardware module rather than just including DAC ability as a standard feature.

          • kappatau808

            if modular phones are the future then that would be project ara. i can see myself upgrading camera module alot, not needing a speaker module.don’t play games much so i wont need the latest chip.

            but the future of mobile? i think microsoft is the future with continuum. the HP x3 elite sounds awesome. the idea of having a pcish like thing in your pocket. now if they can only fix windows 10 mobile and get more decent apps

          • SnakeSplitskin

            I’m in total agreement with you on MS being the future with Continuum. They need to hurry up and make it work flawlessly otherwise the concept will appear to have failed. That new HP phone certainly looks like the beautiful beast that it is. It will be interesting to see if HP can make a name for itself in the smartphone space.

          • Martin Jastram

            Well, modular phones will have their place.
            Just think of technicians or doctors, etc. it would be easy this way to have a smartphone, customized for a job rather than upgradeable.
            but I concur – they will probably not go mainstream – although i would like the idea of a customizable phone and modularity would also mean standards, which is always a nice thing

          • SnakeSplitskin

            I’m just not seeing it in the future though. AT a retail level, technicians and doctors will opt for a phone that comes standard with the features they need. Having to try and hodge-podge different elements together to get the overall device desired is a waste of time. If there’s a large enough market for a specific type of device that provides a specific set of functions, that device will be manufactured and sold as a complete unit from the start. Basically what I’m saying is that if doctors required a specialized phone then OEM’s will build that exact phone rather than achieve it through modular means.

          • Martin Jastram

            I´d rather think the opposite way:
            A doctor gets a module, that he needs for, lets say, measuring blood sugar.
            that module will work for a very long time and was fu***g expwnsive.
            his phone on the other hand, will get dated for one reason or the other and be replaced sooner or later.
            so the doctor pops in the old module in his new phone and voila, everybody is happy.

            i´m sure, people would do it this way, if offered the posssibility.
            the question is: would the manufacturers too?

            as google is leading the way here and this totally makes sense (besides making sense to the people in question), for it fits well with peoples lifestyles, i can imagin this to actually work.

            but it will depend very much on how much google is pushing the idea, because this would mean a revolution fo a lot of industries and at the same time ruin for many.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            I hear what your saying. but by the time the phone becomes dated so too would the modular device. the modular device would still have to be updated to the latest processor or memory which could make the modular blood measuring tool obsolete once you added said processor or memory. The problem here is that once some part of a device becomes dated, some new device will be created that will be better and be part of the norm. If you hold onto an old device just because its modular in nature, you’re almost guaranteed to be left behind in the technology. I just don’t see technicians, engineers, and other such professionals getting stuck in that quagmire.

          • Martin Jastram

            so goddam true.
            they ruined the A5, that my apprentice recently got with that.

          • balcobomber25

            TouchWiz is one of the worst UI’s.

          • Marty

            Touch-Limburger Cheese-Wiz. ?

  • balcobomber25

    Xiaomi Mi5 will be better than both and cost a lot less.

    • John Vanzan

      Stay away from these chinese crap.

      • balcobomber25

        The Chinese “crap” that will be better and cheaper than anything listed here? Or the Chinese “crap” that has better support than both Samsung or LG?

        • SnakeSplitskin

          Can you define qualify what makes Xiamo “support” worth mentioning here?

          • balcobomber25

            Xiaomi gives weekly software updates, Samsung you’re lucky if you get two over the life of your phone.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            weekly updates? Are you sure about that? What type of phone would suck
            so much that it would require weekly updates? Besides, are we talking
            about security updates? OS Updates? Bug-fix updates? The S6 and S6
            variants have already received a combination of security updates and
            bug-fix updates. Those didn’t require weekly schedules.

            I did
            read that Xiamo has adopted a “design as you build” software strategy
            which could add new features suggested by users in their user forums.
            The question is, what great feature did you get with last week’s update,
            the week prior to that,and the week prior to that? Basically, what
            value did the last 3 updates provide your Xiamo device? I’d be shocked
            if you could even answer this question.

          • balcobomber25

            TouchWiz is terrible it could use weekly updates. Actually it could use a complete overhaul. My Wife’s S6 is still waiting on bug fixes that have never come a year later. Every Friday MIUI receives an update. The weekly updates vary, sometimes it’s security fixes, sometimes it’s bugs that the community finds, sometimes its fixes for brand new apps that don’t work right and sometimes it is community suggested features.

            I don’t presently have a Xiaomi device I have a Meizu device. But when I had my last Xiaomi device (Mi4), you never had to wait long for bugs to be addressed. And you can find every change log in the MIUI forums if you really care that much. With Samsung you only have to wait until the next model is released. They will fix it then and add in some extra bloatware.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            So I was right. You can’t really say anything about the current state
            of just how good those “weekly updates” are by Xiaomi because you don’t
            own a device. And what the heck is a Meizu device? lol

          • balcobomber25

            You can easily find the weekly updates on the MIUI forums they come out with a changelog every week. I have owned several Xiaomi phones in the past so I can talk about the “weekly updates”. I owned the Mi4, Mi3, Mi2s and Redmi Note. Nearly every Friday there is a new OTA for MIUI (holidays are the only time there might not be one).

            Meizu is another Chinese brand. The current phone I have is a Meizu MX5. You can find the review of it here on AA.

          • SnakeSplitskin

            Unfortunately these phones aren’t really that readily available in the U.S. I was hard-pressed to find user reviews for these phones. You seem to be the only westerner who has owned one/several. Those who want updates to the latest Android will just opt for whatever the current Nexus is. Those who don’t care as much will buy other phones that provide the features and excellent performance they are looking for such a what you get with the Note 5. I’ll take a Note 5 stuck forever on Lollipop before I’d ever consider a Xiaomi with Android N, whatever Android N turns out to be.

  • KeyserSoze

    Couldn’t you AA slobs wipe your nasty snotty fingerprints and dirt off the back of the S7 first before taking a photo of it? Geez!

    • Itamar Baum

      well, seeing as its a major flaw in the phone, im glad they didn’t hide it. i do not want a phone i need to clean its back after every use.

      • KeyserSoze

        Sounds more like a major flaw in your personality to me.

        • Martin Jastram

          lol, true

    • Martin Jastram

      the question is, if its even possible with a phone almost entirely made of glass…..

      i still, after all these years, wonder, why manufacturers make phones out of metal and glass and people buy them like hotcakes, though there is not a single advantage in doing this (besides being pretty)


    I thought the V10 only came in 64GB internal storage?

  • Chrstopher S.

    Admittedly the camera modular for the LG G5 looks pretty awesome. I defiantly would have fun with the rolling bot as well, but the Galaxy S2 has liquid cooling, built for hardcover users, and the VR headset looks more appealing. I’mean a bit of a Samsung Nerd (have the Samsung galaxy tab 7″, galaxy note pro 12.2, galaxy note 4, and soon the s7. I may not like the appearence of the LG G5, but may pick it up to see what it has to offer. Last LG phone I had was the LG Optimus G (I think)

    • MattPortland

      The camera module of the G5 looks like a malignant tumor. What man do you know that wants to haul that module around?

    • SnakeSplitskin

      What extra value do you see getting from the camera module on the G5?

    • kappatau808

      i thought it was like 2 cameras working as one to take even better pictures. but i read its like wide angle and not wide angle. sorry dont really know much about cameras. i have never had LG so i don’t know what the camera is like. so i will be getting s7 edge because it’s new. camera atleast sounds better than my s6. and i tripped knox and probably will try samsung pay someday. and its pretty much through tmobile jump. if i want some other brand i will get through amazon

  • Abd

    S7 uses Gorilla Glass 5. G5 uses Gorilla Glass 4.

    • Fornavn Etternavn

      Nope, both use gorilla glass 4. Does the gorilla glass 5 even exist.

      • SnakeSplitskin

        Thanks for that. Hate it when people start false rumors.

  • Giles Peach

    Since the S4, I haven’t really been a fan of Samsung. Had the G3 and G4 since then, and recently got the Nexus 6P. The S7 has got my attention though. The size, waterproofing, increased battery size, and what is sure to be a great camera, ticks all the right right boxes for me. I use my phone as my primary activity/mapping device, so easy to handle and water/sweat proof is just fantastic. Not running out of battery and being able to snap great shots along the way is a major plus too. Let’s see though, my Nexus, while being a little large for my liking, is just such a sweet device.

  • Nexus 6P doesn’t support quick charge 2.0. It features 5V/3A fast charge.

  • Frank Opinions

    LG G5 – bravo, daring to be different. Samsung have failed (again) in my view.

  • Nallaikumaran

    S7 Features – The new processors in the Galaxy S7 phones boast high performance but will also run cooler, using a “tube” that helps keep the phone cool in your hand, “Thermal spreader” Water-cooling technology to avoid the phones overheating. Hybrid dual-SIM slot (It won’t work in the U.S),

    • SnakeSplitskin

      The dual sim won’t work in the U.S. or the thermal spreader won’t work in the U.S.?

      • kappatau808

        dual sim slot. cant use visual voicemail.. i think

      • Martin Jastram

        It´s because the wather in the us is so much cooler, than in korea – that´s why the thermal spreader won´t work here ;-)

    • balcobomber25

      Why won;t the dual sim work in the US?

      • Dante

        because logic :) – only the sd card will work in one slot – US wont have a dual sim version , only a sim and sd card

        • balcobomber25

          There are dozens of other phones that use a hybrid system where you can have dual sim, or one sim and one SD Card. That is most likely the setup here.

  • tommydokc

    i’m going to wait on the M10 to come out and then compare the reviews of the 3 to make a choice. right now… i’m leaning towards the G5.