August 13, 2015
14

We are at Samsung’s unpacked event taking a look at the Galaxy Note 5. We have spent some quality time with the new handset and already put together a hands-on post. Now it’s time for those nifty comparisons, and the LG G4 is definitely among the first phones we will put the Note 5 against.

It’s the battle of the flagships, and Samsung’s biggest rival (after Apple) is LG. This is bound to be a good fight, so let’s jump right into the nitty gritty of this comparison.

Design

samsung galaxy note 5 vs lg g4 quick look aa (2 of 10)

Needless to say Samsung devices haven’t had the best designs in the past, something that changed with the Galaxy S6. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 follows suit by adapting the new premium design language. In comparison, LG’s devices have remained relatively similar, and the G4 does look much like the G3, minus a subtle curve.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a body made of metal and glass, with a unibody design that is unlike many others. On the other hand, LG has opted for a plastic frame and removable back covers, but that is also one of its most desired features. Not to mention, the G4’s aesthetic value is highly improved by this aspect, as it allows users to sport those sexy leather backs.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus Hands On-34

Another main difference is that the LG G4 has the power and volume buttons on the rear, right below the camera. Samsung’s volume rocker is on the right side, while the power button is on the left. Both devices house a microphone and microUSB port on the bottom, as well as the speaker. The Note 5 also includes the S Pen obviously, which has been redesigned with a clickable top button and a more refined overall design.

Design preference is a very subjective matter, but there’s no doubt the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will look and feel like a more premium handset. It’s just a matter of material choice, but some of you will prefer the elegant and unique look the LG G4 sports, especially if you like curved displays and leather backs.

Display

samsung galaxy note 5 vs lg g4 quick look aa (1 of 10)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 touts a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, which is definitely larger than LG’s 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel. Aside from size, we are looking at the same exact resolution with a QHD (2560x1440p) definition. Of course, one big difference is the screen technologies these manufacturers use.

Super AMOLED panels are known for emiting very vibrant/saturated colors, as well as deep blacks. This makes images very striking, but some of you may prefer more accurate colors. LG’s IPS LCD display will definitely offer more exact hue reproduction. It uses Quantum Display technology, which can emit 98% of the DCI color gamut, which is the standard used by Hollywood.

Hardware & performance

samsung galaxy note 5 vs lg g4 quick look aa (9 of 10)

In terms of speed, we should see very similar results, but these phones do appear somewhat different on paper. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 features an Exynos 7420 processor with 4 GB of RAM. Meanwhile, LG opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset with 3 GB of RAM.

Arguably, Samsung has the upper hand here. Samsung’s chip has showcased some of the highest benchmark results around. Not to mention, the extra GB of RAM will definitely help. Both phones are snappy and will be almost as fast, though. You likely won’t notice the difference in day-to-day use, except perhaps on the most intensive games and even then, the differences will be minor.

lg-g4-problems-fixes-3

But let’s move on to other components. Where the LG G4 does fail is in internal storage options. The handset is only available with 32 GB. Meanwhile, Samsung expands choice with 32/64 GB iterations. Regardless, some of you will still prefer the LG G4 when considering storage, as it supports microSD cards, something Samsung has done away with. By the way, you can also remove the battery on the G4, which allows you to easily swap batteries on-the-go. Both should have great battery life, though, as they carry 3000 mAh of juice.

Where Samsung does win is in a couple other ways: the Galaxy Note 5 has an S-Pen stylus with great software features and a fingerprint reader. If you want those extras, the Note 5 will certainly stand out on top.

Camera

samsung galaxy note 5 vs lg g4 quick look aa (10 of 10)

LG really stepped it up with the G4 camera, giving it a 16 MP sensor with OIS, laser auto-focus and f/1.8 aperture. This puts the LG handset very close to Samsung’s Galaxy S6, which has a 16 MP sensor, OIS and an f/1.9 aperture. But Samsung’s camera was still better, even if by a bit. This means the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will also have a better photo quality, as it sports the same camera technology as its smaller brother.

On the front side you will find an 8 MP camera on the LG G4 and a 5 MP front shooter on the Note 5. But remember, megapixels don’t mean too much in photography. We still have to see photo samples before we can tell you which of these front-facing cameras is better.

Software

samsung galaxy note 5 vs lg g4 quick look aa (4 of 10)

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and the LG G4 run Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, but this doesn’t exactly mean their software is identical. In fact, their UI skins are quite different.

Samsung’s TouchWiz UI was stripped down for the Galaxy S6, and we are thankful the same philosophy has been applied to the Galaxy Note 5. It still has all those awesome S-Pen features, multi-tasking tools and other elements, but the interface is much sleeker.

samsung galaxy note 5 first look aa (10 of 41)

Samsung has also redesigned the Air Command menu giving it a more refined look, which now gives you easy access to the three main functions of the S Pen, alongside a few application shortcuts. The Note 5 also adds a few new Note-specific changes, such as the ability to pull out the S Pen when the phone is locked, which will result in a slightly lit up black slate that will let you quickly write down a quick memo. There’s also a new scroll capture mode in Screen Write, allowing you to take and piece together multiple pictures of the same webpage in order to have the entire webpage available.

In comparison, LG’s software is still a bit bloated, but it does not offer a bad experience either and has been highly optimized for the Snapdragon 808. There’s just a few more things floating around your settings, aside from icons being a bit more playful and cartoon-like.

Wrapping up

And there you have it – a quick comparison between the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and the LG G4, one of its biggest competitors. Which one is the best is yet to be decided, but we have to say the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is likely a bit superior. Samsung’s handset has higher performance, a better camera and a design that will be appealing to those who like metal and glass.

On the other hand, the LG G4 has those leather backs some of you love, and the bonus of a removable battery and expandable storage. And even if the Note 5 may have better specs, the G4 is still plenty powerful and has a pretty stunning camera.

We will go in more depth once we can give you our full review on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, for now hit the comments and tell us which one is your favorite so far.

Joshua Vergara
Writer, blogger, and videographer - Josh is a former support technician that learned much about technology by fixing everyone else's. On the side, he wrote and performed spoken word, maintained his own personal blogs, and began his own video podcast. Now, he's here at Android Authority looking to put it all together!
Show 14 comments