Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G4

by: Joshua VergaraAugust 13, 2015

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.


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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.


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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

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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.


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.


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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.


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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.

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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.

  • V-Phuc

    Is this a worthwhile comparison? Note 5 stripped of everything that made Samsung Note phone great vs G4 that retains at least some of these features. Really?!!!

  • Samsung note 5 sucks

    Screw you Samsung, note 5 is shiny doorstop

  • Emmet

    I am getting my LG G4 tomorrow, and I don’t look back on purchasing it, even after I saw the Note 5. Samsung, you made it an easy choice for me. Hello removable back and SD card slot!

    • Philipp Hilbert

      Same over here, I get mine tomorrow as well… no regrets so far

    • sacocheio

      Me too. After having a Galaxy S, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S4, Sammy lost a loyal customer. Its obsession on copying Apple is making it loose lots of customers. I am getting my black leather G4 this week.
      For me the SD card is paramount. I use it to store pictures and movies taken from the phone camera, as well as consumable media (mp3, movies for my children), and leave the fast internal storage to apps and games.
      Goodbye Samsung, maybe we’ll never see each other again.

  • Nubsauce

    Honestly, I was kinda upset about the no microSD support and removable battery at first. BUT it does have the all-in-one Octacore CPU with 4gb of RAM. which is INSANE for a phone, and it wont have the overheating issue the S6 had. The reason Samsung did away with the SD card is a valid reason.

    The phone can shoot 8k pictures, and 4k video at 60fps and 1080 at 120fps. Now, if you don’t know a lot about hard drives or flash storage, up and dropping the micro sd may seem like a poor choice. But look at it from standard knowledge of storage devices. OK so a 1080p @120fps is a pretty big file, let say a 5 minute RAW recording at that setting is 600MB. Not super big right? OK. Now for a 4k Resolution shot @60fps with the same recording time will be close to 1.8GB if not more. A pretty big difference.

    You may think, “So? That’s why the micro SD for more storage makes sense!”. That MAY be true when it comes to pictures or music files or apps, but for video, it demands something more than just raw storage capacity. It demands a Very High Write / Read Speed on the SD itself. For a 4k @60FPS, you need a microSD that has a Speed Class of 10. Which is only common with actual cameras. The Speed of the “Speed Class 10” is 240Mbps which is pretty fast for something so small. (Not to mention a 128gb microSD that CAN hit that is pretty pricey at $80-$120)

    “OK, so I could just buy one of those for my Note 4/5”

    Well….that’s the thing…no phone can support the Speed Class of 10 with an external storage as the actual slot hasn’t been developed for a phone yet.

    “Then how can the phone soot 4k right off the bat?”

    Because the internal storage of the phone is MUCH faster than the external port of the phone since it is directly connected to the CPU and RAM of the phone itself.

    So all in all, I understand WHY they aren’t didn’t offer the SD card slot, because most of us would use it for HD videos and 8k Camera shots. But I still wish they had one just for that extra music storage :P

    As for the non-removable battery, I’m still kinda bummed about that.

    • Dan MacDonald

      Why wouldn’t you just move your files after shooting? Takes a few seconds in any file manager. The lack of removable storage sucks, stop trying to justify it.

      • Nubsauce

        Well yeah, you could move the files. The pictures and music would be fine. But the 4k Videos would actually stutter and have screen tearing because the read and write speeds on the MicroSDs are different. The only viable option for transferring videos would be to put them directly on your desktop. Keep in mind, even if the note 5 had a MicroSD Slot, it wouldn’t be the “Speed Class 10” spec. It would be like the SD slot in the note 4s which is a “Speed Class 4” that is significantly slower and does not support 4k/UHD video.

        • Bryan Matthew Batanes

          LOL! You are contradicting yourself. You are saying you cant do 4k with micro sd. Now that is true only if you will play it from sd . But then you also said a 5min 4k is 1.8gb loooooooool. with 64gb internal memory which leaves about 50gb usable and after installing your essential apps around 40gb.. without anything else you will have a max of less than 2 hours video. Now compare that to shooting 4k then transferring to sd while on the road or even just away from your BULKY destop/external storage. Which is more feasible to use for shooting 4k videos??

          • Nubsauce

            You arent understanding….Micro SDs CAN hit 4k. Cameras have it. Im saying the PORT CANNOT. A Camera SD PORT can support a faster speed while the PHONES CANNOT. Make sense now? It doesnt matter if you buy a 4k certified micro sd because your phone will NEVER hit the speed the card says.

          • Nubsauce

            Also…1.8GB for a 5 min video is HUGE….there are whole 2 hour movies in 1080p that are only 3GB total…

  • Chad Higgins

    I love my G4. But why not just get a Note 4 if you want sd card slot and removable battery!

  • ctsmitty

    I have had my Note 5 for about 3 weeks now. Previously had the LG3. Needed to change phones after the G3 sent my message in group text 99 times no joke. I was never impressed with the camera on the G3 which is why I chose it in the first place. I am really impressed so far with the camera on the Note5. Even the printed pictures have been better so far. I admit I wasn’t crazy about not having a memory card at first either but realized that Apple users have never had memory cards. I have a portable hard drive that I back all my pics up to anyway. All my music is in the cloud or connected to various websites anyway so I thought why not give it a shot. I went to LG after my Galaxy 3 or 4 and missed a few of Galaxy ‘s features glad to be back.

  • Brandon

    Have to go with Note5. storing in cloud is way better than any sd storage. Note 5 has better specs and performance. A leather back is just for looks and i dont need to feel good cause i have a neat looking phone. Note 5 has better screen, better camaras, better proccessor, more memory. Im not seeing anything better on LG side.