Updated with video and new details on the S7 and G5 on February 17.
Original post, January 21. With flagship season just around the corner, the two smartphones everyone seems to be talking about are the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5. Both of these will bring robust specs and style to the mobile market, but which are you more excited about? Let’s take a gander at what the S7 and the G5 are posed to look like, and see which fan base is more stoked about this year’s flaggiest of flagships.
Samsung Galaxy S7: Rumor Recap
Samsung is a giant in the Android ecosystem, and most of their success in the mobile industry has grown from the popularity of their Galaxy S-series. Because of this, the Galaxy S7 may be the most anticipated flagship Android device of all time.
Going into 2016, with its cooling handset market and flagging component sales, Samsung has a lot of eggs in the S7 basket. As the new head of the Mobile division Dong-jin Ko said in his point-blank first statement after taking his post, “Next year will be tough.”
We’re predicting a 5.1-inch SAMOLED display with Quad HD (1440 x 2560). Word on the street is that the Galaxy S7 Edge might have an even larger screen at 5.5 inches. The device will almost certainly sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 in the US and China and a Samsung Exynos 8890 in Europe and Asia.
4GB of RAM, of course, and standard options for internal storage: 32GB or 64GB. The main camera is expected to be 12MP and is rumored to markedly improve low-light photography. For the battery, we’ve heard either 2800 mAh or a 3000 mAh unit for the S7, and a 3600 mAh unit for the S7 Edge.
The Galaxy S6 ruffled some feathers when its design axed the microSD and removable battery its predecessors enjoyed. However, the device was praised for ditching plastic and upgrading to glass and metal.The S7 looks like it will be bringing back the microSD slot for both the regular S7 and its curved counterpart.
From what leaked information we’ve encountered, we don’t expect the S7 or S7 Edge to look much different than their S6 counterparts. In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that the S7 won’t bring any “major departures” from the S6 visually.
Price, Release, and Availability
Although we’ve heard some rumors that the S7 is slated to be 10% cheaper than the Galaxy S6 was at launch, we’re not sold on that figure just yet. There wouldn’t seem to be any motivation on the part of Samsung to vary from the $600-$700 range we’ve come to expect for flagship devices.
We don’t have an official release date as of yet, however we do know that Samsung will introduce the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at MWC on February 21. According to several reports, in-store availability should begin from March 11, while eager customers will be able to pre-order from February 21. A Gear VR is said to be offered as a bonus for those who pre-order.
LG G5: Rumor Recap
In the other corner of the ring, LG is set to unleash the G5 on the world. The company is out to prove that it can remain competitive with Samsung and Huawei, so a lot of weight rests on the G5’s shoulders.
Last year wasn’t so great for LG. The mobile division returned financial losses, and the company’s devices were largely eclipsed by Samsung in the mind of the public. The G4 failed to turn the heads LG so desperately needed it to, but the rugged V10 made up some of this lost ground with a late 2015 showing.
The LG G5 is reported to have a 5.3-inch LCD main display with an additional ‘ticker’ display riding above. We know the device will be rocking the 2016 darling of the processor world: the Snapdragon 820. 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a microSD slot for additional memory.
Camera-wise, the G5 will supposedly be taking a page out of the V10’s book with a dual-camera setup. While the V10 implemented this feature on the front side, the G5 will be using it on the back. Dual cameras allow for wide-angle shots and a handful of other nifty little tricks. 16MP for the main camera, 8MP for selfies.
We’re expecting a slightly smaller battery on the G5 than its forerunner. Some are a bit disappointed with the rumored 2,800 mAh, but others have taken to the G5’s defense, claiming the smaller screen and better processor will result in no loss of battery life. Plus, it’s supposedly removeable.
From the several hands-on leaks that surfaced, LG has gone full-aluminum. Normally when phones go metal, they lose replaceable batteries and microSD slots, but LG has come up with an inventive workaround to give users the modular aspects they love with elegance and durability of a unibody design. Supposedly the phone features a slide-off “cap” that will let you swap batteries and microSD cards. The same source reports that LG has ditched their unusual rear-mounted volume rockers in favor of the more traditional side-mounting.
Price, Release, and Availability
We’re expecting the LG G5 to hit stores with a price tag ranging from $600-$650. No official confirmation on that figure yet, but some believe that the full metal body may increase production costs.
LG has confirmed that the device will be revealed on February 21st, just before MWC. We can expect to see the device in stores about the same time as the Galaxy S7.
There’s a lot to process here. The phones are both in a similar price range, and both are rumored to offer some impressive specs. Providing that all the rumors prove true, the G5’s lower 3GB of RAM stacked against the S7’s 4GB might seal the deal for some buyers, and those extolling the virtues of AMOLED vs LCD are sure to side with Samsung in this battle. However, the G5 appears to be trotting out a lot more innovation with this device, incorporating everything they’ve learned from the G4 and V10, while introducing some new ideas as well.
Strategically, Samsung looks like they’re attempting to display consistency. The S5 was a hard shake for the company, and they appear to be leaning on the success and popularity of the S6 in an if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it move of Apple-esque, non-startling upgrades. LG is the smaller combatant in this showdown, so they’re leaning hard on creativity and niche usership to take a bite out of Samsung’s share.
However you land on this decision, it’s clear that both of these devices will be power players in the 2016 mobile arena, but what’s your pick? Which 2016 flagship are you most excited about? Cast your vote in the poll, and then let us know why in the comments!