LG and ZTE make great phones, but the truth is they have a lot to go before they can reach the same level as some of the elites in the mobile space. Today we are putting their latest flagships face to face to see which one is more worthy of your hard-earned cash.

Should you go for the ZTE Axon 7 or the LG G5? Let’s find out!

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Design and build quality

The nice thing about both handsets is that they are a made out of metal, so they share a similar premium finish. Overall, though, I will have to give my vote to the ZTE Axon 7, as it does have more of that sturdy, premium, metal feel. I can’t help but feel like the LG G5 is a little bit hollow.

The difference in build quality could be largely due to the fact that the LG G5 has that modular design. The bottom of the phone can be pulled, along with the battery. Making a smartphone with removable parts usually does tend to make for a more flimsy build quality, and LG have also used a primer in the finish of the G5, which makes it feel less premium than a traditional metal finish.

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Display

The ZTE Axon 7 has a slightly larger 5.5-inch display, whereas the G5 has a smaller 5.3-inch screen. They are both QHD (2560×1440), making it really hard to see which one is more detailed from a normal distance. Technically, it should be the G5, but we do happen to lean more towards the Axon’s screen, as ZTE used an AMOLED screen, vs Super LCD on the G5.

The ZTE Axon 7’s screen seems to offer much better viewing angles, while the LG G5 tends to be a little washed out when not viewed directly. Both displays are impressive, but the AMOLED display on the Axon 7 delivers those deep, inky blacks and vibrant colours that provide the more immersive experience.

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Software

I am not sure about the LG G5’s experience. Yes, it is simple and easy to navigate, but it seems to have scaled back, compared to the G4‘s UI. Power users will dislike the fact that the software is a little less versatile than it was with previous iterations. That being said, the software on the LG G5 is far more streamlined than previous LG handsets, and the lack of bloatware means a snappier and more appealing user interface.

The ZTE Axon 7 remains faithful to last year’s customized software experience. It has some stock-like elements. And the thing that I do prefer about it is that it features a dedicated app drawer, as opposed to apps just being littered throughout the whole home screen. At the same time, it’s pretty powerful. You will get work done easily, just as with the LG G5. It’s a matter of choosing the right visual for your specific needs or preferences.

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Hardware

It is no shocker that both of these handsets are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. They are high-end smartphones, after all. Both also have 4 GB of RAM. This means that when doing the basic stuff like opening apps and using a browser, they pretty much move at the same speed.

It’s also worth taking into account that there will be another ZTE Axon 7 model with a whopping 6 GB of RAM. It is going to be very useful when doing more heavy processing and multi-tasking and will ensure the handset remains future proofed. Both handsets also come a plethora of other hardware features, including expandable storage, fingerprint sensors and, in the case of the LG G5, a removable battery.

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Camera

We know exactly how that LG G5 camera performs (spoiler: it’s outstanding). We have a dual camera setup with a 16MP main camera and an 8MP secondary wide-angle camera with 135-degree field of view, f/1.8 aperture, a color spectrum sensor and optical image stabilisation.

You are not going to get that with the ZTE Axon 7. It comes with a 20 MP rear shooter with a f/1.8 aperture, OIS and EIS, and phase detection auto focus. We haven’t tested the Axon 7 camera yet, but on paper, it certainly looks like it is capable of producing excellent pictures. Stay tuned to the full review for an in-depth look at the camera.

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Conclusion

The LG G5 has been out for a while, and though some believe it is a bit underwhelming, it is a powerful smartphone with a very unique modular design. Having said that, the ZTE Axon 7 will need a bit of a push to win the hearts and minds of people looking to buy a new smartphone.

The ZTE Axon 7 does also have its Dolby speaker technology, which gives it something like a 360-degree audio feel. This year’s model will also have all the necessary radios to work with T-Mobile and AT&T, as well as CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint.

Something we don’t know yet is the price point, but we can assume it will be slightly lower than the LG G5, or something along the lines of last year’s model. Stay tuned for more details to come in the near future. For now, hit the comments and let us know which phone you are rooting for!

John Velasco
Storyteller, ongoing health nut, persistent complainer of running, & religious flosser.