Now that the all-new LG G4 has finally been announced buyers are liking looking at everything it has to offer while trying to decide if it’s the right device for them, or if they should pickup something like the Galaxy S6 instead. Both phones have a lot to offer, and here we’ll be comparing a few key differences for potential buyers.
Last year the LG G3 wowed us with its sleek bezels and impressive 5.5-inch Quad HD display, but this year the company delivered something even better in the LG G4. While the design and screen size remain the same, this is a completely revamped smartphone worthy of many buyers attention.
The Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 are both readily available and two excellent smartphones, but the LG G4 looks to be an excellent alternative. It has plenty to offer, and needs to compete with both of these devices all while being released over a month later, if not more. Read on for more details about the LG G4, and how it’ll compare to Samsung’s latest.
Earlier this week LG took the stage in New York City and officially announced the LG G4. There were three main areas of focus. That being the display, the camera, and the new genuine leather build materials. They didn’t go with aluminum like Samsung, but still have a great design for the new phone. Below we’ll go over that and more for those considering either of these devices.
When it comes to which smartphone is actually “better” between the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the LG G4 there are a lot of things that come into play. User preference, software or hardware needs, and of course the size of the device are all things each user will decide on. While we don’t have all the answers, nor know what every user needs or wants, below are a five or so key features or differences that separate the two and may help consumers make the right choice.
Many consumers these days are choosing a smartphone based on screen size. One example of that being a leading factor is shown by Apple finally moving the iPhone like to a bigger 4.7-inch display with the iPhone 6. This year both Samsung and LG kept the screen the same size as last year, but improved them overall. That said, this will be a key aspect of a buyers choice.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad HD AMOLED display. To be honest, I feel it’s the best display of any smartphone I’ve used to date. The colors, saturation, clarity, viewing angles, and natural whites just makes it a stunning device. Last year the G3 had a 2560 x 1440 Quad HD screen, but it was washed out, had poor viewing angles, and wasn’t the best. LG made huge improvements in 2015 with the G4 Quad-HD display, but it still may not be able to match Samsung.
According to an LG press release this new 5.5-inch Quad-HD display for the G4 achieved a “quantum jump” in color gamut and brightness. They’re calling it a “Quantum HD display”. The new LG G4 screen is be brighter, feature extremely rich and stunning colors. All while being more efficient and easier on battery life. Not to mention be thinner, and deliver improved touch function and precision.
It has a new advanced In-Cell Touch technology that allows it to react to touches, even with water on it. Finally, it’s expected to show even more accurate colors over last year’s QHD panel in the G3 by offering a 120% color gamut, 50% increase in contrast, and 30% jump in brightness. Now that we’ve got our hands on the unit, we can tell you that LG isn’t lying here. The screen is way better than the LG G3, but still not as good as Samsung’s Galaxy S6. The colors are crisp, viewing angles are decent, but it doesn’t get nearly as bright as the Galaxy S6, and has a very cold (blue) hue to almost everything. The Galaxy S6 looks more natural, while the LG G4 looks too cold, and the Nexus 6 looks too warm. It’s interesting to see all three Quad-HD displays next to one another.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is as stunning as ever, and having a smaller display with the same Quad-HD display means more pixels per inch, and potentially more clear and crisp text and images. In my opinion the Galaxy S6 screen is better, but both are among the best options here in 2015.
Both Samsung and LG have been making plastic smartphones for years, ones that “look” like they’re aluminum but not. The ring around the Galaxy S5 is actually plastic, but looks like chrome, and the brushed aluminum design on the LG G3 is pretty but added to a plastic shell. This year the Galaxy S6 was completely redesigned and is made of aluminum, with strengthened glass on both the front and the back. It’s the most premium Galaxy device ever released, and so far it’s receiving lots of praise. That said, the battery is no longer removable, and there’s no micro-SD slot to expand storage. A big problem for many potential buyers.
LG on the other hand, didn’t do anything like that. The G4 kept the same plastic design with a neat diamond-etched plastic and ceramic infused casing. However, they’ve introduced six genuine leather stitched rear battery covers, ones that are removable. It still has a removable battery and user expandable storage with a micro-SD slot. The leather is absolutely stunning. It looks good, feels even better, and is extremely comfortable. The leather feels a little harder than the Moto X leather, so should be more durable as well. They also have different textures, some are bubbly while others are smooth. Overall we love the leather, and can’t wait to get it ourselves. It feels very comfortable in the hand, quite possibly the best I’ve ever used.
However, there’s a few major differences between both these phones. One being the LG G4 has all the buttons on the back, and the second being Samsung’s Galaxy S6 doesn’t have a removable battery or expandable storage, as we mentioned above. This is key for many buyers, and will instantly give the LG G4 an edge once it hits carrier shelves.
Overall the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are both stunning devices, in our opinion, but so is the LG G4. It’s just a different kind of elegant, with the leather. We’re not sure how carriers will handle the leather options, and we’re hearing it could come with a $40-$50 premium for the hand-made leather options, but trust me, it’ll be worth it.
We’ll have to see if leather options, removable storage, and a few other small changes will be enough for buyers to choose LG over Samsung.
While specs aren’t as important as having a device that’s fast, fluid, and will work for years to come, it’s still something many consider while making a purchase. Below are the hard numbers for those interested, but it all boils down to these devices being nearly the same under the hood with a few small changes, and software will play the biggest role in how each device performs.
Galaxy S6 Specs
5.1-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD S-AMOLED Display
8-core Exynos 7420 processor (Two Quad-cores) and 3GB of RAM
32/64/128 GB storage options, no micro-SD slot.
16 Megapixel f1.9 camera and 5MP front shooter
Android 5.0 Lollipop with a new TouchWiz
infrared port for remote
Fingerprint and heart rate sensors
2.550 mAh battery
Aluminum and glass design
LG G4 Specs (Rumored and some Confirmed)
5.5-inch 2560 × 1440 Quantum-HD display
6-core Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM
32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion up to 128GB)
16 Megapixel f1.8 camera with OIS+, laser auto-focus, 8 megapixel front camera
Android 5.1 Lollipop with a new LG UI (Yes, already on Android 5.1 Lollipop)
WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE, FM Radio Antenna, and Infrared laser for remote
Wireless Charging (may be carrier specific)
Three colors in plastic, six all-new genuine leather back choices
3,000 mAh battery (removable)
As you can see from the breakdown above, these devices are extremely similar. Essentially buyers main concerns should be on the the camera, screen size, removable storage, or simply which manufacturer has the best software and design. And those are in no particular order. Any one of those could and can be the deciding factor. The G4 may not be as premium, even with the leather, but we’d recommend trying them both in stores once the G4 is available.
The Galaxy S6 has the best camera of any smartphone we’ve used to date. The 16 megapixel lens features a fast f.19 aperture rating, image stabilization, and some of the best software tweaks yet. It takes stunning images, and will give any device a run for its money. However, LG may have something better on their hands, or at least on-par. The G4 has a 16 megapixel f1.8 lens with optical image stabilization, laser autofocus, and tons of advanced controls.
Most phones are over 2.0 with the f-stop, which is the speed of the sensor and how well it captures details and light. Meaning both Samsung and LG are leading the pack here. At the top of the page we linked to a camera comparison that shows the LG G4 is no slouch, and below are a few more comparisons, even if they were controlled by LG.
The G4 has the laser auto focus and this is the third year they’ve delivered optical image stabilization, while OIS on the Galaxy S6 is the first Galaxy S phone with such a feature. These should technically be two of the best camera phones in 2015, and from our initial impressions, they are, but choose wisely.
Stay tuned for more camera comparisons in the next week or so. We plan to test out the video recording capabilities, as well as low-light and indoor comparisons between both the G4 and S6.
We won’t talk about software much, as that is a personal preference. Both run Android 5 Lollipop, but have a manufacturer skin covering up everything. Meaning this comes down to what you prefer. That said, our hands-on with the LG G4 was rather promising in terms of software performance.
So, last but certainly not least is the price. Sadly there’s no winner here either and you’ll have a tough choice to make. That being said, the LG G4 will be the cheaper of the two, simply because it only comes in 32GB for what we’re assuming will be $199 on contract, and has a micro-SD slot. Then of course all carriers offer monthly payment plans if you’d like to get the phone free, and pay it off month by month.
Verizon will probably try to undercut the others with contract and outright pricing, but nothing has been announced. That said, the Galaxy S6 is $199, $299, and $399 with a 2-year contract for the 32, 64, and 128GB storage options. So the only touch choice is choosing the 32GB model, as they’re the same price. For anyone that chooses LG, just get a cheap 64GB micro-SD card and you’re set, rather than giving a carrier another $100 or more. And this doesn’t even consider the $100 premium for the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and new LG G4 will likely be two of the best smartphones of 2015, so you really can’t go wrong with either option. That aside, read everything mentioned above and try them both out yourself before making a decision.
In closing, the only major advantage Samsung has is the Galaxy S6 is available now from carriers around the globe, while the LG G4 has only been revealed, and no release date has been announced. We’re hearing very late May, but most likely carriers in the US won’t have it until the first week of June. We’ve only had the LG G4 in our hands for a few days, but as we use it more we’ll update with more details, thoughts, and input.
Potential buyers will need to decide if the Galaxy S6 is right for them, or if they’d like to wait a month or so for the LG G4 to be released from all major carriers in the US, and around the globe. The Galaxy S6 Edge is another viable option, something LG can’t compete with unless you look at the LG G Flex 2.
As it stands now these are two of the best phones available in 2015, and two phones I’d take over the HTC One M9, but to each his own.