LG introduced a new smartphone series late last year, in an attempt to get a bigger foothold in the premium smartphone market. The first of the series, the LG V10, brought with a durable build and some new hardware features, along with a unique take a secondary display experience.
Of course, that doesn’t mean their flagship G series has been forgotten, with the latest offering released this year introducing a dramatic departure from the norm for LG. A full metal construction and changes to the design language, while different for LG, may have been expected, but what makes the LG G5 stand out from the crowd is its unique modular capabilities.
Both the G5 and V10 are undoubtedly two of the best smartphones LG has ever released, but how do they fare when pit against each other? That’s what we find out, as we take an in-depth look at the LG G5 vs LG V10!
While the LG G5 brought with a complete overhaul to the design and build quality, it was with the V10 that LG first experimented with different build materials and introduced metal to the mix, making it very different from any LG smartphone we had seen before it. The LG V10 comes with sides that are made of 316L stainless steel, and a body that is wrapped in DuraSkin, which is a sturdy, high quality silicone that is soft to the touch, and allows for a lot of grip.
These new material choices make for an extremely durable device, with the V10 being MIL-STD-810G certified for shock resistance. If you are someone who finds themselves to be dropping their phones often, or if your work or lifestyle requires a durable smartphone, the LG V10 is a great option. As you can see in our LG V10 drop test, the device will manage to survive an average drop far better than most other smartphones out there.
On the other hand, the LG G5 comes with a full metal construction, but the use of layer of primer and paint coating has not been without controversy, and does make the device feel less premium than its metal counterparts. A key change to design language has been with regards to the signature rear button layout seen with previous LG flagships, including the V10. While the power button remains on the back, the volume rocker has been moved to a more traditional position on the side. This change isn’t going to be difficult to get used to per se, but some may miss the iconic design and button placement, and it is somewhat disappointing to see LG no longer have that available.
Of course, the other big change with the LG G5 is the modular design it now employs, which means that you can remove the bottom portion, and remove the battery to plug it into other attachments that add different functionality to the phone. This means that LG also continues to offer staple features like a removable battery with the G5, despite the move to a metal build. Needless to say, you also get a replaceable battery with the V10, accessible via the removable back cover.
The DuraSkin material allows for a lot of grip, which is especially important in the case of the V10, which proves to be quite big and unwieldy. The device isn’t necessarily bulky, but it is a wide and tall phone, and even if you are used to larger smartphones like the Galaxy Note 5 or Nexus 6P, handling the V10 can take some getting used to. If LG does decide to continue with the V series and release a successor for the V10, a smaller overall footprint would certainly be a big selling point.
The LG V10 features a primary 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 515 ppi, while the LG G5 comes with a 5.3-inch display with the same underlying technology and screen resolution, resulting in a slightly higher pixel density of 554 ppi. Both displays are nothing short of what is expected from LG, and allow for great viewing experiences. However, media consumption and gaming-centric users will certainly appreciate the additional display real estate that is available with the V10.
The unique feature of the LG V10 is the secondary screen that is available at the top of the display, and is actually one of the contributing factors to large size of this phone, with both displays combined giving the device the height that you’d see from a smartphone with a 6-inch display.
This second screen brings a lot of useful functionality to the table, including allowing for access to quick settings toggles, application shortcuts, recently-opened apps, and more. All your notifications will also be seen only on this screen, instead of popping up on the main display. The second screen works independently from the main display, allowing for a little bit of battery saving when looking at your notifications or other information.
Performance and hardware
With the LG G5 being the newer of the two, its not surprising that the 2016 flagship comes with the latest and greatest internals that are currently available. The LG G5 comes with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, clocked at 2.15 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 530 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. On the other hand, the LG V10 is powered by the older hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, clocked at 1.82 GHz, with an Adreno 418 GPU and 4 GB of RAM.
While the Snapdragon 808 is older, there isn’t a lot of difference you will see in terms of everyday performance. Granted, the LG G5 will comfortably beat the V10 when comparing benchmark test results, but when it comes to real world usage, that includes opening and closing applications, playing games, watching videos, surfing the web, using the camera, and other regular activities, the V10 remains fast and reliable.
The LG V10 comes with a slightly larger 3,000 mAh battery, compared to the 2,800 mAh unit available with the LG G5. As far as battery life is concerned, both are are just about above average performers, and while it is possible to comfortably get a full day of use out of either device, even with heavier usage, you won’t get a whole lot more than that.
As has been a staple feature with all LG smartphones, both the G5 and V10 come with removable batteries, so if you are worried about running out of battery, you always have the option of carrying around spares. Both smartphones also come with fast charging capabilities to get you up and running in a short amount of time, Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 in the case of the V10, and QC 3.0 in the case of the G5, which also comes with a USB Type C (USB 3.0) port.
The reason the battery of the G5 is still removable, despite the move to a metal build, is because the bottom chin can be removed by the simple press of a button, and allows you to attach different modules in its place. Some of these modules, which LG calls “Friends,” include the Cam Plus, a camera grip with physical button and controls, and a Bang & Olufsen Hi-fi audio DAC, that provides higher quality audio. As we’ve said before, while the availability of these modules and the modular capabilities of the G5 do help make it different, this hasn’t proven to be a must have feature yet.
Both the LG G5 and V10 are unique when it comes their respective cameras, with both devices adopting dual camera setups, but in entirely different ways. While the V10 comes with two 5 MP cameras up front – one of which is of the wide angle variet – the G5 uses the same on the back; it features a 16 MP standard sensor, which is almost identical to the 16 MP rear camera of the V10, and is coupled with a secondary wide-angle 8 MP unit with 135-degree field of view.
The front-facing setup of the V10 allows you to take a lot of fun wide-angle selfies, and if you are looking to fit more people into the scene, or just more of the background, you can do so. This setup is great if you are into vlogging as well, and it is very easy to switch between the two front-facing cameras once you figure out the type of shot you want to take.
The second camera on the G5 allows it to capture 135 degree wide-angle shots and, unlike the V10 where you have to manually switch between the two cameras, the G5 automatically switches camera as you zoom in and out of a scene. The secondary camera allows for some fantastic-looking wide-angle shots, and the camera is a lot of fun to play around with. As Josh found at SXSW, the wide-angle camera on the G5 can be great for vlogging once you flip the phone around.
One thing that isn’t available with the G5 is the robust video pro mode that is found with V10. Having granular control over various aspects while recording video is a huge plus, and while it has surprisingly been left out with the G5, it’s something that LG might want to offer exclusively with the V series.
LG G5 camera samples:
As far as image quality goes, it is a toss up between the two, with the real difference between the two phones coming down to do the modes and features they offer. Both phone cameras are capable of taking excellent photos, and LG has done a really good job in the camera department with their recent flagships. Pictures taken with the G5 camera have slightly higher contrast, but as far as detail and other aspects go, things are pretty similar, given that these devices have identical sensors and similar post-processing.
LG V10 camera samples:
When choosing between these two smartphones, what it comes down to is whether you will have more use out of a wide angle lens up front or on the back, and how important the manual video that is available with the V10 is to you. Either way, you are going to have a lot of fun with either of these cameras.
On the software side of things, there isn’t a whole lot that is different between the two experiences, given that they are both LG smartphones. The V10 runs an older version of the LG UI, so you do get features like Multi Window, Smart Bulletin, and the QSlide apps, and it is up to you as to how useful you ultimately find them. These features do make the software experience feel a little bloated, and adding to this problem is the slew of LG applications that are pre-installed on the device. What does prove to be very useful is the secondary screen up top and all the functionality that is available with it.
LG has toned things down significantly with the G5. Multi Window is no longer available, but the other two features can still be found, but are better hidden now. One controversial decision on the part of LG was the removal of the app drawer, but that is now back following a software update, and makes the software packages on both smartphones quite similar.
5.3-inch IPS LCD display
Quad HD resolution, 554 ppi
Main: 5.7-inch IPS Quantum Display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 515 ppi
Secondary: 2.1-inch IPS Quantum Display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 515 ppi
16 MP rear camera with OIS
5 MP dual front-facing cameras
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm
159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6 mm
So there you have it for this closer look at the LG G5 vs LG V10! These are two of the best smartphones that have been released by LG. On one hand is the current flagship offering, and is a solid smartphone with a couple of very unique features, such as its modular capabilities a dual camera setup on the back, which make this phone stand out from the crowd.
On the other side is the V10, which features a further refining of their previously signature design language, a durable body, and a unique front-facing dual camera setup. If LG does decide to continue the V series, we can certainly expect the successor of the V10 to impress as well.
Which smartphone is your pick of these two and is the G5 is a worthy upgrade over the V10 or does LG’s phablet flagship still reign supreme? Vote in our poll, check out both reviews above and let us know your views in the comments below!