Now that the LG V10 is out, you can definitely expect a lot of coverage, including some comparisons. But there is one phone we just have to put the new handset against. We are obviously talking about the LG G4.
The LG V10 isn’t exactly the G4’s successor. These high-end smartphones are targeting different audiences and both serve their purposes. The real question here is: which is the right one for you? Let’s take a look at them and figure that out!
LG hasn’t strayed too far from its winning formula when it comes to the design. The LG G4 is a very well made smartphone, and such remains the case with the LG V10. Both include signature elements like the rear button layout and thin bezels in the front. There are some significant changes in the newer handset, however.
The LG V10 sports much more durable materials and a sturdier build quality. This gadget is made with a stainless steel frame and a plastic-based material LG calls DuraSkin (soft to the touch, yet very durable). It’s definitely a much stronger phone than the LG G4, as the V10 was certified with MIL-STD-810G Transit Drop Compliant shock protection.
The back also features a grid-like pattern that is unlike anything we have seen coming from LG in the past. It looks good. Probably not as elegant as leather, but it does give you the feeling that you are holding a resistant device.
And while we are on the topic of leather, that is something that truly differentiates the LG G4 – its distinctive leather covers. You can really make the LG G4 look unique, and it can even be customized on-the-go, as these back covers are replaceable.
Both devices feature removable back plates, giving you access to the battery and microSD card slot (both dying breeds in the mobile industry). And while the back buttons have made a return with the V10, the latest flagship also includes capacitive features and a fingerprint reader in the power button.
Changes from the LG G4 are noticeable up front as well, particularly towards the top. The V10 features a secondary display and a dual front-facing camera setup right above the main screen. These new elements do make the device longer, which is something you must also consider, as handling it will take some getting used to. On the other hand, the LG G4 was very comfortable to hold.
Oh, and let’s not forget them curves! The LG G4 had a curve (a la G Flex), which some argue make the phone fit better on your pocket, face and hand.
Both the LG G4 and the V10 feature nearly identical IPS LCD Quantum Displays with a QHD (2560×1440) resolution, so you won’t be missing much in this department. The only difference with these panels is that the G4’s measures 5.5 inches, while the V10 screen is 5.7 inches. This results in slightly different pixel densities (538 vs 513), but you likely won’t see a difference there.
By the way, LG’s screens may not be as vibrant or deep, but their offer color accuracy that is second to none.
The LG V10 does cause a stir by implementing a secondary screen, though, something you definitely won’t find in the G4. This 2.1-inch display has a 106×1040 resolution and retains a pixel count of 513 PPI (similar to the main screen). More about that in the software section.
Looking for performance? You will be disappointed by neither of these handsets. Both feature a Snapdragon 808 processor with an Adreno 418 GPU backing them up. The main difference is that the LG G4 has 3 GB of RAM, while the V10 offers extra power with 4 GB on board.
Regardless, both devices will be just as snappy and smooth, but the V10 may get a bit of a boost with better multi-tasking.
While the LG G4 comes with 32 GB of internal storage, the V10 doubles that with 64 GB. The good news is that both come with a microSD card slot.
The V10 also sports a fingerprint reader, which can be used to unlock the phone, use Android Pay and perform other biometric authentication processes compatible with Android. This is something you definitely won’t find in the G4.
The LG V10 also introduces 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC by ESS Technology, which can automatically detect connected devices and provide sound control options. It’s also the first commercial device to adopt Qualcomm’s QFE2550 closed-loop antenna tuning solutions to improve voice quality and expand network coverage.
On the battery front we can find the same 3000 mAh battery in either gadget. This is no longer a special occurrence, but the lure about these phones is that the batteries are removable, which means you can carry multiple spares and swap at will.
The LG G4 has an amazing camera… one of the best in the industry. This means LG fans will be happy to hear the V10 retains the same technology on the main shooter. Both feature identical 16 MP sensors with an f/1.8 aperture lens, laser auto-focus and OIS (optical image stabilization).
These devices also offer the same level of deep manual control, which allows you to manipulate ISO, shutter speed, quality and more.
Now, let’s turn to the front, where there are more obvious differences. What’s up with those dual 5 MP front-facing cameras? The advantage is that these couple lenses allow for creating wider angle shots, which is definitely welcome.
It’s obvious that these phones will come with very similar software experiences. They were both released in 2015 and run Android 5.1.1, with LG’s G UI layered on top. The experience is a little bloated, but things are getting better, and there are plenty of awesome features to be enjoyed. Not to mention LG’s optimizations between hardware and software, which do make the phone rather snappy and smooth.
The main difference in the software experience definitely rests on that secondary screen the LG V10 rocks. When your main display is off, the ticker can showcase the weather, time, battery and date. Things get pretty handy once you turn your phone on, though. This little display can save your shortcuts and favorite apps. I also love the fact that it displays notifications while one uses other functions of the phone. This means you can say goodbye to interruptions while watching a video, gaming or doing anything else.
Which one wins?
It’s hard to tell you which phone is “the best”, simply because we all have different needs and preferences. If you want a straight answer – the LG V10 is definitely the most impressive, powerful and full-featured of the two. It has that secondary display, a better front-facing camera, more RAM memory, more internal storage, improved audio and a much, much stronger build (see our LG V10 drop test for more on that).
On the other hand, the LG G4 fits better in the hand, has a curved screen and a very elegant (and customizable) design. It will also likely be more affordable and still has all the awesome specs, stunning camera, removable battery and expandable storage support. The choice just depends on your needs and how much you value the extra things the LG V10 has to offer.