Flagship Showdown: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. LG G6

Both Samsung and LG have brought their flagships to India and we see how they stack up

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The last few days for the Android market in India have been fairly exciting. Both the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ were announced, with the former already available for sale and the latter hitting shelves on May 5. Both the phones have unique features to offer, and even though their displays might seem similar at first, they too are unique. We’ve had some time with both the phones and in case you’re on the fence about which phone to pick up, we’re going to highlight exactly what each of the flagships has to offer.

Display: Infinity vs. Full Vision
Both Samsung and LG have coined fancy terms for their new displays, with the latter calling theirs Infinity Display and the latter, Full Vision Display. The only thing common between them is the fact that neither conforms to the standard 16:9 aspect ratio. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ both have a 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which it achieves by eliminating the bezels on the sides and minimizing them on the top and bottom. The display also curved around the edges (just like on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge). With a resolution of 1440×2960, it packs a pixel density of 570ppi, which is higher than that found on the LG G6’s 18:9 aspect ratio screen sporting a pixel density of 564.  LG’s display does not curve around the edges, but instead is flanked by very slim bezels. The real difference between the two displays isn’t the resolution, but in the fact that while Samsung uses Super AMOLED panels on their flagship, LG has chosen to stick with the IPS-LCD type panel. This is bound to have some impact on battery as traditionally, IPS panels are more strenuous on the battery in comparison to a similarly spec’d AMOLED panel.

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Processing Muscle
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is powered by the Exynos 8895 processor while the LG G6 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821. The Exynos chip is fashioned after the Snapdragon 835 and is based on the same 10nm fabrication process, which makes it more power-efficient and faster at crunching numbers. The Snapdragon 821, from what we’ve seen of it, is no slouch either, given that it chewed through every task we threw at it during our review of the OnePlus 3T. Both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 come with 4GB of RAM. We’ve seen how sometimes good hardware can be crippled by poor implementation of software and vice versa, so despite the different processors, it would really come down to the operating system on both the phones tht determines how fluid the user experience ends up being. We did notice a performance drop on the Samsung Galaxy S7 after it got the Android Nougat update, so it remains to be seen how well the OS is optimized for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6.

Primary Camera
LG has retained its signature dual-camera setup for the LG G6, but brought along a slight resolution bump for the ultra-wide angle camera. The new setup is comprised of two 13 megapixel cameras. The Samsung Galaxy S8, on the other hand, comes with a 12 megapixel sensor with Dual Pixel AF. Samsung had been uncannily quiet about the camera on the Galaxy S8 during its launch at Mobile World Congress, which had a lot of people assuming that it’s the same sensor that’s found on the Samsung Galaxy S7. As we noted in our hands on of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ camera, the sensor is actually a Sony IMX333, which isn’t listed on the Sony website. Regardless of the pixel-level performance, the LG G6’s dual camera setup has a lot more to offer in comparison to the single lens setup of the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Read: LG G6: First impressions, camera samples and hands-on video

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Secondary Camera
The Front facing camera on both the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 have received significant attention, most likely due to the obsession with selfies. The LG G6 comes with a 5 megapixel front facing shooter while the Samsung Galaxy S8 boasts of 8  megapixels of resolution. The ace up Samsung’s sleeve here happens to be the fact that their front facing camera is capable of autofocus, something most smartphone cameras, including the LG G6, lack. Additionally, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a larger aperture on the front facing camera (f/1.7) in comparison to that on the LG G6 (f/2.2). In our hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S8, we did notice that the default field of view wasn’t as wide as we’ve seen on most cameras, so this might be a mixed bag for those who consider the front camera to be as important as the one on the back.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs. Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Design and Camera Comparison

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Durability
There are multiple reasons to expect a phone that costs more than some people’s monthly grocery bills to be able to withstand some level of abuse. Following that line of thought, it should be noted that both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 are composed of glass, on the front and the back. While Samsung uses all Gorilla Glass 5, LG has oddly opted for the four year old Gorilla Glass 3 for the front and Gorilla Glass 5 for the back. While both phones are water and dust resistant with a rating of IP68, the LG G6 has passed 14 different MIL-STD 810G drop tests that conform to the set forward by the US Military. Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S8’s gorgeous curved screen makes it immensely susceptible to damage in the event of a drop. What’s worse is that the company has no official offers or policy on screen replacement and given that the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge’s display cost Rs. 18,000 to replace, you can expect to shell out a lot more in case you damage the Infinity Display. LG might not have a similar policy either, but the metal frame does offer more protection to the display in the event that the phone takes a tumble.

Update: LG has informed us that the company will offer a one-time screen replacement free of cost as long as the replacement period is within one year from date of purcahse.

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Both the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 are gorgeous, powerful devices with plenty to offer in terms of features, performance, looks and even design. They each have something to one-up the other meaning that it would come down to very specific user preferences that’ll determine which phone is picked up by a potential customer. While the LG G6 is a sturdier phone, the gorgeous design of the Samsung Galaxy S8 cannot be ignored. The LG G6 comes with dual cameras and even a quad-DAC setup for audiophiles, but Samsung has a newer and more powerful (on paper) processor bundled into its flagship. The two smartphone manufacturers have created flagships that are very distinct from each other, which means that the Android user now has more choice at his disposal.