So, a couple of weeks ago, Samsung and LG officially revealed their big flagships for 2016; the Samsung Galaxy S7 + S7 Edge and the LG G5. They’re going to be the hottest news for a while so let’s dive into these devices and my very first initial impressions.
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and its Edge counterpart are pretty much a refined version of its predecessor, the Galaxy S6, which started a whole-new design language for Samsung. While it bears a similar look to its predecessor, it has received some major internal upgrades. While an improved processor and more RAM are to be expected, there’s even some great stuff inside, such as a MUCH bigger battery, plus the return of expandable storage (THANK YOU, SAMSUNG!), along with IP68-certification for more peace-of-mind in case the device gets wet, a more slimmed-down version of TouchWiz that bears a similar look-and-feel but has revisions underneath and a camera that turns marketing convention on its head by going with a 12MP sensor but increasing the pixel size and upgrading every other part of the camera. This is looking to be yet another great device in the Galaxy lineup.
Personally, I really, REALLY love the S7, especially the Edge. Mainly because it brought nearly everything we asked for when the S6 came out. Sure, there’s no removable battery, but with a 3000mAh battery on the flat model and a gigantic 3600mAh battery on the Edge, I don’t see any real need for a removable battery. Add in expandable storage and a whole heap of other improvements, the S7 kinda makes the S6 look like a concept by comparison. This is a strong contender for Phone of The Year 2016.
Galaxy S7 Specs
|Display||5.1-inch 1440p Quad HD Super AMOLED (S7), 5.5-inch 1440p Quad HD Super AMOLED w/ Dual-Edge (S7 Edge)|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 8890 w/ 4x Exynos M1 @ 2.6GHz + 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.6GHz (worldwide), Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 w/ 2x Kryo @ 2.2GHz + 2x Kryo @ 1.6GHz (United States and certain markets)|
|Storage and Memory||32GB of UFS 2.0, microSD card slot for expandable storage, 4GB of LPDDR4 (all variants)|
|Operating System||Android 6.0.1 “Marshmallow” with Samsung’s “TouchWiz” UX layer on top.|
|Rear Camera||12MP Sony Exmor RS IMX260 w/ 1.4μ pixels. f/1.7 aperture, dual-pixel autofocus, BSI, OIS.|
|Front Camera||5MP sensor w/ wide-angle lens + f/1.7 aperture|
|Battery||3000mAh sealed unit (S7), 3600mAh sealed unit (S7 Edge), Adaptive Fast Charging/Quick Charge 2.0.|
LG arguably brought out the more “interesting” device. While the LG G5 bears the expected hardware upgrades over its predecessor, the G4, along with a metal-unibody, it has a little party trick up its sleeve. The bottom portion of the phone slides out to reveal….A REMOVABLE BATTERY. Yes, there is still a removable battery in this metal-unibody device, which should make loyalists to those very happy. The portion also doubles as a modular slot, meaning that users can attach things like LG’s camera grip and Bang & Olufsen’s upper-end DAC for a better camera and audio experience respectively. Other than that, the phone is a pretty solid upgrade over the G4.
Personally, I’m not as intrigued by the G5 compared to the S7. It’s still a great phone without a doubt. I just feel that LG got so caught up with the modular design, that they seemed to lose a bit of focus on what makes a great phone, well, GREAT. Now, don’t get me wrong. You don’t need those modules and the phone works plenty fine without them. I just think that LG has to really make these modules an extremely compelling thing so that it can take off, because right now, I think it’s a pretty fancy gimmick. Perhaps that will change once LG leverages on that. Other than the modules, the phone itself is pretty nice, with a USB-C port and lots of expected hardware upgrades, though I still think the software needs some new UI design work.
LG G5 specs
|Display||5.3-inch Quad HD 1440p IPS LCD Quantum Display|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 w/ 2x Kryo @ 2.2GHz + 2x Kryo @ 1.6GHz|
|Storage and Memory||32GB of UFS 2.0, microSD card slot for expandable storage, 4GB of LPDDR4|
|Operating System||Android 6.0.1 “Marshmallow” with LG’s “LG UX” UX layer on top.|
|Rear Camera||16MP Sony Exmor RS IMX234 w/ f/1.8 aperture, OIS, laser autofocus + RGB sensor + 8MP sensor w/ wide-angle lens|
|Front Camera||8MP Toshiba T4KA3 w/ f/2.0 aperture|
|Battery||2800mAh Li-Ion unit, removable via modular slot, Quick Charge 3.0|
Man, it’s already the beginning of the year and we already have 2 pretty darn compelling devices. There’s more to come like the HTC One M10 and Apple’s iPhone 5SE + iPad Air 3//iPad Pro 9.7-inch event, so it’s not even the end of the craziness of tech. Stay tuned for more!