Last year, in the battle between LG and Samsung, Samsung was the first to draw. The Galaxy S4 emerged in March and quickly replaced the Galaxy S3 as the company’s flagship smartphone and one that challenged the likes of the iPhone 5 and HTC One for supremacy in the world of smartphones.
LG, one of Samsung’s rivals, waited until much later in the year to introduce the LG G2, its current flagship that is currently taking on the Galaxy S4 but will soon have to contend with a brand new smartphone from Samsung.
Once again, Samsung is out of the gates first with a new flagship device. The LG G3 exists in rumors but it still hasn’t shown its face. There are rumors that suggest that it will be coming earlier than the LG G2 but those remain rumors and still aren’t confirmed. This means that it will likely be the LG G2 that greets the Samsung Galaxy S5 when it arrives in April.
Consumers in the hunt will likely have both the LG G2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 on their radar when searching for their new device. And while we can’t offer a full on comparison just yet, we simply haven’t spent enough time with the Galaxy S5, we can offer what we consider to be the five key differences between the two devices.
There are going to be plenty of differences between the two devices but these are the five that we think are the most important for consumers to know about at this point.
The LG G2 comes with an extremely unique design. The device, like many of the other Android flagships, is made out of plastic. It features a glossy plastic back that features curves that make it an extremely comfortable device to hold. Still, it feels cheap, attracts fingerprints and doesn’t have some of the same perks that the Galaxy S5’s plastic design brings.
What it does have is a distinct look. Instead of a power button and volume keys on the top or side of the device, the LG G2 comes with buttons that reside on the back of the device, right underneath the camera sensor. This is where the index finger usually rests and thus, LG says that these buttons are much more convenient. That’s debatable.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 also uses a plastic design though it looks much different. Instead of glossy plastic, the Galaxy S5 uses a unique perforated pattern on the back cover that Samsung says gives it a modern ‘glam’ look. It’s more stylish looking than the LG G2’s boring plastic roots.
We mentioned that the Galaxy S5 has some things that the LG G2’s plastic design doesn’t. Those include a microSD card slot for expanded storage and a removable back plate. Galaxy S5 users will be able to remove the back and add on their own extended battery for more juice. Can’t say the same for the LG G2.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is thinner (8.1mm, 145 grams) and weighs about the same as the LG G2 (8.9mm, 143 grams). There is a reason for the Galaxy S5’s increase in weight from the Galaxy S4 though. The device offers a design that is both water and dust resistant, something that simply isn’t found on the LG G2.
This makes the Samsung Galaxy S5 perfect for those that are either clumsy or simply want a flagship phone that they can bring into the elements and feel comfortable.
The LG G2 does not feature a physical home button on the front of the device and instead relies on software keys for navigation. The Samsung Galaxy S5 boasts a physical home key but it’s not your typically home button.
Samsung took a page out of Apple’s book with its Galaxy S5. Like the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 comes with a fingerprint reader embedded inside of the home button which provides easier access to the home screen and more protection for the phone. This added security and convenience is not found on the LG G2 which does not possess a fingerprint reader.
The company has opened up the fingerprint reader to developers which means that we could see some tweaks and perhaps new apps revolve around the Galaxy S5’s home button and fingerprint sensor.
The LG G2 features a solid 13MP camera that shoots good looking photos and video. It’s as good as the camera on the Galaxy S4 though it does feature something that many smartphone cameras don’t have, including the Galaxy S5.
LG packed in Optical Image Stabilization with its LG G2 camera, something that gives it an edge over most other cameras. The only other big name smartphone that uses OIS is the Nexus 5.
OIS helps in two situations: Taking photos in low light conditions without the use of a flash and for videos when you’re walking about town. It helps to cut down on the shakiness.
The Samsung Galaxy S5’s camera does not feature OIS but it does feature a 16MP camera sensor which means that it can shoot higher resolution photos.
It also comes with an extremely fast autofocus that allows users to focus in just 0.3 seconds, something that isn’t found on LG’s G2 camera. It also comes with advanced HDR which allows users to actually see the final image on screen before the shutter is hit. The LG G2 camera uses basic HDR for its photos.
Both the LG G2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 run Android, Android 4.4.2 KitKat to be exact, but they are going to run extremely different versions of Android.
Not only do the UIs look extremely different but they will offer different feature sets as well. The LG G2’s software experience can be seen in the video below.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will use Samsung’s TouchWiz. Samsung took an LG-esque approach with its software this time around in that it didn’t announce a slew of software features. Samsung is known for introducing tons of new software features, including gimmicky ones, but the Galaxy S5 does not follow that trend.
Instead, Samsung’s new software comes with only a handful of new features and from what we’ve seen, most of them are extremely useful. For instance, the Galaxy S5 comes with a feature called “Ultra Power Saving Mode” which turns the display to black and white and will also turn off all unnecessary features in an effort to conserve battery life. It’s a feature that Samsung claims will save users a ton of battery life in the long run.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 also comes with health related features including a way to easily track steps taken and calories burned.
LG’s G2 is available for four of the big five carriers in the United States but it isn’t widely available. U.S. Cellular doesn’t offer it and some of the bigger pre-paid and regional carriers don’t offer it either.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is coming to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon and it’s also going to be coming to U.S. Cellular, MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile. At the very least. We expect more carriers to hop on board the Galaxy S5 train in the weeks ahead and thus, we expect the Galaxy S5 to have a lot more choice when it comes to carriers.
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