During MWC 2017 in Barcelona, both LG and Huawei took the stage to showcase their new smartphones, the LG G6 and the Huawei P10. Both smartphones have the potential to disrupt the current high-end smartphone landscape, which is dominated by Samsung and Apple.
LG G6 vs Huawei P10
The two smartphones offer many killer features designed to sway customers one way or the other. This comparison review will tell you everything you need to know about each of the phones, making it easy for you to decide which of them is better for you.
Build and Design
Huawei partnered with Pantone, a corporation best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS) as well as the Color of the Year award, to come up with a selection of colors for the Huawei P10. As a result, the P10 is available in eight colors: greenery, dazzling blue, dazzling gold, graphite black, rose gold, white ceramic, mystic silver, and prestige gold. Out of these, the dazzling blue and dazzling gold color options feature Huawei’s hyper-diamond cut finish. According to the company, this innovative finish should provide more grip and cut down on those nasty smudges that everyone hates so much.
Since the unveiling of the Huawei P10, the smartphone has been compared to Apple’s iPhone 7/6s/6 on numerous occasions, and it’s not hard to see why. We don’t mind smartphone manufacturers copying design elements from one another as long as they don’t forget to put their own spin on it. With its flushed rear camera, thin bezels, and small size, the P10 definitely stands on its own as a refined smartphone for people who appreciate the beauty of a simple design that relies mostly on the use of ceramic and aluminum.
The Huawei P10 measures only 145.3 x 69.3 x 7mm and weighs 145g. This makes it noticeably lighter and smaller than the LG G6, which measures 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm and weighs 163g. If you like smartphones that can be easily used with just one hand, the Huawei P10 won’t disappoint you. Unlike Samsung, who has decided to move the fingerprint scanner from the front to the rear, Huawei did the exact opposite with the P10, moving the fingerprint scanner from the back to the front. The scanner now functions as a Home, Back, and Multitask button, but it takes a while to get used to how it works.
The tall, high-resolution screen of the LG G6 dominates the front side of the smartphone, leaving no room for physical buttons or a fingerprint scanner. The screen’s 18:9 aspect ratio has allowed LG to cram in 1,440 x 2,880 pixels without making the smartphone uncomfortably wide. In fact, the G6 is more compact when compared to many 5.5-inch smartphones with the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio.
We are big fans of how the front Gorilla Glass 5-covered screen seamlessly blends into the rugged aluminum frame, highlighting the premium nature of this smartphone. Located on the curved backside are two camera lenses, which sit flush with the smartphone, and a fingerprint scanner. The scanner is just within reach, so it’s unlikely that you would accidentally run your fingers across the camera lenses.
The LG G6 is IP68-rated, which means that it can survive being submerged up to 1.5 meters under water for up to 30 minutes. What’s more, sand and even dust have no way of getting inside the smartphone and potentially damaging the sensitive electronic components inside. If you’re an active person and need a smartphone that can keep up with you on your adventures, the IP68 rating of the G6 could be a good enough reason for you to go with it instead of the P10 from Huawei.
The Huawei P10 comes with a fairly traditional 5.1-inch display with the Full HD resolution and a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. The only thing that sets it apart from other similar displays is the use of the IPS-NEO technology, which is evolved from IPS. Unlike regular IPS displays, which have a slight light leak when viewed from a slanted angle, IPS-NEO displays adopt a photo-alignment technology to prevent light leak at the time of displaying black. Consequently, colors look more vivid and viewing angles are exceptionally great. While the Full HD resolution is nothing to write home about these days, it’s more than enough to make the display as crisp as the human eye can see under regular circumstances.
The LG G6 has a 5.7-inch display with the resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels and a tall 18:9 aspect ratio. The display features the always-on display technology, allowing you to check the time and notifications without having to press the power button to wake up the smartphone. It also supports both Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10, both being high dynamic range technologies that deliver stunning visual experiences. One downside to the unusual aspect ratio is the high frequency of problems with video streaming apps. We expect that it won’t take a long time before app developers will fix this issue, but, for the time being, expect to see black bars in nearly every app.
Both smartphones feature this year’s flagship chipsets. The P10 comes with Huawei’s own Kirin 960 octa-core processor, and the G6 features the beloved Qualcomm Snapdragon 821. The Kirin system-on-a-chip has been designed to maintain peak performance for a longer time than other chipsets on the market, making it ideal for intense gaming and 4K video playback. That said, the Snapdragon is certainly no potato either. Apart for purpose-built benchmarks, it’s virtually impossible to max out either chipset.
Being flagship smartphones, the P10 and the G6 are equipped with 4 GB of memory and high-end gaming GPUs. In AnTuTu, the most popular Android smartphone and tablet benchmarking app in the world, the LG scores around 14,000 points, while the Huawei gets “only” around 12,500. In reality, this just means that the particular tests performed by the benchmark are better suited for Snapdragon chipsets. Real-world use is similar, if not identical.
Modern smartphones double as point-and-shoot cameras for the vast majority of people. As their quality improves, they are starting to compete even with compact mirrorless cameras and entry-level DSLRs, though they don’t offer nearly the same level of control and shooting precision. Both the Huawei P10 and the LG G6 feature a dual-camera setup, but each smartphone offers a different take on it.
In partnership with Leica, a German optics enterprise and manufacturer of Leica cameras, Huawei has engineered a dual-camera that relies on one 12 MP color sensor and one 20 MP monochrome sensor to extract as much information from the scene as possible, regardless of the lighting conditions. Huawei’s front-facing camera has 8 MP resolution and should be more than sufficient for selfies and Skype.
The dual-camera setup of the LG G6 uses two 13 MP color sensors. One sensor has a f/1.8 aperture, and the other has a f/2.2 aperture. LG takes advantage of the additional color sensor by providing users with several shooting modes that use both sensors independently. Some are more useful than others, but they’re all fun to use, at least for a while. The LG G6’s front-facing camera has only 5 MP resolution, but its image quality isn’t too far behind the Huawei P10.
Both the LG G6 and the Huawei P10 run Android Nougat, but the G6 has already been updated to version 7.1, while the P10 still runs version 7.0. It’s just a matter of time before Huawei releases an update, so this shouldn’t be a deal breaker. What’s much more important is the fact that the P10 runs Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 on top of the Android operating system.
The EMUI user-interface is designed with simplicity in mind, and it resembles iOS in several important characteristics. For starters, there’s no app drawer—all app icons are accessible directly from the home screen. EMUI is optimized for use with the new fingerprint scanner that doubles as the phone’s navigation button. Besides usability improvements, EMUI also performs various optimization tricks, such as suspending unused processes to free up resources for other apps. Just like with the Huawei Mate 9, the P10 also benefits from Huawei’s advanced machine learning algorithms that gradually learn how users use their smartphones to better optimize the overall user experience.
LG’s improvements are predominantly of the cosmetic nature. The company calls their latest user interface LG UX 6.0, and it’s characterized by a square design focus and rounded edges that complement the rounded display. The new user-interface takes advantage of the 18:9 display by placing two 1:1 apps side-by-side. For example, you can have a messenger app displayed right next to a web browser window, or you can have your favorite image viewer instantly display the pictures you take with the stock camera app. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether you get a smartphone with EMUI or LG UX because you can download an alternative launcher from the Play Store and customize everything to your liking.
Battery and Storage
The one area where both the LG G6 and the Huawei P10 disappoint is their battery life. The G6 comes with a 3300mAh battery, which is only slightly better than the 3200mAh battery inside the P10. The manufacturers justify the smaller batteries with the presence of fast battery charging and, in the case of the LG G6, wireless charging, but we expect that many customers will be severely disappointed when they find out that their new flagship devices have problems lasting an entire day.
As far as storage goes, the G6 is available either in 64 GB storage option or in a lower 32 GB option, while the P10 is available only with 64 GB internal storage space. That said, both smartphone have a MicroSD card slot, so you can expand the available storage space with up to 256 GB MicroSD cards.
It’s clear that manufacturers of Android smartphones have no problems offering huge storage capacities that can be further expanded using memory cards. Unfortunately, battery life remains a huge issue even in 2017. This is caused also by the comeback of smaller smartphones with huge displays. Devices like this don’t leave too much space for large batteries, forcing customers to haul external battery packs or opt for smartphone with replaceable batteries.
Release Date and Price
Both flagship smartphones are already available for sale. The LG G6 retails for $650.00 to $698.90, and the Huawei P10 goes for about $685. For comparison, this year’s most watched smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S8, starts at $720. Given similar the price of all of these smartphones is, it’s hard to see why any faithful Samsung customer would even consider buying anything else than the Galaxy S8, which has been receiving huge praise left and right. It’s also hard to see why people who enjoy more affordable flagship smartphones, like those produced by OnePlus, would pay extra just to get two or three additional features of debatable value. Clearly, Huawei and LG believe that customers will perceive their flagship devices as the best the market has to offer. While this might be true in the case of LG, Huawei is still recognized mostly as an unproven Asian brand.
Similar in features and price, both the LG G6 and Huawei P10 are extremely compelling smartphones with a lot to offer. The G6 has a better display, but P10’s camera is arguably much more practical. Given how much the two smartphones cost, most potential buyers will likely spend most time contemplating whether they’re worth it over the remarkable Samsung Galaxy S8 or the latest iPhone, which cost essentially the same.