As Samsung Galaxy S5’s commercial rollout draws near, it’s probably wise to get all the battles out of the way and see how the “next big thing” sizes up against its rivals beforehand. It’s the only way to make sure you’ll embark on a journey of informed buying decisions when the time comes to upgrade.
Or rather, if the time comes, as we’re comparing and contrasting the GS5 and a mobile veteran today. LG’s G2 is by no means ancient, but technically, it’s part of the 2013 wave of high-end smartphones. Late 2013, yet the 5.2 incher will be roughly seven months old when the S5 hits store shelves.
So, can the LG G2 hold off the fresh threat? Is the Nexus 5 cousin aging poorly or gracefully? Meanwhile, can the Galaxy S5 put one in the win column after yielding to Sony’s Xperia Z2 in our previous specs comparison? Don’t go anywhere, and you’ll find out.
Galaxy S5 vs LG G2 – design battle
You have to either be blind or an irrational fanboy to not realize the S5 is hardly an artistic achievement on Samsung’s part. It’s like they put everything into making the Galaxy Note 3 as sleek, compact and sexy as possible, and then got tired and whipped something up for the GS5 the week before its intro.
Luckily for them, the G2 isn’t the most beautiful handheld in the world either, losing precious points with a fairly chintzy, glossy, slippery plastic finish. On the bright side, despite offering extra screen real estate, LG’s top dog is lighter than Samsung’s (143 vs 145 grams), shorter (138.5 vs 142 mm), and narrower (70.9 vs 72.5 mm). Mother of bezels!
Furthermore, whether you find G2’s rear physical buttons useful or irritating, they clearly help clean out the front, as well as give off a distinguished vibe to the back cover. S5’s posterior? It’s no fingerprint magnet, a lot easier to grip, hold and maneuver, plus matte. But it’s so ugly. So, so ugly.
Verdict: LG G2 wins by a whisker
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs LG G2 – display comparison
Oh noes, neither of these two sports Quad HD, aka 2K resolution. And I’m perfectly fine with that. Honestly, yeah, I was pretty excited the first time I heard about a whopping 2,560 x 1,440 pixels possibly being crammed into petite slabs of silicon.
But then it hit me. I can barely see the difference between 720p and 1,080p. Moving on from Full HD right now would thus be foolish, especially as it could greatly impact battery life. So stop complaining, y’all, and enjoy GS5’s stunning 5.1-inch Super AMOLED panel with 432 ppi pixel density, as well as G2’s vibrant 5.2-inch True HD-IPS+ LCD screen rocking 424 ppi.
Verdict: It’s a perfect tie
Processing speed, RAM and cameras
I know you’re going to call me biased against Samsung, but isn’t it a little disappointing the GS5 barely trumps the G2 in the processing speed and RAM departments despite being the much fresher device? I mean, the Koreans had at least six months of extra development time, and all they did is “upgrade” the quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip to an 801.
True, they essentially had no choice but to go for the 801, with the 805 not yet ready to ship out. Then again, 2 GB RAM?!? Just as much as the G2 and 33 percent less than the GNote 3? That’s ludicrous.
As for cameras, this is one tough duel to judge. One more time, it seems like Samsung didn’t quite push its limits, settling for good enough: a 16 MP rear snapper with LED flash, HDR, digital image stabilization and 4K video recording and a 2 MP secondary shooter.
LG G2’s front cam is basically identical, whereas the primary photographic equipment touts a humbler 13 MP sensor, no 4K capture abilities, but adds optical image stabilization in the mix. All in all, I’d rather wait for reviews and thorough camera comparisons before jumping to hasty conclusions.
Verdict: Galaxy S5 (barely) takes the raw performance battle; camera duel – undecided
Software and battery life
Technically, LG’s G2 is one step behind the GS5 software-wise, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, not 4.4 KitKat. But with updating efforts recently cranked up, the 5.2 incher should soon recover all lost ground worldwide.
Which still won’t be enough for an honorable tie here, as Optimus UI has nothing on TouchWiz UI. The latter brings to the table neat functions and add-ons such as S Health, Smart stay, Smart pause, S-Voice and an overall cleaner, more intuitive interface, while the former is somehow both invasive and light on handy features.
Battery life? It’s a delicate, touchy subject, as the smaller of the two phones packs the slightly lighter juicer (2,800 vs 3,000 mAh), however compensates with, well, a smaller display and Ultra Power Saving Mode. S5’s battery is also user removable, which is always a good thing, though at the end of the day I expect the autonomy results to be extremely close.
Verdict: Galaxy S5 wins
Connectivity, ports, storage and others
Let’s start with “others”, shall we? Because it’s Samsung’s only shot to edge out LG. Gimmicky or not, the S5 comes with fingerprint recognition and a heart rate sensor. Plus, water and dust protection, which is anything but gimmicky. In fact, it may well be S5’s number one selling point.
Any “other” LG G2 features worth attention? Maybe the Dolby sound system. As far as storage goes, both devices offer versions with 16 and 32 gigs built-in, but the G2 lacks expansion options. Then there’s the connectivity bout, where the S5 also prevails, thanks to microUSB 3.0 and LTE Cat. 4 speeds.
Verdict: GS5 crushes the G2
It wasn’t easy, but Samsung’s top dog ultimately bested LG’s spearhead. However, the million-dollar question is this: are smoother software, an ever so slightly zippier CPU, the fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor and water shield enough to warrant an upgrade? Otherwise put, isn’t the GS5 too close to the G2? It’s your call, so voice your opinions below.