The perennial war of the two Korean tech titans begins anew
LG managed to one-up Samsung at the recently-concluded MWC 2017 by launching their flagship in the event, weeks ahead of the latter. The LG G6 garnered all the media limelight at Barcelona, receiving glowing reviews for a successful comeback to the flagship smartphone space. Now, it’s time for Samsung to strike back at their fellow Korean rival with their own flagship unveiling. Here comes the Galaxy S8! Paiting!
Samsung Galaxy S8
- Samsung Exynos 8895 octa-core processor or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor
- ARM Mali-G71 MP20 GPU or Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 5.8-inch WQHD Super AMOLED display, 2960 x 1440 resolution, dual curved edge
- 64GB expandable storage, via microSD
- 12-megapixel rear camera, f/1.7 aperture, Dual Pixel, OIS
- 8-megapixel front camera, f/1.7 aperture, AF
- Fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, facial recognition, heartbeat sensor, IP68 certification, USB Type-C port, Bixby AI
- 3000mAh battery, fast charge
- Android 7.0 Nougat (TouchWiz UI)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor
- Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 5.7-inch QHD+ FullVision IPS display , 2880×1440 resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 3-5
- 32GB/64GB expandable storage, via microSD
- Dual 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 rear cameras, f/1.8 & f/2.4 apertures, phase detection AF, OIS, LED flash
- 5-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS,
- Fingerprint scanner, Hi-Fi Quad-DAC (Korea), Dolby Vision HDR support, IP68 certification, USB Type-C port
- 3300mAh non-removable battery, Quick Charge 3.0, wireless charging (US)
- Android 7.0 Nougat (LG UX 6.0)
Dead heat in the display department
Samsung’s new flagship is graced with a beautiful, 5.8-inch WQHD Super AMOLED display. LG’s flagship comes with a smaller 5.7-inch QHD+ IPS display. Both companies offer their own mumbo-jumbo proprietary display techs: the S8’s Infinity Display, LG’s FullVision Display. Both come with 4K resolution, with the S8 going for a wider implementation. Both handsets have similarly weird aspect ratios as well, thanks to the manufacturers adopting the bezel-less trend.
Seriously, it all boils down to the S8’s Super AMOLED display against the LG’s IPS panel and in that battle, there’s really no clear-cut victor – only user preference.
Samsung wins the SoC skirmish by virtue of iteration
The S8 packs a 10nm-fabbed processor – either an Exynos 8895 or a Snapdragon 835. Following the natural pecking order of SoCs, unless actual performance and synthetic benchmarks prove otherwise, the S8’s SoC will trump the G6’s last-gen chipset in raw power, efficiency and supported features. Early benchmarks have shown that the Exynos 8895 performs as well as the SD835, so the SoC will be seeing an advantage over the G6’s SD821 as well.
UI/OS streamlining is a factor as well, though Samsung’s TouchWiz and LG’s UX UI aren’t exactly top contenders when it comes to Android optimization.
Considering both handsets’ battery life, the S8 might be at an advantage given its SoC’s newer fabrication process, which usually translates to better power efficiency every iteration. However, LG G6 has a larger power pack – 300mAh more – so the S8’s advantage might not be as pronounced as expected.
Toss-up with the rear shooters
Samsung opted for a single camera unit for the S8, and it’s the same 12MP Dual Pixel shooter found in the Note 7 and S7 Edge. It’s one of the best single rear snappers in the market today, and most reviews will readily tell you that.
LG’s G6 adopts the dual camera trend with twin 13MP Sony IMX258 rear shooters, showcasing plenty of features including a GoPro-like wide-angle mode. The G6’s camera setup has seen good reviews in most tech circles, so it’s probably safe to say they’re also top-class snappers.
So, who gets the crown for the better rear camera setup? We honestly can’t tell, so we’ll just leave it as a tie, for now.
The S8 innovates security and protection; LG innovates audio-visual experience
Different focal points here for the two handsets. The Galaxy S8 brings forth layer upon layer of security options for the user – fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, facial recognition. It also carries the Note 7’s Knox software, enhancing user privacy with folder locking. The addition of IP68 certification is another much-needed feature that should be a staple in flagship series smartphones in this day and age.
The G6’s breakthroughs lie more in the audio-visual spectrum. With features like Dolby Vision HDR support and a Hi-Fi Quad-DAC installed (for selected regions), the G6 is obviously slanted for a better AV experience compared to the S8.
Premium phones, premium prices
The Galaxy S8 is expected to be retailed locally at an iPhone 7-tier price of Php 39K. No official word yet from LG Philippines on the G6’s price tag, but sources online are pointing to around $650 for its SRP (~Php 33K).
With a Php 6K difference in pricing (which is most likely negligible for enthusiasts keen on buying phones in this price tier) and both handsets having different strengths, it all boils down to feature preference in the end. “What do you want?” asked the dude from the movie, “The Notebook”.