So I now have the black leather LG G4, UK version, and the gold Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge 64gb. I have used the S6 Edge for well over a month now and also used the standard S6 for 2 weeks prior to receiving the Edge.
I have picked up on every nook and cranny of the S6 Edge, but it is now powered off and the G4 is taking centre stage. This really allows me to come up with real world differences that matter outside of any specifications. The first G4 I had was a Korean version.
So here goes in no particular order. Let the fight begin.
– The LG G4 takes better quality photos than the S6. That is still shots or burst photos. You can activate the camera on the G4 by double tapping rear volume down button when the G4 is off. This can also take a photo automatically. This option I turn off so I can focus the shot properly. The S6 camera launch is easier as you can double press the home button in any app, and when the screen is off. The LG G4 has no option to reduce the file size of photos snapped. It’s either 16:9, 4:3 or 1:1 whereas the S6 has a whole host of file size settings. In fact the S6 has many other shooting mode options over the G4. However, the G4 currently has better manual controls with shutter and raw support. It is rumoured Samsung will add these 2 options in a new firmware update. But they don’t exist now. Video is slightly better on the S6. Burst shots on the G4 are 3 times the file size of those produced by the S6. Hence the G4 burst shots are of significant increased quality. Motion is frozen much better on the G4.
– Qi and PMA wireless charging. At night I had a Qi charging pad on my bedside table to charge the S6 overnight. Now I have to fumble in the dark to connect the micro usb cable. There is a quick circle case for the G4 that has Qi charging but I hate flip cases. Also the night clock on the Edge is great as its curve means I can see the time at any point with ease during the night. The G4 daydream clock has a dark mode option, but to see the time and need to tilt phone towards me. Solution would be a dock of some sort. Ironically the dark mode on the G4 daydream clock is darker and less bright than that of the S6 Edge’s night clock.
– Screen. I prefer the screen on the G4. It’s a personal choice though. However, the S6 goes brighter once the auto brightness trick kicks in. Otherwise, the G4 is still goodin sunlight, just not as good. The sunlight difference is marginal. At night the S6 Amoled screen goes darker, which is handy if you read in bed and don’t want to disturb your partner.
– FM Radio is included in the G4 with RDS. The S6 doesn’t have one. The loudspeaker, headphone and Bluetooth audio are superior on the G4. However, the S6 loudspeaker is positioned on the bottom edge which is better than being placed on the rear like the G4.
– Cellular. The G4 whips the S6 big time. The G4 has far superior signal strength and by a massive margin. Inside my local Dominos I rarely get any signal. The G4 actually received a 4g signal. The S6 had no service. Honor smartphones are also excellent for cellular signal but the G4 is even better which is an incredible feat. The other wireless options are also better with the G4. The S6 does have an option called download booster to combine wifi and LTE for downloads. This is not available on the G4.
– Multi screen, small apps. Both have these options. I find the G4 easier to launch its small apps which are more useful than multi screen mode. The customisable on screen menu buttons are a gem of a feature on the G4. Multi screen mode on the S6 has more apps that are compatible with this feature.
– Screen size – I prefer the large screen size of the G4 but the S6 Edge is easier to use one handed. However, by adding a notification icon in the on screen buttons, it can be easier to use the G4 one handed for a few tasks.
– Comfort in hand. The curved back and buttons on the rear give the advantage on comfort to the G4. The double tap to turn off and off, knock code on the G4 are sorely missed features with the S6.
– Battery and memory. The S6 has one memory and it’s all built in and not expandable with a micro sd card. So you have to choose your storage correctly from day one. Samsung charge premium prices for the extra memory required. Plus point is the memory is faster as all internal and all of it can be used for installing apps and games. Apps and games cannot be installed on a micro sd card. The G4 comes with 32gb storage and then you can add a 128gb to 2TB micro sd card. The battery is removable and replaceable meaning you can recharge with a new battery from 0 to 100% in 1 second. However, the S6 has ultra power saving mode that with just 5% will keep the phone working as a dumb phone for another 14 hours. The G4 does not have this option. The G4 does have a power saving mode but it is not as aggressive as the S6 Ultra Power saving mode. Also a 128gb micro sd card is only £55 which is far cheaper than the memory options by Samsung with the S6. It is therefore possible to have a larger memory capacity with the G4.
– Quick Charge 2 – both phones include this but the S6 seems quicker. A full charge from 5% takes 75 mins for the S6 Edge and 100 mins for the LG G4. The G4 has a larger battery, but even for allowing for that, the S6 is 10 mins faster approximately to charge to full.
– Build. The S6 Edge is a gorgeous dual curved panel, with glass and metal. Stunning visuals and a few extra features for the edge. The G4 is slightly curved including the front screen too and has a real leather back cover. Black leather finish looks amazing. But plastics sides are not as premium as the S6 Edge. However, when it comes to the basics like signal and wireless radios the G4 is far far superior than the S6. Clearly plastic has advantages. As the back of the G4 is removable you can change the style, look and leather with alternative backs as often as you like, or change it if you scratch the back. Any damage on the S6 Edge will be permanent and expensive to resolve. However, without a doubt, the S6 Edge feels more premium.
– Smart stay is great and not on the G4. LG compensate for this by adding a toggle for display time off in the notification panels. The G3 did have smart stay, so I don’t understand why LG removed this. The S6 has smart stay . This feature is useful as you can save battery with a 30 second display off setting, and then use smart stay to keep it on for longer when you are only using the phone.
– Software – as much as people knock Samsung for including so much additional software, and with the ability to download even more from its own app store, some of Samsung’s offerings are very good. For a start the S6 has a decent photo editor and you can download a video editor too. The G4 comes with no photo editing software, which means you will probably end up using Google’s new Photos app or an app of your choice. Is this a good or bad thing? That’s up to you to decide. The G4 actually has hardly any bloat. One of LG’s apps is called LG Backup. By installing this app on my S6 Edge I was able to transfer my S6 Edge SMS and Call logs across via wifi in a few minutes. It also provides a full backup of your phone if required, or partial depending on which options you include. Another angle is the G4 is so close to stock without any crappy bloat ware that it is refreshing. I have spent more time with the new Google Photos app, and to be honest, this is all you need.
– Interruptions. Both handle this slightly differently. Samsung actually has a silent toggle option. The G4 does not. You have to set interruptions to silent. This is a lollipop feature and once setup is slick. But for most people it is overkill. When the S6 is set to no interruptions the notification LED turns off. The G4 does not turn off the LED. This you have to do yourself. There is a notification toggle for this. Which is better? G4 gives you deeper control. S6 automates more of the process and removes your control. Your choice!
– Samsung themes are system deep in changing the look of the phone. G4 is icons, wallpaper and keyboard at best. However, on the G4 you can manually change the look of icons if required. Also, the time and weather widget changes colour to match your wallpaper on the G4. Overall I’m starting to prefer the cleaner look of the G4.
– Miscellaneous – the S6 Edge has a heart rate sensor, fingerprint sensor and when activated will allow for Samsung Pay. The fingerprint sensor is excellent and in my mind like that used with the iPhone and its Touch ID, is a simple but strong way to protect your phone and all the sensitive data. Also using the fingerprint sensor and Samsung’s web browser, the fingerprint sensor can be used instead of entering website passwords. The heart rate sensor is of no use whatsoever on the back of the phone. Both phones have IR sensors and IR blaster software. Samsung include a version of Peel which also provides TV information and recommendations. This software is always slow to star and the IR software part is limited to the number of buttons it controls on your devices The LG IR software is all about controlling devices and is far more configurable. You can even create on the G4 a universal remote. The G4 has a glance view. With the phone screen off, you can see the status bar, time and date by dragging your finger down on the screen. The G4 supports dual play by wired or wireless. Dual play operates at 1280 x 720 or higher.
Smart Settings – the G4 does this really well. This uses location when at home and work to automatically change Bluetooth, wifi and sounds. It also has this control for accessories. When earphones plugged in, you can tell it to open an app. This applies to Bluetooth headsets. But the G4 goes further. When at home it keeps the G4 unlocked without the need for entering a password. I’m using password control. Another option I have setup, is adding quick remote widget in the notification centre automatically when the G4 detects I have arrived home.
Web Browser Toolbar – the G4 has the option of a customisable toolbar. This can be shown or switched off.
And the final killer comparison is price. The G4 is cheaper and in my experience a better phone with the basics, camera and audio. The S6 Edge feels more premium, is smaller in the hand too. However, I personally prefer the G4 at the moment. But as you will have read form my points above, the S6 Edge and G4 are different experiences despite both running android.
So do you agree?