Last week, we compared the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to the LG G4. I’ve always felt like the LG G Flex 2 was the true flagship. It has the awesome curved display, a better processor, a better display, and after using the G4, I think it has a better camera.
The LG G Flex 2 uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 810 processor. LG decided to use the Snapdragon 808 in the LG G4, as the Snapdragon 810 became known for having overheating issues, despite the fact that when the Snapdragon 810 is fully throttled, it is only marginally slower than a Snapdragon 808.
Then again, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 uses Samsung’s Exynos 7420 processor, which blows away anything that Qualcomm is doing. We’ll talk more about that later.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G Flex 2: Specs
|Samsung Galaxy Note 5||LG G Flex 2|
|CPU||Octa Core Samsung Exynos 7420, 1.5 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53, 2.1 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A57||Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 1.5 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53, 2 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A57|
|Display||5.7″, 1440p, 518 ppi, AMOLED||5.5″, 1080p, 401 ppi, P-OLED|
|Body||153.2×76.1×7.6 mm, 171 g||149.1×75.3×7.1-9.4 mm, 152 g|
|Camera||16 MP, 5312×2988, 5 MP Front||13 MP, 4128×3096, 2.1 MP Front|
|Video||4K – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1440p – 30 fps||4K – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps|
|Storage||32/64 GB||16/32 GB|
|RAM||4 GB||2/3 GB|
|Battery||3000 mAh||3000 mAh|
The specs of these two devices are interesting. You can see that the GHz and cores of the Exynos 7420 and the Snapdragon 810 are very similar, but as I always like to say, there’s much more to processors than cores and GHz. You’ll see more on that when we compare benchmark scores.
Another thing I like to tell people is that there is no benefit to 4 GB of RAM in a smart phone. Really, I don’t think there’s any benefit to anything more than 2 GB of RAM in a smart phone. No mobile app takes advantage of 3 GB of RAM because a tiny, tiny percentage of Android devices have that much RAM.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G Flex 2: Display
I noted above that the LG G Flex 2 has a better display than the LG G4 and I believe that to be true for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that it’s 1080p rather than 1440p.
A 1080p display is 2.1 MP, or 2.1 million pixels. 1440p is 3.7 MP, or 3.7 million pixels. Think of each pixel as a lightbulb. Each additional pixel uses more power, which drains the battery and taxes the GPU. The LG G Flex 2 also has a better GPU than the LG G4, so the performance is even better. You can see more on the comparison between the G Flex 2 and the G4 here.
It’s also impossible to tell the difference between 1080p and 1440p. 1440p has tons of disadvantages and only one advantage, which is if you use virtual reality, such as a Google Cardboard. Once you reach a certain pixel density, there’s no sense in a higher resolution. Apple calls this pixel density “Retina”, and for a phone, they think it’s 326 ppi, and I tend to agree.
It’s very rarely resolution that makes a display good or bad. Far more often, it’s things like color accuracy. For example, the HTC One M9 had a 1080p display but it looked terrible. Anything that was white looked like it was tinted green.
Samsung is excellent at color accuracy and color balance. This is why Samsung phones tend to have the best displays around. Unfortunately, the 1440p resolution tends to hinder it. It’s also why iPhones do better in graphics tests than a Samsung Galaxy phone with a 1440p display.
Both the LG G Flex 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 use OLED displays. With OLED, some pixels can be turned off, allowing for true blacks, where an LCD panel is entirely backlit. OLED displays also tend to have more vibrant colors.
While both phones use OLED displays, they use two different kinds of OLED displays. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 uses AMOLED and the LG G Flex 2 uses P-OLED. While the differences between AMOLED and P-OLED are beyond the scope of this article, just know that AMOLED is better and that the pixels in P-OLED displays degrade faster than pixels in AMOLED displays.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G Flex 2: Design
The design of both devices is worth noting. Samsung changed their entire design language when they released the Galaxy S6 earlier this year. They ditched the cheap plastic removable rear covers in favor of metal frames and metallic glass backs.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5, like the Samsung Galaxy S6, is a beautiful phone all around. Everything about it is beautiful.
The LG G Flex 2 isn’t so beautiful. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an LG device that really looked great.
On the other hand, the curve in the LG G Flex 2’s display makes it one of the best phones I’ve ever used. It’s really something that you can’t understand until you try the phone. Even I thought that the curved display was a gimmick until I actually got my hands on one, but once I did, I realized that the curved display was very practical.
You can see more about the curved display in the LG G Flex 2 review.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G Flex 2: Rear Camera
The LG G Flex 2 basically has the same camera as the LG G3. Honestly, the LG G3 was the first smart phone camera that really impressed me.
Sure, there have been some really impressive, powerful cameras before that, such as the Nokia Lumia 1020; however, 99% of smart phones want to take a beautiful photo, quickly. The LG G3 was the first phone that really excelled at that due to LG’s laser focus. This allowed for high resolution, perfectly focused images.
Of course, Samsung and Apple use a different technology to produce perfectly focused images, phase detection autofocus (PDAF). Both technologies have their strengths and weaknesses. Laser focus works in the dark and in the fog while PDAF is faster.
Samsung also has a lot more software features than the LG G Flex 2. They allow for manual settings, live broadcasting to YouTube, rear cam selfie, and more. You can even download more plug-ins for the Camera app.
LG’s Camera app on the G Flex 2 doesn’t have a manual mode, despite being the same app used on the LG G4. It only includes mode for panorama and dual capture.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a higher resolution at 16 MP, but that doesn’t matter. Sure, you’ll get a bit more detail if you crop or zoom in on the image, but it won’t be that noticeable. Either way, the image has to be scaled down to fit your display.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 also has a very large aperture, coming in at f/1.9, which is extremely impressive. We’ve been seeing larger apertures in smart phone cameras as of late, with the LG G4 coming in at f/1.8 and the Nokia Lumia 735 coming in at f/1.9. The Lg G Flex 2 is f/2.4.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 5||LG G Flex 2|
As you can see, both cameras are amazing. Possibly the first thing you might notice is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 really saturates the images. Low light performance is much better on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5; however, you can also see that the LG G Flex 2 is much more well focused at night.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G Flex 2: Front Camera
I always thought that the LG G3 had a good front camera. You’ll notice that I mention the LG G3 instead of the LG G Flex 2 sometimes because they have the same cameras, and the LG G3 was the one that’s from the era of 2 MP front cameras.
The LG G Flex 2’s front camera is good, but just that. Good. On the other hand, Samsung has been steadily stepping up its selfie game. Don’t get me wrong. LG has stepped up their game as well and the front camera on the G4 is amazing, but the G Flex 2 uses the same cameras as the G3, which is an advantage to the G4 in the rear, but a disadvantage in the front.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5’s front camera, like the rear camera, is an f/1.9 aperture. It’s also 5 MP and has quite a field of view.
It’s actually an interesting case here. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 provides a greater field of view, which is really good for group shots; however, the lower resolution LG G Flex 2 provides a smaller field of view, so it’s a fairly similar resolution image if you crop it.
Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has the better camera, but you knew that.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G Flex 2: Benchmarks
Ah benchmarks. I hate them but I use them. They so rarely provide any insight into the real world usage of a device; however, they are the best tool we have for writing down the performance of a device. So here we go.
Battery tests! Even battery tests can be biased at times. Some phones use more battery life when they’re asleep, which would drastically alter the results.
Geekbench 3 has two settings for battery tests, with a dim screen toggled on or off. The first test is with the dim screen toggled off. The second test is with the dim screen toggled, you guessed it, on.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 5||LG G Flex 2|
The tests show that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 gets better battery life than the LG G Flex 2. I’m just not so sure that it’s true. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is one of very few phones that I struggle to make it through the day with.
Next up is your standard Geekbench 3 test. On a side note, I always find it interesting that people still quote single core scores on phones with the Snapdragon 808 or Snapdragon 810, because not all cores are equal.
As expected, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 outperforms the LG G Flex 2. Next up, AnTuTu.
AnTuTu benchmarks are where the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 really shines. I’ve even ran that test a couple times and reached over 70,000 on the Galaxy Note 5. I should note that if you run the test a couple times on the LG G Flex 2, that number will drop to around 44,000 due to the throttling issue with the Snapdragon 810.
Next up, graphics tests. I use GFXBench 3.1 for graphics test. Sometimes, like I did here, I’ll also run the test on GFXBench 3 for funsies.
As we can see, the LG G Flex 2 does outperform the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in graphics tests, but as I’ve mentioned a few times already, that’s the breaks with a 1440p display.
A lot of people know things about technology. They know that megapixels aren’t important in a camera, they know that there’s more to processors than GHz and cores, they know there’s more to display than resolution, and they know that a high resolution will be hard on the GPU; however, they don’t often realize how little megapixels matter and how much a high resolution display can be hard on the GPU.
Time and time again, we see phones with 1080p displays outperform phones with 1440p displays in graphics tests.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs LG G Flex 2: Conclusion
When I reviewed the LG G Flex 2, I said it was one of the best phones I had ever used. I still say that. It’s because of the curved display. It’s more practical than you can imagine until you try it. It fits the contour of your finger.
The question is, is it worth investing two years in it? This is the question we must ask when we review any phone. Is it worth a two year investment?
The answer is not mine to decide; however, those AnTuTu scores do speak volumes. Qualcomm isn’t doing anything good in the space right now and it feels like it’s dragging down the entire Android market.
I can tell you that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is an amazing phone. It has an amazing display, it’s powerful, a great camera, and the S Pen is amazing.
So yea, both phones are awesome. Let’s leave it at that.