With the holiday season of announcements over, we’re seeing new offerings from Samsung, LG, HTC, Microsoft, Apple, and more. LG’s Fall offering this year is the V10, first in the brand new V series of phones.
Samsung also has a second line of flagships that they release for the Fall season, the Galaxy Note series. This year saw the fifth iteration of the Galaxy Note line. This year, Samsung finally embraced the idea of making a beautiful phone that’s not quite so bloated with crap. In my humble opinion, Samsung’s four flagships this year are the first Samsung phones that are worth buying.
That’s not to say that there aren’t other Android phones worth buying. I’ve fallen in love with the LG V10. I would say that LG’s G Flex 2 and V10 phones are the only Qualcomm powered Android phones that are worth buying.
LG V10 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5: Specs
|LG V10||Samsung Galaxy Note 5|
|CPU||Snapdragon 808, 1.82 GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex-A57, 1.44 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53||Samsung Exynos 7420, 2.1 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A57, 1.5 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53|
|Display||5.7″, 1440p, 515 ppi, IPS LCD||5.7″, 1440p, 518 ppi, AMOLED|
|Body||159.6×79.3×8.6 mm, 192 g||153.2×76.1×7.6 mm, 171 g|
|Camera||16 MP, 5312×2988, 5 MP Front||16 MP, 5312×2988, 5 MP Front|
|Video||4K – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps||4K – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1440p – 30 fps|
|Storage||64 GB||32/64 GB|
|RAM||4 GB||4 GB|
|Battery||3000 mAh||3000 mAh|
Looking at the specs, these phones are actually pretty similar. They’re both two of few phones that have an aperture larger than f/2, same sensor size, same image resolution in front and rear cameras, same battery power, same display size and resolution, same 4 GB RAM, and they both come in 64 GB models.
LG V10 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5: Second Screen vs S Pen
Other than the obvious camera and performance tests, the big thing to compare here is the LG V10’s second screen and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5’s S Pen.
The LG V10 has a second display at the top of the main display. It’s not entirely separate. Technically speaking, it’s still part of the main display; however, the main display isn’t backlit when the second screen is on.
This is a perfect time to discuss the differences between the IPS LCD in the LG V10 and the AMOLED in the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. AMOLEDs typically provide more vibrant colors and also deeper blacks, as pixels can actually be turned off with an OLED display. An LCD is entirely back lit, which is why when your TV is on but nothing is showing, you can still tell it’s on.
With the LG V10, you can actually see the back light from the second screen bleed into the main display; however, that back light doesn’t fill the entire main display.
LG figures that people unlock their phone 150 times a day on average, most of the time just to check what time it is. The second screen shows the time, so that’s one problem it solves. It also shows notifications and when the phone is unlocked, it also shows shortcuts, lets you control music, and shows calendar notifications. There’s plenty of customizable options.
The S Pen was the thing that drew me to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. It’s the same reason that I love the Surface Pro 3. It’s easy to quickly take a note. If the phone is asleep, the user can pop out the S Pen and immediately take a note.
If the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is awake, a menu opens that gives the user a bunch of preset as well as customized options. There are three user defined shortcuts, as well as the ability to take a screenshot and write on it or take a portion of the screen and do the same.
LG V10 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5: Rear Camera
Both the LG V10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 have 16 MP rear cameras. They both include manual modes, although the Galaxy Note 5 includes a lot more plug-ins for features that most people would find useless. Luckily, they’re optional.
LG really seems to be going the manual route. They added a manual camera in the G4 and they added manual video in the V10. While the V10 seems to have the same sensor as the G4, I doubt that the G4 will receive manual video as an update since the G3 and G Flex 2 never received the manual camera as an update.
I frequently describe the LG V10 as a very practical and intuitive phone. It’s because of simple reasons, such as the fact that after taking a photo, a drop down menu appears allowing the user to quickly share the photo to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.
The biggest difference between these two cameras is the way that they focus. LG uses laser focus, which works great at night and in the fog. Samsung, like Apple, uses phase detection autofocus (PDAF), which is faster.
|LG V10||Samsung Galaxy Note 5|
One thing I notice about the LG V10 is the same problem that the LG G4 had, which is that it has trouble focusing in automatic mode. The manual controls are great, but they’re not really for the mainstream.
The one thing that the LG V10 really nails is color accuracy. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 really oversaturates, which is fine for the average user that wants to share the photo to Instagram, but if he ever wants to edit it, there’s going to be issues.
LG V10 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5: Front Camera
Both the LG V10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 have 5 MP front cameras; however, the LG V10 has two front cameras, one with an 80° wide angle and one with a 120° wide angle.
The idea behind having two front cameras is that one would be used for selfies and one would be used for group shots. Unfortunately, I feel like it’s a bit too much. The same effect could have been achieved with the 8 MP sensor in the LG G4 and a little cropping. I feel like the cost of the extra sensor is passed to the consumer.
|LG V10 80°||LG V10 120°||Samsung Galaxy Note 5|
LG V10 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5: Benchmarks
I’ll give you my normal disclaimer. I’m not a fan of benchmarks. They so rarely provide any insight into the real world usage of a device. It’s still the best tool we have for testing hardware performance, so here it goes.
While benchmarks are nearly worthless, battery tests are the worst, so that’s what we’re going to start with. Geekbench 3 has two settings, with a dim screen toggled on or off. The first will be with the dim screen toggled off, since that’s how most people use their phones. The second will be with the dim screen toggled, you guessed it, on.
|LG V10||Samsung Galaxy Note 5|
All you can really take away from this is that the brightness of the display drastically effects battery life on both of these phones. That being said, I find that the LG V10 gets better battery life.
Next up, Geekbench 3.
Geekbench 3 results aren’t surprising at all. We know that the Samsung Exynos 7420 is by far the most powerful mobile processor out there. That being said, the LG V10 is on par with any non-Samsung Android phone.
Next up, AnTuTu.
The AnTuTu benchmarks generally reflect the Geekbench 3 results.
Next up, GPU tests with GFXBench.
GFXBench 4 runs a few more tests on the LG V10 than the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 for some reason, so here’s the rest of the V10’s results.
It seems that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 wins the high level tests and the LG V10 wins the low level tests. All I can say is that when it comes to real world usage, I can’t play games with high definition graphics on the LG V10 and I can on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.