I am already 4 weeks into my hands-on with the latest LG G6, and it has impressed me. On the other hand, I have not received a review unit of the Samsung Galaxy S8 to give my hands-on opinion. But looking at the specs alone, I can offer my personal opinion between the two.
Note that any comparison at this point in time is limited to spec showdown and short-term hands-on. How both devices perform in real life day-in day-out will only be realised after weeks or months of real use.
So, which is better?
Get Samsung Galaxy S8 If…
You will likely to like Samsung if you want a smartphone that looks completely unlike any other smartphones in the market. The curved sides has been around for 2 years (since the S6 edge), but the ultra-thin bezel and round screen edges are something new. The Galaxy S8 certainly looks like a gadget carried by Tony Stark (Marvel’s Iron Man).
On paper, the Galaxy S8 has all the ticks. It has every known smartphone hardware technology in the market, and more. It is the first consumer smartphone to have iris and facial recognition. It supports wireless charging, NFC, MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) payment, heartrate sensor, high-quality DAC, Bluetooth 5.0. Its processor is one of the fastest in the market and tops benchmark tests. In addition, Samsung is aggressive in the ecosystem of products that entices consumers to buy companion products like Gear 360 (2017) and DeX Station to extend the capabilities of the Galaxy S8.
If you already own the Galaxy S7 edge, the S8 possesses little additional features to make you say “WOW”. The camera is already that good, there is no dual camera or wide angle or telephoto alternative like iPhone or LG or Huawei. The Bixby (direct competitor to Google Assistant) needs time to grow into maturity, so for now it’s not useful in this part of the region.
The major concern for owning the S8 is its fragility. Of all the smartphones I have reviewed, the S7 edge is the first smartphone that I feel unsafe reviewing without a casing. I feel clumsy handling the phone, because I have to hold it tight yet I must stay clear from touching the edge panels. Most consumers probably are not too concerned, since they will be armourizing the phone with screen protectors and bumper casings, which ironically negates the naked beauty of the S8. And because of that, Samsung did not bother to redesign the rear of the S8, which turns out to be the least visually appealing.
Nevertheless, I am pretty confident that the S8 will work very well for most consumers, given the generally positive experience on the S7. The only reason why you might not want to get S8 is past negative experiences, and price.
Get LG G6 If…
The LG G6 appears plain, but make no mistake. LG takes the safer path because of the G5 failure. Indeed, LG could have done better on the modular design, and maybe it will be a little more successful like Moto Z.
Anyway, back to G6. The smartphone uses the traditionally premium materials like rear glass and metal sides to create a unique design. The rear is completely flushed without camera bump, the sides are thick enough for a better grip, the front is flat to contrast Samsung’s curved screen, and the display is elongated with minimal bezels, similar to Samsung Galaxy S8. On that last point alone, consumers could regard G6 above most other smartphone models in the market.
The UX on the G6 is optimised for the new 18:9 ratio screen, like creating camera modes to shoot perfect squares, and music player with split screens. Gradually when more apps support the long screen format, they will make fuller use of the display, but for now, there will be black bars at the top and bottom. Also, the G6 LCD display is no match for the S8’s Super AMOLED which produces better contrast and darker blacks, though recent reports seem to suggest that the colour is a little overbearing.
The G6 is also water resistant, and comes with the dual camera set-up, especially the wide-angle 125-degree lens that I love as it covers a lot more view. The 32-bit Quad-DAC is highly regarded by the audiophiles thanks to the LG V20 reputation.
Which is “The Best”?
It is a lot easier to proclaim the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best. In whichever way you see it, the S8 is better as a product, the product ecosystem is more mature (with Samsung Pay, Gear 360, Gear VR, etc.), there are also more third-party accessories due to its greater popularity. The battery issue seems to be aggressively fixed based on a YouTube video review. Suffice to say, Samsung’s reputation is at stake, so I believe the S8 will have no battery issues.
The design and the interface might be a subjective experience to various people. Based on comments posted on HWZ forums, the LG G6 is preferred based on design practicality, but consumers remain wary of the infamous “bootloop” issue on older LG devices, which I never experienced. Personally, I also prefer the G6 design and feel when I use it daily without casing. The phone runs well without any issues or lag, the battery management is improved over G5 and V20, the camera quality is also great for social sharing without much tweaks. Other than losing on specs alone, the G6 performs above average among the smartphones in the market.
Galaxy S8 (RRP S$1148) is also S$160 more expensive than LG G6 (RRP S$988), although difference might be lesser if you purchase with mobile contract.
Get Samsung Galaxy S8 if you
- want to own a unique phone design unlike any other smartphone
- not concerned about price-value
- want loads of gadget features like iris and facial recognition, wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.0
- keen on the companion products like DeX Station, Gear VR
Get LG G6 if you
- love a solid-feel smartphone with traditional flat surface
- love wide-angle photography
- love premium quality audio
- enjoys creative instagram content creation
- don’t need the additional features on the S8 and not willing to pay S$160 more.
- need a large-screen smartphone that handles great with one hand
I will update this article once I have more opportunities with the Galaxy S8.