Samsung S8 vs. LG G6: Which rival’s flagship phone do you want in your life?

galaxy s8 vs lg g6 comparisons 137
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The hotly anticipated Galaxy S8 has finally arrived, and it’s just as impressive as expected. Samsung’s newest flagship features a curved screen, cutting-edge processor, a brand-new digital assistant, and more.

But the Galaxy S8 isn’t the only heavyweight on the mobile playing field. LG’s brand-new G6 is one of the best phones we’ve tested, and updates promise to make it better. To put an end to the debate, we pitted the two phones against each other in a specifications battle to the finish.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S8

galaxy s8 vs lg g6 table 2

LG G6

Size 148.9 × 68.1 × 8.0 millimeters (5.86 × 2.71 × 0.31 inches) 148.9 × 71.9 × 7.9 millimeters (5.86 × 2.83 × 0.31 inches)
Weight 5.47 ounces (155 grams) 5.75 ounces (163 grams)
Screen 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED 5.7-inch IPS LCD touchscreen
Resolution 2,960 × 1,440 2,880 × 1,440 pixels
OS Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage 64GB 32 (64GB in select markets)
MicroSD Card Slot Yes Yes
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 (International)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 4GB 4GB
Connectivity 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 4G LTE, HSPA+, 802.11ac/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera 12MP rear with OIS, 8MP front 13MP rear dual with OIS and wide-angle lens, 5MP front
Video 4K 4K
Bluetooth Yes, version 5 Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor
Water Resistant Yes, IP68 Yes, IP68
Battery 3,000mAh 3,300mAh
Charger USB Type-C USB Type-C
Quick Charging Yes Yes
Wireless Charging Yes, Qi and PMA Yes, Qi and PMA (U.S. only)
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Color offerings Black, silver, orchid gray, coral blue (international) gold (international) White, black, platinum
Availability AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
Price Starting at $720 Starting at $650
DT Review First Take 4.5 out of 5 stars

On the inside, the LG G6 isn’t all that different from the Galaxy S8. Both pack Qualcomm-made processors paired with an identical amount of memory (4GB of RAM). But generational improvements give the Galaxy S8 the edge, here.

The Galaxy S8 sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, the newest in the company’s chip arsenal. It’s built on a 10-nanometer process, which crams 30 percent more parts into the same space than the previous generation of Snapdragon processors. Qualcomm gave Anandtech a preview at its San Diego headquarters, and a reference device packing the new processor outperformed older chips by close to 40 percent in multi-threaded tasks. That doesn’t account for Samsung’s tweaks, of course, but it seems that in terms of raw numbers, the Snapdragon 835 is the one to beat.

LG’s G6, on the other hand, boasts the slightly older Snapdragon 821 processor — the same powering the OnePlus 3T and Google Pixel.

In most apps, benchmarks, and real-world situations, the Snapdragon 835 appears to beat the Snapdragon 821 handily. Anandtech’s testing shows it achieving a score of 3,844 in 3D Mark’s Slingshot Extreme test compared to the Snapdragon 821’s 2,106.

There’s no question when it comes to processing power: The Galaxy S8 is far and away the winner. We expect it to handle games, apps, and day-to-day tasks much more efficiently than the G6.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

Design

Galaxy S8
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy S8 is drop-dead gorgeous. The front of the handset is dominated by a 5.8-inch curved screen that extends from the phone’s right-hand bezel to its left. There’s no home button — it’s been relegated to on-screen icons. Short of the sensors flanking the top, it’s an exceptionally utilitarian — and attractive — look.

The back is a little busier than prior devices like the Galaxy S7, due to the placement of the fingerprint sensor near the rear camera, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less sleek. The Galaxy S8’s all-glass design makes it slippery, and a fingerprint magnet.

The LG G6 is exactly the same — it’s wrapped with glass on both sides, allowing it to easily pick up fingerprints. You would think the G6 is more compact than the S8, with its 5.7-inch screen, but that’s not really the case. The G6 is slightly thinner and wider, but it shares equal length with the S8 even though the S8 has a 0.1-inch larger screen.

On the back of the G6, a fingerprint sensor doubles as a power button below a dual-lens camera and flash unit.

It’s a close call between the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6, but the Galaxy S8 goes a step further in offering more screen in a similar-sized body. Bonus points for the lack of branding on the front of the phone.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

Display

galaxy s8 vs lg g6
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy S8’s curved 5.8-inch AMOLED screen is one of the best we’ve seen, hands down. It’s bright and colorful, and boasts a resolution so high (2,960 × 1,440 pixels) that you’ll never have to worry about seeing a pixel.

The G6 shares a similar 2,880 × 1,440 pixel resolution, and both phones also have a similar 18:9 aspect ratio (the S8 has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio). The 5.7-inch LCD display panel on the G6 is great, and it even supports Dolby Vision HDR. Samsung’s is no slouch either, since the company worked with the Ultra HD Alliance to make sure the S8’s screen is premium HDR compliant. All of this means that you’ll be able to see accurate colors and enhanced contrast as intended by content creators on both smartphones.

LG has optimized several of its apps to make use of the 18:9 aspect ratio, so you can see more information. It’s unclear if Samsung has enabled such optimizations, so we’ll have to wait and see.

The LG G6’s screen is otherwise bright, beautiful, and colorful, but it can’t measure up to the Galaxy S8’s AMOLED panel, which can switch off individual pixels to achieve superior contrast and black levels.

There’s no denying that both smartphones offer a superior display than most of the competition. Still, we think the superior contrast and deep blacks offered by AMOLED panels are more beneficiary than optimized apps for the 18:9 ratio on the G6 — especially when apps need to add support.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

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