HTC 10 vs. LG G5: Which flagship should you buy?

After months of leaks and rumors, the HTC 10 is finally here. The next-generation phone replaces the M9 as the company’s flagship, bringing with it a powerful chipset, a sleek design, and powerful camera capabilities. It’s poised to be one of the finest HTC smartphones to date, but how does it compare with LG’s G5? Below, you’ll find a in-depth breakdown of each device, as well as comprehensive analysis of how the HTC 10 stacks up to the LG G5 in terms of power, design, and the all-important camera quality.

Specs

HTC 10

htc-10-table-image-220x220

LG G5

lg-g5-22x

Size 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.35 inches 5.88 x 2.91 x 0.30 inches
Weight 5.7 ounces 5.61 ounces
Display 5.2-inch Super LCD 5 5.3 IPS LCD
Resolution 2,560 x 1,440 2,560 x 1,440
Operating System Android 6.0 with HTC Sense Android v6.0.1 Marshmallow
Storage 32GB 32GB
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
RAM 4GB 4GB
Camera 12 MP Primary, 5 MP Secondary 16 MP primary, 8 MP secondary
Video 2160p@30fps 2160p@30fps primary, 1080p@30fps secondary
VR Google Cardboard LG 360 VR headset, Google Cardboard
Connectivity NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-fi NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-fi
Sensors Ambient light, proximity, Motion G-sensor, gyro, compass, magnetic sensor, fingerprint, sensor hub Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, color spectrum
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery Removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery
Marketplace Google Play Google Play
Price From $700 From $690
Carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, U.S. Cellular
DT review 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Power and performance

Both phones come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset, which offers a dual-core 2.15GHz Kryo and dual core 1.6GHz Kryo central processor, along with an Adreno 530 graphics processor. As such, the HTC 10 and LG G5 should be able to run games and apps at the same level of performance, especially considering both phones tout 4GB of RAM. In our tests, the two phones seem equally speedy, and even scored about the same in benchmark tests.

In terms of screen size and quality, both offer 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution screens, which are sharp and crisp. The HTC 10’s 5.2-inch screen sports 564 pixels-per-inch though, whereas the G5’s 5.3-inch screen offers 554 pixels-per-inch. The G5 does offer an Always-on display, which will show you the time every moment of every day. It’s a nice feature, but LG’s Always-on display isn’t as bright as the one on Samsung’s Galaxy S7, and it does drain a bit of battery life. HTC’s 10 doesn’t offer the feature at all.

The base models of both phones come with 32GB internal storage — which is a fair amount for most users — but those who find themselves taking tons of photos and video will find the storage size a bit restrictive. Luckily, both phones offer expandable storage via a MicroSD card slot. So far, the two devices are completely tied in this battle with equally great specs.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Unless you’ve got a Nexus phone, your Android device is probably running some kind of user interface on top of Google’s operating system. The LG G5 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, the most-current version of the Android OS, and delivers a core Android experience that skimps on bloatware. It’s a pretty clean experience, though you will see some duplicate apps and some additions from LG.

Meanwhile, the HTC 10 also uses the most recent version of Android with Sense UI on top. HTC really scaled back Sense this year, so it looks almost as clean as stock Android. There are less additional apps onboard, and the experience is simpler. Fans of stock Android will love the HTC 10 for its simplistic approach to Android, though in the end, the G5’s UI isn’t too heavy, either.

HTC has a few advantages over LG, though. It’s first advantage is the Theme Store, which allows you to customize every aspect of your phone from the wallpaper and icons, to the color scheme. It’s a fun way to jazz up your phone and make it your own.

The company is ranked second best at issuing timely software updates to its users, which means you’ll get the latest version of Android much earlier than your fellow Android users. Timely updates are important for several reasons, but the most important one is security. Now that bugs like Stagefright and Heartbleed are frighteningly common, it’s important to get critical updates as soon as possible.

Winner: HTC 10

Battery life

You’re also going to find differences between the two phones when it comes to battery life. The HTC 10 sports a 3,000mAh battery, which squeezes in a bit more juice than the LG G5’s standard 2,800mAh battery. Both charge up quickly via QuickCharge 3.0 and USB Type C. We typically got through a full, busy day with both devices before we needed to charge them up again. There was very little discernible difference in battery life with the two phones.

However, the LG G5’s battery is removable, unlike that on the HTC 10. This isn’t necessarily a major factor, but if you are among the many smartphone user who prefer removable batteries, the G5 has you covered. That said, changing the battery isn’t quite as simple as it used to be. LG added a button on the side of the device, which helps you eject the bottom edge of the phone. When you slide it out, you’ll see the battery. You have to yank the battery out of the base, though, which feels a bit scary when you’re not used to it. If you’re interested in swapping batteries or using some of LG’s friends modules, you’ll have to get used to the maneuver.

Winner: Tie

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